Car Accessories 3 min read

10 Reasons to Read Your Car Owner's Manual

a young woman stood by the side of the road reading a car manual
Published on Aug 15, 2022
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If you are completely honest with yourself here, how many times can you say that you have read the instructions or manual of something you have bought?

When it comes to flatpack furniture, maybe we can get by just from browsing the pictures. However, the same cannot always be said when you buy a new car! Reading the manual may seem like a chore but it may save you from some tricky moments later down the line and can save you money. 

As cars are becoming more luxurious and ‘techie’ it is even more important to ensure that you familiarise yourself with your vehicle, whether that means finding out what all the buttons on your steering wheel do, or where your spare tyre is....if it wasn’t important it wouldn’t be included!

And don't worry if you've misplaced your car owner's manual or are looking for a fully updated workshop manual, you can order one easily from Easy Manuals! Read on to find out more.

1) Be Sure What All of the Buttons Do

a fancy looking steering wheel and dashboard

Technology has come on leaps and bounds when it comes to vehicles. Most things can now be done with the flick of a button or the tap of a screen. It is therefore vital that you understand what each of the buttons and gadgets does.   

This is also something that you need to find out prior to being in control of the vehicle. Do not attempt to figure out what the buttons do whilst you are driving, this could be distracting and dangerous.  

You should familiarise yourself with all the gadgets and buttons by reading your manual prior to any journeys, particularly long journeys. You could be missing out on some great features by not reading your manual and you could also cause unnecessary damage.

2) Know What the Different Warning Lights Mean

a lit up dashboard in a ca

Warning lights are not just for decoration. Yes, they can be attractive to look at in the dark but, no, they are not ok! If you have a warning light on your car this is something that must be looked at.  

The next time your car goes in for an MOT there really is no need for surprises and damage to your vehicle if you pay attention to your warning lights. Any issues can be resolved before they turn into serious issues which will not only cost you more money but could potentially be very dangerous.  

You must read your manual to ensure you are content and understand what the warning lights mean. You will save yourself a lot of money and time by paying attention to what your car is requesting from you.  

3) Find Out How to Open the Fuel Door

red car with fuel door open

You may be surprised to hear that some people have absolutely no clue about how to refuel their vehicle, what fuel their vehicle needs, or even where to put the fuel! Not all cars are the same and not all fuel doors open and close the same.  

Whether you are a long-time driver or a new driver, it is so important to understand how to look after your vehicle  Whilst not closing your fuel door correctly should not cause it any harm, replacing it if it is damaged could be a nuisance and a cost you could do without.

Most are opened with your key and there should be an internal ‘lid’ flap. But it is always best to read through your manual whilst you are with your stationary vehicle to ensure you are familiar with how to use it. Turtle Wax offer some great valet kits to help in other aspects of looking after your vehicle.

4) Maintain the Service History of Your Car

a man looking at a car wheel

If you have ever bought a used vehicle or ‘second hand’ car, you will have heard the term ‘full-service history'. This is simply evidence that the vehicle has been well maintained by its previous owners.   

When buying your new car it is so important that you do maintain a full-service history for your vehicle. Should you ever wish to sell your vehicle this will put it in good stead and help it stand out from other sellers selling the same model.  

You should read your manual to ensure you are aware of the manufacturer's guidelines in relation to repairs. You can of course go to a non-approved dealer to maintain your vehicle but you must ensure they are meeting the same guidelines as your dealer. This will help your vehicle maintain its value, especially with the accrual of service stamps. Don't forget the importance of regularly keeping on top of your car maintenance yourself, with exterior and interior supplies from Clean Your Car.

5) Know Where Your Spare Tyre Is

a spare tyre in the boot of a car

Back in the ‘good ole days’ you could easily identify if you had a spare tyre and where it was, it would literally be sat in the middle of your boot taking up most of the space! These days, spare tyres are hidden away, out of sight, leaving room for all your shopping bags, prams, suitcases etc.  

The quickest and easiest way to establish where your spare tyre is, is to read the manual.  It will also give you guidance on how to open it if it is in a concealed compartment and it will also give instructions on how the same should be changed.  

You will most likely also find your wheel lock key in the same area. If you aren’t sure what that is, or where yours currently is, then you definitely need to dust off your manual!

a radio in a car

You may think that linking your car to your phone is simple and will make all your gadgets in your car work. You may be entirely right, however, you could be missing a few steps. Some vehicles require you to download an app to your phone before you are able to link your vehicle and phone together.  

There may be 10 steps to tuning your radio and if you do not familiarise yourself with your gadgets and your car manual you may be sitting in silence on a really long car journey with no music to listen to. This may sound perfect to some, but for most of us, a long journey in silence sounds like an absolute nightmare!

7) Find Out How to Set the Satnav

a man using the dashboard in his car

Again, this may seem straightforward but with some newer models, you most definitely will not be able to use or even locate the satnav without first having downloaded the model's app in the App Store.  

Your satnav may simply be built in and ready to go. However, you should take care in reading your manual to establish the location of your satnav and how it works. If you are heading off for a long journey into the unknown you will want to be sure you know how this works prior to commencing your journey to save yourself from distraction and delays.  

With the cost of fuel rising the last thing you want to be doing is driving around unaware of where you are going and wasting fuel!

8) Be Sure You Know How to Open the Bonnet 

a woman looking into an open car bonnet

Here’s another one some people just don’t know how to do, ‘how to open hour bonnet’. It may seem absolutely obvious, but if you have a new car then it is possible that there could be a lever, or perhaps a button on your steering wheel or dashboard, that operates the bonnet. 

 Again, this is another reason you should check your vehicle’s manual to ensure you are familiar with how to access your bonnet. There are other great tips in there too, such as where to locate the release catch, how to prop your bonnet open safely etc.

9) Take Advantage of All of Your New Car’s Features 

If you want to take full advantage of all your car’s new features, then it is advisable to sit in your car, whilst it is parked and safe to do so and read your manual.  

Go through all the buttons on your dashboard and your steering wheel, take a look in all the compartments, find out how you can connect your phone, find out whether there are any breakdown tools contained in your car etc. Newer vehicles these days can do a lot more than we probably realise. And don't forget to look after your car's fancy features with EZ Car Care's interior kits.

10) Find Out Any Safety Tips for Driving It

a woman at the side of the road with her car and car manual

Finally, your car owner's manual will offer you an abundance of safety advice and guidance on how to drive your new car safely. 

Your car may offer cruise control, you may also have a driver assist function which can help you when driving by automating, adapting or improving some or all of your tasks when operating your car. There may also be an option for steering assist etc., if you are not familiar with your manual you may be unsure as to how to turn these features off/on.  

Your guide will also provide helpful tips and tricks in relation to how to safely check your oil, add washer fluid and so on. There will also be guidance on things to look out for which could mean that your vehicle is damaged or needs a service.  

It is so important to take the time out to go through your manual even if it does seem like an absolute bore, you want to make the most of your new car and enjoy it rather than spend time on every journey trying to figure out how to operate the simplest of things in your car.


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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