Who Reads The Owner’s Manual?
The automotive owner’s manual may be the least read book in the U.S. The printed version may soon be obsolete. Owner’s manuals are also available online. Several manufacturers, including Kia, incorporate the manual into the vehicle’s digital infotainment system.
Why don’t owners read their manuals? It may be as exciting as watching paint dry. Digital versions can be enhanced with how-to videos, dialog and interactive features that make the manual more interesting and more educational. Digital versions can also be customized according to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Automotive manufacturers put a lot of information into their manuals, but do you really need to read it? Do you even really need to know it? Yes and no. If you have your car serviced at a dealership, the service technicians are likely trained and certified by the manufacturer, know exactly how to service your vehicle, have access to reference materials and use only OEM parts.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer mechanic or go to an independent shop, there are a few key pieces of information you will want to find in your manual. Specifically, the type of oil and fluids and adherence to the recommended maintenance schedule will not only keep your car in good working condition, it will keep your warranty intact.
We would strong encourage EVERYONE to read the safety section of your manual on primary (seatbelts) and secondary restraints (airbags). This will help you to know proper usage and understand how and when airbags may deploy.
In short, the owner manual has a wealth of information that would prove useful to you, but it is likely that you can refer to it as needed.