Every car owner's manual comes with important information about safety and maintenance. Some also come with unintentional hilarity and clumsy jokes. These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the ten strangest diagrams and instructions in car owner's manuals.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Illustration: Steve Snodgrass
10.) Mini's "Unauthorized" Manual
Suggested By: burglar can't heart click himself
What it says in there: If you're too interesting and quirky to write a BMW owner's book, they send you to work on the Mini manual. And since a standard owner's manual is a pretty dry read, someone saw fit to have a supplement about all the fun features your Anglo-Teutonic hatch, like the nook for holding small stuff (keys, condoms, joints, etc.).
Photo Credit: Mini via motoringfile.com
9.) 2006 Cadillac STS
Suggested By: accohen
What it says in there: The photo is blurry, but the message is clear. It's hard to argue with a statement like "Pictures and words work together in the owner manual to explain things." On the one hand, excellent technical writing, On the other, well, duh.
Photo Credit: accohen
8.) Pontiac Vibe
Suggested By: KITT222
What it says in there: The Pontiac Vibe is a front-wheel-drive small wagon based on the Toyota Corolla. The people who drew this picture apparently did not know this, and possibly think all Pontiacs are GTOs underneath. (We wish.) It's one thing to be creative with the bottom of a toy car, but in manuals you should expect a bit less creative license and a bit more relevance.
Photo Credit: Pontiac
7.) Mid-Sixties Mercedes
Suggested By: fintail
What it says in there: Mercedes at its best: diligently considering all rational possibilities and providing guidance about what is best for the car and driver. Read one way, sure, don't go trying to mix stuff without having a clue about petroleum dynamics. Read another way, well, you should get some kind of credit for refining your own gas at home. That's impressive.
Photo Credit: fintail
6.) Nissan GT-R Modification Prohibition
Suggested By: CarsInDepth.com
What it says in there: The proper translation is along the lines of "No Illegal Or Improper Modifications." The real, intended translation is "Your GT-R Is An Obsessively-Tuned Near-Perfect Performance Machine, Don't Screw It Up." Speak out against bad flares and wings today!
Image Credit: Nissan
5.) Toyota ECU Handling
Suggested By: Kipling Inscore
What it says in there: Your Toyota engine's electronic control unit is a complex, important, delicate piece of equipment. It is not a basketball.
Image Credit: Toyota
4.) Honda S2000
Suggested By: Stigs American Cousin
What it says in there: Much more than the standard joke about tiny trunks with emergency releases (see recent Lotuses, among others), Honda advises parents to have one of those talks with their kids about weird, uncomfortable adult things.
Being stuck in an S2000's trunk definitely counts as both.
Image Credit: Honda
3.) Nissan 200SX
Suggested By: Yurikaze
What it says in there: If your Datsun is leaving Detroit at 8 AM and proceeding west on I-96, and a truck of NOS Datsun parts is leaving Grand Rapids at 9 AM and proceeding east on I-96, how long will it take before you completely sink back into high-school math class flashbacks?
Photo Credit: Yurikaze
2.) Saab safety card
Suggested By: Highball!
What it says in there: Saab took serious pride in their aircraft heritage, but this may be going a bit too far. Instead of the standard section in the manual about the importance of wearing your seatbelt, you ended up with something that looked disturbingly like an airline safety card. No word on whether the oxygen mask was a standard safety feature.
Photo Credit: Highball!
1.) Ferrari 458 Italia
Suggested By: JBH hoons slow
What it says in there: Ferrari has a well-burnished reputation for being more than a touch arrogant and high-handed when it comes to customer relations, but the owner's manuals for their cars betray a peculiarly humane and agreeable facet of consideration for the driver. Who else includes diet tips as driving advice, intended to maximize your performance? A Ferrari is about enjoying life, and it's nice to see the manuals reflecting this idea.
Photo Credit: RoadRash