Education & Safety

Get to Know Your Vehicle – Read the Manual

Wealth of information

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You just drove your new vehicle home and are excited to take it out on the road. Before you show it off to your friends and family, don’t forget to take some time to review the owner’s manual. Designed to help you better understand your vehicle, becoming familiar with the manual will help you as you prepare to drive your vehicle.

From the recommended service schedule to the dashboard layout, your owner’s manual has a wealth of valuable information. Wondering what that light is that comes on when you start up the vehicle? Want to know how to operate all the lights in your vehicle? Consult your owner’s manual!

Getting started

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With vehicles becoming more complex, your owner’s manual provides key information for operating your vehicle. By cracking open your owner’s manual, you’re taking an important step to being a well-informed driver.

Many drivers never take the manual out of the glovebox, missing out on an opportunity for educating themselves about their vehicle. Don’t be one of those drivers. Grab your owner’s manual and follow along as we cover some of the important information that you’ll find in it.

Examining your owner’s manual

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Start by looking at the table of contents at the beginning of the manual. This gives you a preview of the information that will be covered in the manual. Also, be sure to look at all the supplemental material that was provided with your vehicle, as some topics may be covered in a separate booklet. For example, many vehicles come with a quick reference guide that covers the key information you need to get on the road.

Carefully examine all the literature that came with your vehicle. Here are some key pieces of information that you’ll likely find in the manual or an accompanying booklet.

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Basic operating instructions – Wondering how the windshield wipers work or how to activate the automatic lights? While the dealership may have shown you how to use some of the key features of your vehicle, it’s easy to forget the information the moment you drive off the lot. Your owner’s manual has the information to fill in the gaps.

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Vehicle maintenance – One of the most important sections in your manual, here you’ll find an overview of the engine and instructions for basic maintenance procedures. You’ll learn how to take care of routine jobs like checking the oil, changing the air filter, replacing headlight bulbs, switching windshield wipers and even how to adjust the headlights. Your manual will also give a maintenance schedule that includes items to check on a regular basis and when to replace parts like the oil and filter and spark plugs.

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Setting up infotainment features – From navigation to integration with your phone, your manual will help you set up the features of your vehicle’s infotainment system. Doing this before you start driving will help prevent you from fumbling to enter an address or answer a call while you’re driving and keep your attention where it belongs: on the road.

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Warning lightsDeciphering the various warning lights on your vehicle can be a challenge, so think of your owner’s manual as the key. The manual shows all of the warning lights and gives a brief description of each light. 

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Driving tips – Your manual may also give driving tips to help you through the break-in period of the vehicle (typically the first 1,000 miles). You’ll also find a rundown of good driving practices that will maximize fuel economy and vehicle life.

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Roadside emergencies - No one likes to think about having a roadside emergency, but they do happen. Your manual will help you prepare for the unexpected with instructions for jumpstarting your vehicle, operating the hazard lights and other important information to keep you safe if you find yourself on the side of the road.

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WarrantyWhat does your warranty cover and for how long? The terms of your vehicle’s warranty are spelled out in detail in your owner’s manual. You’ll discover how to get warranty service, a detailed list of parts that are covered by the warranty and also what things aren’t covered.

Helpful hints

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As you’re reading the owner’s manual, keep a highlighter and sticky notes handy. Highlight important information for easy reference later. Also, flagging the page with a sticky note will make it easy to find later. Be sure to write on the sticky note what information you are flagging. Then when you need to look up that key piece of information it will be easy to find.

Learn more about quality auto parts, find your car part, or find a local car repair shop today.

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

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