Your owner’s manual is perhaps the most in-depth, complex, thorough piece of reading material you own. It has everything from basic specs to complex diagrams and everything in-between. That being said, the book isn’t something you should feel intimidated by, and with a few pieces of knowledge at your side, you’ll be flipping through it like a pro in no time.
One of the best things that your owner’s manual provides is a service guide. Whenever you hear us pros talking about “factory recommended maintenance” or going “by the book” this is usually what we mean. If you’re coming up on a key mileage, like 100,000 miles, and you’re wondering what exactly you’ll need when you hit it, the book will tell you down to the labor involved.
Another nice thing that can be found in your owner’s manual is some basic part numbers. Things like what light bulbs you need, what fuses your car uses and what they act as fail-safes for, and some other minor do-it-yourself type parts.
One thing that I think is more crucial than ever these days is spare tire information. Spares are not one-size-fits-all tires as they used to be. As space gets tighter and tighter, automakers have found unique ways of stuffing these things away, if they’re even equipped at all, and they can be hard to find sometimes. Also useful, the manual tells you how to install a spare, so even those of us who aren’t mechanically-inclined can easily swap them on and off.