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Owners manuals

Manufacturers are going to put owners’ manuals on a CD/DVD.Do you agree with this decision?

Many new construction related vehicles we have bought gone that route. We have one that is so jagged you can only open it in acrobat reader 6.0, that sucks! I certainly think it is the shade of things to come, just make it compatable

I think the idea sucks. Unless you have a way to read it in the car where you need it the most. Almost none of the driving public even read the printed owners manual that they already have. On CD/DVD even less people will ever bother to look at it. Let’s face facts just look at how many questions end up here about things that are usually in the manual, or even just a phone call to a shop, parts store, or the dealer.

the Hyundai Equus’ owners manual is on an iPad.

No, I think it’s stupid. I’d be fine with a CD owners manual in addition to the paper book, but I’d be surprised if in 10 years computers still came with optical disc drives. What if they’d put owners manual on 3.5" floppy disks in the 90’s? A lot of us would be screwed now. Plus, paper doesn’t warp, break, scratch, or shatter due to manufacturing defects. I’m all for technology, but there are some places where actual printed material is superior.

I don’t like the decision. The Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook at my institution is online. It is difficult to look things up. I finally just downloaded the Handbook and printed it out. I think going to a section in the Owner’s manual wouldn’t be any easier. Sometimes, a person wants to go from one section of a manual to another where the sections are not contiguous. It’s easily done with a paper manual–not so easy on a CD/DVD.

The first step is to put in on a CD. The second step will follow quickly. That one will be to just give you a website address that you can download it from.

It’s a good idea. Used cars never come with owner’s manuals, and buyers never think of buying one from a dealer. If it’s on CD, you will be able to download it. Print it if you like.

Printed material still has its advantages, I suppose, but we all can easily deal with digital information.

I can understand the reasoning. A CD is much cheaper to produce as compared to a print manual but I think it’s an equal waste of time.

For the most part, the car owners won’t even skim the print manuals in the glove box so why expect them to spend a bunch of time on the PC gleaning info about their car.

I think you answered your own question; To save money.
They know the majority of owners don’t read their manuals, so why bother with all the printing costs for countless thousands of vehicles when you can buy a stack of 100 CDs for like $10 and those little paper envelopes for the CDs for next to nothing

Given the amount of vehicles produced, and the very small percentage of owners manual’s actually opened or not thrown out(when car is sold), I think it is a greener method. Also they will be available via the web.

Lastly vehicles are so complex that the size has grown substantially.

I have opened mine up when changing the spare tire though.

Car companies are trying to pass printing costs on to their customers. It’s that simple. A CD is cheaper to make than a book. I think it’s a bad idea, but who is going to buy one car over another just because one company gives you a printed copy of your owner’s manual?

I agree that putting owners’ manuals on a CD or DVD is stupid as well. I would rather have a paper copy on hand. CD’s get scratched if not handled properly and if I need to reference to my owners’ manual, I would need to have a laptop computer with me or be at home where I can access my computer. Not a good idea at all.

I think you could substantially pare down what’s in the actual hard copy manual if you make clear where a full manual is avaliable electronically. You could probably print a 8x5 laminated folding reference card that can stay in the glove box. The maintenance schedule, what all the heiroglyphic symbols and warning lights mean, how to change a tire, jump start, maybe an underhood diagram, fluid specifications and capacities and the phone number of customer support should all fit and realisitically that’s all you really need by the side of the road. You can leave all the stuff about how to wear your seatbelt, how to drive an automatic, how to drive in the snow, the pages and pages of legalese, etc. in the electronic manual.

My one caveat would be that rentals should still be required to have a full hard copy manual.

I completely agree with paring down the manual. Our 08 caravan manual is something like 350 pgs. that is totally ridiculous.

That was my first thought too. And I personally far prefer the manuals in hard copy, where I can keep them in the glovebox to refer to when needed.

We should not have to have a computer to learn how to operate the basic controls on our cars. Or to look up basic things like how to change the headlight bulb or what kind of oil to use.

I agree, and this would especially be a problem when renting a car out of town.

I hate to tell you this, but just about every car company has their owners manuals online already. They could do that in about 5 seconds, if they could do it.

There’s probably some obscure law that requires that every product sold must come with a manual, or instruction book of some form or another.


"There’s probably some obscure law that requires that every product sold must come with a manual, or instruction book of some form or another. "

That’s clearly not true.

I just thought of one huge downfall to the CD manual. If the CD is in the glovebox, it is likely to melt during a ho summer’s day, and the owner is left without the manual. Not that it’s likely to affect most people, but those that actually read it will want it

If this wasn’t such a complaint and litigation happy society maybe the owners manuals could be pared down by about 2/3.
With many manuals it seems every paragraph has to be followed by an equally length warning disclaimer.

A disclaimer about not driving on a dark night with inoperable headlights may seem misguided but somewhere, someone will drive without lighting, hit something, and head off to the lawyer’s office to sign up.