Chrysler Manuals: Lean And Green


Starting with the 2010 model-year, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles will include a consolidated user guide and a "user-friendly" DVD. On the plus side, there will be more room in the glove box; Chrysler estimates the weight of some current model manuals at a whopping 4 pounds, with 500 pages. The revised editions will be approximately 75 pages. And it's probably a whole lot easier to do a quick search for a term like "windshield wiper off" if the text is digitized. On the negative side, it won't be as handy to use the full-size guide.

"If you look at our new minivans, with two DVD players and infotainment systems, that's really where the whole future is going; the owner needs to know how to use all of that," Al Motta, head-service operations at Mopar, explains on the Chrysler blog. That's ironic, though, since if an owner doesn't know how to operate those DVD players it might be hard to make use of that DVD. Hopefully, the quick-start guide to the in-car DVD player will be in the consolidated manual.

In fact, Chrysler's new, smaller user manual, which will be about one-tenth the size of the current one, will include instructions on many of the basic functions: how to adjust the seat, operate the radio and turn on the heating or AC. It also includes detailed photos and diagrams, allowing customers to quickly find assistance for emergency situations, such as changing tires, jump-starting a battery or assessing warning lights.

As the U.S. automakers are under increasing pressure to reduce costs, look for Chrysler's model to become a trend, which may extend into other industries, such as appliances and home electronics, some of which already offer manuals online.

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