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inside surface of the rear window is not scratched and that the lines on the glass are not damaged. If the inside surface is damaged, it could interfere with radio reception. Also, for proper radio reception, the antenna connector at the top-center of the rear window needs to be properly attached to the post on the glass. Notice: Do not apply aftermarket glass tinting with metallic film. The metallic film in some tinting materials will interfere with or distort the incoming radio reception. Any damage caused to your backglass antenna due to metallic tinting materials will not be covered by your warranty. Notice: Using a razor blade or sharp object to clear the inside rear window may damage the rear window antenna and/or the rear window defogger. Repairs would not be covered by your warranty. Do not clear the inside rear window with sharp objects. Because this antenna is built into your rear window, there is a reduced risk of damage caused by car washes and vandals.

If static is heard on the radio, when the rear window defogger is turned on, it could mean that a defogger grid line has been damaged. If this is true, the grid line must be repaired. If you choose to add a cellular telephone to your vehicle, and the antenna needs to be attached to the glass, make sure that you do not damage the grid lines for the AM-FM antenna. There is enough space between the lines to attach a cellular telephone antenna without interfering with radio reception.

XM™ Satellite Radio Antenna System The XM™ Satellite Radio antenna is located on the roof of your vehicle. Keep this antenna clear of snow and ice build up for clear radio reception. If your vehicle has a sunroof, the performance of the XM™ system may be affected if the sunroof is open. Loading items onto the roof of your vehicle can interfere with the performance of the XM™ system. Make sure the XM™ Satellite Radio antenna is not obstructed.




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 ........................................4-5
Braking .........................................................4-6
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) .........................4-7
Braking in Emergencies ...................................4-8
Traction Control System (TCS) .........................4-9
Steering ......................................................4-10
Off-Road Recovery .......................................4-13
Passing .......................................................4-13
Loss of Control .............................................4-14
Driving at Night ............................................4-16
Driving in Rain and on Wet Roads ..................4-17
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
If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud,

Ice or Snow ..............................................4-28
Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out .................4-29
Loading Your Vehicle ....................................4-29
Towing ..........................................................4-34
Towing Your Vehicle .....................................4-34
Recreational Vehicle Towing ...........................4-34
Towing a Trailer ...........................................4-36


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 1-12.


Defensive driving really means “Be ready for anything.” On city streets, rural roads, or expressways, 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 and be ready. Rear-end collisions are about the most preventable of accidents. Yet they are common. Allow enough following distance. Defensive driving requires that a driver concentrate on the driving task. Anything that distracts from the driving task makes proper defensive driving more difficult and can even cause a collision, with resulting injury. Ask a passenger to help do these things, or pull off the road in a safe place to do them. These simple defensive driving techniques could save your life.


Drunken Driving Death and injury associated with drinking and driving is a national tragedy. It is 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:


(cid:127) Muscular Coordination (cid:127) Vision (cid:127) 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 is 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 is 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 The drinker’s body weight The amount of food that is consumed before and during drinking The length of time it has taken the drinker to consume the alcohol


(cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) According to the American Medical Association, a 180 lb (82 kg) person who drinks three 12 ounce (355 ml) bottles of beer in an hour will end up with a BAC of about 0.06 percent. The person would reach the same BAC by drinking three 4 ounce (120 ml) glasses of wine or three mixed drinks if each had 1-1/2 ounces (45 ml) of liquors like whiskey, gin, or vodka.

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 will when each has the same number of drinks. The law in most 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 have seen, it depends on how much alcohol is in the drinks, and how quickly the person drinks them.

It is 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.


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. “I will be careful” is not the right answer. What if there is 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 is something else about drinking and driving that many people do not know. Medical research shows that alcohol in a person’s system can make crash injuries worse, especially injuries to the brain, spinal cord, or heart. This means that when anyone who has been drinking — driver or passenger — is in a crash, that person’s chance of being killed or permanently disabled is higher than if the person had not been drinking.


Drinking and then driving is very dangerous. Your reflexes, perceptions, attentiveness, and judgment can be affected by even a small amount of alcohol. You can have a serious — or even fatal — collision if you drive after drinking. Please do not drink and drive or ride with a driver who has been drinking. Ride home in a cab; or if you are with a group, designate a driver who will not drink.

Control of a Vehicle You have three systems that make your vehicle go where you want it to go. They are the brakes, the steering, and the accelerator. All three systems have to do their work at the places where the tires meet the road. Sometimes, as when you are driving on snow or ice, it is easy to ask more of those control systems than the tires and road can provide. That means you can lose control of your vehicle. See Traction Control System (TCS) on page 4-9. Adding non-GM accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 5-3.


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 are driving, brake normally but do not 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. Adding non-GM accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 5-3.

Braking See Brake System Warning Light on page 3-31. Braking action involves perception time and reaction time. First, you have to decide to push on the brake pedal. That is perception time. Then you have to bring up your foot and do it. That is reaction time. Average reaction time is about three-fourths of a second. But that is 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 three-fourths of a second, a vehicle moving at 60 mph (100 km/h) travels 66 feet (20 m). That could be a lot of distance in an emergency, so keeping enough space between your vehicle and others is important. And, of course, actual stopping distances vary greatly with the surface of the road, whether it is pavement or gravel; the condition of the road, whether it is wet, dry, or icy; tire tread; the condition of your brakes; the weight of the vehicle; and the amount of brake force applied.


Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) Your vehicle may have the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), an advanced electronic braking system that will help prevent a braking skid.

If your vehicle has ABS, this warning light on the instrument panel cluster will come on briefly when you start your vehicle.

When you start your engine, or when you begin to drive away, ABS will check itself. You may hear a momentary motor or clicking noise while this test is going on, and you may even notice that your brake pedal moves or pulses a little. This is normal.

Let us say the road is wet and you are driving safely. Suddenly, an animal jumps out in front of you. You slam on the brakes and continue braking. Here is 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.


ABS 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.

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


Remember: ABS does not 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 will not 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 ABS. Using ABS Do not pump the brakes. Just hold the brake pedal down firmly and let anti-lock work for you. You may feel a slight brake pedal pulsation or notice some noise, but this is normal.

Braking in Emergencies At some time, nearly every driver gets into a situation that requires hard braking. If you have ABS, you can steer and brake at the same time. However, if you do not have ABS, your first reaction — to hit the brake pedal hard and hold it down — may be the wrong thing to do. Your wheels can stop rolling. Once they do, the vehicle cannot respond to your steering. Momentum will carry it in whatever direction it was headed when the wheels stopped rolling. That could be off the road, into the very thing you were trying to avoid, or into traffic.

If you do not have ABS, use a “squeeze” braking technique. This will give you maximum braking while maintaining steering control. You can do this by pushing on the brake pedal with steadily increasing pressure. In an emergency, you will probably want to squeeze the brakes hard without locking the wheels. If you hear or feel the wheels sliding, ease off the brake pedal. This will help you retain steering control. If you do have ABS, it is different. See Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) on page 4-7. In many emergencies, steering can help you more than even the very best braking.

Traction Control System (TCS) Your vehicle is equipped with a Traction Control System that limits wheel spin. This is especially useful in slippery road conditions. The system operates only if it senses that one or both of the front wheels are spinning or beginning to lose traction. When this happens, the system reduces engine power and may also upshift the transaxle and apply the front brakes to limit wheel spin.

This light will flash when your Traction Control System is limiting wheel spin. See Traction Control System (TCS) Warning Light on page 3-32.

You may feel or hear the system working, but this is normal. If your vehicle is in cruise control when the traction control system begins to limit wheel spin, the cruise control will automatically disengage. When road conditions allow you to safely use it again, you may re-engage the cruise control. See Cruise Control Light on page 3-38. The Traction Control System operates in all transaxle shift lever positions. But the system can upshift the transaxle only as high as the shift lever position you’ve chosen, so you should use the lower gears only when necessary. See Automatic Transaxle Operation on page 2-22. The SERVICE TRACTION CONTROL message will appear in the Driver Information (DIC) to let you know if there is a problem with the system.


See DIC Warnings and Messages on page 3-46. When this message appears, the system will not limit wheel spin. Adjust your driving accordingly. To limit wheel spin, especially in slippery road conditions, you should always leave the Traction Control System on. But you can turn the system off if you ever need to. You should turn the system off if your vehicle ever gets stuck in sand, mud or snow and rocking the vehicle is required. See If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud, Ice or Snow on page 4-28.

To turn the system off or on, press the traction control button located near the exterior lamp control.

When you turn the system off, a chime will sound and a TRACTION CONTROL OFF message will appear in the DIC. If the Traction Control System is limiting wheel spin when you press the button to turn the system off, the traction control system warning light will come on and the system will turn off right away.


You can turn the system back on at any time by pressing the button again. The Traction Control System warning light should go off. Adding non-GM accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 5-3 for more information. 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 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 apply the brakes. Both control systems — steering and braking — have to do their work where the tires meet the road. Unless you have four-wheel anti-lock brakes, adding the hard braking can demand too much of those places. You can lose control. The same thing can happen if you are steering through a sharp curve and you suddenly accelerate. Those two control systems — steering and acceleration — can overwhelm those places where the tires meet the road and make you lose control. What should you do if this ever happens? Ease up on the brake or accelerator pedal, steer the vehicle the way you want it to go, and slow down.

Speed limit signs near curves warn that you should adjust your speed. Of course, the posted speeds are based on good weather and road conditions. Under less favorable conditions you 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. Adding non-GM accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 5-3.


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 cannot; 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 — but, unless you have anti-lock brakes, not enough to lock your wheels. 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: (cid:127) 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) 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 passenger side 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.

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.

(cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) 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. If you have the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), remember: It helps avoid only the braking skid. If you do not have ABS, then in a braking skid, where the wheels are no longer rolling, release enough pressure on the brakes to get the wheels rolling again. This restores steering control. Push the brake pedal down steadily when you have to stop suddenly. As long as the wheels are rolling, you will have steering control.

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 and an acceleration skid are best handled by easing your foot off the accelerator pedal. If your vehicle starts to slide, ease your foot off the accelerator pedal and quickly steer the way you want the vehicle to go. If you start steering quickly enough, your vehicle may straighten out. Always be ready for a second skid if it occurs. Of course, traction is reduced when water, snow, ice, gravel, or other material is on the road. For safety, you 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.


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 the inside rearview mirror to reduce the glare

from headlamps behind you.

(cid:127) Since you cannot 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 vehicle’s 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. 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 the 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 the 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 the 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.

(cid:127) (cid:127) Driving in Rain and on Wet Roads

Rain and wet roads can mean driving trouble. On a wet road, you cannot 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 windshield wiping equipment in good shape and keep your windshield washer fluid reservoir filled with washer fluid. Replace your windshield wiper inserts when they show signs of streaking or missing areas on the windshield, or when strips of rubber start to separate from the inserts.


Wet brakes can cause accidents. They 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.

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 cannot, try to slow down before you hit them.


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 cannot 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 5-54.


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 4-20. 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) 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.

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.


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 rearview 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.


Hill and Mountain Roads

Driving on steep hills or mountains is different from driving in flat or rolling terrain. If you drive regularly in steep country, or if you 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 transaxle. These parts can work hard on mountain roads.

(cid:127) {CAUTION:

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.


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 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.

(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 transaxle, 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.


Winter Driving

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 trunk.

Also see Tires on page 5-54.

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


Driving on Snow or Ice Most of the time, those places where the tires meet the road probably have good traction. However, if there is snow or ice between the 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. Traction control improves your ability to accelerate when driving on a slippery road. Even though your vehicle has the Traction Control System (TCS), you will want to slow down and adjust your driving to the road conditions. Under certain conditions, you may want to turn the traction control system off, such as when driving through deep snow and loose gravel, to help maintain vehicle motion at lower speeds. See Traction Control System (TCS) on page 4-9. Unless you have the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), you will want to brake very gently, too. If you do have ABS, see Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) on page 4-7. ABS improves your vehicle’s stability when you make a hard stop on a slippery road. Whether you have ABS or not, you will want to begin stopping sooner than you would on dry pavement. Without ABS, if you feel your vehicle begin to slide, let up on the brakes a little. Push the brake pedal down steadily to get the most traction you can.


Remember, unless you have ABS, if you brake so hard that your wheels stop rolling, you will just slide. Brake so your wheels always keep rolling and you can still steer. (cid:127) Whatever your braking system, 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 cannot reach, such as 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 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.

(cid:127) Put on extra clothing or wrap a blanket around you. If you do not have 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.


(cid:127) (cid:127) 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 cannot 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 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 Your Vehicle is 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 transaxle 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 transaxle back and forth, you can destroy your transaxle. See Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out on page 4-29. For information about using tire chains on your vehicle, see Tire Chains on page 5-73.


Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out First, turn your steering wheel left and right. That will clear the area around your front wheels. If your vehicle has traction control, you should turn your traction control system off. See Traction Control System (TCS) on page 4-9. 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 transaxle 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 4-34.

Loading Your Vehicle It is very important to know how much weight your vehicle can carry. Two labels on your vehicle show how much weight it may properly carry, the Tire and Loading Information label and the Vehicle Certification label.


Do not load your vehicle any heavier than the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), or either the maximum front or rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (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.


Tire and Loading Information Label

Label Example

A vehicle specific Tire and Loading Information label is attached to the vehicle’s center pillar (B-pillar). With the driver’s door open, you will find the label attached below the door lock post (striker). The tire and loading information label lists the number of occupant seating positions (A), and the maximum vehicle capacity weight (B) in kilograms and pounds.


The Tire and Loading Information label also lists the tire size of the original equipment tires (C) and the recommended cold tire inflation pressures (D). For more information on tires and inflation, see Tires on page 5-54 and Inflation - Tire Pressure on page 5-60. There is also important loading information on the Certification label. It tells you the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) for the front and rear axle, see “Certification Label” later in this section. Steps for Determining Correct Load Limit 1. Locate the statement “The combined weight of

occupants and cargo should never exceed XXX kg or XXX lbs” on your vehicle’s 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 kg or XXX lbs.

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 for your vehicle.

If your vehicle can tow a trailer, see Towing a Trailer on page 4-36 for important information on towing a trailer, towing safety rules, and trailering tips.

Example 1


Description Maximum 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

Example 3


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



1,000 lbs (453 kg)

750 lbs (340 kg)

250 lbs (113 kg)

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


1,000 lbs (453 kg)

1,000 lbs (453 kg)

0 lbs (0 kg)

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


Certification Label

A vehicle specific Certification label is found on the rear edge of the driver’s door. The label shows the gross weight capacity of your vehicle, called the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The GVWR includes the weight of the vehicle, all occupants, fuel, and cargo. Never exceed the GVWR for your vehicle or the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) for either the front or rear axle. If the vehicle is going to carry a heavy load, spread it out. Do not carry more than 167 lbs (76 kg) in the trunk.


Do not load your vehicle any heavier than the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), or either the maximum front or rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (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.

Notice: Overloading your vehicle may cause damage. Repairs would not be covered by your warranty. Do not overload your vehicle.


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


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 trunk of your vehicle. In a trunk, put them as far forward as you can. 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.


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”). With the proper preparation and equipment, many vehicles can be towed in these ways. See “Dinghy Towing” and “Dolly Towing,” following.


Here are some important things to consider before you do recreational vehicle towing: (cid:127) What’s the towing capacity of the towing vehicle? Be sure you read the tow vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

(cid:127) How far will you tow? Some vehicles have

restrictions on how far and how long they can tow.

(cid:127) Do you have the proper towing equipment? See your dealer or trailering professional for additional advice and equipment recommendations. Is your vehicle ready to be towed? Just as you would prepare your vehicle for a long trip, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is prepared to be towed. See Before Leaving on a Long Trip on page 4-21.

If you tow your vehicle with all four wheels

Dinghy Towing Notice: on the ground, the drivetrain components could be damaged. The repairs would not be covered by your warranty. Do not tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground. Your vehicle was not designed to be towed with all four wheels on the ground. If your vehicle must be towed, you should use a dolly. See “Dolly Towing” following for more information.

Dolly Towing

Your vehicle can be towed using a dolly. To tow your vehicle using a dolly, follow these steps: 1. Put the front wheels on the dolly. 2. Put the vehicle in PARK (P). 3. Set the parking brake and then remove the key. 4. Clamp the steering wheel in a straight-ahead


5. Release the parking brake.


(cid:127) 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. Load-pulling components such as the engine, transaxle, wheel assemblies and tires are forced to work harder against the drag of the added weight. The engine is required to operate at relatively higher speeds and under greater loads, generating extra heat. What’s more, the trailer adds considerably to wind resistance, increasing the pulling requirements.

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. You may also damage your vehicle; the resulting repairs would not be covered by your warranty. 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.

To identify the trailering capacity of your vehicle, you should read the information in “Weight of the Trailer” that appears later in this section. 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.


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. You can ask a hitch

dealer about sway controls.

(cid:127) Don’t tow a trailer at all during the first 1,000 miles

(1 600 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) Obey speed limit restrictions when towing a trailer. Don’t drive faster than the maximum posted speed for trailers, or no more than 55 mph (90 km/h), to save wear on your vehicle’s parts.

Three important considerations have to do with weight:

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

Weight of the Trailer How heavy can a trailer safely be? It should never weigh more than 1,000 lbs (454 kg). But even that can be too heavy. It depends on how you plan to use your rig. For example, speed, altitude, road grades, outside temperature and how much your vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all important. It can also depend on any special equipment that you have on your vehicle, and the amount of tongue weight the vehicle can carry. See “Weight of the Trailer Tongue” later in this section for more information.


(cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) (cid:127) Maximum trailer weight is calculated assuming only the driver is 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:

Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center P.O. Box 33170
Detroit, MI 48232-5170

In Canada, write to:

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

Weight of the Trailer Tongue The tongue load (A) of any trailer is an important weight to measure because it affects the total or gross weight of your vehicle. The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) includes the curb weight of the vehicle, any cargo you may carry in it, and the people who will be riding in the vehicle. And if you 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 weigh-carrying hitch or a weight-distributing hitch, the trailer tongue (A) should weigh 10 to 15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight (B).


After you’ve loaded your trailer, weigh the trailer and then the tongue, separately, to see if the weights are proper. If they aren’t, you may be able to get them right simply by moving some items around in the trailer. Total Weight on Your Vehicle’s Tires Be sure your vehicle’s tires are inflated to the upper limit for cold tires. You’ll find these numbers on the Tire-Loading Information label, 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:

The rear bumper on your vehicle is not intended for hitches. Do not attach rental hitches or other bumper-type hitches to it. Use only a frame-mounted hitch that does not attach to the bumper.

(cid:127) Will you have to make any holes in the body of your

vehicle when you install a trailer hitch? If you do, then be sure to seal the holes later when you remove the hitch. If you don’t seal them, deadly carbon monoxide (CO) from your exhaust can get into your vehicle. See Engine Exhaust on page 2-28. 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 so that the tongue will not drop to the road if it becomes separated from the hitch. Instructions about safety chains may be provided by the 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. And, never allow safety chains to drag on the ground. Trailer Brakes Does your trailer have its own brakes? Be sure to read and follow the instructions for the trailer brakes so you’ll be able to install, adjust and maintain them properly. Your vehicle has anti-lock brakes. Do not try to tap into your vehicle’s brake system. If you do, both brake systems won’t work well, or at all.


(cid:127) Driving with a Trailer Towing a trailer requires a certain amount of experience. Before setting out for the open road, you’ll want to get to know your rig. Acquaint yourself with the feel of handling and braking with the added weight of the trailer. And always keep in mind that the vehicle you are driving is now a good deal longer and not nearly 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 may need additional wiring. Check with your dealer. 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. On a long uphill grade, shift down and reduce your speed to around 45 mph (70 km/h) to reduce the possibility of engine and transaxle overheating. If you have overdrive, you may want to drive in THIRD (3), instead of AUTOMATIC OVERDRIVE (D).

Parking on Hills


You really should not park your vehicle, with a trailer attached, on a hill. If something goes wrong, your rig could start to move. People can be injured, and both your vehicle and the trailer can be damaged.

But if you ever have to park your rig on a hill, here’s how to do it: 1. Apply your regular brakes, but don’t shift into

PARK (P) yet.

2. Have someone place chocks under the trailer


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 transaxle fluid (don’t overfill), engine oil, drive belts, 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 this information before you start your trip. Check periodically to see that all hitch nuts and bolts are tight. Engine Cooling When Trailer Towing Your cooling system may temporarily overheat during severe operating conditions. See Engine Overheating on page 5-29.


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

Service and Appearance Care

Service ............................................................5-3
Accessories and Modifications ..........................5-3
California Proposition 65 Warning .....................5-3
Doing Your Own Service Work .........................5-4
Adding Equipment to the Outside of Your

Vehicle ......................................................5-4
Fuel ................................................................5-4
Gasoline Octane ............................................5-5
Gasoline Specifications ....................................5-5
California Fuel ...............................................5-5
Additives .......................................................5-6
Fuel E85 (85% Ethanol) ..................................5-6
Fuels in Foreign Countries ...............................5-7
Filling the Tank ..............................................5-8
Filling a Portable Fuel Container .....................5-10
Checking Things Under the Hood ....................5-10
Hood Release ..............................................5-11
Engine Compartment Overview .......................5-12
Engine Oil ...................................................5-17
Engine Oil Life System ..................................5-20
Engine Air Cleaner/Filter ................................5-22
Automatic Transaxle Fluid ..............................5-23
Engine Coolant .............................................5-26
Pressure Cap ...............................................5-28
Engine Overheating .......................................5-29
Overheated Engine Protection Operating Mode ...5-31

Cooling System ............................................5-31
Power Steering Fluid .....................................5-38
Windshield Washer Fluid ................................5-39
Brakes ........................................................5-40
Battery ........................................................5-42
Jump Starting ...............................................5-43
Headlamp Aiming ...........................................5-47
Bulb Replacement ..........................................5-47
Halogen Bulbs ..............................................5-47
Headlamps, Front Turn Signal, Sidemarker,

and Parking Lamps ....................................5-48
Taillamps, Stoplamps and Back-up Lamps ........5-50
Back-Up Lamps ............................................5-51
Replacement Bulbs .......................................5-51
Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement ..............5-52
Tires ..............................................................5-54
Tire Sidewall Labeling ...................................5-55
Tire Terminology and Definitions .....................5-57
Inflation - Tire Pressure .................................5-60
Tire Pressure Monitor System .........................5-62
Tire Inspection and Rotation ...........................5-66
When It Is Time for New Tires .......................5-67
Buying New Tires .........................................5-68
Different Size Tires and Wheels ......................5-69
Uniform Tire Quality Grading ..........................5-70
Wheel Alignment and Tire Balance ..................5-71


Section 5

Service and Appearance Care

Wheel Replacement ......................................5-71
Tire Chains ..................................................5-73
If a Tire Goes Flat ........................................5-74
Changing a Flat Tire .....................................5-74
Removing the Spare Tire and Tools ................5-76
Removing the Flat Tire and Installing the

Spare Tire ................................................5-77
Storing a Flat or Spare Tire and Tools ............5-83
Compact Spare Tire ......................................5-85
Appearance Care ............................................5-85
Cleaning the Inside of Your Vehicle .................5-85
Fabric/Carpet ...............................................5-87
Leather .......................................................5-87
Instrument Panel, Vinyl, and Other Plastic

Surfaces ..................................................5-88
Care of Safety Belts ......................................5-88
Weatherstrips ...............................................5-88
Washing Your Vehicle ...................................5-89
Cleaning Exterior Lamps/Lenses .....................5-89
Finish Care ..................................................5-89
Windshield and Wiper Blades .........................5-90

Aluminum Wheels .........................................5-90
Tires ...........................................................5-91
Sheet Metal Damage .....................................5-91
Finish Damage .............................................5-91
Underbody Maintenance ................................5-91
Chemical Paint Spotting .................................5-92
Vehicle Care/Appearance Materials ..................5-92
Vehicle Identification ......................................5-93
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) .................5-93
Service Parts Identification Label .....................5-93
Electrical System ............................................5-94
Add-On Electrical Equipment ..........................5-94
Headlamp Wiring ..........................................5-94
Windshield Wiper Fuses ................................5-94
Power Windows and Other Power Options .......5-94
Fuses and Circuit Breakers ............................5-95
Instrument Panel Fuse Block ..........................5-95
Underhood Fuse Block ..................................5-97
Capacities and Specifications ........................5-100


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:

Accessories and Modifications When you add non-GM accessories to your vehicle they can affect your vehicle’s performance and safety, including such things as, braking, stability, ride and handling, emissions systems, aerodynamics, durability, and electronic systems like antilock brakes, traction control and stability control. Some of these accessories may even cause malfunction or damage not covered by warranty. GM Accessories are designed to complement and function with other systems on your vehicle. Your GM dealer can accessorize your vehicle using genuine GM Accessories. When you go to your GM dealer and ask for GM Accessories, you will know that GM-trained and supported service technicians will perform the work using genuine GM Accessories.

California Proposition 65 Warning Most motor vehicles, including this one, contain and/or emit chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Engine exhaust, many parts and systems (including some inside the vehicle), many fluids, and some component wear by-products contain and/or emit these chemicals.


Doing Your Own Service Work


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.

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 7-15. Your vehicle has an airbag system. Before attempting to do your own service work, see Servicing Your Airbag-Equipped Vehicle on page 1-65.


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 6-14.

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 The 8th digit of your vehicle identification number (VIN) shows the code letter or number that identifies your engine. You will find the VIN at the top left of the instrument panel. See Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on page 5-93. If your vehicle has the 3.5L V6 engine (VIN Code K only), you may use either regular unleaded gasoline or ethanol fuel containing up to 85% ethanol (E85); also see Fuel E85 (85% Ethanol) on page 5-6. In all other engines, use only regular unleaded gasoline.

Gasoline Octane If your vehicle has a V6 engine, use regular unleaded gasoline with a posted octane rating of 87 or higher. If the octane rating is less than 87, you may notice an audible knocking noise when you drive, commonly referred to as spark knock. If this occurs, use a gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher as soon as possible. If you are using gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher and you hear heavy knocking, your engine needs service. If your vehicle has the 5.3L V8 engine (VIN Code C), use premium unleaded gasoline with a posted octane rating of 91 or higher. You may also use regular unleaded gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher, but your vehicle’s acceleration may be slightly reduced, and you may notice a slight audible knocking noise, commonly referred to as spark knock. If the octane is less than 87, you may notice 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. If you are using gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher and you hear heavy knocking, your engine needs service.

Gasoline Specifications At a minimum, gasoline should meet ASTM specification D 4814 in the United States or CAN/CGSB-3.5 in Canada. Some gasolines may contain an octane-enhancing additive called methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). General Motors recommends against the use of gasolines containing MMT. See Additives on page 5-6 for additional information.

California Fuel If your vehicle is certified to meet California Emissions Standards, it is designed to operate on fuels that meet California specifications. See the underhood emission control label. 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 and your vehicle may fail a smog-check test. See Malfunction Indicator Lamp on page 3-34. 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.


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. In most cases, 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. To help keep fuel injectors and intake valves clean, or if your vehicle experiences problems due to dirty injectors or valves, look for gasoline that is advertised as TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline. Also, your GM dealer has additives that will help correct and prevent most deposit-related problems. Gasolines containing oxygenates, such as ethers and ethanol, and reformulated gasolines may be available in your area. General Motors recommends that you use these gasolines if they comply with the specifications described earlier. However, E85 (85% ethanol) and other fuels containing more than 10% ethanol must not be used in vehicles that were not designed for those fuels. 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.


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 recommends against 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. Fuel E85 (85% Ethanol) The 8th digit of your vehicle identification number (VIN) shows the code letter or number that identifies your engine. You will find the VIN at the top left of the instrument panel. See Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on page 5-93. If your vehicle has the 3.5L V6 engine (VIN Code K only), you may use either regular unleaded gasoline or ethanol fuel containing up to 85% ethanol (E85); also see Fuel on page 5-4. In all other engines, including the 3.5L V6 (VIN Code N), use only regular unleaded gasoline. Only vehicles that have the 3.5L V6 engine (VIN Code K) may use 85% ethanol fuel (E85). General Motors encourages the use of E85 in vehicles that are designed to use it. The ethanol in E85 is a “renewable” fuel, meaning it is made from renewable sources such as corn and other crops.

Many service stations will not have an 85% ethanol fuel (E85) pump available. The U. S. Department of Energy has an alternative fuels website (http:// that can help you find E85 fuel. Those stations that do have E85 should have a label indicating ethanol content. Do not use the fuel if the ethanol content is greater than 85%. At a minimum, E85 should meet ASTM Specification D 5798. To ensure quick starts in the wintertime, the E85 fuel must be formulated properly for your climate according to ASTM specification D 5798. If you have trouble starting on E85, it may be because your E85 fuel is not properly formulated for your climate. If this happens, switching to gasoline or adding gasoline to your fuel tank may improve starting. Your vehicle is designed to accommodate a mixture of gasoline and E85 fuel. For good starting and heater efficiency below 32°F (0°C), the fuel mix in the fuel tank should contain no more than 70% ethanol. E85 has less energy per gallon than gasoline, so you will need to refill your fuel tank more often when using E85 than when you are using gasoline. Regular unleaded gasoline is recommended when pulling a trailer. For payload capacity with ethanol fuel, see Loading Your Vehicle on page 4-29.

Notice: Some additives are not compatible with E85 fuel and may harm your fuel system. Damage caused by additives would not be covered by your new vehicle warranty. Do not use additives with E85 fuel. 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.

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.


Filling the Tank


Fuel vapor burns violently and a fuel fire can cause bad injuries. To help avoid injuries to you and others, read and follow all the instructions on the pump island. Turn off your engine when you are refueling. Do not smoke if you are near fuel or refueling your vehicle. Keep sparks, flames, and smoking materials away from fuel. Do not leave the fuel pump unattended when refueling your vehicle — this is against the law in some places. Keep children away from the fuel pump; never let children pump fuel.


The tethered fuel cap is located behind a hinged fuel door on the driver’s side of the vehicle. To remove the fuel cap, turn it slowly counterclockwise. The fuel cap has a spring in it; if the cap is released too soon, it will spring back to the right. While refueling, hang the tethered fuel cap on the hook on the inside of the fuel door.


If you spill fuel 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. Do not top off or overfill the tank and wait a few seconds after you have finished pumping before removing the nozzle. Clean fuel from painted surfaces as soon as possible. See Washing Your Vehicle on page 5-89. When replacing the fuel cap, turn it clockwise until it clicks. Make sure the cap is fully installed. 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 3-34.

The TIGHTEN GAS CAP message will be displayed on the Driver Information Center (DIC) if the fuel cap is not properly installed. See DIC Warnings and Messages on page 3-46 for more information.


If a fire starts while you are refueling, do not remove the nozzle. Shut off the flow of fuel by shutting off the pump or by notifying the station attendant. Leave the area immediately.

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

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 3-34.


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


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


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 the interior hood

release handle with this symbol on it. It is located to the left of the parking brake pedal.

2. Then go to the front of the vehicle and release the

secondary hood latch, located near the center of the hood front, by pushing the latch to the right.

3. Lift the hood. Before closing the hood, be sure all the filler caps are on properly. Then pull the hood down and close it firmly.


Engine Compartment Overview When you open the hood on the 3.5L V6 engine, here is what you will see:


A. Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir. See “Adding

Washer Fluid” under Windshield Washer Fluid on page 5-39.

B. Battery. See Battery on page 5-42. C. Underhood Fuse Block. See Underhood Fuse Block

on page 5-97.

D. Remote Positive (+) Terminal. See Jump Starting on

page 5-43.

E. Coolant Recovery Tank. See “Checking Coolant”

under Cooling System on page 5-31.

F. Pressure Cap. See Pressure Cap on page 5-28. G. Power Steering Fluid Cap. See Power Steering Fluid

on page 5-38.

H. Engine Oil Fill Cap. See “When to Add Engine Oil”

under Engine Oil on page 5-17.

I. Engine Oil Dipstick. See “Checking Engine Oil”

under Engine Oil on page 5-17.

J. Automatic Transaxle Fluid Dipstick (Out of View).

See “Checking the Fluid Level” under Automatic Transaxle Fluid on page 5-23.

K. Brake Master Cylinder Reservoir. See “Brake Fluid”

under Brakes on page 5-40.

L. Engine Air Cleaner/Filter. See Engine Air

Cleaner/Filter on page 5-22.


When you open the hood on the 3.9L V6 engine, here is what you will see:


A. Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoir. See “Adding

Washer Fluid” under Windshield Washer Fluid on page 5-39.

B. Battery. See Battery on page 5-42. C. Underhood Fuse Block. See Underhood Fuse Block

on page 5-97.

D. Remote Positive (+) Terminal. See Jump Starting on

page 5-43.

E. Coolant Recovery Tank. See “Checking Coolant”

under Cooling System on page 5-31.

F. Pressure Cap. See Pressure Cap on page 5-28. G. Power Steering Fluid Cap. See Power Steering Fluid

on page 5-38.

H. Engine Oil Fill Cap. See “When to Add Engine Oil”

under Engine Oil on page 5-17.

I. Engine Oil Dipstick. See “Checking Engine Oil”

under Engine Oil on page 5-17.

J. Automatic Transaxle Fluid Dipstick (Out of View).

See “Checking the Fluid Level” under Automatic Transaxle Fluid on page 5-23.

K. Brake Master Cylinder Reservoir. See “Brake Fluid”

under Brakes on page 5-40.

L. Engine Air Cleaner/Filter. See Engine Air

Cleaner/Filter on page 5-22.


When you open the hood on the 5.3L V8 engine, here is what you will see:


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. 1. Turn off the engine and give the oil several minutes