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parking lamps, especially at dawn or dusk. It is recommended that you check with your own State Or Provincial highway authority for applicable lighting regulations.


Of course, you may still turn on the headlights any time you need to. To idle your vehicle with DRL off, set the parking brake while the ignition is in the “Off’ or “Lock” position. Then start the vehicle. The DRL will stay off until you release the parking brake.

Map Light & Press the switch to turn the

map light on and off.




Headlight “On” Warning If you open the door while leaving the lights on, you will hear a warning chime. Daytime Running Lights (Canada Only) The Canadian Federal Government has decided that “Daytime Running Lights” (DRL) are a useful feature, in that DIU can make your vehicle more visible to pedestrians and other drivers during daylight hours. DRL are required on new vehicles sold in Canada. Your DRL work with a light sensor on top of the instrument panel. Don’t cover it up. The low beam headlights will come on at reduced brightness when:

in daylight

The ignition is on The headlight switch is off, and The parking brake is released.

At dusk, the exterior. lights will come and the low beams will change to full brightness. At dawn, the exterior lights will go out and the low beams will change to the reduced brightness of DRL (if the headlight switch is off).

bn &.nomatically


Front Seat Reading Lights (Option)

Rear Reading Light (Wagon)

Press the switch to turn on the front seat reading lights. To avoid your vehicle battery's power, be sure to turn off all front and rear reading lights when leaving your vehicle.

This light will go on when you open the liftgate. To turn on the light when the liftgate is closed, press the switch. Interior Lights Delay When you pull on the driver's outside door handle, the dome and courtesy lights will go on and stay on for about 40 seconds, or until you turn the ignition on. If you pull on the driver's inside door handle within 30 seconds of switching off the ignition, the interior lights will go on and stay on for about 5 seconds, to allow you to unlock your door(s).


Courtesy Lights When any door is opened, several lights go on. These lights are under the instrument panel. Optional lights are on the rear doors. They make it easy for you to enter and leave the vehicle. You also can turn these lights on by rotating the interior lights switch to ‘‘HI:’ Mirrors Inside Mirror

Inside Rearview Mirror with Reading Lights (Option)


To reduce glare from lights behind you, pull the lever toward you to the night position. To turn on the reading lights, press the switches on the front of the mirror.

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To reduce glare from lights behind you, pull the lever toward you to the night position.


Outside Mirrors Manual Adjust Mirrors Both the driver and passenger side outside mirrors should be adjusted so that you just see the side of your vehicle when you are sitting in a comfortable driving position.

Use the remote control knob on the driver’s door to adjust the driver’s outside mirror. Adjust the passenger’s outside mirror by hand.

Power Remote Control Mirrors (Option) Both the driver’s and optional passenger side outside mirrors can be adjusted with the control lever on the driver’s door.

Turn the knob left or right to select the driver’s or passenger’s mirror. Rotate the knob to adjust the mirror. Adjust each mirror so that you can just see the side of your vehicle when you are sitting in a comfortable driving position.

Convex Outside Mirror Your right side mirror is convex. A convex mirror’s surface is curved so you can see more from the driver’s seat.


If you aren’t used to a convex mirror, you can hit another vehicle. A convex mirror can make thlngs (like other vehlcles) look farther away than they really are. If you cut too sharply into the right lane, you could hit a vehicle on your right. Check your Inside mirror or glance over your shoulder before changing lanes.


Sun Visors To block out glare, you can swing down the visors. Visor Vanity Mirrors

Luggage Carrier (Option) If you have the optional luggage carrier, you can load things on top of a wagon, or on the deck lid of your vehicle. The luggage cairier has slats attached to the deck lid, a rear rail, and tiedowns. The wagon has slats attached to the roof, side rails, and adjustable crossrails. The crossrails can be adjusted by loosening the screws. After moving the crossrails, be sure to tighten the screws securely.

Standard Mirror: Open the cover to expose the vanity mirror. Lighted Mirrors: If your vehicle has the optional lighted vanity mirrors, the lights come on when you open the cover. These can even be used for reading. Close the cover to turn out the lights.


Don’t exceed the maximum vehicle capacity when loading your Buick. For more information on vehicle capacity and loading, see “Loading Your Vehicle” in the Index.

To prevent damage or loss of cargo as you’re driving, check now and then to make sure the luggage carrier and cargo are still securely hstened. Convenience Net (Option, coupe and Sedan)

Your vehicle may have a convenience net. You’ll see it just inside the back wall of the trunk. Put small loads, like grocery bags, behind the net. It can help keep them fkom falling over during sharp turns or quick starts and stops.

The net isn’t for larger, heavier loads. Store them in the trunk as fhr forward as you can. You can unhook the net so that it will lie flat when you’re not using it. You can also purchase a convenience net from your dealer. Cargo Security Cover (Option, Wagon) This cover is designed to help conceal articles in the rear storage area. It pulls out and retracts like a window shade. If you have the optional rear-facing third seat, make sure it is folded down.


An improperly stored cargo cover could be -brown about the vehicle during a collision or sudden maneuver. You or others could be injured. If you remove the cover, remove it from the vehicle. When you put it back, always be sure that it is securely reattached.

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To Use the Cover: Grasp the handle and pull the c o w over the rear storage area. Insert the ends of the support rod into the slots in the trim panel near the liftgate. When the cover isn't in use, roll it back onto the roller. Hold the handle and lift the support rod out of the slots. Tug the cover ,lightly, then let it roll back automatically. Don't release the handle until the cover has rolled back completely.

To Remove the Cover: You can remove the cover and roller assembly for extra cargo room. Slide back the end sleeve and lift the assembly out of the notch in the trim panel. To replace the assembly, reverse the procedure.


Rear Locking Storage Compartment (Option, Wagon)


The front armrest opens into a storage area. To open it, press the lever at the front edge. Inside is a coin holder, slots to hold cassettes or CDs and a dual cup holder. To use the cup holder, flip it forward and close the armrest cover. The cup holder can be removed for cleaning. Flip the cup holder into the armrest storage area. Squeeze the arms inward to release the retainer pins. Remove the cup holder. The armrest can be raised so that a passenger can sit in the center position.

Use your door key to unlock the storage bin on the driver's side near the liftgate. You can also store items under the foot well cover in the load floor.



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Reach under the front edge of the ashtray compartment to open it. To clean the ashtray, reach under the ashtray and push up from behind it.

To clean the rear ashtrays, fully open the ashtray. Press down on the snuffer as you pull the ashtray down and out.

on’t put papers and other things that burh to your ashtrays. If you do, cigarettes or ther smoking materials could set them on re, causing damage.


Cigarette Lighter To use the lighter, push it in all the way and let go. When it’s ready, it will pop back by itself.

The Instrument Panel: Your Information System

Your instrument panel is designed to let you know at a glance how your vehicle is running. You’ll know how fast you’re going, how much fuel you’re using, and many other things you’ll need to drive safely and economically.


Speedometer and Odometer Your speedometer lets you see your speed in both miles per hour (mph) and kilometers per hour (ludh). Your odometer shows how fkr your vehicle has been driven, in either miles (used in the U.S.) or kilometers (used in Canada). Your Buick has a “tamper-resistant odometer? If you can see silver lines between the numbers, probably someone has tried to turn it back. The numbers may not be true. You may wonder what happens if a vehicle has to have a new odometer installed. If possible, the new one has to be set to the same reading the old one had. If it can’t be, then it’s set at zero, but a label on the driver’s door must show the old reading and when the new one was installed. Trip Odometer

The trip odometer can tell you how far your vehicle has been driven since you last set the trip odometer to zero. To set the trip odometer to zero, press the reset knob to the right of the trip odometer.


Warning Lights, Gages and Indicators This section describes the warning lights and gages that be on your vehicle. The pictures will help you locate them. Warning lights and gages can signal that something is wrong before it becomes serious enough to cause an expensive repair or replacement. Paying attention to your warning lights and gages could also save you or others from injury. Warning lights go on when there may be or is a problem with one of your vehicle’s functions. As you will see in the details on the next few pages, some warning lights come on briefly when you turn the ignition key just to let you know they’re working. If you are familiar with this section, you should not be alarmed when this happens. Gages can indicate when there may be or is a problem with one of your vehicle’s functions. Often gages and warning lights work together to let you know when there’s a problem with your vehicle. When one of the warning lights comes on and stays on when you are driving, or when one of the gages shows there may be a problem, check the section that tells you what to do about it. Please follow the manual’s advice. Waiting to do repairs can be costly-and even dangerous. So please get to know your warning lights and gages. They’re a big help.

Fuel Gage

Your fuel gage tells you about how much fuel you have left, when the ignition is on. When the indicator nears “E” (Empty), you still have a little fuel left, but you should get more soon. Here are four things that some owners ask about. None of these show a problem with your fuel gage and are normal operating characteristics:

At the service station, the gas pump shuts off before the gage reads “F” (Full). It takes a little more or less fuel to fill up than the gage indicated. For example, the gage may have indicated

the tank was half full, but it actually took a little more or less than half the tank‘s capacity to fill the tank. The gage moves a little when you turn a corner, speed up or brake. The gage doesn’t go back to “E” when you turn off the ignition.

Engine Oil Pressure Light

If you have a problem with your oil, this light may stay on after you start your engine, or come on when you are driving. This indicates that oil is not going through your engine quickly enough to keep it lubricated. The engine could be low on oil, or could have some other oil problem. Have it fixed right away.

The oil light could also come on in three other situations: When the ignition is on but the engine is not funning, the light will come on as a test to show working, but the light will go out when you turn the ignition to “Start? If it doesn’t come on with the

you it is


Battery Light

ignition on, you may have a problem with the fuse or bulb. Have it fixed right away. Sometimes when the engine is idling at a stop, the light may blink on and off. This is normal. If you make a hard stop, the light may come on for a moment. This is normal.


Don't keep driving if the oil pmssure is low. If you do, your engine can become QO hot that It catches flm. "ybu or others could be burned. Check wur oil as soon as possible end have your t

rlcle senrlced.


The battery warning light will come on briefly when you turn on the ignition, but the engine is not running, as a check to show you it is wcrking. Then it should go out. If it stays on, or comes on while you are driving, you may have a problem with the electrical charging system. It could indicate that you have a loose drive or another electrical

generator belt

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problem. Have it checked right away. Driving while this light is on could drain your battery. If you must drive a short distance with the light on, be certain to turn off all your accessories, such as the radio and air conditioner.

Volts Gage (Option)

Brake System Warning Light

When your engine is not running, but the ignition is on (in the “Run” position), the gage shows your battery’s state of charge in DC volts. When the engine is running, the gage shows the condition of the charging system. Readings between the red warning zones indicate the normal operating range. Readings in either red

warning zone indicate a possible problem in the electrical system. Have your vehicle serviced immediately.

Your Buick‘s hydraulic brake system is divided into two parts. If one part isn’t working, the other part can still work and stop you. For good braking, though, you need both parts working well. If the warning light goes on, there could be a brake problem. Have your brake system inspected right away. This light should come on

as you start the vehicle. If it doesn’t come on then, have it fixed so it will be ready to warn you if there’s a problem. This light will also come on when you set your parking brake, and will stay on if your parking brake doesn’t release fully. If it stays on after your parking brake is fully released, it means you have a brake problem. If the light comes on while driving, pull off the road and stop carefully. You may notice that the pedal is harder to push. Or, the pedal may go closer to -the floor. It may take longer to stop. If the light is still on, have the vehicle towed for service. (See “Towing Your Buick” in the Index.)



Your brake system may not be working properly if the brake warning light is on. Driving with the brake warning light on can lead to an accident. If the light is still on after you’ve pulled off the road and stopped carefully, have the vehicle towed for service.

Engine Coolant Temperature Warning Light


This light tells you that your engine coolant has overheated or your radiator cooling fan is not working. If you have been operating your vehicle under normal driving conditions, you should pull off the road, stop your vehicle and turn the engine off as soon as possible. HOT COOLANT CAN BURN YOU BADLY!

In “Problems on the Road:’ this manual shows what to do. See “Engine Overheating” in the Index.


Engine Coolant Temperature Gage (Option) ‘1 If you have the Gage

Cluster, you have a gage that shows the engine coolant temperature. If the gage pointer moves into the red area, your engine is too hot! That reading means the same thing as the warning light. It means that your engine coolant has overheated. If you have been operating your vehicle under normal driving conditions, you should pull off the road, stop your- vehicle and turn off the engine as soon as possible. Also, the temperature symbol on the gage will come on when your engine is too hot. HOT COOLANT CAN BURN YOU BADLY! In “Problems on the Road:’ this manual shows what to do. See “Engine Overheating” in the Index.

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Liftgate Ajar Warning Light (Wagon)

The "TAILGATE AJAR" light on your instrument panel will come on if your liftgate is not completely

1 closed.

Malfunction Indicator Lamp (Service Engine Soon Light)


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A computer monitors I operation of your fuel, ignition and. emission control systems. This light should come on when the ignition is on, but the engine is not running, as a check to show you it is working. If it does not come on at all, have it fixed right away. If it stays on, or it comes on while you are driving, the computer is



indicating that you have a problem. You should take your vehicle in for service soon.

P, 'I;

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Part 3 Comfort Controls and Audio Systems

In this part you’ll find out how to operate the comfort control systems Ad audio systems offered with your Buick. Be sure to read about the particular system supplied with your vehicle. Part 3 includes:

Comfort Control System ............................................................... .114 Airconditioner.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . w ventilation ....................................................................... Heater and Defroster ................................................................ Rear Wi.ndow Defogger ................................................................ w ufj Audio systems ......................................................................... RadiocOntrOlS.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 8 Tape Player Contrds. .............................................................. CDPlayerControls... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . ~ 3 Care of Cassette Tape Player & Tapes ................................................. Care of Compact Discs .............................................................. Power Armma Mast Care ...........................................................

. ~ 9 .no -131


Your Buick Comfort Control Syst m -

Air Conditioning The upper lever has three air conditioner settings. On very hot days, open the windows long enough to let hot inside air escape. This reduces the amount of work your air conditioner's compressor will have to do, which should help fuel economy. MAX: Provides maximum cooling with the least amount of work. This setting recirculates much of the air inside your vehicle so it maximizes your air conditioner's performance and fuel economy. NORM (Normal): Use for normal cooling on hot days. This setting cools outside air and directs it through the instrument panel outlets. BI-LEV (Bi-Level): Use this on cool, but sunny days. This setting brings in the outside air, but directs it in two ways. The cool air i s directed to the upper portion of your body through the instrument panel outlets, but warmed air is directed through the heater ducts and defroster vents. At times this temperature difference may be more apparent than others.

The air conditioner and heater work best if you keep your windows closed while using them. Your vehicle also has the flow-through ventilation system described later in this section. Lever Controls: The upper lever changes the functions of your system. The lower lever changes the temperature of the air coming through the system.

3f : Selects the force of air you want.

To turn the 5x1 off, move the upper lever to the OF'F position.


The air conditioner compressor operates in all AIR COND positions, and in DEF (Defrost) when the outside temperature is above about 40°F (4.5" C). Ventilation For mild outside temperatures, when little heating or cooling is needed, slide the upper lever to VENT. Air flow is through the instrument panel outlets. Rotate the control next to the outlets to turn on, adjust or turn off the air flow. Adjust the lower lever on the control panel to the temperature desired. Heating When outside temperatures are cold, sliding the upper lever to HEATER and the lower lever to HOT will send heated air through the heater ducts, and some through the defroster vents. VENT and HEAmR are labeled ECONOMY positions because the air conditioner compressor doesn't run in these two settings. This reduces engine load, resulting in improved he1 economy. If either setting fails to keep you comfortable, or causes your windows to fog up, slide the upper lever to one of the AIR COND positions, or to DEF (Defrost). Defrosting The DEF setting directs most of the air through the defroster vents, and some through the heater ducts.

Defogging Windows with Four Season Climate Control To quickly defog the windshield, set the upper lever to DEF and move the hn switch to HI. Slide the lower lever to HOT. In damp, cool weather (temperatures about 45"-65"F, 7"- 18" C), you can use BI-LEV to defog the side windows. Set the upper lever to BI-LEV and the fan switch to HI. Aim the side vents toward the side windows. For increased air flow to the side vents, close the center vents. Rear Window Defogger (Option)


The rear window defogger uses a warming grid to remove fog from the rear window. In winter, it can also keep ice from forming on the rear window. Press the ON portion of the switch. The indicator light will glow. The rear window defogger will turn off automatically after about 10 minutes of use. You can also turn it off by turning

off the ignition or pressing the OFF portion of the switch.

Do not attach a temporary vehicle license across the defogger grid on the rear window.

Flow-Through Ventilation System Your Buick's flow-through .ventilation system supplies outside air into the vehicle when it is moving. Outside air will also enter the vehicle when the heater or the air conditioning fan is running. Ventilation Tips

Keep the hood and front air inlet free of ice, snow, or any other obstruction (such as leaves). The heater and defroster will work far better, reducing the chance of fogging the inside of your windows. When you enter a vehicle in cold weather, turn the blower fan to HI for a few moments before driving off. This helps ,clear the intake ducts of snow and moisture, and reduces the chance of fogging the inside of your windows.

Keep the air path under the front seats clear of objects. This helps air to circulate throughout your vehicle. Audio Systems The following pages describe the audio systems available for your Buick, and how to get the best performance frorr * h m m Please read about the system in your vehicle.


Hearing damage from loud noise is almost undetectable until it is too'late. Your hearing can adapt to higher volumes of sound. Sound that seems normal can be loud and harmful to -3ur hearing. Take precautions by adjusting volume control on your radio to a safe sound level before your hearing adapts to it. To help avoid hearing loss or damage: 1. Adjust the volume control to the lowest setting. -. Increase volume slowly until you hear comfortably and clearly.

F'M Stereo FM Stereo will give you the best sound, but FM signals will reach only about 10 to 40 miles (16 to 65 km). Tall buildings or hills can interfere with FM signals, causing the sound to come and go. AM The range for most AM stations is greater than for FM, especially at night. The longer range, however, can cause stations to inkfiere with each other. AM can also pick up noise from things like storms and power lines. To lower this noise, try reducing the treble level. AM Stereo Your Delco@ system may be able to receive C-Quam@ stereo broadcasts. Many AM stations around the country use C-Quam* to produce stereo, though some do not. C-Quam@ is a registered trademark of Motorola, Inc. If your Delco@ system can get C-Quam@ signals, your stereo indicator light will come on when you are receiving it.

BAL @dance): The control ring behind the upper knob adjusts the lewright speaker balance. Lower Knob (TUNE): This knob does two things:

Rotate it to tune in radio stations. Press it to change between the AM and FM bands. FADE: The control ring behind the lower knob adjusts the front/rear speaker balance. TREBLE: Slide this lever up to increase treble, or down to decrease it. If a station is weak or noisy, reduce the treble. BASS: Slide this lever up to increase bass, or down to decrease it.

AM/F" Stereo Radio

The digital display indicates information on time or radio station frequency, the AM or FM radio band, whether the station is in stereo, and other radio functions. PWR (Power): Press to turn the radio on and off when the ignition is on. Upper Knob (VOL): This knob'does two things:

Rotate it to control the volume. When the ignition is off, press the knob to display the time.

WAN: Press to listen for a few seconds to the next station on the AM or FM band; the scan will continue every few seconds until you press SCAN again to stop on a particular station. SEEK: Each time you press SEEK, you will tune in the next station on the AM or FM radio band. To Set the Clock: 1. With the radio on or off, press SET. The SET

indicator will appear on the digital display for five seconds.

2. You must begin to set the clock to the correct hour and

minute during those five seconds. Press and hold SCAN until the correct hour appears on the display. 3. Press and hold SEEK until the correct minute appears

on the display.

To Preset Radio Stations: 1. Use the lower knob (TUNE) to tune in the station you


2. Press SET. The SET indicator will appear on the

digital screen for five seconds.

3. While the SET indicator is displayed, press one of the

four pushbuttons.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each of four AM and four FM


Up to three additional stations on each band may be preset by “pairing” pushbuttons: 1. Tune in the desired station. 2. Press SET, and within five seconds press any two

adjacent pushbuttons at the same time.

3. The station can be tuned in when the same two

pushbuttons are pressed at the same time.

BAL (Balance): The control ring behind the upper knob adjusts the 1eWright speaker balance. hwer Knob (TUNE): This knob does two things: Rotate it to tune-in radio stations. Press it to change between the AM and FM bands. FmE: The control ring behind the lower knob adjusts the fronthear speaker balance. TREBLE: Slide this lever up to increase treble, or down to decrease it. If a station is weak or noisy, reduce the treble. BASS: Slide this lever up to increase bass, or down to decrease it. SCAN: Press to listen for a few seconds to the next station on the AM or FM band; the scan will continue every few seconds until you press SCAN again to stop on a particular station. SEEK Each time you press SEEK, you will tune in the next station on the AM or FM radio band.

AM/F" Stereo Radio with Cassette Player


The digital display indicates information on time or radio station frequency, the AM or FM radio band, whether the station is in stereo, and other radio functions. PWR (Power): Press to turn the unit on and off when the ignition is on. Upper Knob (VOL): This knob does three things:

Rotate it to control the volume. When the ignition is off, press the knob to display the time. When a tape is playing, press the knob to hear the other side of the tape.


To Set the Clock: 1. With the radio on or off, press SET. The SET

indicator will appear on the digital display for five seconds.

2. You must begin to set the clock to the correct hour and

minute during those five seconds. Press and hold SCAN until the correct hour appears on the display. 3. Press and hold SEEK until the correct minute appears

on the display.

To Preset Radio Stations: 1. Use the lower knob (TUNE) to tune in the station you


2. Press SET. The SET indicator will appear on the

digital screen for five seconds.

3. While the SET indicator is displayed, press one of the

five pushbuttons.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each of five AM and five FM


Up to three additional stations on each band may be preset by “pairing” pushbuttons: 1. Tune in the desired station. 2. Press SET, and within five seconds press any two

adjacent pushbuttons at the same time.

two 3. The station can be tuned in when the same

pushbuttons are pressed at the same time.


D N R B (Dynamic Noise Reduction): Press this button to select the Dynamic Noise Reduction system that reduces background hiss on AM and EM radio broadcasts, as well as on cassette tapes. It’s recommended to keep the DNR@ button depressed fix all listening situations. To Play a Cassette npe: With the power switch on, insert a tape into the cassette door. Using tapes that are longer than 90 minutes (45 minutes on each side) is not recommended. When the right indicator arrow is lit, selections listed on the bottom side of the cassette are playing. When the left arrow is lit, selections listed on the top side of the cassette are playing. To change sides of the tape, press the upper control knob (VOL) while the cassette is playing. The tape player automatically begins playing the other side when it reaches the end of the tape.

b (Fast Forward): To rapidly advance the tape, press the button with the arrow pointing in the same direction the tape is playing. To stop %st forward, lightly press the STOP-EJECT button. 4 (Reverse): To rapidly reverse the tape, press the button with the arrow pointing in the opposite direction the tape is playing. To stop reverse, lightly press the STOP-EJECT button. STOP-EJECT To stop playing a tape, fully press this button. The cassette will be partially ejected, and the radio will begin playing.


AM/F” Stereo with Compact Disc Player

Balance: The control ring behind the upper knob adjusts the lefthight speaker balance. Lower Knob (TUNE): This knob does two things: in radio

Rotate it slightly to the left or right to tune stations. If you hold it to the left or right, it will tune rapidly. Press to change between the AM and FM bands. The band you select will appear on the digital display.

The digital display indicates information on time or radio station frequency, the AM or FM radio band, whether the station is in stereo, and other radio functions. PWR (Power): Turns the unit on and off when the ignition is on. Upper Knob (VOL): This knob does two things:

Fade: The control ring behind the lower knob adjusts the fronthear speaker balance. 4SEEKb: Press to seek and stop on the next station higher or lower on the radio band. SCAN: Press this button to listen to stations for a few seconds. Press it again to stop scanning.

Rotate it slightly to the left or right to control the volume. Press it to mute the radio or tape player. Press again to listen.

RCL (Recall): Press to alternate the display between the time and station frequency. When the ignition is off, press to display the time. BASS: Press this button up or down to increase or decrease the bass level. Press the center of the button for the hctory preset level. TREB (Treble): Press this button up or down to increase or decrease the treble level. Press the center of the button for the factory preset level. If a station is weak or noisy, reduce the treble.

To Set the Clock: 1. With the radio on or off, press SET. The SET

indicator will appear on the digital display for five seconds.

2. Within those five seconds, press and hold SCAN until

the correct hour appears on the display.

3. Before another five seconds pass, press and hold

4SEEK or SEEK, until the correct minute appears on the display.


To Preset Radio Stations: The five pushbuttons at the lower right can be used to preset up to ten radio stations (five AM and five FM). The buttons have other uses when you are playing a compact disc. 1. Tune the digital display to the station you want. 2. Press SET. The SET indicator will appear on the

digital screen for five seconds.

3. While the SET indicator is displayed, press one of the

five pushbuttons.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each of five AM and five FM


To Play a Compact Disc: Many of the controls for the radio also have functions for the compact disc player, as explained here. Don’t use mini-discs that are called singles. They won’t eject. Use only full-size compact discs. 1. Press PWR to turn the radio on. 2. Insert a disc part-way into the slot, with the label side

up. The player will pull it in. In a few seconds, the disc should play.

If the disc comes back out and/or Err appears on the display:

The disc may be upside down.

0 The disc may be dirty, scratched or wet.

There may be too much moisture in the air (wait about one hour and try again). The player may be too hot, or the road may be too rough for the disc to play. As soon as things get back to normal, the disc should play.

While a disc is playing, the CD indicator is displayed on the digital screen, as is the clock.

RCL (Recall): Press once to see which track is playing. Press again within five seconds to see how long your selection has been playing. The track number also will be displayed when the volume is changed or a new track starts to play. COMP (Compression): Depressing this button makes soft and loud passages more equal in volume. Press again to resume normal play. RDM (Random): Press to play tracks in random, rather than sequential, order. Press the button again to play tracks sequentially.

REV (Reverse): Press and hold to rapidly back up to a favorite passage. Release to resume playing. FWD (Fast Forward): Press and hold to rapidly advance the disc. Release to resume playing. PREV (Previous): Press to play a track again. If you hold or keep pressing the PREV button, the disc will keep backing up to previous tracks. NEX'E Press when you want to hear the next track. If you hold or keep pressing the NEXT button, the disc will keep advancing to other tracks. SCAN: Press this button to sample each track for approximately ten seconds. SCAN will continue until SCAN is pressed again or another button is pressed.

When Finished with the Compact Disc Player: If you press PWR or turn off the ignition, the disc will stay in the player and start again when you turn on the ignition or power switch. The disc will begin playing at the point where it had been stopped. ST/PL (Stop/Play): Press to stop the disc player; the radio will play. Press again to play the disc (the player will start playing the disc where it was stopped earlier). EJCT (Eject): Press to eject the disc; the radio will play. You can also eject the disc with the radio or ignition off.

CD Player Anti-Theft Feature Delco LOC 11 is a security feature for the compact disc player. It can be used or ignored. If ignored, the system plays normally. If it is used, your player won’t be usable if it is ever stolen, because it will go to LOC mode any time battery power is removed. Until an unLOC code is entered, it will not turn on. The instructions below tell you how to enter a secret code into the system. If your vehicle loses battery power for any reason, you must unlock the system with the secret code before the radio will turn on. 1. Write down any six-digit number and keep it in a safe


2. Turn the ignition to the “Accessory” or “Run” position. 3. Press the PWR button to turn the radio off. 4. Press the 1 and 4 buttons together. Hold them down until “- - -” shows on the display. You are ready to enter your secret code.

To Unlock the System After a Power Loss: When battery power is reapplied to a secured radio, the radio won’t turn on and LOC will appear on the display. Enter your secret code as hllows; pause no more than 15 seconds between steps. 1. Turn the ignition on. (Radio off.) 2. Press the SET button. The display will show 0o0. 3. Enter the six digits of the code following steps 6-9

above. The display will show the numbers as entered. 4. Press the lower (BAND) knob and SEC appears, then the time, indicating that the disabling sequence was successful.

, NOTE: If you allow more than 15 seconds between steps,


you may have to start the procedure over at step 4. Press SET and O00 will appear on the display. 5. Press the SEEK, button to make the first number 6. appear. Rotate the TUNE knob right or left to make the last two numbers agree with your code. Press the lower (BAND) knob and 0o0 will appear again. Now you are ready to enter the last three digits of your code. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for the last three digits of your code. Press the lower (BAND) knob and rEP will appear for five seconds and then OOO will appear.



11. Repeat steps 6 through 10. This time SEC will

amear. indicating that the radio is secure.


Disabling the Anti-Theft System: 1. Press the 1 and 4 buttons together for five seconds

with ignition on and radio power off. The display will show SEC, indicating the unit is in the secure mode.

2. Press the SET button. The display will show 0o0. 3. Enter the first three digits of the code following step 6 of the preceding paragraphs. The display will show the numbers as entered.

4. Press the lower (BAND) knob. The radio will display


5. Enter the second three digits of the code. The display

will show the numbers as entered.

6. Press the lower (BAND) knob. If the display shows ‘‘- - - ,” the disabling sequence was successful (the numbers matched the user-selected code or the factory back-up code) and the unit is in the UNSECURED mode. If the display shows SEC, the disabling sequence was unsuccessful and the numbers did not match either. of the codes and the unit will remain in the SECURED mode.

Care of Your Cassette Tape Player

A tape player that is not cleaned regularly can cause reduced sound quality, ruined cassettes, or a damaged mechanism. Cassette tapes should be stored in their cases away from contaminants, direct sunlight, and extreme heat. If they aren’t, they may not operate properly or cause failure of the tape player. Your tape player should be cleaned regularly each month or after every 15 hours of use. If you notice a reduction in sound quality, try a known good cassette to see if the tape or the tape player is at fault. If this other cassette has no improvement in sound quality, clean the tape player.

1 /.Y

Clean your tape player with a wiping-action, non- abrasive cleaning cassette, and follow the directions provided with it. Cassettes are subject to wear and the sound quality may degrade over time. Always make sure that the cassette tape is in good condition before you have the tape player serviced. Care of Your Compact Discs

Fixed Mast Antenna The fixed mast antenna can withstand most car washes without being damaged. If the mast should ever become slightly bent, you can straighten it out by hand. If the mast is badly bent, as it might be by vandals, you should replace it. Check every once in a while to be sure the mast is still tightened to the fender.

Handle discs carefully. Store them in their original cases or other protective cases and away from direct sunlight and dust. If the surface of a disc is soiled, dampen a clean, soft cloth in a mild, neutral detergent solution and clean it, wiping from the center to the edge.

Be sure never to touch the signal surface when handling discs. Pick up discs by grasping the outer edges or the edge of the hole and the outer edge.


Power Antenna Mast Care (Option)

r could damage i

Your power antenna will look its best and work well if it’s cleaned from time to time.

To Clean the Antenna Mast: 1. Turn on the ignition and radio to raise the antenna to full mast extension. 2. Dampen a clean cloth with mineral spirits or equivalent solvent.

3. Wipe the cloth over the mast sections, removing any


4. Wipe dry with a clean cloth before retracting. 5. Make the antenna go up and down by turning the radio

or ignition on and off.

6. Then repeat if necessary.



Part 4 Your Driving and the Road

Here you’ll find information about driving on different kinds of roads and in varying weather conditions . We’ve also included many other useful tips on driving . Part 4 includes:




Roadsigns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 DefensiveDriving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 DrunkenDriving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Control of a Vehicle Braking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 SteeringTips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~0 Steering in Emergencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E1 Passing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 LossofControl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E4 DrivingatNight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . E5 DrivingintheRain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~8 Driving in Fog, Mist and Haze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 CityDriving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 FreewayDriving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 DrivingaLongDistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1~ HillandMountainRoads 166 ParkingonHills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 WinterDriving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171 TowingaTrailer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Road Signs The road signs you see everywhere are coded by color, shape and symbols. It’s a good idea to know these codes so that you can quickly grasp the basic meaning or intent of the sign even behre you have a chance to read it. Color of Road Signs


B o NOT‘









RED means STOP. It may also indicate that some movement is not allowed. Examples are DO NOT ENTER and WRONG WAY.





YELLOW indicates a general warning. Slow down and be careful when you see a yellow sign. It may signal a railroad crossing ahead, a no passing zone, or some other potentially dangerous situation. Likewise, a yellow solid line painted on the road means “Don’t Cross:’






ORANGE indicates road construction or maintenance. You'll want to slow down when you see an orange sign, as part of the road may be closed off or torn up. And there may be workers and maintenance vehicles around, too.

GREEN is used to guide the driver. Green signs may indicate upcoming freeway exits or show the direction you should turn to reach a particular place.







BLUE signs with white. letters show motorists’ services.

BROWN signs point out recreation areas or points of historic or cultural interest.

Shape of Road Signs The shape of the sign will tell you something, too.

An OCTAGONAL (eight-sided) sign means STOP. It is always red with white letters.

A DIAMOND-SHAPED sign is a warning of something ahead-for example, a curve, steep hill, soft shoulder, or a narrow bridge.


A TRIANGLE, pointed downward, indicates YIELD. It assigns the right-of-way to traffic on certain approaches to an intersection.

A TRIANGULAR sign also is used on two-lane roads to indicate a NO PASSING ZONE. This sign will be on the left side of the roadway.

Symbols on Road Signs





RECTANGULAR (square or oblong) signs show speed limits, parking regulations, give directions, and such information as distances to cities.

There are many international road signs in use today.


Traffic Lights






The basic message of many of these signs is in pictures or graphic symbols. A picture within a circle with a diagonal line across it shows what not to do.

We’re all familiar with traffic rights or stop lights. Often green arrows are being used in the lights for improved traffic control. On some multilane roads, green arrows light up, indicating that traffic in one or more lanes can move or make a turn. Green arrows don’t mean “go no matter what? You’ll still need to proceed with caution, yielding the right of way to pedestrians and sometimes to other vehicles. Some traffic lights also use red must stop before turning on red.

arrows to signify that you


Pavement Markings


Many city roads and expressways, and even bridges, use reversible-lane traffic control during rush hours. A red X light above a lane means no driving in that lane at that time. A green arrow means you may drive in that lane. Look for the signs posted to warn drivers what hours and days these systems are in effect.


Pavement markings add to traffic signs and signals. They give information to drivers without taking attention from the roadway. A solid yellow line on your side of the road or lane means “Don’t Cross:’ Your Own Signals Drivers signal to others, too. It’s not only more polite, it’s safer to let other drivers know what you are doing. And in some places the law requires driver signals. Turn and lane change signals. Always signal when you plan to turn or change lanes.


If necessary, you can use hand signals out the window: Left arm straight out for a left turn, down for slow or about-to-stop, and up for a right turn. Slowing down. If time allows, tap the brake pedal once or twice in advance of slowing or stopping. This warns the driver behind you. Disabled. Your four-way flashers signal that your vehicle is disabled or is a hazard. See “Hazard Warning Flashers’’ in the Index. Traffic Officer The traffic police officer is also a source of important information. The officer’s signals govern, no matter what the traffic lights or other signs say. The next section discusses some of the road conditions you may encounter. Defensive Driving The best advice anyone can give about driving is: Drive defensively. Please start with a very important Buckle up. (See “Safety Belts” in the Index.) Defensive driving really means “be ready for anything:’ On city streets, rural roads, or freeways, it means “always expect the unexpected:’

sakty device in your Buick:

Assume that pedestrians or other drivers are going to be careless and make mistakes. Anticipate what they might do. Be ready for their mistakes. Expect children to dash out from behind parked cars, often followed by other children. Expect occupants in parked cars to open doors into traffic. Watch for movement in parked cars-someone may be about to open a door. Expect other drivers to run stop signs when you are on a through street. Be ready to brake if necessary as you go through intersections. You may not have to use the brake, but if you do, you will be ready. If you’re driving through a shopping center parking lot where there are well-marked lanes, directional mows, and designated parking areas, expect some drivers to ignore all these markings and dash straight toward one part of the lot. Pedestrians can be careless. Watch for them. In general, you must give way to pedestrians even if you know you have the right of way. Rear-end collisions are about the most preventable of accidents. Yet they are common. Allow enough following distance. It’s the best defensive driving maneuver, in both city and rural driving. You never know when the vehicle in front of you is going to brake or turn suddenly. Here’s a final bit of information about defensive driving. The most dangerous time for driving in the U.S. is very


early on Sunday morning. In fact, GM Research studies show that the most and the least dangerous times for driving, every week, Ml on the same day. That day is Sunday. The most dangerous time is Sunday from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. The safest time is Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Driving the same distance on a Sunday at 3 a.m. isn’t just a little more dangerous than it is at 10 a.m. It’s about 134 times more dangerous! That leads to the next section. Drunken Driving Death and injury associated with drinking and driving is a national tragedy. It’s the number one contributor to the highway death toll, claiming thousands of victims every year. Alcohol takes away three things that anyone needs to drive a vehicle:

is too much if a person plans

to drive? Just how much alcohol Ideally, no one should drink alcohol and then drive. But less if one does, then what’s “too much”? It can be a lot than many might think. Although it depends on each person and situation, here is some general information on the problem. The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of someone who is drinking depends upon four things: How much alcohol is in the drink. The drinker’s body weight. The amount of food that is consumed before and during drinking. The length of time it has taken the drinker to consume the alcohol.

Judgment Muscular Coordination Vision

Police records show that half of all motor vehicle-related deaths involve alcohol-a driver, a passenger or someone else, such as a pedestrian, had been drinking. In most cases, these deaths are the result of someone who was drinking and driving. Over 25,000 motor vehicle-related deaths occur each year because of alcohol, and thousands of people are injured.



NUMBER OF DRINKS (as in picture) 4

I F g l T


According to the American Medical Association, a 18O-pound’(82 kg) person who drinks three 12-ounce (355 ml) bottles of beer in an hour will end up with a BAC of about 0.06 percent. The person would reach the same BAC by drinking three 4-ounce (120 ml) glasses of wine or three mixed drinks if each had 1% ounces (45 ml) of a liquor like whiskey, gin It’s the amount of alcohol that counts. For example, if the same person drank three double martinis (3 ounces or 90 ml of liquor each) within an hour, the person’s BAC would

100 120 140 160

1ao 200 220 240


be close to 0.12 percent. A person who consumes food just before or during drinking will have a slightly lower BAC level. The law in most U.S. states sets the legal limit at a BAC of 0.10 percent. In Canada the limit is 0.08 percent., and in some other countries it’s lower than that. The BAC will be over 0.10 percent after three to six drinks (in one hour). Of course, as we’ve seen, it depends on how much alcohol is in the drinks, and how quickly the person drinks them.


that person had not been drinking. And we’ve already seen that the chance of a crash itself is higher for drinking drivers.


Drinking and then driving is very dangerous. Your reflexes, perceptions, and judgment will be affected by even a small amou-nt of alcohol. You could have a serious-or even fatal- accident if you drive after drinking. Please don’t drink and drive or ride with a driver who has been drinking. Ride home in a cab; or if I you’re with a group, designate a driver who will not drink.

in mind that the ability to drive

But it’s very important to keep is affected well below a BAC of 0.10 percent. Research shows that the.driving skills of many people are impaired at a BAC approaching 0.05 percent, and that the effects are worse at night. All drivers are impaired at BAC levels above 0.05 percent. Statistics show that the chance of being in an accident increases sharply for drivers who have a BAC of 0.05 percent or above. A driver with a BAC level of 0.06 percent (three beers in one hour for a 180-pound or 82 kg person) has doubled his or her chance of having an accident. At a BAC level of 0.10 percent, the chance of that driver having an accident is six times greater; at a level of 0.15 percent, the chances are twenty-five times greater! And, the body takes about an hour to rid itself of the alcohol in one drink. No amount of coffee or number of cold showers will speed that up. “I’ll be careful” isn’t the right answer. What if there’s an emergency, a need to take sudden action, as when a child darts into the street? A person with a higher BAC might not be able to react quickly enough to avoid the collision. There’s something else about drinking and driving that many people don’t know. Medical research shows that alcohol in a person’s system can make crash injuries worse. That’s especially true for brain, spinal cord and heart injuries. That means that if anyone who has been drinking-driver or passenger-is in a crash, the chance of being killed or permanently disabled is higher than if

Braking Braking action involves perception time and reaction time. First, you have to decide to push on the brake pedal. That’s perception time. Then you have to bring up your foot and do it. That’s reaction time. Average reaction time is about 34 of a second. But that’s only an average. It might be less with one driver and as long as two or three seconds or more with another. Age, physical condition, alertness, coordination and eyesight all play a part. So do alcohol, drugs and frustration. But even in % of a second, a vehicle moving at 60 mph (100 ludh) travels 66 feet (20 m). That could be a lot of distance in an emergency, so keeping enough space between your vehicle and others is important. And, of course, actual stopping distances vary greatly with the surf$ce of the road (whether it’s pavement or gravel); the condition of the road (wet, dry, icy); tire tread; and the condition of your brakes. Most drivers treat their brakes with care. Some, however, overwork the braking system with poor driving habits. Avoid needless heavy braking. Some people drive in spurts-heavy acceleration followed by heavy braking-rather than keeping pace with traffic. This is a mistake. Your brakes may not have time to cool between hard stops. Your brakes will wear out much faster if you do a lot of heavy braking.

You have three systems that make your vehicle go where you want it to go. They are the brakes, the steering and the accelerator. All three systems have to do their work at the places where the tires meet the road. Sometimes, as when you’re driving on snow or ice, it’s easy to ask more of those control systems than the tires and road can provide. That means you can lose control of your vehicle.


“Riding” your brakes can cause them to overheat to the pointthat they won’t work well. M u might not be able to stop your vehicle In tlme to avoid an accident. If you 6crlde” your brakes, they will get 80 hot they will require a lot of pedal force to slow you down. Avold “ridlng” the hralaas.

Don’t “ride” the brakes by letting your left foot rest lightly on the brake pedal while driving.

faster. vou would need cos replacement much sooner also reduces fuel economy.


If you keep pace with the traffic and allow realistic following distances, you will eliminate a lot of unnecessary braking. That means better braking and longer brake life.

If your engine ever stops while you're driving, brake normally but don't pump your brakes. If you do, the pedal may get harder to push down. If your engine stops, you will still have some power brake assist. But you will use it when you brake. Once the power assist is used up, it may take longer to stop and the brake pedal will be harder to push.


The brake wear wamlng sound means that sooner or later p u r brakes won't work well. That could lead to an accident. When you hear the brake wear warning sound, have your vehlcle serviced.

Disc Brake Wear Indicators Your Buick has front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. Disc brake pads have built-in wear indicators that make a high-pitched warning sound when the brake pads worn and new pads are needed. The sound may come squeal when the brakes and go or be heard all the time your vehicle is moving applied. This does not mean something (except when you are pushing on the brake pedal firmly).

your brakes.


Some driving conditions or climates may cause

a brake

are first applied or lightly

is wrong with

Rear Drum Brakes Your rear drum brakes don’t have wear indicators, but if you ever hear a rear brake rubbing noise, have the rear brake linings inspected. Also, the rear brake drums should be removed and inspected each time the tires are removed for rotation or changing. .When you have the front brakes replaced, have the rear brakes inspected, too. Brake linings should always be replaced as complete axle sets. Brake Pedal Travel See your dealer if the brake pedal does not return to normal height, or if there is a rapid increase in pedal travel. This could be a sign of brake trouble. Brake Adjustment Every time you make a moderate brake stop, your disc brakes adjust for wear. If you rarely make a moderate or heavier stop, then your brakes might not adjust correctly.’ If you drive in that way, then-very carefully-make a few moderate brake stops about every 1,0oO miles (1 600 km), so your brakes will adjust properly. If your brake pedal goes down farther than normal, your rear drum brakes may need adjustment. Adjust them by backing up and firmly applying the brakes a few times.

Braking In Emergencies At some time, nearly every driver gets into a situation that requires hard braking. Your first reaction-to hit the brake pedal hard and hold it down-may be the wrong thing to do. Your wheels can stop rolling. Once they do, the vehicle can’t respond to your steering. Momentum will carry it in whatever direction it was headed when the wheels stopped rolling. That could be off the road, into the very thing you were trying to avoid, or into traffic. Use a “squeeze” braking technique. This will give you maximum braking while maintaining steering control. You do this by pushing on the brake pedal with steadily increasing pressure. In an emergency you will probably want to “squeeze” the brakes hard without locking the wheels. If you hear or feel the wheels sliding, ease off the brake pedal. This will help you retain steering control. In many emergencies, steering can help you more than even the very best braking.


Steering Power Steering If you lose power steering assist because the engine stops or the system fails to function, you can steer but it will take much more effort. Steering Tips Driving on Curves It’s important to take curves at a reasonable speed. A lot of the “driver lost control” accidents mentioned on the news happen on curves. Here’s why: Experienced driver or beginner, each of us is subject to the same laws of physics when driving on curves. The traction of the tires against the road surface makes it possible for the vehicle to change its path when you turn the front wheels. If there’s no traction, inertia will keep the vehicle going in the same direction. If you’ve ever this. tried to steer a vehicle on wet ice, you’ll understand The traction you can get in a curve depends on the condition of your tires and the road surhce, the angle at which the curve is banked, and your speed. While you’re in a curve, speed is the one factor you can control. Suppose you’re steering through a sharp curve. Then you suddenly apply the brakes. Both control systems- steering and braking-have to do their work where the

tires meet the road. Adding the hard braking can demand too much at those places. You can lose control. The same thing can happen if you’re steering through a’ sharp curve and you suddenly accelerate. Those two control systems-steering and acceleration-can overwhelm those places where the tires meet the road and make you lose ‘control. What should you do if this ever happens? Let up on the brake or accelerator pedal, steer the vehicle the way you want it to go, and slow down. Speed limit signs near curves warn that you should adjust your speed. Of course, the posted speeds are based on good weather and road conditions. Under less favorable conditions you’ll want to go slower. If you need to reduce your speed as you approach a curve, do it before you enter the curve, while your front wheels are straight ahead. Try to adjust your speed so you can “drive” through the curve. Maintain a reasonable, steady speed. Wait to accelerate until you are out of the curve, and then accelerate gently into the straightaway. When you drive into a curve at night, it’s harder to see the road ahead of you because it bends away .from the straight beams of your lights. This is one good reason to drive slower.

Steering in Emergencies

There are times when steering can be more effective than braking. For example, you come over a hill and find a truck stopped in your lane, or a car suddenly pulls out from nowhere, or a child darts out from between parked cars and stops right in front of you. You can avoid these problems by braking-if you can stop in time. But sometimes you can’t; there isn’t room. That’s the time for evasive action-steering around the problem.

Your Buick can perform very well in emergencies like these. First apply your brakes, but not enough to lock your wheels. It is better to remove as much speed as you can from a possible collision. Then steer around the problem, to the left or right depending on the space available. An emergency like this requires close attention and a quick decision. If you are holding the steering wheel at the recommended 9’ and 3 o’clock positions, you can turn it a full 180 degrees very quickly without removing either hand. But you have to act fast, steer quickly, and just as quickly straighten the wheel once you have avoided the object. You must then be prepared to steer back to your original lane and then brake to a controlled stop. Depending on your speed, this can be rather violent for an unprepared driver. This is one of the reasons driving experts recommend that you use your safety belts and keep both hands on the steering wheel. The fact that such emergency situations are always possible is a good reason to practice defensive driving at all times.


Iff-Road Recovery

You may find sometime that your right wheels have dropped off the edge of a road onto the shoulder while you’re driving. If the level of the shoulder is only slightly below the pavement, recovery should be hirly easy. Ease off the accelerator and then, if there is nothing in the way, steer so that your vehicle straddles the edge of the pavement. You can turn the steering wheel up to % turn until the right front tire contacts the pavement edge. Then turn your steering wheel to go straight down the roadway.


(100 mm) If the shoulder appears to be about four inches or more below the pavement, this difference can cause problems. If there is not enough room to pull entirely onto the shoulder and stop, then follow the same procedures. But if the right front tire scrubs against the side of the pavement, do NOT steer more sharply. With too much steering angle, the vehicle may jump back onto the road with so much steering input that it crosses over into the oncoming traffic before you can bring it back under control. Instead, ease off again on the accelerator and steering input, straddle the pavement once more, then try again. passing The driver of a vehicle about to pass another on a two- lane highway waits for just the right moment, accelerates, moves around the vehicle ahead, then goes back into the right lane again. A simple maneuver? Not necessarily! Passing another vehicle on a two-lane highway is a potentially dangerous move, since the passing vehicle occupies the same lane as oncoming traffic for several seconds. A miscalculation, an error in judgment, or a brief surrender to frustration or anger can suddenly put the passing driver face to face with the worst of all traffic accidents-the head-on collision.

So here are some tips for passing:

“Drive ahead:’ Look down the road, to the sides, and to crossroads for situations that might affect your passing patterns. If you have any doubt whatsoever about making a successful pass, wait for a better time. Watch for traffic signs, pavement markings, and lines. If you can see a sign up ahead that might indicate a turn or an intersection, delay your pass. A broken center line usually indicates it’s all right to pass (providing the road ‘ahead is clear). Never cross a solid line on your side of the lane or a double solid line, even if the road seems empty of approaching traffic. If you suspect that the driver of the vehicle you want to pass isn’t aware of your presence, tap the horn a couple of times before passing. Do not get too close to the vehicle you want to pass while you’re awaiting an opportunity. For one thing, following too closely reduces your area of vision, especially if you’re following a larger vehicle. Also, you won’t have adequate space if the vehicle ahead suddenly slows or stops. Keep back a reasonable distance.

When it looks like a chance to pass is coming up, start to accelerate but stay in the right lane and don’t get too close. Time your move so you will be increasing speed as the time comes to move into the other lane. If the way is clear to pass, you will have a “running start’’ that more than makes up for the distance you would lose by dropping back. And if something happens to cause you to cancel your pass, you need only slow down and drop back again and wait for another opportunity. If other cars are lined up to pass a slow vehicle, wait your turn. But take care that someone isn’t trying to pass you as you pull out to pass the slow vehicle. Remember to glance over your shoulder and check the blind spot. Check your mirrors, glance over your shoulder, and start your left lane change signal before moving out of the right lane to pass. When you are far enough ahead of the passed vehicle to see its front in your inside mirror, activate your right lane change signal and move back into the right lane. (Remember that your right outside mirror is convex. The vehicle you just passed may seem to be farther away from you than it really is.) Try not to pass more than one vehicle at a time on two- lane roads. Reconsider before passing the next vehicle.

Don’t overtake a slowly moving vehicle too rapidly. Even though the brake lights are not flashing, it may be slowing down or starting to turn. If you’re being passed, make it easy for the following driver to get ahead of you. Perhaps you can ease a little to the right. Loss of Control Let’s review what driving experts say about what happens when the three control systems (brakes, steering and acceleration) don’t have enough friction where the tires meet the road to do what the driver has asked. In any emergency, don’t give up. Keep trying to steer and constantly seek an escape route or area of less danger. Skidding In a skid, a driver can lose control of the vehicle. Defensive drivers avoid most skids by taking reasonable care suited to existing conditions, and by not “overdriving” those conditions. But skids are always possible. The three types of skids correspond to your Buick‘s three control systems. In the braking skid your wheels aren’t rolling. In the steering or cornering skid, too much speed or steering in a curve causes tires to slip and lose cornering force. And in the acceleration skid too much throttle causes the driving wheels to spin.


A cornering skid and an acceleration skid are best handled by easing your foot off the accelerator pedal. If your vehicle starts to slide (as when you turn a corner on foot off the a wet, snow- or ice-covered road), ease your accelerator pedal as soon as you feel the vehicle start to slide. Quickly steer the way you want the vehicle to go. If you start steering quickly enough, your vehicle will straighten out. As it does, straighten the front wheels. Of course, traction is reduced when water, snow, ice, gravel, or other material is on the road. For safety, you’ll want to slow down and adjust your driving to these conditions. It is important to slow down on slippery surfaces because stopping distance will be longer and vehicle control more limited. While driving on a surfhce with reduced traction, try your best to avoid sudden steering, acceleration, or braking (including engine braking by shifting to a lower gear). Any sudden changes could cause the tires to slide. You may not realize the surface is slippery until your vehicle is skidding. Learn to recognize warning clues- such as enough water, ice or packed snow on the road to make a “mirrored surface”-and slow down when you have any doubt.

In a braking skid (where the wheels are no longer rolling), release enough pressure on the brakes to get the wheels rolling again. This restores steering control. Push the brake pedal down steadily when you have to stop suddenly. As long as the wheels are rolling, you will have steering control. Steer the way you want to go. Driving at Night

Night driving is more dangerous than day driving. One reason is that some drivers are likely to be impaired-by alcohol or drugs, with night vision problems, or by fatigue. Here are some tips on night driving.

Drive defensively. Remember, this is the most dangerous time. Don’t drink and drive. (See “Drunken Driving” in the Index for more on this problem.) Adjust your inside rearview mirror to reduce the glare from headlights behind you. Since you can’t see as well, you may need to slow down and keep more space between you and other vehicles. It’s hard to tell how fast the vehicle ahead is going just by looking at its taillights. Slow down, especially on higher speed roads. Your headlights can light up only so much road ahead. In remote areas, watch for animals. If you’re tired, pull off the road in a safe place and rest.

You can be temporarily blinded by approaching lights. It can take a second or two, or even several seconds, for your eyes to readjust to the dark. When you are hced with severe glare (as from a driver who doesn’t lower the high beams, or a vehicle with misaimed headlights) slow down a little. Avoid staring directly into the approaching lights. If there is a line of opposing traffic, make occasional glances over the line of headlights to make certain that. one of the vehicles isn’t starting to move into your lane. Once you are past the bright lights, give your eyes time to readjust before resuming speed.

Night Vision No one can see as well at night as in the daytime, but as we get older these differences increase. A 50-year-old driver may require at least twice as much light to see the same thing at night as a 20-year-old. What you do in the daytime can also afkct your night vision. For example, if you spend the day in bright sunshine you are wise to wear sunglasses. Your eyes will have less trouble adjusting to night. But if you’re driving, don’t wear sunglasses at night. They may cut down on glare from headlights, but they also make a lot of things invisible that should remain visible-such as parked cars, obstacles, pedestrians, or even trains blocking railway crossings. You may want to put on your sunglasses after you have pulled into a brightly-lighted service or refreshment area. Eyes shielded from that glare may adjust more quickly to darkness back on the road. But be sure to remove your sunglasses before you leave the service area.


High Beams If the vehicle approaching you has its high beams on, signal by flicking yours to high and then back to low beam. This is the usual signal to lower the headlight beams. If the other driver still doesn’t lower the beams, resist the temptation to put your high beams on. This only makes two half-blinded drivers. On a freeway, use your high beams only in remote areas where you won’t impair approaching drivers. In some places, like cities, using high beams is illegal. When you follow another vehicle on a freeway or highway, use low beams. True, most vehicles now have day-night mirrors that enable the driver to reduce glare. But outside mirrors are not of this type and high beams from behind can bother the driver ahead.

A Few More Night Driving Suggestions Keep your windshield and all the glass on your vehicle clean-inside and out. Glare at night is made much worse by dirt on the glass. Even the inside of the glass can build up a fdm caused by dust. Tobacco smoke also makes inside glass surfaces very filmy and can be a vision hazard if it’s left there. Dirty glass makes lights dazzle and flash more than clean glass would, making the pupils of your eyes contract repeatedly. You might even want to keep a cloth and some glass cleaner in your vehicle if you need to clean your glass frequently. Remember that your headlights light up fhr less of a roadway when you are in a turn or curve. Keep your eyes moving; that way, it’s easier to pick out dimly lighted objects. Just as your headlights should be checked regularly for proper aim, so should your eyes be examined regularly. Some drivers suffer from night blindness-the inability to see in dim light-and aren’t even aware of it.

Driving in the Rain

The heavier the rain, the harder it is to see. Even if your windshield wiper blades are in good shape, a heavy rain can make it harder to see road signs and traffic signals, pavement markings, the edge of the road, and even people walking. Road spray can often be worse for vision than rain, especially if it comes from a dirty road. So it is wise to keep your wiping equipment in good shape and keep your windshield washer tank filled. Replace your windshield wiper inserts when they show signs of streaking or missing areas on the windshield, or when strips of rubber start to separate from the inserts.

Rain and wet roads can mean driving trouble. On a wet road you can’t stop, accelerate or turn as well because your tire-to-road traction isn’t as good as on dry roads. And, if your tires don’t have much tread left, you’ll get even less traction. It’s always wise to go slower and be cautious if rain starts to hll while you are driving. The surface may get wet suddenly when your reflexes are tuned for driving on dry pavement.


Driving too fast through large water puddles or even going through some car washes can cause problems, too. The water may affect your brakes. Try to avoid puddles. But if you can’t, try to slow down before you hit them.


Wet brakes can cause accidents. They-won’t work well in a quick stop and may cause pulling to one side. Ybu could lose control of the vehicle. After driving through a large puddle of water or I car wash, apply your brake pedal lightly until your brakes work normally.

Hydroplaning Hydroplaning is dangerous. So much water can build up under your tires that they can actually ride on the water. This can happen if the road is wet enough and you’re going fast enough. When your vehicle is hydroplaning, it has little or no contact with the road. You might not be aware of hydroplaning. You could drive along for some time without realizing your tires aren’t in constant contact with the road. You could find out the hard way: when you have’to slow, turn, move out to pass-or if you get hit by a gust of wind. You could suddenly find yourself out of control. Hydroplaning doesn’t happen at higher speeds. But it can if your tires haven’t much tread or if the pressure in one or more is low. It can happen if a lot of water is standing on the road. If you can see reflections from trees, telephone poles, or other vehicles, and raindrops “dimple” the water’s surface, there could be hydroplaning. Hydroplaning usually happens at higher speeds. There just isn’t a hard and fast rule about hydroplaning. The best advice is to slow down when it is raining, and be careful.


Driving in Fog, Mist and Haze



Some Other Rainy Weather Tips Turn on your headlights-not just your parking lights-to help make you more visible to others. Look for hard-to-see vehicles coming from behind. You may want to use your headlights even in daytime if it’s raining hard. Besides slowing down, allow some extra following distance. And be especially careful when you pass another vehicle. Allow yourself more clear room ahead, and be prepared to have your view restricted by road spray. If the road spray is so heavy you are actually blinded, drop back. Don’t pass until conditions improve. Going more slowly is better than having an accident. Use your defogger if it helps. Have good tires with proper tread depth. (See “Tires” in the Index.)

Fog can occur with high humidity or heavy frost. It can be so mild that you can see through it for severa1,hundred feet (meters). Or it might be so thick that you can see only a few feet (meters) ahead. It may come suddenly to an otherwise clear road. And it can be a major hazard. When you drive into a fog patch, your visibility will be reduced quickly. The biggest dangers are striking the vehicle ahead or being struck by the one behind’. Try to “read” the fog density down the road. If the vehicle


ahead starts to become less clear or, at night, if the taillights are harder to see, the fog is probably thickening. Slow down to give traffic behind you a chance to slow down. Everybody then has a better chance to avoid hitting the vehicle ahead. A patch of dense fog may extend only for a few feet (meters) or for miles (kilometers); you can’t really tell while you’re in it. You can only treat the situation with extreme care. One‘common fog condition-sometimes called mist or ground fog-can happen in weather that seems perfect, especially at night or in the early morning in valley and low, marshy areas. You can be suddenly enveloped in thick, wet haze that may even coat your windshield. You can often spot these fog patches or mist layers with your headlights. But sometimes they can be waiting for you as you come over a hill or dip into a shallow valley. Start your windshield wipers and washer, to help clear accumulated road dirt. Slow down carefully.

Tips on Driving in Fog If you get caught in fog, turn your headlights on low beam, even in daytime. You’ll see-and be seen-better. Don’t use your high beams. The light will bounce off the water droplets that make up fog and reflect back at you. Use your defogger. In high humidity, even a light buildup of moisture on the inside of the glass will cut down on your already limited visibility. Run your windshield wipers and washer occasionally. Moisture can build up on the outside glass, and what seems to be fog .may actually be moisture on the outside of your windshield. Treat dense fog as an emergency. Try to find a place to pull off the road. Of course you want to respect another’s property, but you might need to put something between you and moving vehicles-space, trees, telephone poles, a private driveway, anything that removes you from other traffic. If visibility is near zero and you must stop but are unsure whether you are away from the road, turn your lights on, start your hazard warning flashers, and sound your horn at intervals or when you hear approaching traffic. Pass other vehicles in fog only if you can see far enough ahead to pass safely. Even then, be prepared to delay your pass if you suspect the fog is worse up ahead. If other vehicles try to pass you, make it easy for them.





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Try to use the freeways that rim and crisscross most large cities. You’ll save time and energy. (See the next section, “Freeway Driving?) Treat a green light as a warning signal. A traffic light is there because the corner is busy enough to need When a light turns green, and just before you start to move, check both ways for vehicles that have not cleared the intersection or may be running the red light. Obey all posted speed limits. But remember that they are for ideal road, weather and visibility conditions. You may need to drive below the posted limit in bad weather or when visibility is especially poor. Pull to the right (with care) and stop clear of intersections when you see or hear emergency vehicles.

One of the biggest problems with city streets is the amount of traffic on them. You’ll want to watch out for what the other drivers are doing and pay attention to traffic signals. Here are ways to increase your safety in city driving: Know the best way to get to where you are going. Try not to drive around trying to pick out a familiar street or landmark. Get a city map and plan your trip into an unknown part of the city just as you would for a cross- country trip. 162

Freeway Driving

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Mile for mile, freeways (also called thruways, parkways, expressways, turnpikes, or superhighways) are the safest of all roads. But they have their own special rules. The most important advice on freeway driving is: Keep up with traffic and keep to the right. Drive at the same speed most of the other drivers are driving. Too-fast or too-slow driving breaks a smooth traffic flow. Treat the left lane on a freeway as a passing lane.

Entering the Freeway At the entrance there is usually a ramp that leads to the freeway. If you have a clear view of the freeway as you drive along the entrance ramp, you should begin to check traffic. Try to determine where you expect to blend with the flow. If traffic is light, you may have no problem. But if it is heavy, find a gap as you move along the entering lane and time your approach. Try to merge into the gap at close to the prevailing speed. Switch on your turn signal, check your rearvidw mirrors as you move along, and glance over your shoulder as often as necessary. Try to blend smoothly with the traffic flow. Driving on the Freeway Once you are on the freeway, adjust your speed to the posted limit or to the prevailing rate if it’s slower. Stay in the right lane unless you want to pass. If you are on a two-lane freeway, treat the right lane as the slow lane and the left lane as the passing lane. If you are on a three-lane freeway, treat the right lane as the slower-speed through lane, the middle lane as the higher-speed through lane, and the left lane as the passing lane. Before changing lanes, check your rearview mirrors. Then use your turn signal. Just before you leave the lane, glance quickly over your shoulder to make sure there isn’t another vehicle in your “blind” spot.


If you are moving from an outside to a center lane on a freeway, having more than two lanes, make sure another vehicle isn’t about to move into the same spot. Look at the vehicles two lanes over and watch for telltale signs: turn signals flashing, an increase in speed, or moving toward the edge of the lane. Be prepared to delay your move. Once you are moving on the freeway, make certain you allow a reasonable following distance. Expect to move slightly slower at night. Leaving the Freeway When you want to-leave the freeway, move to the proper lane well in advance. Dashing across lanes at the last minute is dangerous. If you miss your exit do not, under any circumstances, stop and back up. Drive on to the next exit. At each exit point is a deceleration lane. Ideally it should