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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

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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

. . . . :

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 be long enough for you to enter it at freeway speed (after signaling, of course) and then do your braking before moving onto the exit ramp. Unfortunately, not all deceleration lanes are long enough-some are too short for all the braking. Decide when to start braking. If you must bkke on the through lane, and if there is traffic close behind you, you can allow a little extra time and flash your brake lights (in addition to your turn signal) as extra warning that you are about to slow down and exit.

The ,exit ramp can be curved, sometimes quite sharply. The exit speed is usually posted. Reduce your speed according to your speedometer, not to your sense of motion. After driving for any distance at higher speeds, you may tend to think you are going slower than you actually are. For example, 40 mph (65 km/h) might. seem like only 20 mph (30 ludh). Obviously, this could lead to serious trouble on a ramp designed for 20 mph (30 ludh)! Driving a Long Distance Although most long trips today are made on freeways, there are still many made on regular highways. Long-distance driving on freeways and regular highways is the same in some ways. The trip has to be planned and the vehicle prepared, you drive at higher-than-city speeds, and there are longer turns behind the wheel. You’ll enjoy your trip more if you and your vehicle are in good shape. Here are some tips for a successful long trip. Before Leaving on a Long Trip Make sure you’re ready. Try to be well rested. If you must start when you’re not fresh-such as after a day’s work-don’t plan to make too many miles that first part of the journey. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes you can easily drive in.


Is your vehicle ready for a long trip? If you keep it serviced and maintained, it’s ready to go. If it needs service, have it done before starting out. Of course, you’ll find experienced and able service experts in Buick dealerships all across North America. They’ll be ready and willing to help if you need it. Here are some things you can check before a trip:

Windshield Washer Fluid: Is the reservoir full? Are all windows clean inside and outside? Wiper Blades: Are they in good shape? h e l , Engine Oil, Other Fluids: Have you checked all levels? Lights: Are they all working? Are the lenses clean? Tires: They are vitally important to a safe, trouble-free trip. Is the tread good enough for long-distance driving? Are the tires all inflated to the recommended pressure? Weather Forecasts: What’s the weather outlook along your route? Should you delay your trip a short time to avoid a major storm system? Maps: Do you have up-to-date maps?

On the Road Unless you are the only driver, it is good to share the driving task with others. Limit turns behind the wheel to about 100 miles (160 km) or two hours at a sitting. Then, either change drivers or stop for some refreshment like coffee, tea or sol3 drinks and some limbering up. But do stop and move around. Eat lightly along the way. Heavier meals tend to make some people sleepy. On two-lane highways or undivided multilane highways that do not have controlled access, you’ll want to watch for some situations not usually found on freeways. Examples are: stop signs and signals, shopping centers with direct access to the highway, no passing zones and school zones, vehicles turning left and right off the road, pedestrians, cyclists, parked vehicles, and even animals. Highway Hypnosis Is there actually such a condition as “highway hypnosis”? Or is it just plain falling asleep at the .wheel? Call it highway hypnosis, lack of awareness, or whatever. There is something about an easy stretch of road with the same scenery, along with the hum of the tires on the road, the drone of the engine, and the rush of the wind against the vehicle that can make you sleepy. Don’t let it happen to you! If it does, your vehicle can leave the road in less than a second, and you could crash and be injured.


What can you do about highway hypnosis? First, be

Hill and Mountain Roads

As in any driving situation, keep pace with traffic and allow adequate following distances.

Driving on steep hills or mountains is different from driving in flat or rolling terrain. If you drive regularly in steep country, or if you’re planning to visit there, here are some tips that can make your trips safer and more enjoyable.

Keep your vehicle in good shape. Check all fluid levels and also the brakes, tires, cooling system and transaxle. These parts can work hard on mountain roads.


Know how to go down hills. The most important thing to know is this: let your engine do some of the slowing down. Don’t make your brakes do it all. Shift to a lower gear when you go down a steep or long hill.

That way, you will slow down without excessive use of your brakes.


If you don’t shift down, your brakes could get so hot that they wouldn’t work well. You would then have poor braking or even none going down a hill. You could crash. Shift down to let your engine assist your brakes on a steep downhil


Coasting downhill in “N” (Neutral) or with the ignition off is dangerous. Your brakes will have to do all the work of slowing down. They could get so hot that they wouldn’t work well. You could crash. Always have your engine running and your vehicle in gear when you go downhill.

Know how to go uphill. You may want to shift down to a lower gear. The lower gears help cool your engine and transaxle, and you can climb the hill better. Stay in your own lane when driving on two-lane roads in hills or mountains. Don’t swing wide or cut across the center of the road. Drive at speeds that let you stay in your own lane. That way, you won’t be surprised by a vehicle coming toward you in the same lane. It takes longer to pass another vehicle when you’re going uphill. You’ll want to leave extra room to pass. If a vehicle is passing you and doesn’t have enough room, to get by. slow down to make it easier for the other vehicle As you go over the top of a hill, be alert. There could be something in your lane, like a stalled car or an accident. You may see highway signs on mountains that warn of special problems. Examples are long grades, passing or no-passing zones, a Ming rocks area, or winding roads. Be alert to these and take appropriate action. Winter driving can present special problems. See “Winter Driving” in the Index.


Parking on Hills

Parking Downhill

Turn your wheels to the right. You don’t have to jam your tires against the curb, if there is a curb. A gentle contact is all you need.

Hills and mountains mean spectacular scenery. But please be careful where you stop if you decide to look at the view or take pictures. Look for pull-offs or parking areas provided for scenic viewing. Another part of this manual tells how to use your parking brake (see “Parking Brake” in the Index). But on a mountain or steep hill, you can do one more thing. You can turn your front wheels to keep your vehicle from rolling downhill or out into traffic. Here’s how :


If there is a curb, turn your wheels to the left if the curb is at the right side of your vehicle.

parking on the left side, your wheels should point to the right.

Torque Lock If you are parking on a hill and you don’t shift your transaxle into “P” m k ) properly, the weight of the vehicle may put too much force on the parking pawl in the transaxle. You may find it difficult to pull the shift lever out of “I”’ (Park). This is called “torque lock:’ To prevent torque lock, always be sure to shift into “P” (Park) properly before you leave the driver’s seat. To find out how, see “Shifting Into ‘P’ (Park)” in the Index. When you are ready to drive, move the shift lever out of “P” (Park) BEFORE you release the parking brake. If “torque lock” does occur, you may need to have another vehicle push yours a little uphill to take some of the pressure from the transaxle, so you can pull the shift lever out of “P” (Park).

If there is no curb when you’re parking uphill, turn the wheels to the right. If there is no curb when you’re parking uphill on the left side of a one-way street, your wheels should be turned to the left.


Winter Driving

Here are some tips for winter driving:

Have your Buick in good shape for winter. Be sure your engine coolant mix is correct. Snow tires can help in loose snow, but they may give you less traction on ice than regular tires. If you do not expect to be driving in deep snow, but may have to travel over ice, you may not want to switch to snow tires at all. You may want to put winter emergency supplies in your vehicle.

Include an ice scraper, a small brush or broom, a supply of windshield washer fluid, a rag, some winter outer clothing, a small shovel, a flashlight, a red cloth, and a couple of reflective warning triangles. And, if you will be driving under severe conditions, include a small bag of sand, a piece of old carpet or a couple of burlap bags to help provide traction. Be sure you properly secure these items in your vehicle.


Driving on Snow or Ice Most of the time, those places where your tires meet the road probably have’good traction. However, if there is snow or ice between your tires and the road, you can have a very slippery situation. You’ll have a lot less traction or “grip” and will need to be very

careful. r -

traction of all. You can get “wet ice” when it’s about freezing (32°F; OOC) and freezing rain begins to fall. Try to avoid driving on wet ice until salt and sand crews can get there. Whatever the condition-smooth ice, packed, blowing or loose snow-drive with caution. Accelerate gently. Try not to break the fragile traction. If you acceierate too hst, the drive wheels will spin and polish the surface under the tires even more. You’ll want to brake very gently, too. Begin stopping sooner than you would on dry pavement. If you feel your vehicle begin to slide, let up on the brakes a little. fish the brake pedal down steadily to get the most traction you can. Remember, if you brake so hard that your wheels stop rolling, you’ll just slide. Brake so your wheels always keep rolling and you can still steer.

.. .

What’s the worst time for this? “Wet ice? Very cold snow or ice can be slick and hard to drive on. But wet ice can be even more trouble because it may offer the least

Allow greater following distance on any slippery road. Watch for slippery spots. The road might be fine until you hit a spot that’s covered with ice. On an otherwise clear road, ice patches may appear in shaded areas where the sun can’t reach: around clumps of trees, behind buildings, or under bridges. Sometimes the surfixe of a curve or an overpass may remain icy when the surrounding roads are clear. If you see a patch of ice ahead of you, brake before you are on it. Try not to brake while you’re actually on the ice, and avoid sudden steering maneuvers.

If You’re Caught in a Blizzard

If you are stopped by heavy snow, you could be in a serious situation. You should probably stay with your vehicle unless you know for sure that you are near help and you can hike through the snow. Here are some things to do to summon help and keep yourself and your passengers safe: Turn on your hazard flashers. Tie a red cloth to your vehicle to alert police that you’ve been stopped by the snow. Put on extra clothing or wrap a blanket around

you. If you have no blankets or extra clothing, make body insulators from newspapers, burlap bags, rags, floor mats-anything you can wrap around yourself or tuck under your clothing to keep warm. You can run the engine to keep warm, but be careful.


Snow can trap exhaust gases under your vehicle. This can cause deadly CO (carbon monoxide) gas to get inside. CO could overcome you and kill you. You can’t see it or smell it, so you might not know it is in your vehicle. Clear away snow from around the base of your vehicle, especially any that is blocking your exhaust pipe. And check around again from time to time to be sure snow doesn’t collect there.

CAUTION (Continued)


Run your engine only as long as you must. This saves faster fuel. When you run the engine, make it go a little than just idle. That is, push the accelerator slightly. This uses less fuel for the heat that you get and it keeps the battery charged. You will need a well-charged battery to restart the vehicle, and possibly for signaling later on with your headlights. Let the heater run for awhile. Then, shut the engine off and close the window almost all the way to preserve the heat. Start the engine again and repeat this only when you feel really uncomfortable from the cold. But do it as little as possible. Preserve the fuel as long as you can. To help keep warm, you can get out of the vehicle and do some fhirly vigorous exercises every half hour or so until help comes. If You’re Stuck in Deep Snow This manual explains how to get the vehicle out of deep snow without damaging it. See “Rocking Your Vehicle” in the Index.

CAUTION (Contlnued) 1 Opien a wlndow Just a llttle on the side of the vehlcie that’s away fmm the wind. Thls will help keep CO out.


Towing a Trailer


If you don’t use the correct equipment and drive properly, you can lose control when you pull a traller. For example, If the trailer is too heavy, the brakes may not work well--or wen at all. M u and your passengets could be seriously Injured. Pull a trailer only if you have followed all the steps in this section.

hicle and result

Your Buick can tow a trailer. To identify what the vehicle trailering capacity is for your vehicle, you should read the information in “Weight of the Trailer” that appears later in this section. But trailering is different than just driving your vehicle by itself. Trailering means changes in handling, durability, and fuel economy. Successful, safe trailering takes correct equipment, and it has to be used properly.

That’s the reason for this section. In it are many time- tested, important trailering tips and safety rules. Many of these are important for your safety and that of your passengers. So please read this section carefully before you pull a trailer. Load-pulling components such as the engine, transaxle, wheel assemblies, and tires are forced to work harder against the drag of the added weight. The engine is required to operate at relatively higher speeds and under greater loads, generating extra heat. What’s more, the trailer adds considerably to wind resistance, increasing the pulling requirements. All of that means changes in:

Handling Durability Fuel economy


If You Do Decide to Pull a Trailer If you do, here are some important points.

There are many different laws having to do with trailering. Make sure your rig will be legal, not only where you live but also where you’ll be driving. A good source for this information can be state or provincial police. You can ask a hitch dealer about sway controls. Don’t tow a trailer at all during the first 500 miles (800 km) your new vehicle is driven. Your engine, axle or other parts could be damaged. Then, during the first 500 miles (800 km) that you tow a trailer, don’t drive over 50 mph (80 W h ) and don’t make starts at full throttle. This helps your engine and other parts of your vehicle wear in at the heavier loads. Three important considerations have to do with weight:

Weight of the Trailer Your vehicle can tow normally up to 1,OOO pounds (450 kg). If your vehicle has a V6 engine with a four- speed automatic transaxle and is equipped with the optional heavy-duty engine cooling system, it can tow up to 2,000 pounds (900 kg). But even that can be too heavy. It depends on how you plan to use your rig. For example, speed, altitude, road grades, outside temperature and how much your vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all important. And, it can also depend on any special equipment that you have on your vehicle. You can ask your dealer for our trailering information or advice, or you can write us at Buick Motor Division, Customer Assistance Center, 902 E. Hamilton Ave., Flint, MI 48550. In Canada, write to General Motors of Canada Limited, Customer Assistance Center, 1908 Colonel Sam Drive, Oshawa, Ontario, LlH 8W.


Weight of the Trailer Tongue The tongue load (A) of any trailer is an important weight to measure because it affects the total capacity weight of your vehicle. The capacity weight includes the curb weight of the vehicle, any cargo you may carry in it, and the people who will be riding in the vehicle. And if you will tow a trailer, you must subtract the tongue load from your vehicle’s capacity weight because your vehicle will be carrying that weight, too. See “Loading Your Vehicle” in the Index for more information about your vehicle’s maximum load capacity.

The trailer tongue (A) should weigh 10% of the total loaded trailer weight (B). After you’ve loaded your trailer, weigh the trailer and then the tongue, separately, to see if the weights are proper. If they aren’t, you may be able to get them right simply by moving some items around in the trailer. Total Weight on Your Vehicle’s Tires Be sure your vehicle’s tires are inflated to the limit for cold tires. You’ll find these numbers on the Tire-Pressure Certification label at the rear edge of the driver’s door (or see “Tire Loading” in the Index). Then be sure you don’t go over the GVW limit for your vehicle. Hitches It’s important to have the correct hitch equipment. Crosswinds, large trucks going by, and rough roads are a few reasons why you’ll need the right hitch. Here are some rules to follow:

Will you have to make any holes in the body of your vehicle when you install a trailer hitch? If you do, then be sure to seal the holes later when you remove the


hitch. If you don’t seal them, deadly carbon monoxide (see (CO) from your .exhaust can get into your vehicle “Carbon Monoxide” in the Index). Dirt and water can, too. The bumpers on your vehicle are not intended for hitches. Do not attach rental hitches or other bumper- type hitches to them. Use only a frame-mounted hitch that does not attach to the bumper. Safety Chains You should always attach chains between your vehicle and your trailer. Cross the safety chains under the tongue of the trailer so that the tongue will not drop to the road if it becomes separated from the hitch. Instructions about safety chains may be provided by the hikh manufacturer or by the trailer manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for attaching safety chains. Always leave just enough slack so you can turn with your rig. And, never allow safety chains to drag on the ground.

M e r Brakes Does your trailer have its own brakes? Be sure to read and follow the instructions for the trailer brakes so you’ll be able to install, adjust and maintain them properly.

Don’t tap into your vehicle’s brake system if the trailer’s brake system will use more than 0.02 cubic inch (0.3 cc) of fluid from your vehicle’s master cylinder. If it does, both braking systems won’t work well. You could even lose your brakes. Will the trailer brake parts take 3,000 psi (20 650 kPa) of pressure? If not, the trailer brake system must not be used with your vehicle. If everything checks out this far, then make the brake fluid tap at the upper rear master cylinder port. But don’t use copper tubing for this. If you do, it will bend and finally break off. Use steel brake tubing.


Driving with a Trailer Towing a trailer requires a certain amount of experience. Before setting out for the open road, you’ll want to get to know your rig. Acquaint yourself with the feel of handling and braking with the added weight of the trailer. And always keep in mind that the vehicle you are driving is now a good deal longer and not nearly so responsive as your vehicle is by itself. Before you start, check the trailer hitch and platform, safety chains, electrical connector, lights, tires and mirror adjustment. If the trailer has electric brakes, and trailer moving and then apply the trailer brake controller by hand to be sure the brakes are working. This lets you check your electrical connection at the same time. During your trip, check occasionally and that the lights and any trailer brakes are still working. Following Distance Stay at least twice as fit, behind the vehicle ahead as you would when driving your vehicle without a trailer. This can help you avoid situations that require heavy braking and sudden turns. Passing You’ll need more passing distance up ahead when you’re towing a trailer. And, because you’re a good deal longer, you’ll need to go much farther beyond the passed vehicle before you can return to your lane.

Backing Up Hold the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand. Then, to move the trailer to the left, just move that hand to the left. To move the trailer to the right, move your hand to the right. Always back up slowly and, if possible, have someone guide you. Making n r n s When you’re turning with a trailer, make wider turns than normal. Do this so your trailer won’t strike soft shoulders, curbs, road signs, trees, or other objects. Avoid jerky or sudden maneuvers. Signal well in advance. Turn Signals When Towing a M l e r When you tow a trailer, your vehicle has to have a different turn signal flasher and extra wiring. The green arrows on your instrument panel will flash whenever you signal a turn or lane change. Properly hooked up, the trailer lights will also flash, telling other drivers you’re about to turn, change lanes or stop. When towing a trailer, the green arrows on your instrument panel will flash for turns even if the bulbs on the trailer are burned out. Thus, you may think drivers behind you are seeing your signal when they are not. It’s important to check occasionally to be sure the trailer bulbs are still working.

to be sure that the load is secure,

start your vehicle


4. Reapply the regular brakes. Then, apply your parking

brake, and then shift to “P” (Park).

5. Release the regular brakes. When You are Ready to Leave After Parking on a Hill 1. Apply your regular brakes and hold the pedal down

while you: Start your engine; Shift into a gear; and Release the parking brake. 2. Let up on the brake pedal. 3. Drive slowly until the trailer is clear of the chocks. 4. Stop and have someone pick up and store the chocks.

Driving on Grades Reduce speed and shift to a lower gear before you start down a long or steep downgrade. If you don’t shift down, you might have to use your brakes so much that they would get hot and no longer work well. On a long uphill grade, shift down and reduce your speed to around 45 mph (70 M h ) to reduce the possibility of engine and transaxle overheating. If you are towing a trailer that weighs more than 1,OOO pounds (450 kg) and you have an automatic transaxle with Overdrive, you may prefer to drive in “D” instead of Overdrive. Parking on Hills You really should not park your vehicle, with a trailer attached, on a hill. If something goes wrong, your rig could start to move. People can be injured, and both your vehicle and the trailer can be damaged. But if you ever have to park your rig on a hill, here’s how to do it: 1. Apply your regular brakes, but don’t shift into “P”

(Park) yet.

2. Have someone place chocks under the trailer wheels. 3. When the wheel chocks are in place, release the regular brakes until the chocks absorb the load.

Maintenance When Trailer Towing Your vehicle will need service more often when you’re pulling a trailer. See the Maintenance Schedule for more on this. Things that are especially important in trailer operation are automatic transaxle fluid (don’t overfill), engine oil, belt, cooling. system, and brake adjustment. Each of these is covered in this manual, and the Index ‘will help you find them quickly. If you’re trailering, it’s a good idea to review these sections before you start your trip. Check periodically to see that all hitch nuts and bolts are tight.


c I


Here you’ll find what to do about some problems that can occur on the road. Part 5 includes:

HazardWarningFlashers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 8 4 Other Warning Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185 Jumpstarting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Towing Your Buick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .189 Engine Overheating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .195 IfaTireGoesFlat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 0 5 ChangingaFlatTire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 0 5 CompactSpareTire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1 8 If You’re Stuck: In Sand, Mud, Ice or Snow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219

Hazard Warning Flashers

Your hazard warning flashers let you warn others. They also let police know you have a problem. Your front and rear turn signal lights will flash on and off.

Press the button in to make your front and rear turn signal lights flash on and off. Your hazard warning flashers work no matter what position your key is in, and even if the key isn't in.

To turn off the flashers, pull out on the collar. When the hazard warning flashers are on, your turn signals won't work.

Other Warning Devices If you carry reflective triangles, you can set one up at the side of the road about 300 feet (100 m) behind your vehicle. Jump Starting If your battery has run down, you may want to use another vehicle and some jumper cables to start your Buick. But please follow the steps below to do it safely.


Batteries can hurt you. They can be dangernus because: They contain add that can burn you. * They contain gas that can explode or Ignite. 9 They contaln enough mlectrielty to burn you. If you don’t follow these step exactly, same or all of these things can hurt you.

To Jump Start Your Buick 1. Check the other vehicle. It must have a 12-volt battery

with a negative ground system.

2. Get the vehicles close enough so the jumper cables can reach, but be sure the vehicles aren’t touching each other. If ‘they are, it could cause a ground connection you don’t want. You wouldn’t be able to start your Buick, and the bad grounding could damage the electrical systems.




Mu could be injured if the vehicles roll. Set the parking brake firmly on each vehicle. Put an automatic transaxle in “P” (Park) or a manual transaxle in “N” (Neutral).

3. ”urn off the igni;,,n on both vehicles. lwLLL all .,hts that aren’t needed, and radios. This will avoid sparla radio! and help save both batteries. And it could save your

If you leave your radio OI,, it could be badl,

4. Open the hoods and locate the batteries.


An electric fan can start up even when the engine is not running and can Injure you. Keep hands, clothing and tools away from any underhood electric fan.


Find the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals on each battery.


Using a match near a battery can cause battery gas to explode. People have been hurt doing this, and some have been blinded. Use a flashlight If you need more light. Be sure the battery has enough water. M u don’t need to add water to the Delco in every new GM Freedom@ battery installed vehicle. But if a battery has filler caps, be sure the right amount of fluid is there. If it is low, add water to take care of that first. It you don’t, explosive gas could be present. Battery fluid contains acid that can burn you. Don’t get it on you. Ifyou accidentally get it in your eyes or on your skin, flush the place with water and get medical help immediately.

5. Check that the jumper cables don’t have loose or

missing insulation. If they do, you could get a shock. The vehicles could be damaged, too.

Before you connect the cables, here are some basic things you should know. Positive (+) will go to positive (+) and negative (-) will go to negative (-) or a metal engine part. Don’t connect (+) to (-) or you’ll get a short that would damage the battery and maybe other parts, too.


Fans or other moving engine parts can lnjum you badly; Keep your hands away fmm mwlng parts once the englnes are running.

6. Connect the red positive (+) cable to the positive (+) terminal of the vehicle with the dead battery. Use a remote positive (+) terminal if the vehicle has one.


7. Don't let the other end touch metal. Connect it to the positive (+) terminal of the good battery. Use a remote positive (+) terminal if the vehicle has one.

9. Attach the cable at least 18 inches (45 cm) away from

the dead battery, but not near engine parts that move. The electrical connection is just as good there, but the chance of sparks getting back to the battery is much less.

8. Now connect the black

negative (-) cable to the good battery's negative (-) terminal.

Don't let the other end touch anything until the next step. The other end of the negative cable doesn't go to the dead battery. It goes to a heavy unpainted metal part on the engine of the vehicle with the dead battery.


10. Now start the vehicle with the good battery and run

the engine for a while.

U. Try to start the vehicle with the dead battery.

If it won't start after a few tries, it probably needs service.

12. Remove the cables in reverse order to prevent

electrical shorting. Take care that they don't touch each other or any other metal.

Towing Your Buick Try to have a GM dealer or a professional towing service tow your Buick. The usual towing equipment is a sling- tvPe (A) or wheel-lift (B) or a car carrier (C) tow truck.

If your vehicle has been changed or modified since it was fhctory-new by adding aftermarket items like fog lamps, aero skirting, or special tires and wheels, these instructions and illustrations may not be correct. Before you do anything, turn on the hazard warning flashers.



When you call, tell the towing service:

That your vehicle has front-wheel drive. The make, model, and year of your vehicle. Whether you can still move the shift lever. If there was an accident, what was damaged.

When the towing service arrives, let the tow operator know that this manual contains detailed towing instructions and illustrations. The operator may want to see them.


. To help avoid injury to you or othem:

Never let passengers rlde In a vehlcle that is being towed. Never tow faster than safe or posted speeds. Never tow with damaged parts not fully Secured: Never get under your vehicle after it has been lifted by the tow truck. 0 Always use separate safety chalns on each side when towing a vehlcle. @ Never use “J” hooks. Use T-hooks Instead.

when your vehicle is being towed, have the ignition key off. The steering wheel should be clamped in a straight- ahead position, with a clamping device designed for towing service. Do not use the vehicle’s steering column lock for this. The transaxle should be in Neutral and the parking brake released. Don’t have your vehicle towed on the front wheels, unless you must. If the vehicle must be towed on the front wheels, don’t go more than 35 mph (56 km/h) or farther than 50 miles (80 km) or your transaxle will be damaged. If these limits must be exceeded, then the front wheels have to be supported on a dolly.


Front Towing Hook-Ups

A vehicle can fall from a car carrier if It Isn’t properly secured. This can cause a colllsion, serious personal injury and vehicle damage. The vehicle should be tightly secured with chains or steel cables before it is transported. Don’t use substitutes (ropes, leather straps, canvas webbing, etc.) that can be cut by sharp edges underneath the towed vehicle.

Before hooking up to a tow truck, be sure to read all the information in “Towing Your Buick” earlier in this part.

I 1. Attach T-hook chains behind the front wheels into the

bottom of the floor pan on both sides.


2. Position a 4 I' x 4 I' wood beam across sling chains with spacer blocks contacting the forward extensions of the engine cradle.

3. Position the lower sling crossbar halfway between the

timber and the lower edge of the fascia.




4. Attach a separate safety chain around the outboard end

of each lower control arm.

Before hooking up to a tow truck, be sure to read all the information in “Towing Your Buick” earlier in this part. 1. Attach T-hook chains on both sides in the slotted holes

in the floor pan just ahead of the rear wheels.


3. Attach a separate safety chain to each side of the axle

inboard of the spring.

4. Be certain your vehicle is towed no faster than 35 mph

(56 W h ) and no m e r than 50 miles (80 km) to avoid damage to your transaxle.

Engine Overheating You will find a coolant temperature gage or the warning light about a hot engine on your Buick’s instrument panel.


Steam from an overheated engine can burn you badly, even if you just open the hood. Stay away from the engine if you see or hear steam coming from it. Just turn it off and get everyone away from the vehicle until it cools down. Wait until there is no sign of steam or coolant before opening the hood. If you keep driving when your engine is overheated, the liquids in it can catch fire. You -w others could be badly burned. Stop your ~ g i n e vehicle until the engine is cool.

if it overheats, and get out of the


If No Steam Is Coming From Your-Engine: If you get the overheat warning but see or hear no steam, the problem may not be too serious. Sometimes the engine can get a little too hot when you: Climb a long hill on a hot day. Stop after high speed driving. Idle for long periods in traffic. Tow a trailer.

If you get the overheat warning with no sign of steam, try this for a minute or so: 1. Turn off your air conditioner. 2. Turn on your heater to full hot at the highest fan speed

and open the window as necessary.

3. Try to keep your engine under load (in a drive gear

where the engine runs slower).

If you no longer have the overheat warning, you can drive. Just to be safe, drive slower for about ten minutes. If the warning doesn’t come back on, you can drive normally. If the warning continues, pull over, stop, and park your vehicle right away. If there’s still no sign of steam, you can idle the engine for two or three minutes while you’re parked, to see if the warning stops. But then, if you still have the warning, TURN OFF THE ENGRVE AND GET EVERYONE OUT OF THE VEHICLE until it cools down. You may decide not to lift the hood but to get service help right away.

2.2L L4 Cooling System

= 1 It!, CAUTION:

An electric fan under the hood can start up even when the engine is not running and can injure you. Keep hands, clothing and tools away from any underhood electric fan.

If the coolant inside the coolant recovery tank is boiling, don’t do anything else until it cools down.

When you decide it’s safe to lift the hood, here’s what you’ll see: (A) Coolant recovery tank (B) Radiator pressure cap (C) Electric engine fan


Heater and radiator hoses, and other engine parts, can be very hot. Don’t touch them. If you do, you can be burned. Don’t run the engine if there is a leak. If you run the engine, it could lose all coolant. That could cause an engine fire, and you could be burned. Get any leak fixed before you drive the vehicle.

The coolant level should be at or above the “FULL HOT” mark. If it isn’t, you may have a leak in the radiator hoses, heater hoses, radiator, water pump or somewhere else in the cooling system.


If there seems to be no leak, check to see if the electric engine f8n is running. If the engine is overheating, the f8n should be running. If it isn’t, your vehicle needs service. How to Add Coolant to the Coolant Recovery lhnk If you haven’t found a problem yet, but the coolant level isn’t at or above “ADD:’ add a 50/50 mixture of clean water (preferably distilled) and a proper antifreeze at the coolant recovery tank. (See “Engine Coolant” in the Index for more information about the proper coolant mix.)

3300 V6 Cooling System


An electrlc fan under the hood can start up even when the englne Is not running and can injure YOU. Ksep hands, clothing and twls away from any underhood electric fan.

If the coolant inside the coolant recovery tank is boiling, don’t do anything else until it cools down.

When you decide it’s safe to lift the hood, here’s what you’ll see: (A) Coolant recovery tank (B) Radiator pressure cap (C) Electric engine fan


Heater and radiator hoses, and other engine parts, can be very hot. Don’t touch them. If you do, you can be burned. Don’t run the engine if there __ a leak. If you run the engine, it could lose all coolant. That could cause an engine fire, and you could be burned. Get any leak fixed before you drive the vehicle.

If there seems to be no leak, check to see if the electric engine fan is running. If the engine is overheating, the fhn should be running. If it isn’t, your vehicle needs service. How to Add Coolant to the Coolant Recovery Tl[)ank If you haven’t found a problem yet, but the coolant level isn’t above “ADD:’ add a 50/50 mixture of clean water (preferably distilled) and the proper antifreeze at the coolant recovery tank. (See “Engine Coolant” in the Index for more information about the proper coolant mix.)

The coolant should be at or slightly above the “FULL HOT” mark. If it isn’t, you may have a leak in the radiator hoses, heater hoses, radiator, water pump or somewhere else in the cooling system.


All Cooling Systems


Adding only plain water to your c.ooling system can be dangerous. Plain water, or some other liquid like alcohol, can boil before the proper coolant mix will. Your vehicle's coolant warning system is set for the proper coolant mix. With plain water or the wrong mix, your engine could get too hot but you wouldn't get the overheat warning. Your engine could catch fire and you or others could be burned. Use a 50/50 mix of clean water and a proper antifreeze.


You can be burned if you spill coolant on hot engine parts. Coolant contains ethylene glycol and it will burn if the engine parts are hot enough. Don't spill coolant on a hot engine.


When the coolant in the coolant recovery tank is at or above the “FULL HOT” mark, start your vehicle. If the overheat warning continues, there’s one more thing you can try. You can add the proper coolant mix directly to the radiator, but be sure the cooling system is cool before you do it.


Steam and scalding liquids from a hot cooling system can blow out and burn you badly. They are under pressure, and if you turn the radiator pllessure cap--even a little-they can -me out at hlgh speed. NeAler turn the cap when the cwllng qstern, Including the radiator pressure cap, is hot. Wait tor the cooling system and radiator pressure cap to c o o l if you ever have to turn the pressure cap.


How to Add Coolant to the Radiator

1. You can remove the

radiator pressure cap when the cooling system, including the radiator pressure cap and upper radiator hose, is no longer hot. Turn the pressure cap slowly to the left until it first stops. (Don’t press down while turning the pressure cap.) If you hear a hiss, wait for that to stop. A hiss

means there is still some pressure left.

2. Then keep turning the pressure cap, but now push down as you turn it. Remove the pressure cap.

I !

3. Fill the radiator with the

proper mix, up to the base of the filler neck.

4. Then ffl the coolant recovery tank to the “FULL HOT” mark.

= 203


5. Put the cap back on the coolant recovery tank, but

leave the radiator pressure cap off.

6. Start the engine and let it run until you can feel the upper radiator hose getting hot. Watch out for the engine fan.

7. By this time, the coolant level inside the radiator filler

neck may be lower. If the level is lower, add more of the proper mix through the filler neck until the level reaches the base of the filler neck.


8. Then replace the

pressure cap. Be sure the arrows on the pressure cap line up like this.

If a Tire Goes Flat It’s unusual for a tire to “blow out” while you’re driving, especially if you maintain your tires properly. If air goes out of a tire, it’s much more likely to leak out slowly. But if you should ever have a “blowout:’ here are a few tips about what to expect and what to do: If a front tire fails, the flat tire will create a drag that pulls the vehicle toward that side. Take your foot off the accelerator pedal and grip the steering wheel firmly. Steer to maintain lane position, then gently brake to a stop well out of the traffic lane. A rear blowout, particularly on a curve, acts much like a skid and may require the same correction you’d use in a

skid. In any rear blowout, remove your foot from the accelerator pedal. Get the vehicle under control by steering the way you want the vehicle to go. It may be very bumpy and noisy, but you can still steer. Gently brake to a stop, well off the road if possible. If your tire goes flat; the next section shows how to use your jacking equipment to change a flat tire safely. Changing a Flat Tire If a tire goes flat, avoid further tire and wheel damage ~y driving slowly to a level place. Turn on your hazard warning flashers.


Changing a tire can cause an injury. The vehicle can slip off the jack and roll over you or other people. You and they could be badly injured. Find a level place to change your tire. To help prevent the vehicle from moving: 1. Set the parking brake firmly. 2. Put the shift lever in “P” (Park). 3. Turn off the engine.

CAUTION (Continued)


CAUTION (Continued) To be even more certain the vehicle won't move, you can put chocks at the front and rear of the tire farthest away from the one being changed. That would be the tire on the other side of the vehicle, at the opposite end.

The following steps will tell you how to use change a tire. Some steps apply to all models, others to just the Century coupe or sedan or to the Century wagon. Follow the steps listed for your vehicle.

the jack and

Century Coupe or Sedan


The equipment you'll need is stored in the trunk. 1. Pull the carpeting from the floor of the trunk. 2. Turn the center retainer bolt on the compact spare tire

housing counterclockwise to remove it, then lift the tire cover.

Century Wagon

P ) .

3. Lift off the jack and remove the spare tire. 4. Remove the wheel wrench from the bag.

The equipment you’ll need is stored in the rear of your vehicle, behind the spare tire cover.


To remove the spare tire cover: 1. Fold down the third seat, if so equipped. Then release

the housing that covers the spare tire by carefully pushing in on the top edge of the cover.

2. Slide the spare tire cover back while lifting it up and

out of the lower track.


To remove the tire-changing equipment: 1. Remove the wing nut from the center of the spare tire

and remove the adapter.

3. Turn the two wing nuts counterclockwise and remove

the jack retainer plate. Then pull out the jack and wheel wrench.

2. Remove the spare tire.


Standard Wheel Cover

Wire Wheel Cover

You will be using the flat end of the wheel wrench to remove the wheel cover. Pry along the edge of the wheel cover until it comes off.


Removing the wire wheel cover requires this wire wheel key wrench. Put the flat end into the notch and carefully pry the small center cover off.

Take off the special anti- theft wheel nut. Put the wrench over it like this. Lift the wheel cover off. You may have to pry carefully at the edge of the wheel cover to get it off. If it doesn’t come off with the minimum effort, it may be that the anti-theft wheel nut is not completely off.

All Vehicles 1. Using the wheel wrench, loosen all the wheel nuts.

Don’t remove them yet.

2. Position the jack under

the vehicle nearest the tire to be changed. The jack location should be approximately five inches (12.7 cm) from the wheel well.


Getting under a vehlcle when It Is jacked up fs dangerous. If the vehicle sllps off the jack, you .could be badly injured or killed. Never get under a vehicle when it Is supported only by a rack.

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f . I I

3. Raise the vehicle by rotating the wheel wrench


Raise the vehicle far enough off the ground so there is enough room for the spare tire to fit.

4. Remove all the wheel nuts and take off the flat tire.


5. Remove any rust or dirt from the wheel bolts,

mounting surfaces or spare wheel.

6. Place the spare on the

wheel mounting surface.


Rust or dirt on the wheel, or on the parts to which it is fastened, can make the wheel nuts become loose after a time. The wheel could come off and cause an accident. When you change a wheel, remove any rust or dirt from the places where the wheel attaches to the vehicle. In an emergency, you can use a cloth or a paper towel to do this; but be sure to use a scraper or wire brush later, if you need to, to get all the rust or dirt off.

’. : .a.

I A CAUTION: could fall off, causing a serious accident. c 7. Replace the wheel nuts

Never use oil or grease on studs or nuts. do, the nuts might come loose. Your wheel

If you

with the rounded end of the nuts toward the wheel. Tighten each nut by hand until the wheel is held against the hub.


8. Lower the vehicle by rotating the wheel wrench counterclockwise. Lower the jack completely.

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9. Tighten the wheel

nuts firmly in a criss-cross sequence as shown.


Incorrect wheel nuts or improperly tightened wheel nuts can muse the wheel to become loose and wen come off. This could lead to an accident. Be sure to use the correct wheel nuts. If .you have to replace them, be sum to get the right kind. Stop somewhere EIS soon as you can and have the nuts tightened with a torque wrench to 100 pound-femt (140 Nnm).


Don’t try to put a wheel cover on your compact spare tire. It won’t fit. Store the wheel cover in the trunk or, if you have the wagon, in the rear cargo area, until you have the flat tire repaired or replaced.

Now put all the equipment back in the vehicle. Just follow these drawings:

Wheel covers won’t fit on your compact spare If you try to put a wheel cover on compact spare, vo or the spare.

Century Sedan or Coupe


1 Century Wagon

To install the spare tire cover in your station wagon when you are finished changing the tire:

Century Wagon


Storing a jack, a tire or other equipment in the passenger compartment of the vehicle coutd cause Injury. In a sudden stop or colllslon, loose equipment could strike someone. Store all th-e

in the proper ace.


Compact Spare Tire Although the compact spare was fully inflated when your vehicle was new, it can lose air after a time. Check the inflation pressure regularly. It should be 60 psi (420 Wa). The compact spare is made to go up to 3,000 miles (5 0o0 km), so you can finish your trip and have your full-size tire repaired or replaced where you want. Of course, it’s best to replace your spare with a full-size tire as soon as you can. Your spare will last longer and be in good shape in case you need it again.

on’t take your compact spare th utomatic car wash with guide ompact spare can get caught

damage the tire and whe her parts of your vehicle.

Don’t use your compact spare on some other vehicle. And don’t mix your compact spare or wheel with other wheels or tires. They won’t fit. Keep your spare and its wheel together.

s too. Don’t us

If You’re Stuck: In Sand, Mud, Ice or Snow What you don’t want to do when your vehicle is stuck is to spin your wheels. The method known as “rocking” can help you get out when you’re stuck, but you must use caution.

wneels can destr

If you let your tires spln at high spe& they can aplode and you or others could be Injured. And, the,transaxle or other parts of the vehicle can &wheat. That could muse an engine compartment fire or other damage. When you’re stuck, spin the wheels 88 lltek adc -pssSble. Don’t spln the whwls above 35 mph (55 W h ) as shown on the speedometer.

Rocking your vehicle to get it out: First, turn your steering wheel left and right. That will clear the area around your fiont wheels. Then shift back and forth between “R” (Reverse) and a forward gear, spinning the wheels as little as possible. Release the accelerator pedal while you shift, and press lightly on the accelerator pedal when the transaxle is in gear. If that doesn’t get you out after a few tries, you may need to be towed out. If you do need to be towed out, see “Towing Your Buick” in the Index.



Part 6 Service and Appearance Care

Here you will find information about the care of your Buick . This part begins with service and fuel information. . There is also technical information about and then it shows how to check important fluid and lubricant levels your vehicle. and a section devoted to its appearance care . Part 6 includes:

Service ............................................................................. 222 Fuel .............................................................................. 223 HoodRelease ....................................................................... 226 Engine Oil ......................................................................... 227 Aircleaner ........................................................................ 2.3 TransaxleFluid ..................................................................... 236 Enginecoolant ..................................................................... 239 Power Steering Fluid ................................................................. 241 Windshield Washer Fluid .............................................................. 242 Brakes ............................................................................ 243 Battery ............................................................................ 244 BulbReplacement ................................................................... 245 Loadingyourvehicle ................................................................. 249 Tires .............................................................................. 251 Appearancecare .................................................................... 258 Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), Add-on Electrical Equipment ............................ 265 Fuses&CircuitBreakers .............................................................. 266 ReplacementBulbs .................................................................... 269 Capacities and Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -270

I Service

Your Buick dealer knows your vehicle best and wants you to be happy with it. We hope you’ll go to your dealer for all your service needs. You’ll get genuine GM parts and GM-trained and supported service people. We hope you’ll want to keep your GM vehicle all GM. Genuine GM parts have one of these marks.

GM -



Mu can be injured Of you try to do servlce wonk on a vehlcle without knowing enough about It. 0 Be sure you have sufflcient knowledge, experience, and the proper replacement ’parts and tools before you attempt any vehicle maintenance task. Be sure to use the proper nuts, bolts, and other fasteners. “English” and “metric” fasteners can be easily confused. If you use the wrong fasteners, parts can later break or fall off. M u could be hurt. .

Doing Your Own Service Work If you want to do some of your own service work, you’ll want to get the proper Buick Service Manual. It tells you much more about how to service your Buick than this manual can. To order the proper service manual, see “Service Publications” in the Index. You should keep a record with all parts receipts and iist the mileage and the date of any service work you perform. See “Maintenance Record” in the Index.


to the


Fuel that is no

alcohol. or grain Properly-blended

more than 15% MTBE is fine for your vehicle. Ethanol is ethyl that is no more than 10% ethanol is fine for your vehicle. Methanol is methyl or wood alcohol.

Fuel What about gasoline with blending materials that contain oxygen, such as MTBE or alcohol? Use r e d a r unleaded gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher.-It should meet-specifications ASTM D4814 in the mE is 66methyl kfliq+.bu@l U.S. and CGSB 3.5-92 in Canada. These fuels should have the proper additives, so you should not have to add an-g In the U.S. and Canada, it’s easy to be sure you get the right kind of gasoline (unleaded). You’ll see “UNLEADED” right on the pump. And only unleaded nozzles will fit into your vehicle’s filler neck. Be sure the posted octane is at least 87. If the octane is less than 87, you may get a heavy knocking noise when you drive. If it’s bad enough, it can damage your engine. If you’re using fuel rated at 87 octane or higher and .you still hear heavy knocking, your engine needs service. But don’t worry if you hear a little pinging noise when you’re accelerating or driving up a hill. That’s normal, and you don’t have to buy a higher octane fuel to get rid of pinging. It’s the heavy, constant knock that means you have a problem.



Gasolines for Cleaner Air Your use of gasoline with detergent additives will help prevent deposits from forming in your engine and fuel system. That helps keep your engine in tune and your emission control system working properly. It’s good for your vehicle, and you’ll be doing your part for cleaner air. Many gasolines are now blended with materials called oxygenates. General Motors recommends that you use gasolines with these blending materials, such as MTBE and ethanol. By doing so, you can help clean the air, especially in those parts of the country that have high carbon monoxide levels. In addition, some gasoline suppliers are now producing reformulated gasolines. These gasolines are specially designed to reduce vehicle emissions. General Motors recommends that you use reformulated gasoline. By doing so, you can help clean the air, especially in those parts of the country that have high ozone levels. You should ask your service station operators if their gasolines contain detergents and oxygenates, and if they have been reformulated to reduce vehicle emissions.

F’uels in Foreign Countries If you plan on driving in another country outside the U.S. or Canada, unleaded fuel may be hard to find. Do not use leaded gasoline. If you use even one tankful, your emission controls won’t work well or at all. With continuous use, spark plugs can get fouled, the exhaust system can corrode, and your engine oil can deteriorate quickly. Your vehicle’s oxygen sensor will be damaged. All of that means costly repairs that wouldn’t be covered by your warranty. To check on fuel availability, ask an auto club, or contact a major oil company that does business in the country where you’ll be driving. You can also write us at the following address for advice. Just tell us where you’re going and give your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) .

General Motors of Canada Ltd. International Export Sales P. 0. Box 828 Oshawa, Ontario L1H 7N1, Canada


Filling Your Tank


Gasoline vapor is highly flammable. It burns violently, and that can cause very bad injuries. Don’t smoke if you’re near gasoline or refueling your vehicle. Keep sparks, flames, and smoking materials away from gasoline.

The cap is behind a hinged door on the left side of your vehicle. To take off the cap, turn it slowly to the left (counterclockwise).

If you get gasoline on you and then something ignites it, you could be badly burned. Gasoline can spray out on you if you open the fuel filler cap too quickly. This spray can happen if your tank is nearly full, and is more likely in hot weather. Open the fuel filler cap slowly and wait for any “hiss” noise to stop. Then unscrew the cap all the way.

When you put the cap back on, turn it to the right until you hear a clicking noise.


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Checking Things Under the Hood Hood Release

To open the hood, first pull the handle inside the vehicle. It is located on the lower left side of the instrument panel.

Lift the hood. 1 ..

Then go to the front of the vehicle and release the secondary hood release.