Okay, y'all, I'm a convert.
After ages of driving cars that didn't have an owner's manual when I got the
car, I concede that not only must every car made since the late 80s have an
owner's manual (beat the bushes to get one if it wasn't with the car) but
the owner is obliged to at least look at every page and to read everything
that relates to operating and maintaining the car.
In days of yore, there really wasn't much in the owner's manual. Where to
look for the fuse box, what that funny switch did. Cars were generic -
change the oil every 5000 miles and you should make it all the way to 100K
I realize that now cars are not generic. Besides the minor operating and
routine maintenance questions that stir up resentment here, there is a lot
of absolutely vital information specifically for *your*
model and year.
Don't shift from forward to reverse or reverse to forward unless the car is
completely stopped. Change the timing belt every xxxk miles or xx months. If
one tire has to be replaced, replace all the tires (really - early Volvo
AWDs would destroy the tranny in a few miles if the spare was put on and it
had not been part of the rotation.) Don't tow with the front wheels on the
ground. What to do if the "check engine" light comes on. Don't ever push the
So I've changed my tune. I won't begrudge an answer to a question that's
covered in the owner's manual (to each their own) but I will expect them to
have or get one and read it through.