Reading the Owner’s Manual: Do you Actually Have to?

Reading the Owner’s Manual: Do you Actually Have to?

If you love and respect your car, then you should be familiar with how that machine works and how it might receive the best possible care. Your owner’s manual is designed just for that — acting as an instructional handbook — tailored to the specific vehicle you own.

You know what they say… Knowledge is confidence!

Woman reading owner’s manual while pulled over

When to read up on your vehicle:

  • You just bought it.
  • You’re borrowing a car for an extended period of time.
  • You have owned your car for years and haven’t recently read the manual.
  • You have a question about its functions/features.


It’s true that online platforms such as YouTube can show us the answer to almost any question we have about our make and model of car — but you might not know what information you need, or what kind of video to search for!

For great insights about your particular car, the owner’s manual is the best starting resource.

Understanding your Owners Manual

Don’t leave it to rot in your car’s glove box! Take it out and shine some light on it.

As you skim through the index, be sure to keep an eye out for the following four sections: Instruments & Controls, Driving & Operating, Vehicle Care, and Service & Maintenance. These will likely have the most useful particulars for solving your vehicle issues and/or answering questions about your ride.

In our experience, here’s the order of importance as you read through the information:

  1. The table of contents, where you can scan all topics included in the manual.
  2. Becoming familiar with any and all warning lights; checking the diagram of your dashboard for names and explanations.
  3. The preferred tire pressure of your ride.
  4. The locations of the system components inside and around your vehicle.
  5. How to clean your interior and exterior properly.
  6. Viewing all recommended maintenance schedules.
  7. After your warranty period ends, all repair costs are paid directly; knowing your warranty information might save you some serious headaches!

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many reasons to pull out the owner’s manual… Here are some of the most common FAQs:

What do each of the dashboard lights mean? Which knob, light or button will help me best operate my headlights, my wipers, my radio, etc.

Dashboard symbols: Some dashboard lights don’t have an obvious meaning, but many dashboard lights display important messages, (being out of oil is a big one to know)!

What kind of gas do I use? Where do I put the gas in? How is the gas cap accessed? How do I remove it? Do I open the cover from inside the car? Where is that lever or button?

Gas: Learn all of the doo-dads. Engines are expensive and using the wrong gas can destroy your engine.

What’s the process of it? Where’s the spare, the jack, the lug wrench? How do these things work? How do I loosen the lug nuts?

Changing a tire: Without proper tire inflation, you will not have the proper control over your vehicle.

What type is it?

Type of battery, headlight, steering system: Get familiar with your car’s major components in case something needs to be repaired or replaced.

What are the numbers on my car? What’s embossed on my front door pillar, windshield and/or engine bay?

Identification, configuration & ratings: Look them up in your car owners manual and you’ll see the purpose of each code!

Are there certain fluids I need to take care of? Which products are best for use with this kind of vehicle?

Fluids: Acknowledge the required or suggested levels. After all, these fluids are like blood for your car!

Your car’s handbook is the best possible way to be sure what your car needs and what quantity of it is suitable for your car.

Properly Set Up Your Car

With each passing year, car manufacturers are adding on more technological features. And many require set-up on the owner’s end!

From systems like delayed lighting, to keyless entry, to decibel thresholds, the initial operation can be overwhelming. A manual can be a real asset to make the configuration much easier for you.

Implement Better Driving Practices

Your unique driving dynamic strongly impacts your car’s overall performance.

Driving with a heavy foot causes a lot of stress to a car’s mechanics which particularly affects fuel efficiency. So, keep this in check! 

Your owner’s manual comes with a list of driving practices you can choose to follow in order to enhance the efficiency of your vehicle. 

Abiding by such practices also makes driving an overall safer experience.

Troubleshoot Common Problems

Deal with common emergencies in a pinch! This might include jump-starting your car, changing a flat, or even manually opening an electric window.

Your manual has got your back!

Lower Repair Costs

By becoming familiar with the needs of your car, you will better know what needs to be replaced or repaired, as well as a timeline of when that is supposed to happen. 

All in all, this means you can decrease the chance of paying for unnecessary things!

Education from this trusty resource can be of great help in knowing a thing or two about your car’s maintenance routine.

>> You can also head over to our maintenance products to improve ​​vehicle performance and overall drivability. Our Berryman Products Comparison Chart can be another helpful user guide in this department.

Extra Features and Reliable Vehicle Specs

With a full manual read, you’ll certainly come across features that you thought never existed. In today’s age, we can assure you of this!

Extra details or trademarks for your ride might just be of great use to you.

As for the specifications mentioned in your manual… You’ll know it’s a credible source of information! Specified by the manufacturers themselves. A level of trust that can be extremely reassuring.

Locating your Manual

Just checked your glove compartment and saw that you do not currently have a manual for your vehicle? 

Don’t worry, you can still get one. Most sites require a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) number, as well as your car’s make, model, and year.



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