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					Changes Made in Car
Owner’s Manuals in the
last Twenty Years




Carlos Perez
ENG 352
07/5/2010
                                                         Table of Contents

Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 2
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 2
Major Differences Found………………………………………………………………………….3
Conclusion ...................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.6
References ....................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.6
Annotated Bibliography ...............................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.7




                                                                                                                                                    1
Abstract


    This article is a comparison of Car Owner’s Manuals made by three different
    manufacturers in different years. Car Owner’s Manuals provide information on the
    functioning of different features and devices in a car such radios, seat belts, climate
    control, etc. Although all manuals share the common characteristic of being descriptive,
    providing steps to accomplish the well functioning of the devices inside the cars, car
    manuals of new cars have evolved to be more visual. This visual characteristic makes the
    reading of car manuals easier and it can be done in a shorter time. In this article the Car
    Owners’ Manuals for Ford Mustang 1996; Land Rover 2000 and Nissan Altima 2010 are
    to be compared to show the evolution of this type of technical communication.




Introduction

    Since cars started to be mass produced around 1900’s, the need for a unique way of
    communication between manufactures and users was evident. This need led to the
    creation of Car Owner’s Manuals as a mean to provide information on how to operate
    different features of cars. Car Manuals need to provide clear an easy to read procedures.


     Car Owners’ Manuals are descriptive pieces information on how to operate properly
    different features present in cars. Car Manuals make use of technical communication by
    listing procedures, posting charts and images on how to achieve the proper functioning of
    a device present in a car. Nowadays, car makers strive to provide better Car Manuals by
    making use of visuals which reduces the time of reading and provide free of ambiguity
    information.




                                                                                                  2
       Major Differences Found
       1. - New Car Manuals are more specific and provide more information to users.




                 Figure 1- Instructions to replace tires for a Ford Mustang 1996


Analyzing the three Car owner’s Manuals used in this article, one of the major difference found
is the amount of specific information provided. In the car owners’ manuals of the Ford Mustang
1996, under the heading of “Replacing the Tires” [1] the manual does not provide specific
information on how to change the tires; newer car manuals such those of Land Rover 2000 and
Nissan Altima 2010 provide comprehensive information on how to change the tires and provide
visuals of the operation as shown in Figures 2 and 3 respectively.


                                                                                                  3
 Figure 2- Instructions to Replace Tires                 Figure 3- Instructions to Replace Tires
            Of a Range Rover 2000                         of a Nissan Altima 2000

2. - New Car Owner’s Manuals provide an “Illustrated Table of Contents”
Not everyone who owns a car knows the terminology associated with automobiles. By providing
an illustrated table of contents at the beginning of the manual, users find the specific piece of
information they need in a rapid manner; also, this type of table of contents shows the location of
a determined part or device. Sometimes, users may know the device they want to get information
about, but they do not know the name of it; providing the illustrated table of contents allows
users to find information about a device even when they do not know the name of it. Figure 3
shows a comprehensive illustrated table of contents offered in the Nissan Altima 2010 car’s
manual. Figure 4 shows the regular table of contents used by car manuals for Land Rover 2000




                                                                                                    4
Figure 4- Illustrated Table of Contents for Nissan Altima 2010.
                        Source: Nissan,




    Figure 5- Table of Contents for Range Rover 2000[2]

                                                                  5
Conclusion
Car owner’s manuals are great example of technical communication. Car Owner’s manuals are
very important for users because they provide the necessary information to keep the user
familiarized with the car and its maintenance. Nowadays, car owner’s manuals for new cars offer
more comprehensive and easier to understand information; this is due to the fact that this kind of
technical communication has evolved with the objective of making procedures more clearly to
users.



References

1. “Owner’s Manuals,”-Ford Motor, 20 December 2010.
<https://www.fleet.ford.com/maintenance/owners_manuals/default.asp>

2.”Range Rover 2000,” Land Rover, 20 December 2010.
<http://www.landrovertechinfo.com/extfree2viewlrprod/servlet/peachviewfile?t=127708136071
8/index.htm>

3. “2010 Altima Owner’s Manual,” Nissan USA, 20 December 2010
<http://www.nissanusa.com/pdf/techpubs/altima/2010/2010-Nissan-Altima.pdf




                                                                                                6
Annotated bibliography
<https://www.fleet.ford.com/maintenance/owners_manuals/default.asp>, accessed June 20,

2010.

     This website provides the pdf version of owner’s manual for different models and years

     of Ford cars. It is well organized and the manuals provided by it state the year and the

     model of the cars. From this website the owner’s manual for a 1996 Mustang was obtained

     for future analysis.



“Range Rover Owner’s Manual,”

<http://www.landrovertechinfo.com/extfree2viewlrprod/servlet/peachviewfile?t=127708136071

8/index.htm>, accessed June 20, 2010.

     This website provides the owner’s manual for a Range Rover 2001; it made up of eight

     parts that address different aspect of this car.



“2010 Altima Owner’s Manual”

<http://www.nissanusa.com/pdf/techpubs/altima/2010/2010-Nissan-Altima.pdf>, accessed June

20, 2010.

   This website provides a well written and illustrated manual of the 2010 Nissan Altima.



The three different websites mentioned above provide the mean to compare three different

owner’s manuals to determine the improvement made on this kind of technical communication

during the last twenty years.




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