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Owner’s manuals go digital for 2010 Chrysler vehicles

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group is going to free up some glovebox space for owners of new Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. The company will the first to replace the current, printed owner’s manual, which can run as long as 500 pages and weigh four pounds, with a digital version, consisting of a DVD and a printed user guide with only a fraction of the pages.

Not only will the move save space and the equivalent of 20,000 trees, it will also save money as replicating a DVD is far less costly than the cost of paper, printing and bindery.

The DVD will be a comprehensive guide to the vehicle including the owners’ manual, vehicle and tire warranty information, navigation and entertainment system guides, as well as information on 24-hour towing assistance. It will also include video tutorials for commonly used features, such as folding down a Jeep Wrangler soft-top, operating the video entertainment system and setting electronic speed control. Owners will be able to search by topic rather than sifting through a 500-page book (or checking the index).

The printed user guide will cover the most commonly required information like finding assistance for emergency situations, changing tires, jump-starting a battery and understanding the various warning lights.

“As vehicles have increased in complexity, so has the size of traditional owners’ manuals,” Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care. “With this new approach, we are making it much more convenient for customers to find the information they seek.”

Owners who still want the traditional printed manual may obtain one by contacting their dealer or calling customer service.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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