If you’ve lost your original VW owner’s manual, finding a replacement can be a pain…
And I know what you’re thinking.
What’s the point of this article from a site that offers those manuals …in PDF??
BUT we definitely don’t have a complete library of VW manuals. And we only have english, no international versions.
And we get a lot of questions about where to find a hard copy of a lost manual.
AND that’s how I got into collecting manuals in the first place …I just wanted the physical manual for my Mk4 GTI. But ordering one from VW is pricey, slow to ship AND may not even be the complete kit of manual booklets (more on that below).
Volkswagen is the only major manufacturer that doesn’t post it’s manuals as a free PDF download. Which in 2018 is KAAA-RAZY to me. And a little infuriating. (Audi, I’m looking at you.)
I’m also going to list 4 other ways to find a digital copy. Because DubManuals doesn’t have’em all.
Okay, let’s get started…
1. The Official VW literature website
Go here: https://literature.vw.com
The old site address www.vw.techliterature.com is dead. Goto the one above.
Complete physical manual kits are available to order here dating back to the 2007 models. $85 USD plus taxes and shipping. If you are only missing one of the additional manuals (Emissions, Entertainment & Navigation, Warranty & Maintenance) you can order those separately at a reduced price. The $85 kit does NOT include the leather(ish) wallet to hold the manuals. You can order that for an additional $25.
2. The Dealership
Of course, the dealership would be a natural stop. And this would avoid the shipping cost. I have heard of cases where if you purchased a late model car at that dealership, they might give it to you for free or at a discount. Can’t hurt to ask.
eBay is often the first result that comes up when searching Google for manuals. With a little patience and some bidding self control, this will usually offer a better price. Availability of the manual you want may be hit and miss.
If you really want to short circuit the bidding process and win the auction at the best price possible, I suggest using AuctionSniper. You tell them what auction item you’re interested in (every eBay item has a unique ID number) and your maximum bid. They will then wait until (literally) the last second and place the smallest bid necessary to win the auction. Technology!
The even better new is that AuctionSniper offers the first three snipes FOR FREE.
4. Your local Wrecker
We’ve bought a few manuals at a local car wrecker. Interesting guys. Depending on how long it’s been on the lot, manuals sometimes end up a soggy, dusty mess. But this is the cheapest option, they usually go for around $10 -$25. ALWAYS negotiate. Those guys were built to haggle.
For this one you’re going to need to be a little more lucky.
First, go ahead and search to see if you can find your manual in your local area Craigslist. Maybe you’ll get lucky! Stay up all night!
If your local area is a nogo, there are “SEARCH ALL OF CRAIGSLIST” sites available in my experience they give you poor results and are confusing to use. They will often give you too many results or no results at all! Or just lots of used Volkswagen car listings. Not entirely helpful. Here’s a few steps for better search results:
One last note, if you do find your manual and it’s not in your local area, the seller might suspect you’re a scammer. So you’re going to have to build a little trust with him or her. You’ll probably have to send the money before they will agree to ship the manual, which is obviously a leap of faith on your part. Caveat emptor.
VW’s Smartphone App
VW’s smartphone app is called Knowing Your Volkswagen, previously known (get it!) as iOwn. The app only covers 2013 and newer models and is only for iOS/iPhone/iPad. Sorry Android users.
Free PDFs from the Web
You can try just googling around for your manual, but it often results in A LOT of spammy, garbage results. Your mileage may vary. Just like that 2013 TDI. BOOYAH! VW YA GOT BURNT! okokokokokok.
On the big VW forums, members will often post manuals they’ve scanned in. It’s hit and miss since their download links often go down after a while. But worth a search. Pro-tip: Most forums make you register for an account if you want to do searches. Here’s a few of the big boys:
If you’re a Reddit person, the VW subreddits are worth a search or post:
Or Get It At DubManuals! (Self Serving!)
Our manuals do offer a couple of unique features:
We are also always looking to add to our library, we pay for used VW Owner’s Manuals. So if you’ve got an old one lying around, let us know!