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Saturday 3 December 2016
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Say Hello to the New Digital Age of the Owner’s Manual

Say Hello to the New Digital Age of the Owner’s Manual

Have questions about your car? Well, chances are you won’t find the answers the old fashioned way, in an owner’s manual tucked away in your glovebox. That’s because more and more they can be found on your car’s infotainment screen.

According to Automotive News, Fiat Chrysler is the latest automaker to integrate the owner’s manual into an onboard computer system, Uconnect. You’ll see it with the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, along with the Dodge Charger and Challenger and Chrysler 300. (Note, the Pacific still comes with a hard copy, too.)

“The percentage of car owners that actually read their owner’s manual is depressingly small,” Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer tells Automotive News. “Switching to an electronic version, especially one that can be contextually referenced while using features like in the new Pacifica system, might finally teach owners about their vehicle’s full capabilities.”

Of course, electronic manuals have been around for awhile online now. (For a list of click here.)  What’s great is that you can access info via cellphone. Automaker’s are building special iPhone and Android owner’s manual apps as well.  For instance, Audi introduced an augmented owner’s manual app on the 2015 Audi A3.

However,  integrating all that vehicle info into the car’s brains itself through its infotainment system is new frontier.

“The Vehicle User Guide application minimizes the everyday stresses by providing drivers with effortless accessibility of their vehicle information,” Tricia Hecker, FCA’s head of connected services, told Automotive News in a written statement.

The digital age isn’t just what’s driving the change. It’s also about cutting weight wherever carmakers can and paper adds up. In fact, some automakers, like Toyota, require you to buy an actual paper copy if you simply must have it all in print.

Wherever you get your owner’s manual info, it’s important to get it somewhere. Owner manuals provide valuable information about how your car operates from bumper to bumper.

Photo Credit: FCA