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Old 23rd February 2015, 16:28   #31
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Default Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

Nice thread, Samba. I am one who is very finicky about manuals. I read the manual of the Fiesta a couple of days before booking it. I also asked the salesman to confirm if an auxilliary connection exists for the ICE, as mentioned in the manual. He unknowingly said yes, and I expressed my disappointment to Ford India when I came to know that even the top end version does not have it, despite a mention in the manual. I was told that it exists only in the Endy, and that the manual had some pages common with that.

I am told Ford took the salesman to task for giving a misleading answer.

That said, I agree with the views expressed that the manual should be variant-specific, or have pages dedicated to each variant.

I always keep the manual in the car because it can be handy in trying times. I used it when the 'check engine light' symbol came up on a winter day. I also used it on my pal's Embera on a long trip to Jog Falls, when the engine sounded gruffy and the catalyctic converter warning light came on. It was useful to refer to dealers located nearby also.
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Old 24th February 2015, 10:49   #32
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Default Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

The manual for any car is definitely important. But these days when most of the cars come with same sort of features and operation styles that we are familiar with and so people usually find it redundant at best. As GTO said, all cars need to have a web based manual which can be accessed from anywhere and can be searched for a specific purpose.

Even though a cars manual is no longer an important booklet for current gen owners, I use to go through it once to see if there is any hidden feature or something that I didn't know about the car. I remember when we bought our Innova, I asked the SA if run in was required and he smartly denied any need for running in by saying that Toyota cars no longer need to run in. You can take your new car to 120-140 sir without any hassle. I didn't argue but I never really believed him. Then I read the manual and found that run in was required indeed. So my point is, manual should be read even if it doesn't add anything special to your already vast petrolhead.
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Old 24th February 2015, 11:26   #33
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Default Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

Just to add what I already said. I think very few car owners bother reading a manual, regardless of what shape or format it comes in.

At the end of the day it is very much a personal choice/preference. Going through the manual, getting hold of the workshop manual, technical bulletin are just part of my car hobby.

My next door neighboor back in the Netherlands used to head up the service organisation of Mercedes in The Hague. After he got some health troubles, his regular job was becoming too much for him. He had of course, a tremendous knowlegde on all these cars and was very good with customers. So now, for those owens who appreciate it, when you take delivery of your new Mercedes, Aad will be there to help you explain everything. Run throught all the options/ features etc. etc. On the high end Mercedes that takes him some 4 hours per car/owner. But as he told, very few owners are really interested, most are fine to get pointed out the basics.

When I go and get my next car, whichever it will be, I know I would enjoy someomen like Aad, talking me through all of this. A few years ago I took the then new Jaguar XJR for a test drive in the UK. The sales guy was also very knowledgeable. We must have spend about 2 hours where he just explained all the different setting/menu's etc before I set off on my test drive. Love it!

Jeroen
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Old 24th February 2015, 11:31   #34
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Default Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

Great thread. As GTO said, it is good to have a manual online with easy search options. My Passat highline has so many hidden features that I had to refer to the manual to understand how to use them.

Another aspect of the manuals especially global models, is the variations between models. These are typically highlighted only in the respective sections. E.g dynamic Bend lighting is not available in all models. I would rather like to know the features of my car model in one place instead of going thru each and every section and ticking off those features not available in my car. All these can be solved by an online manual that is tailored for the model sold in India. This is especially true for German cars with many hidden features not all of it are enabled for India.
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Old 25th February 2015, 11:36   #35
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Default Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

That's a worthy reminder Samba, to read a very neglected info source !

We frantically search the internet for even the smallest of problems and seldom realize that reading or even glancing through the pages of the owners manual can give useful insight into the problems that we face. We rely soo much on the service advisers and other mechanics that we stop questioning things ourselves and just wait for other people to guide us.

I started reading the owners manual only because of one reason - Curiosity ! Infact, i developed the habit of just going through the pages, randomly, whenever i come across the owners manual (say for eg: cleaning the dashboard, removal of vehicle papers for PUC, removal of papers for insurance renewal, etc). I strongly feel that this makes u 'aware' of certain situations even before they crop up as a 'problem' , because u already know how that system works and what can be the likely problems associated with it. This makes you better equipped (atleast mentally) whenever any problem occurs.
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Old 28th February 2015, 15:43   #36
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Smile Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

Very helpful post.

However, the only reason I read manuals is to find out what NOT to do with your vehicle.

Manufacturers have obviously added certain DON'Ts because people might have done them.

One of my favorites is DO NOT ACCELERATE WHILE BRAKING!!
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Old 28th February 2015, 23:27   #37
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Default Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

Quote:
the only reason I read manuals is to find out what NOT to do with your vehicle.
That's a good point.

Having worked in IT departments, I have come across lots of guys (its always us )with manuals-are-for-wimps attitudes. Guys who think they can do it just because they are them, they don't need no stinkin' manual!

Of course, they usually do manage to achieve what they are trying to do, but what the manual would tell them, if they bothered to look at it, it the many things that they may not even have thought of, that they could do if they knew about them.

But what we should not do is part of the deal too: manuals can make our cars go better and last longer.
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Old 7th March 2015, 20:51   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
That's a good point.

Having worked in IT departments, I have come across lots of guys (its always us )with manuals-are-for-wimps attitudes. Guys who think they can do it just because they are them, they don't need no stinkin' manual!

Of course, they usually do manage to achieve what they are trying to do, but what the manual would tell them, if they bothered to look at it, it the many things that they may not even have thought of, that they could do if they knew about them.

But what we should not do is part of the deal too: manuals can make our cars go better and last longer.

I agree. Remarkably on a forum like this many members believe they don't need the manual at all. Of course, its a free country, so do what you believe is right. What is even more remarkable that many members believe they actually know better then the manual. They will post about how you should run in your car, whether you should idle your turbo for some time and even more remarkably, they tell you what lub oil is the best.

At end of the day this is just my opinion, but I do believe that members making claims in clear contradiction to the manufacturers recommendation should be at least challenged by members such as me, who actually read the manual. And in my case have some engineering background to back it up.

The very notion that any member of this community has more knowledge on cars than the manufacturer when it comes to standard operating procedures and maintenance is, quite frankly, laughable. i have been trying to point this out numerous times. Statistically speaking none of us have the insights nor the data to contest the owners manual. If you take into consideration that it is written in a conservative way to start with, due to possible liability issues, why does anybody think they know better. I have never, ever, on this forum seen anybody offering anything remotely based on statistically significant data. At best it is "my experience" this or that.

Although I don't discount personal experience, it is very likely not relevant from a statistical point of view when it comes to long term wear and tear of a car an engine, transmission or whatever part of the car.


In my opinion, personal experience on cars only starts to count when you start dealing with cars that have clocked 150-200K. Thats when problems start showing up. So if somebody starts challenging for instance Mercedes or Jaguar sealed for life auto gear boxes, based on his/her dealing with numerous of these cars with this high mileage it is most likely very relevant.

Challenging the car manufacturers manual on whether you should change out the AT oil every 10.000 km is not, in my opinion.

But the again I have been wrong many times. Very few have ever challenged my posts though. Lets see what happens with this one.

Jeroen

Last edited by Rehaan : 24th March 2015 at 15:36. Reason: Hi Jeroen - Keeping your points, but removing the part on moderator actions as per the rules. Thanks.
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Old 24th March 2015, 01:37   #39
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Default Re: 10 reasons why you should read your car's owners manual

A very interest post started by Samba indeed

On one hand, it is very difficult to analyse the use of it, whereas on the other hand we cannot ignore the actual importance of it. This write up might be a little lengthy, but yes this is my observation and I want to share it with the Community here.

I personally have seen a lot of people do the following :

1.) Not at all read the Manual (even a bit) and just keep it in the Car like your Car Papers,
2.) Keep it at home or at office as an unattended book,
3.) Keep it in the Boot of their Cars as it only comes handy to them when the Car goes in for a Service at the Authorized Service Centre.

It has been observed that in certain cases people have weird grievances towards the Car Manufacturer for no rhyme or reason. They could have taken care of the vehicle by following the Owner’s Manual and could have avoided certain sufferings that they might have or are going though with their vehicles. Listing a few observations :

1.) Knowing about the running in period of your new vehicle and how to drive/ handle it during this period

2.) They generally prefer getting small minor issues sorted at the nearest workshop rather than approaching the Authorized Service Centres. Now, in case of any electrical changes, their long term warranty on the electrical gets void and then they blame the Carmaker

3.) A basic aspect like knowing your tyre pressure is negated which results in reducing the life of the tyre in the long run

4.) Knowing about the service schedule of the vehicle and not just wait for a phone call from a Service Dealer. Wake up the damage might already be done or the delay might result in the sowing of the seeds for a problem to arise

5.) How to maintain your vehicle from time to time or rather the personal checks that one needs to keep is to be learnt or following from the Owner’s Manual. There are times when even the Service Advisor skips the basic periodical changes that needs to be done to your car like – Changing of Gear Oil, Changing of Timing Belt, Replacing the Coolant......so on and so forth. These are a part of your car’s periodical maintenance that must be done irrespective of you facing any issues with it or not for a better ownership experience

6.) Modifications to the Body of the Car by the Car Accessories guy who is either your friend or your neighbour can result in voiding your Paint Warranty (if applicable) by putting in those extra installs without knowing the whereabouts of your car. A basic thing like Mud Flaps nowadays are clipped onto the Car Body on the front and the Car Bumpers on the Rear. Drilling Holes can jolly well void your paint warranty if at all there is any rusting in your vehicle at a later date

7.) If at all one wants an updrade of tyre size during the warranty period of a newly purchased car, you can refer to the Owner’s Manual for the same. Let’s take an example of the Maruti Swift Diesel in this case. For LDi & VDi Models the Stock Tyre Size is 165/80 R14. Whereas, for the ZDi it is 185/65 R15. Soif you have bought a LDi or a VDi Variant which has 14” Rims, you can easily upgrade to 15 Inchers following the Tyre Size and Specs of the one Maruti is giving in the ZDi. No Questions asked !!

8.) It also comes in handy when you have to replace your Car Battery. One does not visit the Authorized Service Centre for a Battery Change. You would rather visit an Exide Store or an outlet which sells Car Batteries. Again let’s take the example of the Maruti Swift itself. Both the Petrol & Diesel Variants have 12V Batteries but their Model Numbers are different. Also, there is a difference in the Specs of the Battery of the Swift Diesel Type 1 & Type 2. So if we know what we are to use, the person from whom you are buying the battery will not be able to fool you or your ride.

9.) In case you are using a Mineral Engine Oil in your Car and you want to Upgrade to a Synthetic Oil, you must know the manufacturers recommendations and not go by the recommendation of any Oil Selling Retail Outlet or what your friends have to say. Like in case of Ford - They generally use a 5W30 Mineral Oil in the Ford Figo and the Ford Fiesta. However, the moment you request them to use a Fully Synthetic Engine Oil in your Car, Ford recommends the usage of a Fully Synthetic 5W40 instead of the conventional mineral 5W30 which is used by them. What may happen if you use a 5W30 Fully Synthetic Engine Oil ? Nothing immediately for sure. But, in the long run, the desired performance shall not be achieved and it might result in the Engine not living upto your expectations inspite of you doing your best for it......according to you

To sum it all up I would like to state the fact mentioned by a fellow BHPians in his 40000 Kms Ownership Experience of his Titatnium Ford Figo Diesel that one needs to rev the engine upto 3500rpm for a few minutes at least once in a month; as per the Owner's Manual of Ford. I also being a Diesel Ford Figo ZXi owner was astonished to know this fact and was totally unaware of this and realized that how important the Owner's Manual actually is !!
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