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The rear air conditioning system will only send cooled air if the front system is on. It can still be used to circulate air, even if the front system is off. When the air conditioning, DEFROST or BLEND is on, you may notice a slight increase or decrease in engine speed, due to compressor operation. This is normal because the system is designed to cycle the compressor on and off to keep the desired temperature.


Heating On cold days, use HEATER with the temperature knob in the red area. Outside air will be brought in through the floor outlets. The heater works best if you keep your windows closed while using it. If you use the optional engine coolant heater before starting your engine, your heating system will produce warmer air faster to heat the passenger compartment in cold weather. See “Engine Coolant Heater” in the Index. Defrosting Use DEFROST to remove fog or ice from the windshield quickly in extremely cold conditions. The temperature knob should be in the red area and the fan control toward high. The air conditioning compressor may operate in this setting to dehumidify the air. The BLEND setting is useful for cold weather with a large number of passengers or very humid conditions to help keep the windshield clear. Rear Window Defogger (Option) If your vehicle has this option, the rear window will have lines running across the glass. These lines heat your window.


For best results, clear the window of as much snow or ice as possible before using the rear window defogger.

To turn on the rear window defogger, find the button to the left of the heater controls with the defog symbol on it.

Press the button until the light comes on, then release it. The rear window defogger will only work when the ignition is in RUN. You can turn the defogger off at any time by pressing the button again. The defogger will shut itself off after several minutes so that the glass does not get too hot. If the window still isn’t clear, turn the defogger on again. Do not attach a temporary vehicle license, tape or decals across the defogger grid on the rear window.


Don’t use a razor blade or something else sharp on the inside of the rear window. If you do, you could cut or damage the defogger and the repairs would not be covered by your warranty.

Ventilation System For mild outside temperatures when little heating or cooling is needed, use VENT to direct outside air through your vehicle. Air will flow through the instrument panel vents. Your vehicle’s flow-through ventilation system supplies outside air to the inside of your vehicle when it is moving. With the side windows closed, air will flow into the front air inlet grilles at the base of the windshield, through the vehicle and out the rear air exhaust valve. Outside air will also enter the vehicle when the heater or the air conditioning fan is running.

Your vehicle has air vents near the center and on the sides of the instrument panel that allow you to adjust the direction and the amount of airflow inside the vehicle. Move the dial on the vent up or down to direct airflow to your preference. Increase or reduce the amount of airflow by opening and closing the louvers. The vents turn to direct the airflow from side to side.


When you close a vent, it will increase the flow of air coming out of any vents that are open. If you have rear heating or rear air conditioning, you will have adjustable vents in the rear of the vehicle to help direct the airflow. The rear air conditioning vents are located in the headliner at the rear of the vehicle. The rear heating vents are located next to the second and third seat on the driver’s side of the vehicle, near the floor. You can move the vents to direct the flow of air, or close the vents altogether. When you close a vent, it will increase the flow of air coming out of any vents that are open.

Ventilation Tips D 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.

D When you enter a vehicle in cold weather, turn the 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.

D Keep the air path under the front seats clear of objects.

This helps air to circulate throughout your vehicle.

Audio Systems Your audio system has been designed to operate easily and give years of listening pleasure. You will get the most enjoyment out of it if you acquaint yourself with it first. Find out what your audio system can do and how to operate all its controls, to be sure you’re getting the most out of the advanced engineering that went into it. Setting the Clock for Systems with SET Button Press SET. Within five seconds, press and hold the SEEK right arrow until the correct minute appears on the display. Press and hold the SEEK left arrow until the correct hour appears on the display. Setting the Clock for Systems with HR and MN Buttons Press and hold HR until the correct hour appears on the display. Press and hold MN until the correct minute appears on the display. To display the clock with the ignition off, press RECALL or HR/MN and the time will be displayed for a few seconds. There is an initial two-second delay before the clock goes into the time-set mode.


AM-FM Stereo

Playing the Radio VOLUME: This knob turns the system on and off and controls the volume. To increase volume and turn the radio on, turn the knob clockwise. Turn it counterclockwise to decrease volume and turn the radio off.

RECALL: Display the time with the ignition off by pressing the recall knob. When the radio is playing, press this knob to recall the station frequency.

Finding a Station AM-FM: Press the lower knob to switch between AM and FM. The display shows your selection. TUNE: Turn the lower knob to tune in radio stations. SEEK: Press the right arrow to tune to the next higher station and the left arrow to tune to the next lower station and stay there. SCAN: Select either AM, FM1 or FM2 mode and press both SEEK buttons to listen to a few seconds of each radio station. SCAN will light up on the display. The radio will automatically SCAN to the next higher station, play that station for a few seconds, then SCAN to the next higher station. Press VOLUME or both SEEK buttons to stop scanning.


PUSHBUTTONS: The four numbered pushbuttons let you return to your favorite stations. You can set up to 14 stations (seven AM and seven FM). Just: 1. Turn the radio on. 2. Press AM-FM to select the band. 3. Tune in the desired station. 4. Press SET. (SET will appear on the display.) 5. Press one of the four pushbuttons within five seconds. Whenever you press that numbered button, the station you set will return.

6. Repeat the steps for each pushbutton. In addition to the four stations already set, up to three more stations may be preset on each band by pressing two adjoining buttons at the same time. Just: 1. Tune in the desired station. 2. Press SET. (SET will appear on the display.)

3. Press two adjoining buttons at the same time, within

five seconds. Whenever you press the same two buttons, the station you set will return.

4. Repeat the steps for each pair of pushbuttons.

Setting the Tone BASS: Slide this lever up or down to increase or decrease bass. TREB: Slide this lever up or down to increase or decrease treble. If a station is weak or noisy, you may want to decrease the treble.

Adjusting the Speakers BAL: Turn the control behind the upper knob to move the sound to the left or right speakers. The middle position balances the sound between the speakers. FADE: Turn the control behind the lower knob to move the sound to the front or rear speakers. The middle position balances the sound between the speakers.


AM-FM Stereo with Compact Disc Player and Automatic Tone Control (If Equipped)

Playing the Radio PWR-VOL: Press this knob to turn the system on and off. To increase volume, turn this knob clockwise. Turn it counterclockwise to decrease volume. The knob is capable of turning continuously. RECALL: Display the time with the ignition off by pressing this button. When the radio is playing, press this button to recall the station frequency. SCV: Your system has a feature called Speed-Compensated Volume (SCV). With SCV, your audio system adjusts automatically to make up for road and wind noise as you drive.

Set the volume at the desired level. Turn the control ring behind the upper knob clockwise to adjust the SCV. Then, as you drive, SCV automatically increases the volume, as necessary, to overcome noise at any particular speed. The volume level should always sound the same to you as you drive. If you don’t want to use SCV, turn the control all the way down. Each notch on the control ring allows for more volume compensation at faster vehicle speeds.

Finding a Station AM-FM: Press this button to switch between AM, FM1 and FM2. The display will show your selection. TUNE: Press this knob lightly so it extends. Turn it to choose radio stations. Push the knob back into its stored position when you’re not using it. SEEK: Press the right arrow to tune to the next higher station and the left arrow to tune to the next lower station and stay there. The sound will mute while seeking. SCAN: Press and hold SEEK for two seconds until SCAN appears on the display. SCAN allows you to listen to stations for a few seconds. The receiver will continue to scan and momentarily stop at each station until you press the button again. The sound will mute while scanning.


PUSHBUTTONS: The six numbered pushbuttons let you return to your favorite stations. You can set up to 18 stations (six AM, six FM1 and six FM2). Just: 1. Turn the radio on. 2. Press AM-FM to select the band. 3. Tune in the desired station. 4. Press AUTO TONE to select the setting you prefer. 5. Press and hold one of the six pushbuttons. The sound

will mute. When it returns, release the button. Whenever you press that numbered button, the station you set will return and the tone you selected will be automatically selected for that button.

6. Repeat the steps for each pushbutton. P.SCAN: The preset scan button lets you scan through your favorite stations stored on your pushbuttons. Select either the AM, FM1 or FM2 mode and then press P.SCAN. It will scan through each station stored on your pushbuttons and stop for a few seconds before continuing to scan through all of the pushbuttons. Press P.SCAN again or one of the pushbuttons to stop scanning to listen to a specific stored station. P.SCAN will light up on the display while in this mode. If one of the stations stored on a pushbutton is too weak for the location you are in, the radio display will show the channel number (P1 through P6) for several seconds before advancing to the next preset station. 3-12

Setting the Tone BASS: Press lightly on this knob to release it from its stored position. Turn the knob clockwise to increase bass and counterclockwise to decrease bass. When the BASS control is turned, the AUTO TONE display will go blank. TREB: Press lightly on this knob to release it from its stored position. Turn the knob clockwise to increase treble and counterclockwise to decrease treble. When the TREB control is turned, the AUTO TONE display will go blank. If a station is weak or noisy, you may want to decrease the treble. Push these knobs back into their stored positions when you’re not using them. AUTO TONE: Press this button to select among the six preset equalization settings and tailor the sound to the music or voice being heard. Each time you press the button, the selection will switch to one of the preset settings of CLASSIC, NEWS, ROCK, POP, C/W (Country/Western) or JAZZ. To return to the manual mode, press and release this button until the AUTO TONE display goes blank. This will return the tone adjustment to the BASS and TREB controls. If a BASS or TREB control is turned, the AUTO TONE display will go blank. Use PUSHBUTTONS to program AUTO TONE.

Adjusting the Speakers BAL: Press lightly on this knob to release it from its stored position. Turn the control clockwise to adjust sound to the right speakers and counterclockwise to adjust sound to the left speakers. The middle position balances the sound between the speakers. FADE: Press lightly on this knob to release it from its stored position. Turn the control clockwise to adjust the sound to the front speakers and counterclockwise for the rear speakers. The middle position balances the sound between the speakers. Push these knobs back into their stored positions when you’re not using them.

Playing a Compact Disc PWR: Press this knob to turn the system on. (You can also turn the system on when you insert a compact disc into the player with the ignition on.) Insert a disc partway into the slot, label side up. The player will pull it in. Wait a few seconds and the disc should play. CD and a CD symbol will also appear on the display. Anytime you are playing a CD, the letters CD will be next to the CD symbol.

If the disc comes back out and ERR appears on the display, it could be that: D You are driving on a very rough road.

(The disc should play when the road gets smoother.)

D The disc is upside down. D It is dirty, scratched or wet. D It is very humid. (If so, wait about an hour and try again.) D The disc player is very hot. Press RECALL to make ERR go off the display. PREV (1): Press PREV or the SEEK left arrow to search for the previous selection. If you hold this button or press it more than once, the disc will advance further. Sound is muted in this mode. RDM (2): Press this button to play the tracks on the disc in random order. While in the RDM mode, RANDOM appears on the display. Press RDM again to return to normal play. NEXT (3): Press NEXT or the SEEK right arrow to search for the next selection. If you hold this button or press it more than once, the disc will advance further. The next track number will appear on the display. Sound is muted in this mode.


CD AUX: To switch between the player and the radio when a disc is playing, press the AM-FM button. To return to the player, press CD AUX. When a disc is playing, the letters CD and the CD symbol will appear on the display. (If the radio is turned off, the disc stays in the player and will resume playing at the point where it stopped.) EJECT: Press this button to eject the disc from the player and play the radio. When the same or a new disc is inserted, the disc will start playing on track one. If a compact disc is left sitting in the opening for more than a few seconds, the player will pull the CD back in. The radio will continue playing. When the ignition is off, press this button to load a CD.

REV (4): Press and hold REV to return rapidly to a favorite passage. You will hear the disc selection play at high speed while you press the REV button. This allows you to listen and find out when the disc is at the desired selection. Release REV to resume playing. FWD (6): Press and hold this button to advance rapidly within a track. You will hear the disc selection play at high speed while you press the FWD button. This allows you to listen and find out when the disc is at the desired selection. Release FWD to resume playing. RECALL: Press this button to see what track is playing. Press it again within five seconds to see how long the CD has been playing that track. Elapsed time is displayed in minutes and seconds. The track number will also appear when a new track begins to play. Press RECALL again to return to the time display. AM-FM: While in the CD mode, press this button to stop playing the CD and play the radio. The CD symbol will still display but the word CD will be replaced with either AM, FM1 or FM2. (If the radio is turned off, the disc stays in the player and will resume playing at the point where it stopped.)


Rear Seat Audio (If Equipped)

This feature allows rear seat passengers to listen to any of the music sources including AM-FM, automatic tone control and CDs. However, the rear seat passengers can only control the music sources that the front seat passengers are not listening to. For example, rear seat passengers may listen to a compact disc through headphones while the driver listens to the radio through the front speakers. The rear seat passengers have control of the volume for each set of headphones. Be aware that the front seat audio controls always override the rear seat audio controls.

PWR: Press this button to turn the rear seat audio system on or off. The rear speakers will be muted when the power is turned on. You may operate the rear seat audio functions even when the primary radio power is off. VOL: Press this knob lightly so it extends. Turn the knob clockwise to increase volume and counterclockwise to decrease volume. Push the knob back into its stored position when you’re not using it. The upper VOL knob controls the upper headphone and the lower VOL knob controls the lower headphone. AM-FM: Press this button to switch between AM, FM1
and FM2. If the front passengers are already listening to AM-FM, the rear seat audio controller will not switch between the bands and cannot change the frequency. SEEK: While listening to AM-FM, press the up arrow to tune to the next higher station and stay there. Press the down arrow to tune to the next lower station and stay there. The sound will mute while seeking. The SEEK button is inactive if the AM-FM mode on the front radio is in use.


While listening to a CD, press the up arrow to hear the next selection on the CD. Press the down arrow to go back to the start of the current selection (if more than eight seconds have played). The SEEK button is inactive if the CD mode on the front radio is in use. SCAN: Press and hold SEEK until the radio goes into SCAN mode. SCAN allows you to listen to stations for a few seconds. The receiver will continue to scan and momentarily stop at each station until you press SEEK again. The SCAN function is inactive if the AM-FM mode on the front radio is in use. P.SET PROG: The front passengers must be listening to something different for this function to work: D Press this button to seek through the preset radio

stations set on your primary radio pushbuttons.

TAPE CD: With a CD in the player and the radio playing, press this button to play a CD. Press AM-FM to return to the radio when a CD is playing. The inactive CD will remain safely inside the radio for future listening.


Remote Compact Disc Player (If Equipped)

If you have this feature, you can play one compact disc (CD) at a time. To load a CD into the player, hold the disc with the label side up and insert it carefully into the player (approximately halfway). The disc will automatically be pulled into the player. If the radio is off and the ignition is on when a CD is inserted, the radio will turn on and begin playing the CD. It is possible to load and unload CDs with the ignition off. To load a disc with the ignition off, press the EJECT button on the remote player and then insert the disc. To remove the disc, press the EJECT button and remove the disc from the player.

A disc that has been ejected but is still sitting in the remote CD player will be pulled back into the player after approximately 30 seconds. This protects the disc and player from damage. The disc will not start playing. To remove the disc, press the EJECT button and remove the disc from the player. All of the compact disc functions are controlled by the radio buttons except for EJECT. When a disc is in the player, a CD symbol will appear on the display. When a disc is playing, the letters CD will appear next to the CD symbol in the bottom left corner. The track number will also be displayed. If the disc comes back out and ERR appears on the display, it could be that: D The disc is upside down. D It is dirty, scratched or wet. D There’s too much moisture in the air. (Wait about an

hour and try again.)

D You are driving on a very rough road. Please contact your dealer if any error recurs or cannot be corrected.

PREV (1): Press this button to go back to the start of the current track if more than eight seconds have played. Press PREV again to go to the previous track on the disc. NEXT (3): Press this button to advance to the next track on the disc. REV (4): Press and hold this button to quickly reverse within a track. As the CD reverses, elapsed time will be displayed to help you find the correct passage. FWD (6): Press and hold this button to quickly advance within a track. As the CD advances, elapsed time will be displayed to help you find the correct passage. SEEK: Press the left arrow while playing a CD to go back to the start of the current track. It will go back to the current track if more than eight seconds have played. Press the left arrow again to go to previous tracks. Press the right arrow to go to the next higher track on the disc.


RANDOM: Press P.SCAN to enter the random play mode. RANDOM will appear on the display. While in this mode, the tracks on the disc will be played in random order. If you press SEEK, PREV or NEXT while in the random mode, the previous or next track will be scanned randomly. Press P.SCAN again to turn off RANDOM and return to normal operation. RECALL: Press this button to see what track is currently playing. Press RECALL again within five seconds to see how long the track has been playing. When a new track starts to play, the track number will also appear. Press RECALL a third time and the time of day will be displayed. TAPE AUX: With a disc loaded in the player and the radio playing, press this button once to play the compact disc. To return to playing the radio, press AM-FM. EJECT: Press this button on the remote player to eject a compact disc.

Theft-Deterrent Feature (If Equipped) THEFTLOCKR is designed to discourage theft of your radio. It works by using a secret code to disable all radio functions whenever battery power is removed. The THEFTLOCK feature for the radio may be used or ignored. If ignored, the system plays normally and the radio is not protected by the feature. If THEFTLOCK is activated, your radio will not operate if stolen. When THEFTLOCK is activated, the radio will display LOC to indicate a locked condition anytime battery power has been interrupted. If your battery loses power for any reason, you must unlock the radio with the secret code before it will operate.


Activating the Theft-Deterrent Feature The instructions which follow explain how to enter your secret code to activate the THEFTLOCK system. It is recommended that you read through all nine steps before starting the procedure. If you allow more than 15 seconds to elapse between any steps, the radio automatically reverts to time and you must start the procedure over at Step 4. 1. Write down any three or four-digit number from

000 to 1999 and keep it in a safe place separate from the vehicle.

2. Turn the ignition to ACCESSORY or RUN. 3. Turn the radio off. 4. Press the 1 and 4 buttons together. Hold them down until --- shows on the display. Next you will use the secret code number which you have written down.

5. Press MN and 000 will appear on the display. 6. Press MN again to make the last two digits agree

with your code.

7. Press HR to make the first one or two digits agree

with your code.

8. Press AM-FM after you have confirmed that the

code matches the secret code you have written down. The display will show REP to let you know that you need to repeat Steps 5 through 7 to confirm your secret code.

9. Press AM-FM and this time the display will show SEC to let you know that your radio is secure. The LED indicator by the volume control will begin flashing when the ignition is turned off.


Unlocking the Theft-Deterrent Feature After a Power Loss Enter your secret code as follows; pause no more than 15 seconds between steps: 1. Turn the ignition on. LOC will appear on the display. 2. Press MN and 000 will appear on the display. 3. Press MN again to make the last two digits agree

with your code.

4. Press HR to make the first one or two digits agree

with your code.

5. Press AM-FM after you have confirmed that the

code matches the secret code you have written down. The display will show SEC, indicating the radio is now operable and secure.

If you enter the wrong code eight times, INOP will appear on the display. You will have to wait an hour with the ignition on before you can try again. When you try again, you will only have three chances to enter the correct code before INOP appears. If you lose or forget your code, contact your dealer.


Disabling the Theft-Deterrent Feature Enter your secret code as follows; pause no more than 15 seconds between steps: 1. Turn the ignition to ACCESSORY or RUN. 2. Turn the radio off. 3. Press the 1 and 4 buttons together. Hold them down

until SEC shows on the display.

4. Press MN and 000 will appear on the display. 5. Press MN again to make the last two digits agree

with your code.

6. Press HR to make the first one or two digits agree

with your code.

7. Press AM-FM after you have confirmed that the

code matches the secret code you have written down. The display will show ---, indicating that the radio is no longer secured.

If the code entered is incorrect, SEC will appear on the display. The radio will remain secured until the correct code is entered. When battery power is removed and later applied to a secured radio, the radio won’t turn on and LOC will appear on the display. To unlock a secured radio, see “Unlocking the Theft-Deterrent Feature After a Power Loss” earlier in this section.

Understanding Radio Reception

AM The range for most AM stations is greater than for FM, especially at night. The longer range, however, can cause stations to interfere with each other. AM can pick up noise from things like storms and power lines. Try reducing the treble to reduce this noise if you ever get it.

FM 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. Tips About Your Audio System 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 your hearing. Take precautions by adjusting the volume control on your radio to a safe sound level before your hearing adapts to it.

To help avoid hearing loss or damage: D Adjust the volume control to the lowest setting. D Increase volume slowly until you hear comfortably

and clearly.


Before you add any sound equipment to your vehicle -- like a tape player, CB radio, mobile telephone or two-way radio -- be sure you can add what you want. If you can, it’s very important to do it properly. Added sound equipment may interfere with the operation of your vehicle’s engine, Delphi Delco Electronics radio or other systems, and even damage them. Your vehicle’s systems may interfere with the operation of sound equipment that has been added improperly. So, before adding sound equipment, check with your dealer and be sure to check Federal rules covering mobile radio and telephone units.


Care of Your Compact Discs 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 side without writing when handling discs. Pick up discs by grasping the outer edges or the edge of the hole and the outer edge.

Care of Your Compact Disc Player The use of CD lens cleaner discs is not advised, due to the risk of contaminating the lens of the CD optics with lubricants internal to the CD mechanism. 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. If tightening is required, tighten by hand, then with a wrench one quarter turn.


Section 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.


Defensive Driving Drunken Driving Control of a Vehicle Braking Steering Off-Road Recovery Passing Loss of Control Driving at Night Driving in Rain and on Wet Roads


City Driving Freeway Driving Before Leaving on a Long Trip Highway Hypnosis Hill and Mountain Roads Winter Driving Recreational Vehicle Towing Loading Your Vehicle Towing a Trailer



Defensive driving really means “be ready for anything.” On city streets, rural roads or freeways, it means “always expect the unexpected.” Assume that pedestrians or other drivers are going to be careless and make mistakes. Anticipate what they might do. Be ready for their mistakes. 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. Defensive driving requires that a driver concentrate on the driving task. Anything that distracts from the driving task -- such as concentrating on a cellular telephone call, reading, or reaching for something on the floor -- makes proper defensive driving more difficult and can even cause a collision, with resulting injury. Ask a passenger to help do things like this, or pull off the road in a safe place to do them yourself. These simple defensive driving techniques could save your life.

Defensive Driving The best advice anyone can give about driving is: Drive defensively. Please start with a very important safety device in your vehicle: Buckle up. See “Safety Belts” in the Index.


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 affects four things that anyone needs to drive a vehicle: D Judgment D Muscular Coordination D Vision D Attentiveness. Police records show that almost half of all motor vehicle-related deaths involve alcohol. In most cases, these deaths are the result of someone who was drinking and driving. In recent years, about 16,000 annual motor vehicle-related deaths have been associated with the use of alcohol, with more than 300,000 people injured. Many adults -- by some estimates, nearly half the adult population -- choose never to drink alcohol, so they never drive after drinking. For persons under 21, it’s against the law in every U.S. state to drink alcohol. There are good medical, psychological and developmental reasons for these laws.

The obvious way to solve the leading highway safety problem is for people never to drink alcohol and then drive. But what if people do? How much is “too much” if the driver plans to drive? It’s a lot less than many might think. Although it depends on each person and situation, here is some general information on the problem. The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of someone who is drinking depends upon four things: D The amount of alcohol consumed D The drinker’s body weight D The amount of food that is consumed before and

during drinking

D The length of time it has taken the drinker to

consume the alcohol.

According to the American Medical Association, a 180-lb. (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 1-1/2 ounces (45 ml) of a liquor like whiskey, gin or vodka.


Since alcohol is carried in body water, this means that a woman generally will reach a higher BAC level than a man of her same body weight when each has the same number of drinks. The law in many U.S. states sets the legal limit at a BAC of 0.10 percent. In a growing number of U.S. states, and throughout Canada, the limit is 0.08 percent. In some other countries, it’s even lower. The BAC limit for all commercial drivers in the United States is 0.04 percent. 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. But the ability to drive 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 a collision increases sharply for drivers who have a BAC of 0.05 percent or above. A driver with a BAC level of 0.06 percent has doubled his or her chance of having a collision. At a BAC level of 0.10 percent, the chance of this driver having a collision is 12 times greater; at a level of 0.15 percent, the chance is 25 times greater!

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 be close to 0.12 percent. A person who consumes food just before or during drinking will have a somewhat lower BAC level. There is a gender difference, too. Women generally have a lower relative percentage of body water than men.


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 even a moderate 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, especially injuries to the brain, spinal cord or heart. This means that when anyone who has been drinking -- driver or passenger -- is in a crash, that person’s chance of being killed or permanently disabled is higher than if the person had not been drinking.


Drinking and then driving is very dangerous. Your reflexes, perceptions, attentiveness and judgment can be affected by even a small amount of alcohol. You can have a serious -- or even fatal -- collision 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 you’re with a group, designate a driver who will not drink.


Control of a Vehicle 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. 4-6

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 3/4 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 3/4 of a second, a vehicle moving at 60 mph (100 km/h) 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 surface of the road (whether it’s pavement or gravel); the condition of the road (wet, dry, icy); tire tread; the condition of your brakes; the weight of the vehicle and the amount of brake force applied.

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. 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.

Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Your vehicle has anti-lock brakes (ABS). ABS is an advanced electronic braking system that will help prevent a braking skid. When you start your engine and begin to drive away, your anti-lock brake system will check itself. You may hear a momentary motor or clicking noise while this test is going on. This is normal.

United States


If there’s a problem with the anti-lock brake system, this warning light will stay on. See “Anti-Lock Brake System Warning Light” in the Index.


The anti-lock system can change the brake pressure faster than any driver could. The computer is programmed to make the most of available tire and road conditions. This can help you steer around the obstacle while braking hard.

Here’s how anti-lock works. Let’s say the road is wet. You’re driving safely. Suddenly an animal jumps out in front of you. You slam on the brakes and continue braking. Here’s what happens with ABS. A computer senses that wheels are slowing down. If one of the wheels is about to stop rolling, the computer will separately work the brakes at each front wheel and at both rear wheels.


As you brake, your computer keeps receiving updates on wheel speed and controls braking pressure accordingly.

Remember: Anti-lock doesn’t change the time you need to get your foot up to the brake pedal or always decrease stopping distance. If you get too close to the vehicle in front of you, you won’t have time to apply your brakes if that vehicle suddenly slows or stops. Always leave enough room up ahead to stop, even though you have anti-lock brakes. Using Anti-Lock Don’t pump the brakes. Just hold the brake pedal down firmly and let anti-lock work for you. You may feel the brakes vibrate, or you may notice some noise, but this is normal. Braking in Emergencies With anti-lock, you can steer and brake at the same time. 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 is not functioning, 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 tried to steer a vehicle on wet ice, you’ll understand this. The traction you can get in a curve depends on the condition of your tires and the road surface, 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 accelerate. Both control systems -- steering and acceleration -- have to do their work where the tires meet the road. Adding the sudden acceleration can demand too much of those places. You can lose control.


What should you do if this ever happens? Ease up on the 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.

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 vehicle can perform very well in emergencies like these. First apply your brakes. See “Braking in Emergencies” earlier in this section. 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.


Off-Road Recovery You may find that your right wheels have dropped off the edge of a road onto the shoulder while you’re driving.

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. The fact that such emergency situations are always possible is a good reason to practice defensive driving at all times and wear safety belts properly.

If the level of the shoulder is only slightly below the pavement, recovery should be fairly 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 one-quarter turn until the right front tire contacts the pavement edge. Then turn your steering wheel to go straight down the roadway.


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: D “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.

D 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.


D 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.

D 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.

D 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.

D 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.)

D Try not to pass more than one vehicle at a time

on two-lane roads. Reconsider before passing the next vehicle.

D Don’t overtake a slowly moving vehicle too rapidly. Even though the brake lamps are not flashing, it may be slowing down or starting to turn.

D 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 vehicle’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, ease your foot off the accelerator pedal and quickly steer the way you want the vehicle to go. If you start steering quickly enough, your vehicle may straighten out. Always be ready for a second skid if it occurs. 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 surface 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. Remember: Any anti-lock brake system (ABS) helps avoid only the braking skid.


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. D Drive defensively. D Don’t drink and drive. D Adjust your inside rearview mirror to reduce the

glare from headlamps behind you.

D Since you can’t see as well, you may need to

slow down and keep more space between you and other vehicles.

D Slow down, especially on higher speed roads. Your

headlamps can light up only so much road ahead.

D In remote areas, watch for animals. D If you’re tired, pull off the road in a safe place and rest. 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 affect 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 headlamps, but they also make a lot of things invisible.

You can be temporarily blinded by approaching headlamps. It can take a second or two, or even several seconds, for your eyes to readjust to the dark. When you are faced with severe glare (as from a driver who doesn’t lower the high beams, or a vehicle with misaimed headlamps), slow down a little. Avoid staring directly into the approaching headlamps. 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 film caused by dust. Dirty glass makes lights dazzle and flash more than clean glass would, making the pupils of your eyes contract repeatedly. Remember that your headlamps light up far 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 headlamps 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 Rain and on Wet Roads

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 fall while you are driving. The surface may get wet suddenly when your reflexes are tuned for driving on dry pavement. 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. It’s wise to keep your wiping equipment in good shape and keep your windshield washer tank filled with washer fluid. 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.



Wet brakes can cause accidents. They won’t work as well in a quick stop and may cause pulling to one side. You could lose control of the vehicle. After driving through a large puddle of water or a 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. Hydroplaning doesn’t happen often. But it can if your tires do not have 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.


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.

Driving Through Deep Standing Water

Driving Through Flowing Water



If you drive too quickly through deep puddles or standing water, water can come in through your engine’s air intake and badly damage your engine. Never drive through water that is slightly lower than the underbody of your vehicle. If you can’t avoid deep puddles or standing water, drive through them very slowly.

Flowing or rushing water creates strong forces. If you try to drive through flowing water, as you might at a low water crossing, your vehicle can be carried away. As little as six inches of flowing water can carry away a smaller vehicle. If this happens, you and the other vehicle occupants could drown. Don’t ignore police warning signs, and otherwise be very cautious about trying to drive through flowing water.

Some Other Rainy Weather Tips D 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.

D Have good tires with proper tread depth.

See “Tires” in the Index.


City Driving

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: D Know the best way to get to where you are

going. Get a city map and plan your trip into an unknown part of the city just as you would for a cross-country trip.

D Try to use the freeways that rim and crisscross most

large cities. You’ll save time and energy. See the next part, “Freeway Driving.”

D Treat a green light as a warning signal. A traffic light is there because the corner is busy enough to need it. 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.


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. 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. Try to merge into the gap at close to the prevailing speed. Switch on your turn signal, check your mirrors and glance over your shoulder as often as necessary. Try to blend smoothly with the traffic flow. 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. Before changing lanes, check your 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. Once you are moving on the freeway, make certain you allow a reasonable following distance. Expect to move slightly slower at night.

When you want to leave the freeway, move to the proper lane well in advance. If you miss your exit, do not, under any circumstances, stop and back up. Drive on to the next 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. 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 GM 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: D Windshield Washer Fluid: Is the reservoir full?

Are all windows clean inside and outside?

D Wiper Blades: Are they in good shape? D Fuel, Engine Oil, Other Fluids: Have you checked

all levels?

D Lamps: Are they all working? Are the lenses clean? D 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?

D Weather Forecasts: What’s the weather outlook

along your route? Should you delay your trip a short time to avoid a major storm system? D Maps: Do you have up-to-date maps?


Hill and Mountain Roads

Driving on steep hills or mountains is different from driving in flat or rolling terrain.

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 aware that it can happen. Then here are some tips: D Make sure your vehicle is well ventilated, with a

comfortably cool interior.

D Keep your eyes moving. Scan the road ahead and

to the sides. Check your mirrors and your instruments frequently.

D If you get sleepy, pull off the road into a rest, service or parking area and take a nap, get some exercise, or both. For safety, treat drowsiness on the highway as an emergency.


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. D Keep your vehicle in good shape. Check all fluid

levels and also the brakes, tires, cooling system and transmission. These parts can work hard on mountain roads.

D Know how to go down hills. The most important

thing to know is this: let your engine do some of the slowing down. Shift to a lower gear when you go down a steep or long hill.


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 downhill slope.


Coasting downhill in NEUTRAL (N) 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 would then have poor braking or even none going down a hill. You could crash. Always have your engine running and your vehicle in gear when you go downhill.

D Know how to go uphill. You may want to shift down

to a lower gear. The lower gears help cool your engine and transmission, and you can climb the hill better. D 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.

D 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. D You may see highway signs on mountains that warn of special problems. Examples are long grades, passing or no-passing zones, a falling rocks area or winding roads. Be alert to these and take appropriate action.


Winter Driving

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 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.

Here are some tips for winter driving: D Have your vehicle in good shape for winter. D You may want to put winter emergency supplies in

your vehicle.


Accelerate gently. Try not to break the fragile traction. If you accelerate too fast, the drive wheels will spin and polish the surface under the tires even more. Your anti-lock brakes improve your vehicle’s stability when you make a hard stop on a slippery road. Even though you have an anti-lock braking system, you’ll want to begin stopping sooner than you would on dry pavement. See “Anti-Lock” in the Index. D Allow greater following distance on any

slippery road.

D 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 surface 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.


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 traction of all. You can get wet ice when it’s about freezing (32_F; 0_C) 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.

If You’re Caught in a Blizzard

D Tie a red cloth to your vehicle to alert police that

you’ve been stopped by the snow.

D 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.

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: D Turn on your hazard flashers.


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. Open a window just a little on the side of the vehicle that’s away from the wind. This will help keep CO out.

Run your engine only as long as you must. This saves fuel. When you run the engine, make it go a little faster 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 headlamps. Let the heater run for a while.

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 fairly vigorous exercises every half hour or so until help comes. Recreational Vehicle Towing Your vehicle was not designed to be towed with all four wheels on the ground. And, if your vehicle has all-wheel drive, it was not designed to be towed with only two wheels on the ground. If your vehicle must be towed, see “Towing Your Vehicle” in the Index.


Towing your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground will damage drivetrain components. And, if your vehicle has all-wheel drive, towing with only two wheels on the ground will also damage drivetrain components.


The Certification/Tire label is found on the rear edge of the driver’s door. The label shows the size of your original tires and the inflation pressures needed to obtain the gross weight capacity of your vehicle. This is called the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR includes the weight of the vehicle, all occupants, fuel, cargo and tongue weight, if pulling a trailer. The Certification/Tire label also tells you the maximum weights for the front and rear axles, called the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). To find out the actual loads on your front and rear axles, you need to go to a weigh station and weigh your vehicle. Your dealer can help you with this. Be sure to spread out your load equally on both sides of the center line. Never exceed the GVWR for your vehicle, or GAWR for either the front or rear axle. And, if you do have a heavy load, you should spread it out.

Loading Your Vehicle

The Certification/Tire label in your vehicle will look similar to this example.



Do not load your vehicle any heavier than the GVWR, or either the maximum front or rear GAWR. If you do, parts on your vehicle can break, and it can change the way your vehicle handles. These could cause you to lose control and crash. Also, overloading can shorten the life of your vehicle.

Using heavier suspension components to get added durability might not change your weight ratings. Ask your dealer to help you load your vehicle the right way.


Your warranty does not cover parts or components that fail because of overloading.

If you put things inside your vehicle -- like suitcases, tools, packages, or anything else -- they will go as fast as the vehicle goes. If you have to stop or turn quickly, or if there is a crash, they’ll keep going.


Things you put inside your vehicle can strike and injure people in a sudden stop or turn, or in a crash. D Put things in the cargo area of your vehicle.

Try to spread the weight evenly.

D Never stack heavier things, like suitcases, inside the vehicle so that some of them are above the tops of the seats.

D Don’t leave an unsecured child restraint in

your vehicle.

D When you carry something inside the

vehicle, secure it whenever you can.

D Don’t leave a seat folded down unless

you need to.


Payload The Payload Capacity is shown on the Certification/Tire label. This is the maximum load capacity that your vehicle can carry. Be sure to include the weight of the people inside as part of your load. If you added any accessories or equipment after your vehicle left the factory, remember to subtract the weight of these things from the payload. Your dealer can help you with this. Trailering Package

If your vehicle is equipped with the trailering package, there is also a load rating which includes the weight of the vehicle and the trailer it tows. This rating is called the Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When you weigh your trailer, be sure to include the weight of everything you put in it. And, remember to figure the weight of the people inside the vehicle as part of your load. Your dealer can help you determine your GCWR. Add-On Equipment When you carry removable items, you may need to put a limit on how many people you carry inside your vehicle. Be sure to weigh your vehicle before you buy and install the new equipment.


Towing a Trailer


If you don’t use the correct equipment and drive properly, you can lose control when you pull a trailer. For example, if the trailer is too heavy, the brakes may not work well -- or even at all. You and your passengers could be seriously injured. Pull a trailer only if you have followed all the steps in this section. Ask your dealer for advice and information about towing a trailer with your vehicle.


Pulling a trailer improperly can damage your vehicle and result in costly repairs not covered by your warranty. To pull a trailer correctly, follow the advice in this part, and see your dealer for

NOTICE: (Continued)

NOTICE: (Continued)

important information about towing a trailer with your vehicle. Additional rear axle maintenance is required for a vehicle used to tow a trailer. See “Scheduled Maintenance Services” in the Index.

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. If yours was built with trailering options, as many are, it’s ready for heavier trailers. 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 part. 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.


If You Do Decide To Pull A Trailer If you do, here are some important points: D There are many different laws, including speed limit restrictions, 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.

D Consider using a sway control if your trailer will

weigh 2,000 lbs. (900 kg) or less. You should always use a sway control if your trailer will weigh more than 2,000 lbs. (900 kg). You can ask a hitch dealer about sway controls.

D 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.

D Then, during the first 500 miles (800 km) that you

tow a trailer, don’t drive over 50 mph (80 km/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.

D You should use THIRD (3) (or, as you need to, a lower gear) when towing a trailer. Operating your vehicle in THIRD (3) when towing a trailer will minimize heat buildup and extend the life of your transmission. See “Tow/Haul Mode” in the Index.


Three important considerations have to do with weight: D the weight of the trailer, D the weight of the trailer tongue D and the weight on your vehicle’s tires.

Tow/Haul Mode The Tow/Haul Mode is a feature that assists when pulling a heavy trailer. The purpose of the Tow/Haul Mode is: D to reduce the frequency of shifts when pulling a

heavy trailer.

D to provide the same shift feel when pulling a heavy

trailer as when the vehicle is unloaded.

D to reduce the need to change throttle position when

pulling a heavy trailer.

This feature is turned on or off by pressing a button on the column shift lever. When the feature is on, a light on the instrument panel will illuminate to indicate that the Tow/Haul Mode has been selected. See “Tow/Haul Mode Light” in the Index. The Tow/Haul Mode is automatically turned off each time the vehicle is started.

The Tow/Haul Mode is most effective when the vehicle and trailer combined weight is at least 75% of the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the maximum trailer weight rating for the vehicle. See “Gross Vehicle Weight Rating” and “Trailer Weight” in the Index. The Tow/Haul Mode for hauling a heavy trailer is most useful under the following conditions: D When driving through hilly terrain at speeds below

55 mph (88 km/h).

D When driving in low speed or stop and go traffic

below 55 mph (88 km/h).

D When driving in parking lots. Use the Tow/Haul Mode instead of the previous recommendation to shift to THIRD (3) gear to improve fuel economy at highway speeds and shift performance at lower speeds. Operating in the Tow/Haul Mode when not pulling a heavy trailer will not cause damage to the vehicle, but you may experience reduced fuel economy and undesirable performance from the engine and transmission. The Tow/Haul Mode should be used only when pulling a heavy trailer.

Weight of the Trailer How heavy can a trailer safely be? 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. The following chart shows how much your trailer can weigh, based upon your vehicle model and options.


Two-Wheel Drive (Cargo) Two-Wheel Drive (Passenger) All-Wheel Drive (Cargo) All-Wheel Drive (Passenger)

Axle Ratio 3.42




Max. Trailer Wt.

5,400 lbs. (2 452 kg) 5,900 lbs. (2 679 kg)

5,000 lbs. (2 270 kg) 5,500 lbs. (2 497 kg)

5,100 lbs. (2 315 kg) 5,600 lbs. (2 542 kg)

4,700 lbs. (2 134 kg) 5,200 lbs. (2 361 kg)


Maximum trailer weight is calculated assuming the driver and one passenger are in the tow vehicle and it has all the required trailering equipment. The weight of additional optional equipment, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle must be subtracted from the maximum trailer weight. You can ask your dealer for our trailering information or advice, or you can write us at the address listed in your Warranty and Owner Assistance Information Booklet. In Canada, write to:

General Motors of Canada Limited Customer Communication Centre, 163-005
1908 Colonel Sam Drive Oshawa, Ontario L1H 8P7

Weight of the Trailer Tongue The tongue load (A) of any trailer is an important weight to measure because it affects the total or gross weight of your vehicle. The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) 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 add the tongue load to the GVW 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. 4-34

If you’re using a weight-carrying hitch, the trailer tongue (A) should weigh 10 percent of the total loaded trailer weight (B). If you’re using a weight-distributing hitch, the trailer tongue (A) should weigh 12 percent 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 upper limit for cold tires. You’ll find these numbers on the 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, including the weight of the trailer tongue. 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: D If you’ll be pulling a trailer that, when loaded, will

weigh more than 2,000 lbs. (900 kg), be sure to use a properly mounted, weight-distributing hitch and sway control of the proper size. This equipment is very important for proper vehicle loading and good handling when you’re driving.

D 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 (CO) from your exhaust can get into your vehicle. See “Carbon Monoxide” in the Index. Dirt and water can, too.

Safety Chains You should always attach chains between your vehicle and your trailer. Cross the safety chains under the tongue of the trailer to help prevent the tongue from contacting the road if it becomes separated from the hitch. Instructions about safety chains may be provided by the hitch manufacturer or by the trailer manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for attaching safety chains and do not attach them to the bumper. Always leave just enough slack so you can turn with your rig. Never allow safety chains to drag on the ground.


Trailer Brakes If your trailer weighs more than 1,000 lbs. (450 kg) loaded, then it needs its own brakes -- and they must be adequate. Be sure to read and follow the instructions for the trailer brakes so you’ll be able to install, adjust and maintain them properly. Your trailer brake system can tap into your vehicle’s hydraulic brake system, except: D 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. D Will the trailer parts take 3,000 psi (20 650 kPa) of

pressure? If not, the trailer brake system must not be used with your vehicle.

D If everything checks out this far, then make the brake fluid tap at the port on the master cylinder that sends fluid to the rear brakes. 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


If you have a rear-most window open and you pull a trailer with your vehicle, carbon monoxide (CO) could come into your vehicle. You can’t see or smell CO. It can cause unconsciousness or death. See “Engine Exhaust” in the Index. To maximize your safety when towing a trailer: D Have your exhaust system inspected for leaks, and make necessary repairs before starting on your trip.

D Keep the rear-most windows closed. D If exhaust does come into your vehicle

through a window in the rear or another opening, drive with your front, main heating or cooling system on and with the fan on any speed. This will bring fresh, outside air into your vehicle. Do not use MAX A/C because it only recirculates the air inside your vehicle. See “Comfort Controls” in the Index.

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 as responsive as your vehicle is by itself. Before you start, check the trailer hitch and platform (and attachments), safety chains, electrical connector, lamps, tires and mirror adjustment. If the trailer has electric brakes, start your vehicle 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 to be sure that the load is secure, and that the lamps and any trailer brakes are still working.

Following Distance Stay at least twice as far 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 Turns


Making very sharp turns while trailering could cause the trailer to come in contact with the vehicle. Your vehicle could be damaged. Avoid making very sharp turns while trailering.

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 Trailer When you tow a trailer, your vehicle has to have extra wiring (included in the optional trailering package). The arrows on your instrument panel will flash whenever you signal a turn or lane change. Properly hooked up, the trailer lamps will also flash, telling other drivers you’re about to turn, change lanes or stop.

When towing a trailer, the 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. 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. When towing at high altitude on steep uphill grades, consider the following: Engine coolant will boil at a lower temperature than at normal altitudes. If you turn your engine off immediately after towing at high altitude on steep uphill grades, your vehicle may show signs similar to engine overheating. To avoid this, let the engine run while parked (preferably on level ground) with the automatic transmission in PARK (P) for a few minutes before turning the engine off. If you do get the overheat warning, see “Engine Overheating” in the Index.


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

PARK (P) 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.

4. Reapply the regular brakes. Then apply your parking

brake, and shift to PARK (P).

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: D Start your engine; D Shift into a gear; and D 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. 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 transmission fluid (don’t overfill), engine oil, axle lubricant, belt, cooling system and brake system. 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.


Trailer Wiring Harness If you have the optional trailering package, your vehicle will have an eight-wire harness, including the center high-mounted stoplamp battery feed wire. The harness is stored on the passenger’s side of the vehicle near the rear wheel well. This harness has a 30 amp battery feed wire and no connector, and should be wired by a qualified electrical technician. After choosing an aftermarket trailer mating connector pair, have the technician attach one connector to the eight-wire trailer harness and the other connector to the wiring harness on the trailer. Be sure the wiring harness on the trailer is taped or strapped to the trailer’s frame rail and leave it loose enough so the wiring doesn’t bend or break, but not so loose that it drags on the ground. The eight-wire harness must be routed out of your vehicle between the rear door and the floor, with enough of the harness left on both sides so that the trailer or the body won’t pull it. If you do not have the optional trailering package, your vehicle will still have a trailering harness. The harness is located near the passenger’s side rear wheel well.

It consists of six wires that may be used by after-market trailer hitch installers. The technician can use the following color code chart when connecting the wiring harness to your trailer. D Brown: Rear lamps. D Yellow: Left stoplamp and turn signal. D Dark Green: Right stoplamp and turn signal. D White (Heavy Gage): Ground. D Light Green: Back-up lamps. D White (Light Gage): Center High-Mounted Stoplamp. D Blue: Auxiliary circuit (eight-wire harness only). D Orange: Fused auxiliary (eight-wire harness only).

Store the harness in its original place. Wrap the harness together and tie it neatly so it won’t be damaged.


Section 5 Problems on the Road

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


Hazard Warning Flashers Other Warning Devices Jump Starting Towing Your Vehicle Engine Overheating Cooling System


Engine Fan Noise If a Tire Goes Flat Changing a Flat Tire Compact Spare Tire If You’re Stuck: In Sand, Mud, Ice or Snow



Hazard Warning Flashers

The hazard warning flasher button is located on top of the steering column. Press the button down to make your front and rear turn signal lamps 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, press the button down again. When the hazard warning flashers are on, your turn signals won’t work. They also won’t flash while you’re braking.

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


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 vehicle. But please follow the numbered steps to do it safely.


Batteries can hurt you. They can be dangerous because: D They contain acid that can burn you. D They contain gas that can explode or ignite. D They contain enough electricity to

burn you.

If you don’t follow these steps exactly, some or all of these things can hurt you.


Ignoring these steps could result in costly damage to your vehicle that wouldn’t be covered by your warranty. The ACDelcoR battery in your vehicle has a built-in hydrometer. Do not charge, test or jump start the battery if the hydrometer looks clear or light yellow. Replace the battery when there is a clear or light yellow hydrometer and a cranking complaint. Trying to start your vehicle by pushing or pulling it won’t work, and it could damage your vehicle.

1. Check the other vehicle. It must have a 12-volt

battery with a negative ground system.


If the other system isn’t a 12-volt system with a negative ground, both vehicles can be damaged.


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 vehicle, and the bad grounding could damage the electrical systems. To avoid the possibility of the vehicles rolling, set the parking brake firmly on both vehicles involved in the jump start procedure. Put an automatic transmission in PARK (P) and a manual transmission in NEUTRAL.

3. Turn off the ignition on both vehicles. Unplug

unnecessary accessories plugged into the cigarette lighter or accessory power outlets. Turn off all lamps that aren’t needed as well as radios. This will avoid sparks and help save both batteries. In addition, it could save your radio!


If you leave your radio on, it could be badly damaged. The repairs wouldn’t be covered by your warranty.

4. Open the hoods and locate the batteries.

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. You don’t need to add water to the ACDelcoR battery installed in every new GM 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. If you don’t, explosive gas could be present. Battery fluid contains acid that can burn you. Don’t get it on you. If you accidentally get it in your eyes or on your skin, flush the place with water and get medical help immediately.