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vehicle and turn off the engine as soon as possible. See Engine Overheating on page 5-31.

United States


Your vehicle is equipped with a computer which monitors operation of the fuel, ignition and emission control systems.


This system is called OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics- Second Generation) and is intended to assure that emissions are at acceptable levels for the life of the vehicle, helping to produce a cleaner environment. The SERVICE ENGINE SOON or CHECK ENGINE light comes on and a chime will sound to indicate that there is a problem and service is required. Malfunctions often will be indicated by the system before any problem is apparent. This may prevent more serious damage to your vehicle. This system is also designed to assist your service technician in correctly diagnosing any malfunction. Notice: If you keep driving your vehicle with this light on, after a while, your emission controls may not work as well, your fuel economy may not be as good and your engine may not run as smoothly. This could lead to costly repairs that may not be covered by your warranty. Notice: Modifications made to the engine, transmission, exhaust, intake or fuel system of your vehicle or the replacement of the original tires with other than those of the same Tire Performance Criteria (TPC) can affect your vehicle’s emission controls and may cause this light to come on.

Modifications to these systems could lead to costly repairs not covered by your warranty. This may also result in a failure to pass a required Emission Inspection/Maintenance test. This light should come on, as a check to show you it is working, when the ignition is on and the engine is not running. If the light doesn’t come on, have it repaired. This light will also come on during a malfunction in one of two ways:

Light Flashing - A misfire condition has been detected. A misfire increases vehicle emissions and may damage the emission control system on your vehicle. Dealer or qualified service center diagnosis and service may be required. Light On Steady - An emission control system malfunction has been detected on your vehicle. Dealer or qualified service center diagnosis and service may be required.


If the Light Is Flashing The following may prevent more serious damage to your vehicle:

Reducing vehicle speed. Avoiding hard accelerations. Avoiding steep uphill grades. If you are towing a trailer, reduce the amount of cargo being hauled as soon as it is possible. If the light stops flashing and remains on steady, see “If the Light Is On Steady” following. If the light continues to flash, when it is safe to do so, stop the vehicle. Find a safe place to park your vehicle. Turn the key off, wait at least 10 seconds and restart the engine. If the light remains on steady, see “If the Light Is On Steady” following. If the light is still flashing, follow the previous steps, and drive the vehicle to your dealer or qualified service center for service.

If the Light Is On Steady You may be able to correct the emission system malfunction by considering the following: Did you recently put fuel into your vehicle? If so, reinstall the fuel cap, making sure to fully install the cap. See Filling Your Tank on page 5-8. The diagnostic system can determine if the fuel cap has been left off or improperly installed. A loose or missing fuel cap will allow fuel to evaporate into the atmosphere. A few driving trips with the cap properly installed should turn the light off. Did you just drive through a deep puddle of water? If so, your electrical system may be wet. The condition will usually be corrected when the electrical system dries out. A few driving trips should turn the light off. Have you recently changed brands of fuel? If so, be sure to fuel your vehicle with quality fuel. See Gasoline Octane on page 5-5. Poor fuel quality will cause your engine not to run as efficiently as designed. You may notice this as stalling after start-up, stalling when you put the vehicle into gear, misfiring, hesitation on acceleration or stumbling on acceleration. (These conditions may go away once the engine is warmed up.) This will be detected by the system and cause the light to turn on.


If you experience one or more of these conditions, change the fuel brand you use. it will require at least one full tank of the proper fuel to turn the light off. If none of the above steps have made the light turn off, have your dealer or qualified service center check the vehicle. Your dealer has the proper test equipment and diagnostic tools to fix any mechanical or electrical problems that may have developed. Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Programs Some state/provincial and local governments have or may begin programs to inspect the emission control equipment on your vehicle. Failure to pass this inspection could prevent you from getting a vehicle registration.

Here are some things you need to know to help your vehicle pass an inspection: Your vehicle will not pass this inspection if the SERVICE ENGINE SOON or CHECK ENGINE light is on or not working properly. Your vehicle will not pass this inspection if the OBD (on-board diagnostic) system determines that critical emission control systems have not been completely diagnosed by the system. The vehicle would be considered not ready for inspection. This can happen if you have recently replaced your battery or if your battery has run down. The diagnostic system is designed to evaluate critical emission control systems during normal driving. This may take several days of routine driving. If you have done this and your vehicle still does not pass the inspection for lack of OBD system readiness, see your dealer or qualified service center to prepare the vehicle for inspection.


Oil Pressure Gage

The oil pressure gage shows the engine oil pressure in psi (pounds per square inch) when the engine is running.

A reading in the low pressure zone may be caused by a dangerously low oil level or other problems causing low oil pressure.

Don’t keep driving if the oil pressure is low. If you do, your engine can become so hot that it catches fire. You or others could be burned. Check your oil as soon as possible and have your vehicle serviced.

Canadian vehicles indicate pressure in kPa (kilopascals). Oil pressure may vary with engine speed, outside temperature and oil viscosity, but readings above the low pressure zone indicate the normal operating range.

Notice: Damage to your engine from neglected oil problems can be costly and is not covered by your warranty.


Security Light

Service All-Wheel

Drive Light

This light will come on briefly when you turn the ignition key to START.

This light should come on briefly when you turn on the ignition, as a check to show you it is working.



The light will stay on until the engine starts. If the light flashes, the Passlock@ System has entered a tamper mode. If the vehicle fails to start, see Passlock@ on page 2- 18. If the light comes on continuously while driving and stays on, there may be a problem System. Your vehicle will not be protected by Passlock@, and you should see your GM dealer.

with the Passlock@

The SERVICE AWD light comes on to indicate that there may be a problem with the drive system and service is required. Malfunctions can be indicated by the system before any problem is apparent, which may prevent serious damage to the vehicle. This system is also designed to assist your service technician in correctly diagnosing a malfunction.


Tow/HauI Mode Liaht

Fuel Gage

This light should come on when the tow/haul mode has been selected.



For more information, see “Tow/Haul Mode” in Towing a Trailer on page 4-31. Check Gages Warning Light

United States



The CHECK GAGES light will come on briefly when you are starting the engine.

The fuel gage tells you approximately how much fuel you have remaining when the ignition is on. When the gage first indicates empty, you still have a little fuel left, but you should get more fuel as soon as possible.

If the light comes on and stays on while you are driving, check your coolant temperature and engine oil pressure gages to see if they are in the warning zones.


Here are things some owners ask about. None of these indicate a problem with your fuel gage: 0 At the gas station, the gas pump shuts off before

the gage reads full. The fuel tank will take either a little more or a little less fuel to fill up than the gage shows.

Low Fuel Warning Light

The LOW FUEL light will come on briefly when you are starting the engine.

0 The gage moves a little when you turn a corner or

speed up. The gage doesn’t go back off the ignition.

to empty when you turn

This light comes on when the fuel tank is low on fuel. To turn it off, add fuel to the fuel tank. See Fuel on page 5-5.


Audio System(s) Notice; 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 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. Your audio system has been designed to operate easily and to 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 of its controls to be sure you’re getting the most out of the advanced engineering that went into it. Your vehicle may have a feature called Retained Accessory Power (RAP). With RAP, you can play your audio system even after the ignition is turned off. See “Retained Accessory Power (RAP)” under Ignition Positions on page 2- 79.

Setting the Time for Radios with the Set Button Press SET. Within five seconds, press and hold the right SEEK arrow until the correct minute appears on the display. Press and hold the left SEEK arrow until the correct hour appears on the display. Setting the Time for Radios 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 time 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 Radio

Finding a Station

Playing the Radio

Power: Turn the VOLUME knob to turn the system on and off. VOLUME: Turn this knob to increase or to decrease volume. RECALL: Press this knob to switch the display between time and radio station frequency. Time display is available with the ignition turned off.

AM-FM: Press this knob to switch between AM, FMI and FM2. The display will show your selection. TUNE: Turn this knob to tune in radio stations.

a SEEK D : Press the right or the left arrow to seek a SCAN D : Press both SCAN arrows. SCAN

to the next or to the previous station and stay there.

will appear on the display. The radio will scan to the next station, play for a few seconds, then go on to the next station. Press the RECALL knob or both SCAN arrows to stop scanning. Setting Preset Stations The four numbered pushbuttons let you return to your favorite stations. You can set up to 21 stations (seven AM, seven FMI and seven FM2) by performing the following steps: 1. Turn the radio on. 2. Press AM-FM to select AM, FMI or FM2. 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 pushbutton, 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 pushbuttons at the same time and by performing the following steps: 1. Tune in the desired station. 2. Press SET. SET will appear on the display. 3. Press two adjoining pushbuttons at the same time, within five seconds. Whenever you press the same two pushbuttons, the station you set will return.

4. Repeat the steps for each pushbutton.

Setting the Tone (BassTTreble)

BASS: Slide this lever up or down to increase or to decrease bass. TREB (Treble): Slide this lever up or down to increase or to decrease treble. If a station is weak or noisy, you may want to decrease the treble. Adjusting the Speakers (Balance/Fade)

BAL (Balance): Turn the control ring behind the upper knob to move the sound toward the left or the right speakers. FADE: Turn the control ring behind the lower knob to move the sound toward the front or the rear speakers.


Radio with CD

Playing the Radio

PWR (Power): Press this knob to turn the system on and off. VOL (Volume): Turn this knob to increase or to decrease volume. The knob is capable of rotating continuously.

SCV (Speed-Compensated Volume): 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 increase the SCV. Each notch on the control ring allows for more volume compensation at faster vehicle speeds. Then, as you drive, SCV automatically increases the volume, as necessary, to overcome noise at any 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. RECALL: Press this button to switch the display between the radio station frequency and the time. Time display is available with the ignition turned off. 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.


Setting Preset Stations 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) by performing the following steps:

to select AM, FM1 or FM2.

1. Turn the radio on. 2. Press AM FM 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 pushbutton. Whenever you press that numbered pushbutton, the station you set will return and the tone you selected will be automatically selected for that pushbutton.

6. Repeat the steps for each pushbutton.

4 SEEK D : Press the right or the left arrow to seek to the next station or to the previous station and stay there. To scan stations, press and hold either SEEK arrow for two seconds until SCAN appears on the display. The radio will scan to a station, play for a few seconds, then go on to the next station. Press either SEEK arrow again to stop scanning. The radio will seek and scan only to stations that are in the selected band and only to those with a strong signal. PSCAN (Preset Scan): Press this button to listen to each of your favorite stations stored on the pushbuttons for a few seconds. PSCAN will appear on the display. Press this button again or one of the pushbuttons to stop scanning presets. The radio will scan only to the preset stations that are in the selected band and only to those with a strong signal.


Setting the Tone (Bassnreble)

Adjusting the Speakers (Balance/Fade)

BASS: Press this knob lightly so it extends. Turn the knob to increase or to decrease bass.

TREB (Treble): Press this knob lightly so it extends. Turn the knob to increase or to decrease treble. If a station is weak or noisy, you may want to decrease the treble. Return these knobs to their stored positions when you’re not using them. AUTO TONE (Automatic Tone): Press this knob to choose bass and treble equalization settings designed for country/western, jazz, talk, pop, rock and classical stations. To return the bass and treble to the manual mode, either press and release the AUTO TONE button until the display goes blank or press and release the BASS or TREB knobs and turn them until the display goes blank.

BAL (Balance): Press this knob lightly so it extends. Turn the knob to move the sound toward the right or the left speakers. FADE: Press this knob lightly so it extends. Turn the knob to move the sound toward the front or the rear speakers. Return these knobs to their stored positions when you’re not using them. Playing a Compact Disc 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 an error appears on the display, see “Compact Disc Messages’’ later in this section.


1 PREV (Previous): Press this pushbutton to search for the previous track. If you hold this pushbutton or press it more than once, the disc will advance further Sound is muted in this mode. 2 RDM (Random): Press this pushbutton to play the tracks on the disc in random, rather than sequential, order. RANDOM will appear on the display. Press this pushbutton again to return to normal play. 3 NEXT: Press this pushbutton to search for the next track. If you hold this pushbutton 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. REV 4 (Reverse): Press and hold this pushbutton to return rapidly to a favorite passage. You will hear the disc play at high speed while you press this pushbutton. This allows you to listen and find out when the disc is at the desired passage. Release this pushbutton to resume playing.

FWD 6 (Forward): Press and hold this pushbutton to advance rapidly within a track. You will hear the disc play at high speed while you press this pushbutton. This allows you to listen and find out when the disc is at the desired passage. Release this pushbutton to resume playing. 4 SEEK b : The right arrow is the same as NEXT, and the left arrow is the same as PREV. If the right or the left arrow is held or pressed more than once, the player will continue moving forward or backward through the disc. 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 this button again to return to the time display.


AM FM: Press this button to listen to the radio when playing a CD. The CD symbol will still display but the letters CD will be replaced with either AM, FM1 or FM2. If the radio is turned off, the disc will stay in the player and will resume playing at the point where it stopped.

CD AUX (Auxiliary): Press this button to play a CD when listening to the radio. 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 will stay 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.

Compact Risc Messages

ERR (Error): If this message appears and the disc comes out, it could be for one of the following reasons: * You’re driving on a very rough road. When the road becomes smoother, the disc should play. It’s very hot. When the temperature returns to normal, the disc should play. The disc is dirty, scratched, wet or upside down.

0 The air is very humid. If so, wait about an hour and

try again.

Press RECALL to make ERR go off of the display. If the CD is not playing correctly, for any other reason, try a known good CD. If any error occurs repeatedly or if an error can’t be corrected, contact your dealer.


Rear Seat Audio (RSA)

This feature allows rear seat passengers to listen to any of the music sources: radio, 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 CD 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 (Power): 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 (Volume): Press this knob lightly so it extends. Turn the knob to increase or to decrease volume. Push the knob back into its stored position when you’re not using it. The upper knob controls the upper headphone and the lower knob controls the lower headphone. AM FM: Press this button to switch between AM, FMI and FM2. If the front passengers are already listening to the radio, the RSA controller will not switch between the bands and cannot change the frequency. Press AM FM to return to listening to the radio when a CD is playing. The inactive tape or CD will remain safely inside the radio for future listening.

A SEEK v : While listening to AM, FMI or FM2,

press the up or the down arrow to tune to the next or to the previous station and stay there. This button is inactive if the front radio is in use.

Theft-Deterrent Feature THEFTLOCK@ is designed to discourage theft of your radio. It works by using a secret code to disable all radio functions whenever battery power is interrupted. 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.

While listening to a CD, press the up arrow to hear the next track on the CD. Press the down arrow to go back to the start of the current track if more than eight seconds have played. The SEEK button is inactive if the CD mode on the front radio is in use. To scan preset stations, press and hold SEEK until the radio goes into scan mode. The radio will go to a station, play for a few seconds, then go on to the next station. Press either SEEK arrow again to stop scanning. The scan function is inactive if the front radio is in use.

P.SET PROG (Preset Program): The front passengers must be listening to something different for each of these functions to work:

Press this button to scan through the preset radio stations set on the pushbuttons on the main radio. The radio will go to a preset station, play for a few seconds, then go on to the next preset station. Press this button again to stop scanning.

TAPE CD: Press this button to switch between playing a tape or CD if loaded. The inactive tape or CD will remain safely inside the radio for future listening.


Activating the Theft-Deterrent Feature The instructions which follow explain how to enter your secret code to activate the THEFTLOCK@ system. 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 on. 3. Turn the radio off. 4. Press the 1 and 4 pushbuttons at the same time. 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 knob 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 dealership.

Disabling the Theft-Deterrent Feature Enter your secret code as follows; pause no more than 15 seconds between steps: 1. Turn the ignition on. 2. Turn the radio off. 3. Press the 1 and 4 pushbuttons at the same time. 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 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. Care of Your CDs 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 CD 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 occasionally 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 Driving Your Vehicle

Your Driving. the Road. and Your Vehicle .......... 4-2 Defensive Driving ........................................... 4.2 Drunken Driving ............................................. 4-3 Control of a Vehicle ........................................ 4-6 Braking ......................................................... 4-6 Steering ........................................................ 4-9 Off-Road Recovery ....................................... 4-11 Passing ....................................................... 4-12 Loss of Control ............................................. 4-13 Driving at Night ............................................ 4-14 .................. 4-16 Driving in Rain and on Wet Roads City Driving .................................................. 4-19

Freeway Driving ........................................... 4.20 Before Leaving on a Long Trip ....................... 4.21 Highway Hypnosis ........................................ 4.22 Hill and Mountain Roads ................................ 4-22 Winter Driving .............................................. 4-24 I f You Are Stuck: ..... 4.28

..... 4.29 Towing Your Vehicle .................................. 4.29 Recreational Vehicle Towing ........................... 4.29 Loading Your Vehicle .................................... 4.29 Towing a Trailer ........................................... 4.31



In Sand, Mud,

Ice or



4- 1

Your Driving, the Road, and Your Vehicle

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: They Are for Everyone on page 1-13. 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.


Qrunken 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: Judgment

0 Muscular Coordination

Vision 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, more than 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 eliminate 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 someone 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:

The amount of alcohol consumed

0 The drinker’s body weight 0 The amount of food that is consumed before and

during drinking

0 The length of time it has taken the drinker to

consume the alcohol.


According to the American Medical Association, a 180 Ib (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.

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. 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 an increasing number of U.S. states, and throughout Canada, sets the legal limit at 0.08 percent. In some other countries, the limit is even lower. For example, it is 0.05 percent in both France and Germany. 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! 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. “1’11 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.

Drink ...a and then __ -vin, .- . - ~ , --anger s. Your reflexes, perceptions, attentiveness and judgement can be affected by even a small amount of alcohol. You can have a serious - or if you drive after drinking. even fatal -collision 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.

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 (I00 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.

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.


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 Brake System Your vehicle has anti-lock brakes. 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.





If there’s a problem with the anti-lock brake system, this warning light will stay on. See Anti-Lock Brake System Warning Light on page 3-29.


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.

Let’s say the road is wet and 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.

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 on page 4-6. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 vehicles 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 OD two-lane roads. Reconsider before passing the next vehicle. 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. 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.

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 is best handled by easing your foot off the accelerator pedal.

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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.

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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. Don’t drink and drive. Adjust your inside rearview mirror to reduce the glare from headlamps behind you. Since you can’t see as well, you may need to slow down and keep more space between you and other vehicles. Slow down, especially on higher speed roads. Your headlamps 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.

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 re-adjust 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.

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Driving in Rain and on Wet 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.

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.

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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 -:cider.--. They w -.j’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.

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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 Through Deep Standing Water Notice: 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.

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Driving Through Flowing Water

strong forces. water, as you

Flo..,ng or rushing water cr,,tes If you try to drive through flowing 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 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

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. Have good tires with proper tread depth. See Tires on page 5-63.

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:

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. Try to use the freeways that rim and crisscross most large cities. You’ll save time and energy. See the next part, “Freeway Driving.” 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.

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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 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 reservior full? Are all windows clean inside and outside? Wiper Blades: Are they in good shape? Fuel, Engine Oil, Other Fluids: Have you checked all levels? Lamps: 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?

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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:

Make sure your vehicle is well ventilated, with a comfortably cool interior. Keep your eyes moving. Scan the road ahead and to the sides. Check your mirrors and your instruments frequently. 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.

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.

0 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.

-.-. ces coul, Jet

If you don’t shift down, y--. 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 downh.-. ... .rlEUTL .. _L (N) or wit 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.

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. 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. 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 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:

Have your vehicle in good shape for winter. You may want to put winter emergency supplies in your vehicle.


Whatever the condition - smooth ice, packed, blowing or loose snow - drive with caution. 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 Braking on page 4-6.

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 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; OOC) and freezing rain begins to fall. Try to avoid driving on wet ice until salt and sand crews can get there.

If You’re Caught in a Blizzard

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.

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.


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.


If You Are Stuck: In Sand, Mud, Ice or Snow In order to free your vehicle when it is stuck, you will need to spin the wheels, but you don’t want to spin your wheels too fast. The method known as “rocking” can help you get out when you’re stuck, but you must use caution.

If you let your tires spin at high speed, they can explode, and you or others could be injured. And, the transmission or other parts of the vehicle can overheat. That could cause an engine compartment fire or other damage. When you’re stuck, spin the wheels as little as possible. Don’t spin the wheels above 25 mph (55 km/h) as shown on the speedometer.

Notice: Spinning your wheels can destroy parts of your vehicle as well as the tires. If you spin the wheels too fast while shifting your transmission back and forth, you can destroy your transmission. For information about using tire chains on your vehicle, see Tire Chains on page 5-70. Rocking Your Vehicle To Get It Out First, turn your steering wheel left and right. That will clear the area around your front wheels. Then shift back and forth between REVERSE (R) 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 transmission is in gear. By slowly spinning your wheels in the forward and reverse directions, you will cause a rocking motion that may free your vehicle. 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 Vehicle” following.



Loading Your Vehicle

Towing Your Vehicle Consult your dealer or a professional towing service if you need to have your disabled vehicle towed. See Roadside Assistance Program on page 7-6. If you want to tow your vehicle behind another vehicle for recreational purposes (such as behind a motorhome), see “Recreational Vehicle Towing” following. Recreational Vehicle Towing Recreational vehicle towing means towing your vehicle behind another vehicle - such as behind a motorhome. The two most common types of recreational vehicle towing are known as “dinghy towing” (towing your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground) and “dolly towing” (towing your vehicle with two wheels on the ground and two wheels up on a device known as a “dolly”). Your vehicle was not designed to be towed with any of its wheels on the ground. If your vehicle must be towed, see Towing Your Vehicle on page 4-29. Notice: Towing an all-wheel-drive vehicle with all four wheels on the ground, or even with only two of its wheels on the ground, will damage drivetrain components. Don’t tow an all-wheel-drive vehicle if any of its wheels will be on the ground.





D O n n


The Certificationflire label in your vehicle will look similar to this example. The Certificationflire 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 front and rear axles, called

The Certificationnire label also tells you the maximum weights for 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 help you with this. equally on both sides Never exceed the GVWR for your vehicle, or the GAWR for either the front or rear axle. And, if you do have a heavy load, you should spread it out.

Be sure to spread out your load

of the centerline.


e any heavier

- 3 not load your Ian _..e 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.


Notice: Your warranty does not cover parts or components that fail because

of overloading.

If you put things inside of 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 ciiickly qr if there is

a crash, they’ll keep going.

Things you put inside your vehicle can srlI6e and injure people in a sudden stop or turn, or in a crash.

Put things in the cargo area of your vehicle. Try to spread the weight evenly. Never stack heavier things, like suitcases, inside the vehicle so that some of them are above the tops of the seats. Don’t leave an unsecured child restraint in your vehicle. When you carry something inside the vehicle, secure it whenever you can. Don’t leave a seat folded down unless you need to.

Payload The Payload Capacity is shown on the CertificationiTire 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

There is 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. 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 )“J 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.

Notice: 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 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.

4-3 1


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 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. You can tow in DRIVE (D). You may want to shift the transmission to THIRD (3) or, if necessary, a lower gear selection if the transmission shifts too often (e.g., under heavy loads and/or hilly conditions).

Three important considerations have to do with weight:

the weight of the trailer, the weight of the trailer tongue and the weight on your vehicle’s tires.

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:

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


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: e to reduce the frequency of shifts when pulling a

heavy trailer. to provide the same shift feel when pulling a heavy trailer as when the vehicle is unloaded. 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 on page 3-36. 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.

The tow/haul mode for hauling a heavy trailer is most useful under the following conditions:

When driving through hilly terrain at speeds below 55 mph (88 km/h). When driving in low speed or stop and go traffic below 55 mph (88 km/h). When driving in parking lots.

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 petformance 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.


‘he following chart shows how much your trailer can weigh, based upon your vehicle model and options.

Two-Wheel Drive (Passenger)

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 L I H 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 on page 4-29 for more information about your vehicle’s maximum load capacity.

If you’re using a weight-carrying or a weight-distributing hitch, the trailer tongue weight (A) should be 10 percent to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight (B). Do not exceed the maximum allowable tongue weight for your vehicle. 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 Certificationflire label at the rear edge of the driver’s door or see Loading Your Vehicle on page 4-29. 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:

If you’ll be pulling a trailer that, when loaded, will weigh more than 2,000 Ibs. (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. 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. 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 Ibs (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:

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 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 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

ve a rear-most window open and

If you 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:

Have your exhaust system inspected for leaks, and make necessary repairs before starting on your trip. Keep the rear-most windows closed. 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 the climate control setting for maximum air because it only recirculates the air inside your vehicle. See “Climate 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 Notice: 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 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. You can tow in DRIVE (D). You may want to shift the transmission to THIRD (3) or, if necessary, a lower gear selection if the transmission shifts too often (e.g., under heavy loads and/or hilly conditions). 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 on page 5-3 1.

Parking on Hills

tot park your vehicle,

You really shoul 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.

ith a

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


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:

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


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.