Chrysler Slims Down—Owner’s Manuals, That Is

September 21, 2009
2010 Jeep Liberty - user guide and DVD

2010 Jeep Liberty - user guide and DVD

If you’re the type of buyer who, upon taking delivery of a new car, reads the owner’s manual from cover to cover, you might be a little disappointed to find that these tomes are missing from new 2010 Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep products.

Beginning with the 2010 model year, Chrysler will be the first automaker to stop automatically including full-size printed owner’s manuals. Instead, they’re throwing it all on a DVD that includes instructional video clips.

No, to read the manual they’re not expecting you to carry around your laptop—yet. An abbreviated manual, featuring “commonly needed information” will still be included. Chrysler says that the abbreviated ‘user guide’ includes emergency advice for changing tires or jump-starting, along with basic operating procedures, but tire warranty info, info on roadside assistance, and guides for the navigation and entertainment systems are all on the DVD.

Many buyers never crack open their owner’s manual, but editors frequently turn to owner’s manuals for help in figuring out details for audio, trip computer, or navigation system functions—such as phone pairing or audio streaming. We’ve also been in plenty of situations—like needing to fold down the seats when it’s not particularly intuitive—where owner’s manual info lent quick peace of mind.

The traditional manuals are typically 500 pages or more and weigh nearly four pounds; Chrysler says that the switch will save about 930 tons of paper annually.

For those who’d rather read the printed word, Chrysler says that a traditional manual will still be offered upon request.

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