How to Find a Manual for a Used Car?

The owner’s manual is a detailed booklet or user guide that contains all the instructions and specifications dealing with your car. This car manual contains hosts of information such as:

  • Instructions on maintenance
  • Types of components suitable for the car
  • User setup instructions
  • Seat Positioning
  • Type of oil to be used and oil pressure
  • Warning Lights
  • Information about warrant

Apart from the above-mentioned information, there are a lot of other important specifications that are also a part of the owner’s manual. Hence, one cannot miss out on going through the manual after purchasing the car and also throughout its maintenance years.

But many times, people do not find the owner’s manual important unless the car starts giving some warning signals or you get stuck with the maintenance piece.

A lot of information can be easily found in the owner’s manual while you get the car maintenance done periodically. The type of oil to be used, how to change tires, etc.

From basic to advanced information about your car is present in the owner’s manual. When you have this manual handy, you would be at peace of mind while facing any critical situations.

It becomes easier to tackle any breakdown easily. However, in fewer cases, you may need expertise but otherwise, you should be good when you have the manual in hand.

When you purchase a brand new car, the dealer would be also giving you the owner’s manual. But this may not be the case when you purchase a used or second-hand car.

In very few cases, the old owners of the car would be having the manual. Most of the time, you will be stuck without the manual. But there is no need to stress so much since there are number of ways you can retrieve the manual for the used car as well.

There are three main methods of getting the owner’s manual for a used car:

Requesting the Car manual from the manufacturer:

To get a copy of the manual for your used car, you can either contact the dealer or directly approach the manufacturer. In either of the ways, they would be happy to assist you in providing the manual for your car.

However, you may need to pay a small amount for getting a copy of the manual.

Check with the local dealer of the respective car brand to see whether they have a copy of the manual currently available. When the car is still new in the market then there are fair chances that the dealer would be having a copy of the manual. But when the car model is old then probably they would need to get it ordered from the manufacturer.

If you do not find any luck with the dealer in getting the manual, then the next step would be to approach the manufacturer of the car directly.

For this, you may need to call up their customer representative number and provide them the details of the car that you have purchased.

Most of the times, they can help in sending you a copy of the manual for your car unless the car that you have purchased is no longer in production.

Online Manual:

The world of internet has made it easier to get a lot of information at the click of a button.

However, it is important to know how to find that particular thing on the internet since there are certain websites that can provide true information and some may just misguide you.

When it comes to finding the owner’s manual for a used car, you can very well get it downloaded from the internet. There are two methods to get it online; either you can directly visit the website of the manufacturer or go in for those websites that are especially known for storing such car owner’s manual.

Websites such as and Vehicle History are known for providing a free copy of the car’s manual. However, you would need to carry out some searches on those websites since these sites are known for storing manuals of various car models across multiple brands.

There are some websites that may charge you for retrieving the manual online whereas most of the others are available free, for example, website provides a free PDF version of the manual.

Another method of getting the manual is by visiting the manufacturer’s portal. Some websites may ask you to provide a login id or VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

However, certain portals may not ask you for any identification.

Every car manufacturer has its own portal wherein they upload the manual of the car model. Couple of websites would have the manual dating back to a certain number of years. You need to carry out a quick search for the manual you are looking out for.

Google also has the answer to a lot of our queries. If you are still not able to retrieve the copy of the manual after visiting the above-mentioned portals, you can google it.

But you would need to mention the make and model of the car followed by the owner’s manual. This would provide you with the list of websites wherein you can find the manual.

Though retrieving the owner’s manual is known to be pretty much simpler when done online, but there is one downside to it. Unlike the physical copy, you do not have the privilege to access the manual on the go.

You would need to time and again login to your personal computer or laptop and get access to the same. On the other hand, when it comes to the physical copy, it can be easily carried anywhere and referred to even on the go.

But nothing to worry, you always have the chance to get the online manual printed so that they can be safely placed in the car’s compartment for any future reference.

Requesting an online physical copy:

In most cases, the manufacturer or the dealer would be able to provide you with a copy of the owner’s manual. But there can be certain instances wherein even the dealer is not able to provide you with the manual then you still have another option to get a physical copy.

Mostly when you purchase a used car that is old or rare then finding a manual copy may be a tedious task. But there are certain websites which make this impossible task look easier.

You may check for a copy of the manual on the e-shopping websites such as, or

Some of these websites are known for storing a large inventory of the owner’s manual for various car models.

Keep a check periodically if you unable to find the manual on these websites. These sales portals are known to have an inventory of various products and manuals.

Need for a car owner’s manual:

  • The manual is a way of understanding your car better. In general, everyone is aware of certain aspects of the car but there are various components, big and small that you may not be aware of. Hence, when you have a car manual handy, it would help you in understanding every aspect of your car.
  • It provides a clear picture of the safety aspect while driving the car. Instead of referring to multiple websites on the safety guidelines, you can simply have a look at the manual for the information.
  • A manual helps you in situations when there are unpredictable circumstances. If in the middle of the road your car breaks down, then there can be various factors for the same. At times it can be a simple reason or something quite basic that can be easily tackled. Though you may or may not be able to rectify all of the problems. But surely, the manual help diagnose the problem area.
  • The manual is you’re driving assistant. You can place it in the compartment of your car and refer to it in case of any emergencies. This manual also has details on the model and type of parts to be purchased in case if there is any situation of a replacement. The manual helps you to understand the entire mechanism of the car and also how each component works.

The car owner’s manual is a very important booklet of instructions that every car owner should have. You can try to get a copy through various methods and surely in either of the methods you would get the owner’s manual.

The manual contains lots of information about your car and also how to tackle various issues when encountered with the car. Relying on a car owner’s manual is important but at the same time when you are unsure of how to carry out a certain thing then it is better to call in for professional help.

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