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brakes have cooled. This can take up to two minutes or longer depending on brake usage.

If you allow the wheel(s) of one axle to spin

Notice: excessively while the traction off, ABS, STABILITRAK NOT READY and brake warning lights are displayed, you could damage the transfer case. The repairs would not be covered by your warranty. Reduce engine power and do not spin the wheel(s) excessively while these lights are displayed. The traction control system may activate on dry or rough roads or under conditions such as heavy acceleration while turning or abrupt upshifts/downshifts of the transmission. When this happens you may notice a reduction in acceleration, or may hear a noise or vibration. This is normal. If your vehicle is in cruise control when the system activates, a Stabilitrak® indicator light will appear on the instrument panel and the cruise control will automatically disengage. When road conditions allow you to use cruise again, you may re-engage the cruise control. See “Cruise Control” under Turn Signal/Multifunction Lever on page 3-8
Stabilitrak® may also turn off automatically if it determines that a problem exists with the system. If the problem does not clear itself after restarting the vehicle, you should see your dealer for service.


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 is important to take curves at a reasonable speed. A lot of the “driver lost control” accidents mentioned on the news happen on curves. Here is 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 is no traction, inertia will keep the vehicle going in the same direction. If you have ever tried to steer a vehicle on wet ice, you will 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 are in a curve, speed is the one factor you can control.

Suppose you are 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 will 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 not; there is not room. That is 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.


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.

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

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:

“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.

(cid:127) 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 is 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.


(cid:127) (cid:127) Do not get too close to the vehicle you want to

pass while you are awaiting an opportunity. For one thing, following too closely reduces your area of vision, especially if you are following a larger vehicle. Also, you will not have adequate space if the vehicle ahead suddenly slows or stops. Keep back a reasonable distance.

(cid:127) When it looks like a chance to pass is coming up,

start to accelerate but stay in the right lane and do not 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 is not trying to pass you as you pull out to pass the slow vehicle. Remember to glance over your shoulder and check the blind spot.

(cid:127) Check your mirrors, glance over your shoulder, and start your left lane change signal before moving out of the right lane to pass. When you are far enough ahead of the passed vehicle to see its front in your inside mirror, activate your right lane change signal and move back into the right lane. (Remember that your right outside mirror is convex. The vehicle you just passed may seem to be farther away from you than it really is.) Try not to pass more than one vehicle at a time on two-lane roads. Reconsider before passing the next vehicle.

(cid:127) Do not 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 are being passed, make it easy for the following driver to get ahead of you. Perhaps you can ease a little to the right.


(cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) Loss of Control Let us review what driving experts say about what happens when the three control systems (brakes, steering and acceleration) do not have enough friction where the tires meet the road to do what the driver has asked. In any emergency, do not 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 are not 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. 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 will 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. (cid:127) Drive defensively. (cid:127) Do not drink and drive. (cid:127) Adjust your inside rearview mirror to reduce the

glare from headlamps behind you.

(cid:127) Since you can not see as well, you may need to

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

(cid:127) 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 are 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 are driving, do not wear sunglasses at night. They may cut down on glare from headlamps, but they also make a lot of things invisible.

(cid:127) (cid:127) 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 does not 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 is 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 are not 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 not stop, accelerate or turn as well because your tire-to-road traction is not as good as on dry roads. And, if your tires do not have much tread left, you will get even less traction. It is 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 is 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.

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 not, try to slow down before you hit them.


Wet brakes can cause accidents. They will not 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 are going fast enough. When your vehicle is hydroplaning, it has little or no contact with the road. Hydroplaning does not 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 is not 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 not avoid deep puddles or standing water, drive through them very slowly.

Driving Through Flowing Water


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 other vehicle occupants could drown. Do not ignore police warning signs, and otherwise be very cautious about trying to drive through flowing water.

Some Other Rainy Weather Tips (cid:127) 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.

(cid:127) Have good tires with proper tread depth. See Tires

on page 5-59.


City Driving

Here are ways to increase your safety in city driving: (cid:127) 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 will save time and energy. See Freeway Driving on page 4-21. 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.

One of the biggest problems with city streets is the amount of traffic on them. You will want to watch out for what the other drivers are doing and pay attention to traffic signals.


(cid:127) (cid:127) 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 is 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 is not 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 are ready. Try to be well rested. If you must start when you are not fresh — such as after a day’s work — do not 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 is ready to go. If it needs service, have it done before starting out. Of course, you will find experienced and able service experts in GM dealerships all across North America. They will be ready and willing to help if you need it.

Here are some things you can check before a trip: (cid:127) Windshield Washer Fluid: Is the reservoir full?

Are all windows clean inside and outside?

(cid:127) 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?

(cid:127) Weather Forecasts: What is the weather outlook

along your route? Should you delay your trip a short time to avoid a major storm system?

(cid:127) Maps: Do you have up-to-date maps?


(cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) 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. Do not 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: (cid:127) Make sure your vehicle is well ventilated, with a

comfortably cool interior.

(cid:127) 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.


(cid:127) If you drive regularly in steep country, or if you are planning to visit there, here are some tips that can make your trips safer and more enjoyable. (cid:127) 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.

(cid:127) 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 do not shift down, your brakes could get so hot that they would not 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.

Hill and Mountain Roads

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



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 would not 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.

(cid:127) 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.

(cid:127) Stay in your own lane when driving on two-lane roads in hills or mountains. Do not swing wide or cut across the center of the road. Drive at speeds that let you stay in your own lane.

(cid:127) 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.

(cid:127) 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.


Here are some tips for winter driving: (cid:127) Have your vehicle in good shape for winter. (cid:127) You may want to put winter emergency supplies in

your vehicle.

Include an ice scraper, a small brush or broom, a supply of windshield washer fluid, a rag, some winter outer clothing, a small shovel, a flashlight, a red cloth and 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.

Winter Driving


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 will have a lot less traction or “grip” and will need to be very careful.

What is 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 is 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. 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 will want to begin stopping sooner than you would on dry pavement. See Braking on page 4-6. (cid:127) Allow greater following distance on any

slippery road.

(cid:127) Watch for slippery spots. The road might be fine

until you hit a spot that is covered with ice. On an otherwise clear road, ice patches may appear in shaded areas where the sun can not 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 are actually on the ice, and avoid sudden steering maneuvers.


If You Are Caught in a Blizzard

(cid:127) 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. Tie a red cloth to your vehicle to alert police that you have been stopped by the snow.


You can run the engine to keep warm, but be careful.

(cid:127) (cid:127) {CAUTION:

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 not 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 does not collect there. Open a window just a little on the side of the vehicle that is 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 (or batteries) charged. You will need a well-charged battery (or batteries) 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 do not want to spin your wheels too fast. The method known as “rocking” can help you get out when you are 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 are stuck, spin the wheels as little as possible. Do not spin the wheels above 35 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 5-75. 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 does not 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 on page 4-30. Towing

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 7-5. 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”). 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. Do not tow an all-wheel-drive vehicle if any of its wheels will be on the ground. Your vehicle was not designed to be towed with any of its wheels on the ground. If your vehicle must be towed, it should be placed on a platform trailer.

Loading Your Vehicle It is very important to know how much weight your vehicle can carry. This weight is called the vehicle capacity weight and includes the weight of all occupants, cargo and all nonfactory-installed options. Two labels on your vehicle show how much weight it may properly carry, the Tire and Loading Information label and the Certification/Tire label.


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.


The Tire and Loading Information label is attached to the center pillar, near the driver’s door latch. Vehicles without a center pillar will have the Tire and Loading Information label attached to the driver’s door edge. This label lists the number of people that can be in your vehicle and the total weight it can carry. This weight is called the vehicle capacity weight. The Tire and Loading Information label also tells you the size and recommended inflation pressure for the original equipment tires on your vehicle. For more information on tires and inflation see Tires on page 5-59
and Inflation - Tire Pressure on page 5-67. If your vehicle does not have the Tire and Loading Information label, the Certification/Tire label shows the tire size and recommended inflation pressures needed to obtain the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) for the front and rear axles. See “Certification/Tire Label” later in this section.

Tire and Loading Information Label

A. Vehicle Capacity Weight


Steps for Determining Correct Load Limit 1. Locate the statement “The combined weight of

occupants and cargo should never exceed XXX pounds” on your vehicle placard.

2. Determine the combined weight of the driver and

passengers that will be riding in your vehicle.

3. Subtract the combined weight of the driver and

passengers from XXX kilograms or XXX pounds.

4. The resulting figure equals the available amount of

cargo and luggage load capacity. For example, if the “XXX” amount equals 1400 lbs. and there will be five 150 lb. passengers in your vehicle, the amount of available cargo and luggage load capacity is 650 lbs. (1400 − 750
(5 x 150) = 650 lbs.).

5. Determine the combined weight of luggage and cargo being loaded on the vehicle. That weight may not safely exceed the available cargo and luggage load capacity calculated in Step 4.

6. If your vehicle will be towing a trailer, the load from

your trailer will be transferred to your vehicle. Consult this manual to determine how this reduces the available cargo and luggage load capacity of your vehicle. See Towing a Trailer on page 4-37 for important information on towing a trailer, towing safety rules and trailering tips.

Example 1

Loading Your Vehicle



Vehicle Capacity Weight for Example 1 = Subtract Occupant Weight 150 lbs (68 kg) × 2 = Available Occupant and Cargo Weight =


1,000 lbs (453 kg)

300 lbs (136 kg)

700 lbs. (317 kg)


Example 2

Loading Your Vehicle



Vehicle Capacity Weight for Example 2 = Subtract Occupant Weight 150 lbs (68 kg) × 5 = Available Cargo Weight =


1,000 lbs (453 kg)

750 lbs (136 kg)

250 lbs (113 kg)

Example 3

Loading Your Vehicle



Vehicle Capacity Weight for Example 3 = Subtract Occupant Weight 200 lbs (91 kg) × 5 = Available Cargo Weight =


1,000 lbs (453 kg)

1000 lbs (453 kg)

0 lbs (0 kg)

Refer to your vehicle’s tire and loading information label for specific information about your vehicle’s capacity weight and seating positions. The combined weight of the driver, passengers and cargo should never exceed your vehicle’s capacity weight.


Certification/Tire Label

The Certification/Tire label also tells you the maximum weights for the front and rear axles, called 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 centerline. 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.


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 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR includes the weight of the vehicle, all occupants, fuel and cargo.

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.



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

(cid:127) Put things in the cargo area of your

vehicle. Try to spread the weight evenly.

(cid:127) Never stack heavier things, like suitcases,

inside the vehicle so that some of them are above the tops of the seats.

(cid:127) Do not leave an unsecured child restraint

in your vehicle.

(cid:127) When you carry something inside the vehicle, secure it whenever you can.

(cid:127) Do not 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. 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 do not 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 that would not be covered by your warranty. Always follow the instructions in this section and check with your dealer for more information about towing a trailer with your vehicle. To identify the trailering capacity of 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:

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.

(cid:127) Consider using a sway control. See “Hitches” later

in this section.

(cid:127) 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.

(cid:127) See also “Driving on Grades” later in this section. 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.


(cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) Tow/Haul Mode Tow/haul is designed to assist while your vehicle is pulling a large or heavy load or trailer. Tow/haul is most useful while pulling such a load in rolling terrain, in stop-and-go traffic, or when you need improved low-speed control, such as when parking. The purpose of the tow/haul mode is to: (cid:127) Reduce the frequency and improve the predictability

of transmission shifts, provide the same solid shift feel when pulling a heavy load as when the vehicle is unloaded, and improve control of vehicle speed while requiring less throttle pedal activity.

Press this button located to the right of the steering wheel on the instrument panel to turn tow/haul mode on and off.

While activated, the indicator light on the instrument panel will be on.

Tow/haul mode will turn off automatically when the ignition is turned off. See Tow/Haul Mode Light on page 3-41. Tow/haul is most effective when the vehicle and trailer combined weight is at least 75% of the vehicle’s Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). See “Weight of the Trailer” later in this section. Driving with tow/haul activated without a heavy load will cause reduced fuel economy and unpleasant engine and transmission driving characteristics, but will not cause damage.


(cid:127) (cid:127) 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 vehicle model and options.


Axle Ratio


Maximum Trailer Weight G1500 Cargo Van 2WD

4,400 lbs. (1 996 kg)

6,600 lbs. (2 994 kg)


9,500 lbs. (4 309 kg)

12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg)


Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight H1500 Cargo Van AWD



6,600 lbs. (2 994 kg)

12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg)


Axle Ratio


Maximum Trailer Weight G1500 Passenger Van 2WD

4,000 lbs. (1 814 kg)

6,400 lbs. (2 903 kg)


9,500 lbs. (4 309 kg)

12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg)

4300 V6

5300 V8

5300 V8

4300 V6

5300 V8



Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight

H1500 Passenger Van AWD



6,200 lbs. (2 812 kg)

12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg)

5300 V8

4300 V6

4800 V8

5300 V8

6000 V8


Axle Ratio



Axle Ratio

5300 V8


Maximum Trailer Weight G2500 Cargo Van 2WD 4,700 lbs. (2 132 kg) 6,400 lbs. (2 903 kg) 7,400 lbs. (3 357 kg) 6,600 lbs. (2 994 kg) 8,400 lbs. (3 810 kg) 10,000 lbs. (4 536 kg)

Maximum Trailer Weight H2500 Cargo Van AWD

6,400 lbs. (2 903 kg)


9,500 lbs. (4 309 kg) 12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg) 13,000 lbs. (5 897 kg) 12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg) 14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)


12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg)



Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight


G2500 Cargo Van 2WD Long Wheelbase


4,500 lbs. (2 041 kg) 6,300 lbs. (2 858 kg) 7,300 lbs. (3 311 kg) 6,500 lbs. (2 948 kg) 8,200 lbs. (3 719 kg) 10,000 lbs. (4 536 kg)

10,000 lbs. (4 536 kg) 12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg) 13,000 lbs. (5 897 kg) 12,000 lbs. (5 443 kg) 14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)


Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight


G2500 Passenger Van 2WD Short Wheelbase


7,900 lbs. (3 583 kg) 9,900 lbs. (4 491 kg)

14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)


Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight


G2500 Passenger Van 2WD Long Wheelbase


7,500 lbs. (3 402 kg) 9,500 lbs. (4 309 kg)

14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)


Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight


G3500 Cargo Van 2WD Short Wheelbase


8,300 lbs. (3 765 kg) 10,000 lbs. (4 536 kg)

14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)

4300 V6

4800 V8

5300 V8

6000 V8

6000 V8

6000 V8

6000 V8



Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight


G3500 Cargo Van 2WD Long Wheelbase


8,100 lbs. (3 674 kg) 10,000 lbs. (4 536 kg)

14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)


Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight


G3500 Passenger Van 2WD Short Wheelbase


7,800 lbs. (3 538 kg) 9,800 lbs. (4 445 kg)

14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)


Axle Ratio

Maximum Trailer Weight


G3500 Passenger Van 2WD Long Wheelbase


7,400 lbs. (3 357 kg) 9,400 lbs. (4 264 kg)

14,000 lbs. (6 350 kg) 16,000 lbs. (7 257 kg)

6000 V8

6000 V8

6000 V8

The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the total allowable weight of the completely loaded vehicle and trailer including any passengers, cargo equipment and conversion. The GCWR for your vehicle should not be exceeded.

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. If you have a lot of options, equipment, passengers or cargo in your vehicle, it will reduce the tongue weight your vehicle can carry, which will also reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. 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 4-31
about your vehicle’s maximum load capacity.


The trailer tongue weight (A) should be 10 percent to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight, up to a maximum of 400 lbs (181 kg) with a weight carrying hitch. The trailer tongue weight (A) should be 10 percent to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight, up to a maximum of 1 000 lbs (454 kg) with a weight distributing hitch.

Do not exceed the maximum allowable tongue weight for your vehicle. Choose the shortest hitch extension that will position the hitch ball closest to the vehicle. This will help reduce the effect of trailer tongue weight on the rear axle. 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 Loading Your Vehicle on page 4-31. Then be sure you don’t go over the GVW limit for your vehicle, or the GAWR, including the weight of the trailer tongue. If you use a weight distributing hitch, make sure you don’t go over the rear axle limit before you apply the weight distribution spring bars. 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.


Weight-Distributing Hitches and Weight Carrying Hitches

(A) Body to Ground Distance, (B) Front of Vehicle

When using a weight-distributing hitch, the hitch must be adjusted so that the distance (A) remains the same both before and after coupling the trailer to the tow vehicle.


If you use a step-bumper hitch, your bumper could be damaged in sharp turns. Make sure you have ample room when turning to avoid contact between the trailer and the bumper. If you’ll be pulling a trailer that, when loaded, will weigh more than 5,000 lbs (2 270 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. You should always use a sway control if your trailer will weigh more than these limits. You can ask a hitch dealer about sway controls. Will you have to make any holes in the body of your vehicle when you install a trailer hitch? If you’re using the wiring provided with the factory-installed trailering package, you should not need to make any holes in the body of your vehicle. However, if you have an aftermarket hitch installed, you may need to make holes in the body. 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 as well as dirt and water. See “Carbon Monoxide” under Engine Exhaust on page 2-30.

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. Since your vehicle is equipped with Stabilitrak®, your trailer brake system cannot tap into the vehicle’s hydraulic brake system.


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 all trailer hitch parts 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.

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 not see or smell CO. It can cause unconsciousness or death. See Engine Exhaust on page 2-30. To maximize your safety when towing a trailer:

(cid:127) Have your exhaust system inspected for leaks, and make necessary repairs before starting on your trip.

(cid:127) 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 Control System in the Index.


(cid:127) 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 and a heavy-duty turn signal flasher (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. You can tow in DRIVE (D). You may want to shift the transmission to THIRD (3) or a lower gear 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 5-26.

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. Then turn your wheels into the curb if facing downhill or into traffic if facing uphill.

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 then 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.


(cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) Trailer Wiring Harness The optional heavy-duty trailer wiring package includes a seven-wire harness assembly at the rear of the vehicle and a four-wire harness assembly under the left hand side of the instrument panel. The seven-wire harness assembly is taped together and located in a frame pocket at the driver side rear left corner of the frame. The seven-wire harness includes a 30-amp feed wire. Both harnesses come without connectors and should be wired by a qualified electrical technician. The technician can use the following color code chart when connecting the wiring harness to your trailer and trailer brake controller.

Seven-Wire Harness

Light Green: Back-up lamps

(cid:127) Brown: Parking lamps (cid:127) Yellow: Left stoplamp and turn signal (cid:127) Dark Green: Right stoplamp and turn signal (cid:127) Dark Blue: Use for electric trailer brakes (cid:127) Orange: Trailer accessory (cid:127) White (heavy gage): Ground wire Four-Wire Harness (Trailer Brake Controller) (cid:127) Black: Ground (cid:127) Red/White Stripe: Fused Battery (cid:127) Dark Blue: Trailer Brake Feed Light Blue: Fused Stop/CHMSL


(cid:127) (cid:127) Section 5

Service and Appearance Care

Service ............................................................5-3
Doing Your Own Service Work .........................5-3
Adding Equipment to the Outside of Your

Vehicle ......................................................5-4
Fuel ................................................................5-4
Gasoline Octane ............................................5-4
Gasoline Specifications ....................................5-5
California Fuel ...............................................5-5
Additives .......................................................5-6
Fuels in Foreign Countries ...............................5-6
Filling Your Tank ............................................5-7
Filling a Portable Fuel Container .......................5-9
Checking Things Under the Hood .....................5-9
Hood Release ..............................................5-10
Engine Compartment Overview .......................5-12
Engine Oil ...................................................5-13
Engine Air Cleaner/Filter ................................5-18
Automatic Transmission Fluid .........................5-19
Engine Coolant .............................................5-22
Radiator Pressure Cap ..................................5-25
Engine Overheating .......................................5-26
Cooling System ............................................5-28

Engine Fan Noise .........................................5-37
Power Steering Fluid .....................................5-37
Windshield Washer Fluid ................................5-38
Brakes ........................................................5-40
Battery ........................................................5-43
Jump Starting ...............................................5-44
All-Wheel Drive ..............................................5-49
Rear Axle .......................................................5-50
Front Axle ......................................................5-51
Noise Control System .....................................5-52

Tampering with Noise Control System

Prohibited .................................................5-52
Bulb Replacement ..........................................5-53
Halogen Bulbs ..............................................5-53
Headlamps ..................................................5-53
Front Turn Signal, Sidemarker and Parking

Lamps .....................................................5-55
Taillamps .....................................................5-55
Replacement Bulbs .......................................5-57
Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement ..............5-58


Section 5

Service and Appearance Care

Tires ..............................................................5-59
Inflation - Tire Pressure .................................5-67
Dual Tire Operation .......................................5-68
Tire Inspection and Rotation ...........................5-68
When It Is Time for New Tires .......................5-70
Buying New Tires .........................................5-71
Uniform Tire Quality Grading ..........................5-72
Wheel Alignment and Tire Balance ..................5-73
Wheel Replacement ......................................5-74
Tire Chains ..................................................5-75
If a Tire Goes Flat ........................................5-76
Changing a Flat Tire .....................................5-77
Appearance Care ............................................5-92
Cleaning the Inside of Your Vehicle .................5-92
Care of Safety Belts ......................................5-95
Weatherstrips ...............................................5-95

Cleaning the Outside of Your Vehicle ..............5-95
Sheet Metal Damage .....................................5-98
Finish Damage .............................................5-98
Underbody Maintenance ................................5-98
Chemical Paint Spotting .................................5-98
Vehicle Care/Appearance Materials ..................5-99
Vehicle Identification .....................................5-100
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ................5-100
Service Parts Identification Label ...................5-100
Electrical System ..........................................5-101
Add-On Electrical Equipment .........................5-101
Headlamp Wiring ........................................5-101
Windshield Wiper Fuses ...............................5-101
Fuses and Circuit Breakers ..........................5-102
Capacities and Specifications ........................5-106


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

Doing Your Own Service Work If you want to do some of your own service work, you will want to use the proper service manual. It tells you much more about how to service your vehicle than this manual can. To order the proper service manual, see Service Publications Ordering Information on page 7-11. Your vehicle may have an air bag system. If it does, see Servicing Your Air Bag-Equipped Vehicle on page 1-75
before attempting to do your own service work. You should keep a record with all parts receipts and list the mileage and the date of any service work you perform. See Maintenance Record on page 6-18.


You can be injured and your vehicle could be damaged if you try to do service work on a vehicle without knowing enough about it.

(cid:127) Be sure you have sufficient knowledge,

experience, the proper replacement parts and tools before you attempt any vehicle maintenance task.






(cid:127) Be sure to use the proper nuts, bolts and

other fasteners. “English” and “metric” fasteners can be easily confused. If you use the wrong fasteners, parts can later break or fall off. You could be hurt.

Adding Equipment to the Outside of Your Vehicle Things you might add to the outside of your vehicle can affect the airflow around it. This may cause wind noise and affect windshield washer performance. Check with your dealer before adding equipment to the outside of your vehicle.

Fuel Use of the recommended fuel is an important part of the proper maintenance of your vehicle.

Gasoline Octane Use regular unleaded gasoline with a posted octane of 87 or higher. If the octane is less than 87, you may get a heavy knocking noise when you drive. If this occurs, use a gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might damage your engine. A little pinging noise when you accelerate or drive uphill is considered normal. This does not indicate a problem exists or that a higher-octane fuel is necessary. If you are using 87 octane or higher-octane fuel and hear heavy knocking, your engine needs service.


Gasoline Specifications It is recommended that gasoline meet specifications which were developed by automobile manufacturers around the world and contained in the World-Wide Fuel Charter which is available from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers at Gasoline meeting these specifications could provide improved driveability and emission control system performance compared to other gasoline.

In Canada, look for the “Auto Makers’ Choice” label on the pump.

California Fuel If your vehicle is certified to meet California Emission Standards (see the underhood emission control label), it is designed to operate on fuels that meet California specifications. If this fuel is not available in states adopting California emissions standards, your vehicle will operate satisfactorily on fuels meeting federal specifications, but emission control system performance may be affected. The malfunction indicator lamp may turn on (see Malfunction Indicator Lamp on page 3-36 ) and your vehicle may fail a smog-check test. If this occurs, return to your authorized GM dealer for diagnosis. If it is determined that the condition is caused by the type of fuel used, repairs may not be covered by your warranty.

Canada Only


Some gasolines that are not reformulated for low emissions may contain an octane-enhancing additive called methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT); ask the attendant where you buy gasoline whether the fuel contains MMT. General Motors does not recommend the use of such gasolines. Fuels containing MMT can reduce the life of spark plugs and the performance of the emission control system may be affected. The malfunction indicator lamp may turn on. If this occurs, return to your authorized GM dealer for service.

Fuels in Foreign Countries If you plan on driving in another country outside the United States or Canada, the proper fuel may be hard to find. Never use leaded gasoline or any other fuel not recommended in the previous text on fuel. Costly repairs caused by use of improper fuel would not be covered by your warranty. To check the fuel availability, ask an auto club, or contact a major oil company that does business in the country where you will be driving.

Additives To provide cleaner air, all gasolines in the United States are now required to contain additives that will help prevent engine and fuel system deposits from forming, allowing your emission control system to work properly. You should not have to add anything to your fuel. However, some gasolines contain only the minimum amount of additive required to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations. General Motors recommends that you buy gasolines that are advertised to help keep fuel injectors and intake valves clean. If your vehicle experiences problems due to dirty injectors or valves, try a different brand of gasoline. Gasolines containing oxygenates, such as ethers and ethanol, and reformulated gasolines may be available in your area to contribute to clean air. General Motors recommends that you use these gasolines, particularly if they comply with the specifications described earlier. Notice: Your vehicle was not designed for fuel that contains methanol. Do not use fuel containing methanol. It can corrode metal parts in your fuel system and also damage the plastic and rubber parts. That damage would not be covered under your warranty.


Filling Your Tank


Fuel vapor is highly flammable. It burns violently, and that can cause very bad injuries. Do not smoke if you are near fuel or refueling your vehicle. Keep sparks, flames and smoking materials away from fuel.

The fuel cap is located behind a hinged door on the driver’s side of your vehicle.

To remove the fuel cap, turn it slowly to the left (counterclockwise). While refueling, place the fuel cap in the holder provided.



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

Be careful not to spill fuel. Clean fuel from painted surfaces as soon as possible. See Cleaning the Outside of Your Vehicle on page 5-95. When filling the tank do not overfill by squeezing in much more fuel after the pump shuts off.

When you put the fuel cap back on, turn it to the right (clockwise) until you hear a clicking sound. Make sure you fully install the cap. The diagnostic system can determine if the fuel cap has been left off or improperly installed. This would allow fuel to evaporate into the atmosphere. See Malfunction Indicator Lamp on page 3-36. Notice: the right type. Your dealer can get one for you. If you get the wrong type, it may not fit properly. This may cause your malfunction indicator lamp to light and may damage your fuel tank and emissions system. See Malfunction Indicator Lamp on page 3-36.

If you need a new fuel cap, be sure to get


Filling a Portable Fuel Container


Never fill a portable fuel container while it is in your vehicle. Static electricity discharge from the container can ignite the gasoline vapor. You can be badly burned and your vehicle damaged if this occurs. To help avoid injury to you and others:

(cid:127) Dispense gasoline only into approved


(cid:127) Do not fill a container while it is inside a

vehicle, in a vehicle’s trunk, pickup bed or on any surface other than the ground. (cid:127) Bring the fill nozzle in contact with the

inside of the fill opening before operating the nozzle. Contact should be maintained until the filling is complete.

(cid:127) Do not smoke while pumping gasoline.

Checking Things Under the Hood


Things that burn can get on hot engine parts and start a fire. These include liquids like fuel, oil, coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer and other fluids, and plastic or rubber. You or others could be burned. Be careful not to drop or spill things that will burn onto a hot engine.


Hood Release To open the hood, do the following:

1. Pull this handle inside

the vehicle. It is located in front of the driver’s side door frame near the floor.


2. Then go to the front of the vehicle and lift up the secondary hood release underneath the middle of the hood.

3. Lift the hood.

4. Release the hood

prop from its retainer and put the hood prop into the slot in the hood hinge on the driver’s side.

If your vehicle has an underhood lamp, it will automatically come on and stay on until the hood is closed. Before closing the hood, be sure all of the filler caps are on properly. Then lift the hood to relieve pressure on the hood prop. Remove the hood prop from the slot in the hood and return the prop to its retainer. then let the hood down and close it firmly.


Engine Compartment Overview When you lift the hood, you’ll see these items:


A. Battery. See Battery on page 5-43. B. Radiator Pressure Cap. See Radiator Pressure Cap

on page 5-25.

C. Coolant Recovery Tank. See Cooling System on

page 5-28.

D. Transmission Fluid Dipstick. See Automatic

Transmission Fluid on page 5-19.

E. Engine Oil Fill. See Engine Oil on page 5-13. F. Engine Oil Dipstick. See Engine Oil on page 5-13. G. Air Filter Restriction Indicator. See Engine Air

Cleaner/Filter on page 5-18.

H. Engine Air Cleaner/Filter. See Engine Air

Cleaner/Filter on page 5-18.

I. Power Steering Reservoir. See Power Steering Fluid

on page 5-37.

J. Brake Master Cylinder. See Brakes on page 5-40. K. Windshield Washer Fluid. See Windshield Washer

Fluid on page 5-38.

Engine Oil Checking Engine Oil It is a good idea to check your engine oil every time you get fuel. In order to get an accurate reading, the oil must be warm and the vehicle must be on level ground. The engine oil dipstick handle is a yellow loop. See Engine Compartment Overview on page 5-12 for the location of the engine oil dipstick. Turn off the engine and give the oil several minutes to drain back into the oil pan. If you don’t, the oil dipstick might not show the actual level. Pull out the dipstick and clean it with a paper towel or cloth, then push it back in all the way. Remove it again, keeping the tip down, and check the level.


What Kind of Engine Oil to Use Look for two things: (cid:127) GM6094M

Your vehicle’s engine requires oil meeting GM Standard GM6094M. You should look for and use only an oil that meets GM Standard GM6094M.

When to Add Engine Oil If the oil is at or below the cross-hatched area at the tip of the dipstick, then you will need to add at least one quart of oil. But you must use the right kind. This section explains what kind of oil to use. For engine oil crankcase capacity, see Capacities and Specifications on page 5-106. Notice: Do not add too much oil. If your engine has so much oil that the oil level gets above the cross-hatched area that shows the proper operating range, your engine could be damaged.

See Engine Compartment Overview on page 5-12 for the location of the engine oil fill cap.

Be sure to add enough oil to put the level somewhere in the proper operating range. Push the dipstick all the way back in when you are through.


(cid:127) SAE 5W-30

As shown in the viscosity chart, SAE 5W-30 is best for your vehicle. However, if it is going to be 0°F (–18°C) or above and SAE 5W-30 is not available, you may use SAE 10W-30. These numbers on an oil container show its viscosity, or thickness. Do not use other viscosity oils such as SAE 20W-50.

Oils meeting these requirements should also have the starburst symbol on the container. This symbol indicates that the oil has been certified by the American Petroleum Institute (API).

You should look for this information on the oil container, and use only those oils that are identified as meeting GM Standard GM6094M and have the starburst symbol on the front of the oil container.


Notice: Use only engine oil identified as meeting GM Standard GM6094M and showing the American Petroleum Institute Certified For Gasoline Engines starburst symbol. Failure to use the recommended oil can result in engine damage not covered by your warranty. GM Goodwrench® oil meets all the requirements for your vehicle. If you are in an area of extreme cold, where the temperature falls below −20°F (−29°C), it is recommended that you use either an SAE 5W-30
synthetic oil or an SAE 0W-30 oil. Both will provide easier cold starting and better protection for your engine at extremely low temperatures. Engine Oil Additives Do not add anything to your oil. The recommended oils with the starburst symbol that meet GM Standard GM6094M are all you will need for good performance and engine protection.

When to Change Engine Oil (GM Oil Life System) Your vehicle has a computer system that lets you know when to change the engine oil and filter. This is based on engine revolutions and engine temperature, and not on mileage. Based on driving conditions, the mileage at which an oil change will be indicated can vary considerably. For the oil life system to work properly, you must reset the system every time the oil is changed. When the system has calculated that oil life has been diminished, it will indicate that an oil change is necessary. A Change Engine Oil light will come on. Change your oil as soon as possible within the next two times you stop for fuel. It is possible that, if you are driving under the best conditions, the oil life system may not indicate that an oil change is necessary for over a year. However, your engine oil and filter must be changed at least once a year and at this time the system must be reset. Your dealer has GM-trained service people who will perform this work using genuine GM parts and reset the system. It is also important to check your oil regularly and keep it at the proper level. If the system is ever reset accidentally, you must change your oil at 3,000 miles (5 000 km) since your last oil change. Remember to reset the oil life system whenever the oil is changed.


How to Reset the Change Engine Oil Light The GM Oil Life System calculates when to change your engine oil and filter based on vehicle use. Anytime your oil is changed, reset the system so it can calculate when the next oil change is required. If a situation occurs where you change your oil prior to a Change Engine Oil light being turned on, reset the system. To reset the Change Engine Oil light, do the following: 1. Turn the ignition key to RUN with the

engine off.

2. Fully press and release the accelerator pedal slowly

three times within five seconds.

3. If the Change Engine Oil light flashes for five

seconds, the system is reset.

4. Turn the key to LOCK. If the Change Engine Oil light comes back on when you start your vehicle, the engine oil life system has not reset. Repeat the procedure. If it still does not reset, see your dealer for service. See Change Engine Oil Light on page 3-39.

What to Do with Used Oil Used engine oil contains certain elements that may be unhealthy for your skin and could even cause cancer. Do not let used oil stay on your skin for very long. Clean your skin and nails with soap and water, or a good hand cleaner. Wash or properly dispose of clothing or rags containing used engine oil. See the manufacturer’s warnings about the use and disposal of oil products. Used oil can be a threat to the environment. If you change your own oil, be sure to drain all the oil from the filter before disposal. Never dispose of oil by putting it in the trash, pouring it on the ground, into sewers, or into streams or bodies of water. Instead, recycle it by taking it to a place that collects used oil. If you have a problem properly disposing of your used oil, ask your dealer, a service station or a local recycling center for help.


Engine Air Cleaner/Filter

See Engine Compartment Overview on page 5-12
for the location of the engine air cleaner/filter and change indicator (if equipped).

How to Inspect the Engine Air Cleaner/Filter To inspect the air cleaner/filter, remove the filter from the vehicle and lightly shake filter to release loose dust and dirt. If the filter remains caked with dirt, a new filter is required. To remove and reinstall the filter and reset the indicator (if equipped), do the following:

When to Inspect the Engine Air Cleaner/Filter If your vehicle is equipped with a filter change indicator