Usually forgotten and overlooked in our glove compartment is a little book with a wealth of information on our car. Its called the "Owner's Manual".
Dog-ear your owner's manual, It's your car's bible! Knowing where to find information quickly can help in identifying causes when trouble arises. You may even be able to avoid a trip to the repair shop in the first place if you discover that your "problem" stemmed from not understanding your car's controls.
Besides critical information such as recommend fluids and maintenance schedules there is information on what all those warning lights mean and what to do when one pops up, how to use the floor jack, towing and loading capacity, how the anti-lock brakes operate, maybe even safety tips and ways to extend transmission life.
Sometimes there are pictures to identify all of the under hood fluid reservoirs and locations for the fuse of that system that has suddenly quit working. Some manuals give light bulb changing procedures which can really save you money and time.
In some cases it can save you money when you take it in for repair, as many system controls such as climage control, cruise control, 4WD systems and entertainment systems work differently from car to car and at times it can save an automotive technician time when checking for proper operation.
If you find you've lost that important manual or maybe you bought the car used and it was already missing, not all is lost. Most manufactures will provide you with an online version for later model cars.
Another good place to look is eBay, where you can get just about anything imaginable, including used owner's manuals.
Below is a link that may help obtain an online manual. In some cases, you can just search for a car's year, make and model, and then download the manual. Often, though, you'll need to register, and occasionally you'll need to provide a car's VIN, or vehicle identification number.
If you don't find it here, check with the dealer. The dealership probably will not have the manual in stock but may be able to order it or can tell you where to go to order it.