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I have been spending a fair amount of time with the Owner's Manual for my new 2017 Volt - specifically, the downloadable one, 2k17volt1stPrint.pdf.

It leaves a lot to be desired.

Leaving aside for the moment the deficiencies of a PDF document as compared to a well written hypertext document, I find the manual to be scattered and much less helpful than it could be. There is so much more information that I as a new owner would have liked to have found in the owner's manual, like some of the information and lore that I find in these forums. At the same time, I recognize that distributing a 500 page paper manual is not likely to happen. It would be an ambitious undertaking, but perhaps this forum could come up with a better alternative.

Then there are the errors - one that jumped out at me yesterday was on page 169, where brakes are discussed. Obviously some of the content was copied from every other GM owner's manual, but it's just wrong when applied to the Volt, and could cause an accident. The manual says to apply the brakes lightly after driving through a puddle or going through a carwash. In a Volt, that will do nothing to dry the brake rotors, because braking lightly will not apply the friction brakes, it will cause mild regeneration. The brakes will remain just as wet and ineffective.

I guess what I would really like is a cross between the information in the Owner's Manual, most of which is valuable if not necessarily well organized, and more extensive guidance like the best of the advice from these forums. And I don't have a suggestion about the ideal medium, HTML pages would probably be fine, but where/how?

Anyone else feel such a desire?
 

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Based on the many questions and statements that get posted on this forum, and which could be answered by reading the manual, suggests the improvements you propose would be equally ignored. Reading anything longer than 128 characters is becoming a lost art.

VIN # B0985
 

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I can't find updated manuals for 2016 or 2017 Volts that have the correct air filter numbers. Pretty sad.
 

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Then there are the errors - one that jumped out at me yesterday was on page 169, where brakes are discussed. Obviously some of the content was copied from every other GM owner's manual, but it's just wrong when applied to the Volt, and could cause an accident. The manual says to apply the brakes lightly after driving through a puddle or going through a carwash. In a Volt, that will do nothing to dry the brake rotors, because braking lightly will not apply the friction brakes, it will cause mild regeneration. The brakes will remain just as wet and ineffective.
At low speeds below 3mph braking on the Volt is 100% friction with no regen. So if you do as the manual states at lower speeds (below 10mph) some friction braking will be applied and will help dry the rotors.
 

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The PDF version of the manual is very searchable using the PDF search capability. I read the manual before buying the car and I read it again after taking delivery. Can't say I memorized it, but I have a good idea of what's in there and the PDF search helps zero in on answers.

Cars today have a lot of bells and whistles, literally. A responsible driver should read the manual to understand how the car works, what's it's saying, when maintenance should be performed, etc.
 

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I'll be honest. I've not owned a ton of cars (7 or so), but the Volt has the second best owner's manual I've ever had. The best was a 70s BMW and the reason it was great was that the lawyers still hadn't infiltrated the office that wrote it. So it discussed Italian tuneups and other helpful tips haha!
 

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Based on the many questions and statements that get posted on this forum, and which could be answered by reading the manual, suggests the improvements you propose would be equally ignored. Reading anything longer than 128 characters is becoming a lost art.

VIN # B0985
True people don't bother to read anything these days, but it has been that way for a long time. Isn't it 140 characters for twi
 

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Volt/ELR manuals are far from the worst. Just have to realize they were written during development of the car and that they use general feature boilerplate for all GM cars.

For example: The 2013 Volt manual says that the outside mirrors will power retract/fold. They don't.
 

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I have been spending a fair amount of time with the Owner's Manual for my new 2017 Volt - specifically, the downloadable one, 2k17volt1stPrint.pdf. ....

At the same time, I recognize that distributing a 500 page paper manual is not likely to happen.
Most people don't read the 350+ page manual that exists now, including the guy that wanted to know how to turn his headlights off (another recent thread.)
 

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Based on the many questions and statements that get posted on this forum, and which could be answered by reading the manual, suggests the improvements you propose would be equally ignored. Reading anything longer than 128 characters is becoming a lost art.

VIN # B0985
TL;DR


(plus extra to allow posting)
 

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The paper owners manual that comes with the car is badly organized and a struggle to get through it. I wish I could say that I have read all of it.
 

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The paper owners manual that comes with the car is badly organized and a struggle to get through it. I wish I could say that I have read all of it.
There is a digital version for every model with links and can be searched.
 

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I didn't find the 2017 Volts manual too bad. What I found absolutely terrible is the infotainment manual. It isn't for the Volt, but for ALL Chevrolets, and it is up to you to figure out what features pertain to the Volt.
 

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My owner's manually is literally falling apart. I guess the binding wasn't glued very well so all of the pages are just loosely held together by the front and back cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
At low speeds below 3mph braking on the Volt is 100% friction with no regen. So if you do as the manual states at lower speeds (below 10mph) some friction braking will be applied and will help dry the rotors.
That's good to know. Perhaps the manual needs to emphasize the areas where the Volt behaves differently from more traditional cars. Based on questions and comments in these forums, it seems that some Volt owners are unaware that the brake pedal will not apply the friction brakes in most circumstances. But I would hope that most drivers know that applying the friction brakes lightly can help dry wet brakes. I'm surprised the lawyers didn't pick up on that (not that I want to see more legalistic CYA boilerplate in the manual than there is already).
 

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The biggest issue that I have is that the infotainment manual is completely generic and contains dozens of features and functions that do not exist in the Volt... For someone new to the Volt, it is a daunting task to figure out what applies to them and what does not... I read both manuals cover to cover and the vehicle manual I'd rate as a 7 and the infotainment manual as a 4...
 
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