Download PDF Manual

CD/AUX (CD/Auxiliary): Press this button to play a CD while a portable audio device is playing. Press this button again and the system begins playing audio from the connected portable audio player. If a portable audio player is not connected, No Input Device Found displays.

Using an MP3
MP3 CD-R or CD-RW Disc The radio plays MP3 files that were recorded on a CD-R or CD-RW disc. The files can be recorded with the following fixed bit rates: 32 kbps, 40 kbps, 56 kbps, 64 kbps, 80 kbps, 96 kbps, 112 kbps, 128 kbps, 160 kbps, 192 kbps, 224 kbps, 256 kbps, and 320 kbps or a variable bit rate. Song title, artist name, and album are available for display by the radio when recorded using ID3
tags version 1 and 2.

Compressed Audio The radio also plays discs that contain both uncompressed CD audio (.CDA files) and MP3
files. By default the radio reads only the uncompressed audio and ignore the MP3 files. Pressing the CAT button toggles between compressed and uncompressed audio format. MP3 Format If you burn your own MP3 disc on a personal computer: (cid:129) Make sure the MP3 files are recorded on a

CD-R or CD-RW disc.

(cid:129) Do not mix standard audio and MP3 files on

one disc.

(cid:129) The CD player is able to read and play a maximum of 50 folders, 50 playlists, and 255 files.

(cid:129) Create a folder structure that makes it easy to find songs while driving. Organize songs by albums using one folder for each album. Each folder or album should contain 18 songs or less.

(cid:129) Avoid subfolders. The system can support up to 8 subfolders deep, however, keep the total number of folders to a minimum in order to reduce the complexity and confusion in trying to locate a particular folder during playback.

(cid:129) Make sure playlists have a .mp3 or .wpl

extension (other file extensions might not work).

(cid:129) Minimize the length of the file, folder or playlist

names. Long file, folder, or playlist names, or a combination of a large number of files and folders, or playlists can cause the player to be unable to play up to the maximum number of files, folders, playlists, or sessions. If you wish to play a large number of files, folders, playlists, or sessions, minimize the length of the file, folder, or playlist name. Long names also take up more space on the display, potentially getting cut off.

(cid:129) Finalize the audio disc before you burn it.

Trying to add music to an existing disc can cause the disc not to function in the player.


Playlists can be changed by using the previous and next folder buttons, the tune knob, or the SEEK arrows. You can also play an MP3 CD-R or CD-RW that was recorded using no file folders. If a CD-R or CD-RW contains more than the maximum of 50 folders, 50 playlists, and 255 files, the player lets you access and navigate up to the maximum, but all items over the maximum are not accessible. Root Directory The root directory of the CD-R or CD-RW is treated as a folder. If the root directory has compressed audio files, the directory is displayed as F1 ROOT. All files contained directly under the root directory are accessed prior to any root directory folders. However, playlists (Px) are always accessed before root folders or files.

Empty Directory or Folder If a root directory or a folder exists somewhere in the file structure that contains only folders/subfolders and no compressed files directly beneath them, the player advances to the next folder in the file structure that contains compressed audio files. The empty folder does not display. No Folder When a CD contains only compressed files, the files are located under the root folder. The next and previous folder function does not function on a CD that was recorded without folders or playlists. When displaying the name of the folder the radio displays ROOT. When the CD contains only playlists and compressed audio files, but no folders, all files are located under the root folder. The folder down and the folder up buttons search playlists (Px) first and then go to the root folder. When the radio displays the name of the folder the radio displays ROOT.


Order of Play Tracks recorded to the CD-R or CD-RW are played in the following order: (cid:129) Play begins from the first track in the first playlist and continues sequentially through all tracks in each playlist. When the last track of the last playlist has played, play continues from the first track of the first playlist.

(cid:129) Play begins from the first track in the first folder and continues sequentially through all tracks in each folder. When the last track of the last folder has played, play continues from the first track of the first folder.

When play enters a new folder, the display does not automatically show the new folder name unless you have chosen the folder mode as the default display. The new track name displays. File System and Naming The song name that displays is the song name that is contained in the ID3 tag. If the song name is not present in the ID3 tag, then the radio displays the file name without the extension (such as .mp3) as the track name.

Track names longer than 32 characters or four pages are shortened. The display does not show parts of words on the last page of text and the extension of the filename does not display. Preprogrammed Playlists Preprogrammed playlists that were created using WinAmp™, MusicMatch™, or Real Jukebox™ software can be accessed, however, there is no playlist editing capability using the radio. These playlists are treated as special folders containing compressed audio song files. Playing an MP3
Insert a CD-R or CD-RW partway into the slot, label side up. The player pulls it in, and the CD-R or CD-RW should begin playing. If the ignition or radio is turned off while a CD-R or CD-RW is in the player, it stays in the player. When the ignition or radio is turned on, the CD-R or CD-RW starts to play where it stopped, if it was the last selected audio source.


As each new track starts to play, the track number and song title displays. Z EJECT: Press the CD eject button to eject CD-R(s) or CD-RW(s). To eject the CD-R or CD-RW that is currently playing, press and release this button. A beep sounds and Ejecting Disc displays. Once the disc is ejected, Remove Disc displays. The CD-R or CD-RW can be removed. If the CD-R or CD-RW is not removed, after several seconds, the CD-R or CD-RW automatically pulls back into the player and begins playing.

f (Tune): Turn this knob to select MP3 files on the CD-R or CD-RW currently playing. © SEEK ¨: Press the left SEEK arrow to go to the start of the current MP3 file, if more than 10 seconds have played. Press the right SEEK arrow to go to the next MP3 file. If either SEEK arrow is held or pressed multiple times, the player continues moving backward or forward through MP3 files on the CD.

S c (Previous Folder): Press the pushbutton positioned under the Folder label to go to the first track in the previous folder.


c T(Next Folder): Press the pushbutton positioned under the Folder label to go to the first track in the next folder. s REV (Reverse): Press and hold this button to reverse playback quickly within an MP3
file. Sound is heard at a reduced volume. Release this button to resume playing the file. The elapsed time of the file displays. \ FWD (Fast Forward): Press and hold this button to advance playback quickly within an MP3
file. Sound is heard at a reduced volume. Release this button to resume playing the file. The elapsed time of the file displays.

RDM (Random): With the random setting, MP3
files on the CD-R or CD-RW can be listened to in random, rather than sequential order. To play MP3 files from a CD-R or CD-RW in random order, press the pushbutton positioned under the RDM label until Random Current Disc displays. Press the same pushbutton again to turn off random play.

To change from playback by artist to playback by album, press the pushbutton located below the Sort By label. From the sort screen, push one of the buttons below the album button. Press the pushbutton below the back label to return to the main music navigator screen. Now the album name is displayed on the second line between the arrows and songs from the current album begins to play. Once all songs from that album are played, the player moves to the next album in alphabetical order on the CD-R or CD-RW and begins playing MP3 files from that album. To exit the music navigator mode, press the pushbutton below the Back label to return to normal MP3 playback.

h (Music Navigator): Use the music navigator feature to play MP3 files on the CD-R or CD-RW in order by artist or album. Press the pushbutton located below the music navigator label. The player scans the disc to sort the files by artist and album ID3 tag information. It can take several minutes to scan the disc depending on the number of MP3 files recorded to the CD-R or CD-RW. The radio can begin playing while it is scanning the disc in the background. When the scan is finished, the CD-R or CD-RW begins playing again. Once the disc has scanned, the player defaults to playing MP3 files in order by artist. The current artist playing is shown on the second line of the display between the arrows. Once all songs by that artist are played, the player moves to the next artist in alphabetical order on the CD-R or CD-RW and begins playing MP3 files by that artist. To listen to MP3 files by another artist, press the pushbutton located below either arrow button. The disc goes to the next or previous artist in alphabetical order. Continue pressing either button until the desired artist displays.


Theft-Deterrent Feature THEFTLOCK® is designed to discourage theft of your vehicle’s radio. The feature works automatically by learning a portion of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). If the radio is moved to a different vehicle, it does not operate and LOCKED displays. With THEFTLOCK® activated, the radio cannot operate if stolen.

Audio Steering Wheel Controls

Radio controls are located on the right side of the steering wheel. If your vehicle has this feature, some audio controls can be adjusted at this location.

They include the following: + − (Volume): Press the plus or minus button to increase or to decrease the volume. ©¨: Press the seek arrows to go to the previous or the next stored radio station and stay there. Press and hold the seek arrows briefly to reverse back to the previous station or to advance to the next station, with a strong signal in the selected band. While a CD is playing, press the seek arrows to go to the previous or to the next track. Press and hold the seek arrows briefly to continue reversing back or advancing ahead to other tracks within the disc. g (Mute/Voice Activation): Press this button to mute the system. Press this button again to turn the sound on. If your vehicle has OnStar®, press and hold this button for two seconds to activate voice on the OnStar® system. See the OnStar® System on page 127 in this manual for more information.


Radio Reception You might experience frequency interference and static during normal radio reception if items such as cellphone chargers, vehicle convenience accessories, and external electronic devices are plugged into the accessory power outlet. If there is interference or static, unplug the item from the accessory power outlet. AM The range for most AM stations is greater than for FM, especially at night. The longer range can cause station frequencies to interfere with each other. For better radio reception, most AM radio stations boost the power levels during the day, and then reduce these levels during the night. Static can also occur when things like storms and power lines interfere with radio reception. When this happens, try reducing the treble on your radio. FM Stereo FM stereo gives the best sound, but FM signals reach only about 10 to 40 miles (16 to 65 km). Tall buildings or hills can interfere with FM signals, causing the sound to fade in and out.

Care of Your CDs Handle CDs carefully. Store them in their original cases or other protective cases and away from direct sunlight and dust. The CD player scans the bottom surface of the disc. If the surface of a CD is damaged, such as cracked, broken, or scratched, the CD does not play properly or not at all. If the surface of a CD is soiled, take a soft, lint free cloth or dampen a clean, soft cloth in a mild, neutral detergent solution mixed with water, and clean it. Make sure the wiping process starts from the center to the edge. Do not touch the bottom side of a CD while handling it; this could damage the surface. Pick up CDs by grasping the outer edges or the edge of the hole and the outer edge.

Care of the CD Player Do not use CD lens cleaners for CD players because the lens of the CD optics can become contaminated by lubricants.


Backglass Antenna The AM-FM antenna is integrated with the rear window defogger, located in the rear window. Make sure that the 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 the 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 and the grid line must be repaired. If adding 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.


Section 4

Driving Your Vehicle

Your Driving, the Road, and

Your Vehicle ............................................ 210
Defensive Driving ...................................... 210
Drunken Driving ........................................ 211
Control of a Vehicle .................................. 214
Braking ...................................................... 214
Antilock Brake System (ABS) .................... 215
Braking in Emergencies ............................. 217
Traction Control System (TCS) .................. 217
Electronic Stability Control ......................... 219
Steering .................................................... 221
Off-Road Recovery .................................... 224
Passing ..................................................... 224
Loss of Control .......................................... 226
Driving at Night ......................................... 227

Driving in Rain and on Wet Roads ............ 228
City Driving ............................................... 231
Freeway Driving ........................................ 232
Before Leaving on a Long Trip .................. 233
Highway Hypnosis ..................................... 234
Hill and Mountain Roads ........................... 235
Winter Driving ........................................... 237
If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud,

Ice, or Snow .......................................... 241
Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out ........... 242
Loading Your Vehicle ................................ 242
Towing ........................................................ 247
Towing Your Vehicle ................................. 247
Recreational Vehicle Towing ...................... 247
Towing a Trailer ........................................ 250


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 17.



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: Judgment

(cid:129) Muscular Coordination (cid:129) Vision (cid:129) 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: (cid:129) The amount of alcohol consumed (cid:129) The drinker’s body weight (cid:129) The amount of food that is consumed before

and during drinking

(cid:129) The length of time it has taken the drinker to

consume the alcohol


(cid:129) 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.

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. 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.


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 217 and Electronic Stability Control on page 219. Adding non-Saturn accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 253.

Braking See Brake System Warning Light on page 168. 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 the brakes; the weight of the vehicle; and the amount of brake force applied.


Avoid needless heavy braking. Some people drive in spurts — heavy acceleration followed by heavy braking — rather than keeping pace with traffic. This is a mistake. The brakes may not have time to cool between hard stops. The 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 vehicle’s engine ever stops while you are driving, brake normally but do not pump the brakes. If you do, the pedal may get harder to push down. If the 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-Saturn accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 253.

Antilock Brake System (ABS) Your vehicle has the Antilock Brake System (ABS), an advanced electronic braking system that will help prevent a braking skid. When you start the engine and begin to drive away, ABS will check itself. You might hear a momentary motor or clicking noise while this test is going on, and you might even notice that the brake pedal moves a little. This is normal.

If there is a problem with ABS, this warning light will stay on. See Antilock Brake System Warning Light on page 169.


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.

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 wheel.


As you brake, the 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 the 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 antilock work for you. You might hear the antilock pump or motor operate, and feel the brake pedal pulsate, but this is normal.

Braking in Emergencies With ABS, you can steer and brake at the same time. In many emergencies, steering can help you more than even the very best braking.

Traction Control System (TCS) Your vehicle may have a Traction Control System (TCS) 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 transmission to limit wheel spin. You may feel or hear the system working, but this is normal. Also, the traction control system activates the appropriate corner brakes to gain even quicker control to limit wheel spin. The LOW TRACTION message will appear on the Driver Information Center (DIC) when the traction control system is limiting wheel spin. 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 on page 145.


The TCS operates in all transmission shift lever positions except PARK (P), NEUTRAL (N) or REVERSE (R). But the system can upshift the transmission 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 116.

This light is located on the instrument panel cluster.

When the system is on, this warning light will come on to let you know if there’s a problem, or if the system has been turned off. When this light is on, 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 TCS on. But you can turn the system off if you prefer.


To turn the system on or off, press the traction control button (TC) located on the center console. In order to effectively “rock” the vehicle, you will need to turn off TCS. If you press the TC button once, the TCS will turn off, the TRACTION OFF message will display and the TCS warning light will come on. The StabiliTrak® system will stay on. Press the TC button again to turn the system back on. The TCS warning light will go off. If you press and hold the TC button, the StabiliTrak® system and the traction control system will turn off. Press the TC button again to turn StabiliTrak® and the traction control system back on. For more information, see Electronic Stability Control on page 219. When you turn the system off, the TCS warning light will come on and stay on. If the Traction Control System is limiting wheel spin when you press the button to turn the system off, the warning light will come on – but the system won’t turn off right away. It will wait until there’s no longer a current need to limit wheel spin. Adding non-dealer/non-retailer accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 253 for more information.

Electronic Stability Control Your vehicle may have an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system which combines antilock brake, traction and stability control systems and helps the driver maintain directional control of the vehicle in most driving conditions. When you first start your vehicle and begin to drive away, the system performs several diagnostic checks to ensure there are no problems. You may hear or feel the system working. This is normal and does not mean there is a problem with your vehicle. The system should initialize before the vehicle reaches 20 mph (32 km/h). In some cases, it may take approximately two miles of driving before the system initializes.

The ESC light is located on the instrument panel cluster.

If the system fails to turn on or activate, the ESC light will be on solid, and the ESC OFF or SERVICE ESC message will be displayed in the DIC. If the vehicle has gone through heavy acceleration or braking during the first two miles after starting your vehicle, these messages and the ESC light may also appear. If this is the case, your vehicle does not need servicing. Turn your vehicle off and back on again to reset the system. If the SERVICE ESC message appears on the Driver Information Center (DIC), and your vehicle hasn’t gone through hard acceleration or braking in the first two miles, your vehicle should be taken in for service. When the ESC off light is on and either the SERVICE ESC or ESC OFF message is displayed, the system will not assist the driver to maintain directional control of the vehicle. Adjust your driving accordingly. See DIC Warnings and Messages on page 182
The traction control part of ESC can be turned off or back on by pressing the ESC button. To disable both traction control and ESC, press and hold the button briefly.


Traction Control Operation The traction control system is part of the ESC system. Traction control limits wheel spin by reducing engine power to the wheels (engine speed management) and by applying brakes to each individual wheel (brake-traction control) as necessary. The traction control system is enabled automatically when you start your vehicle, and it will activate and display the LOW TRACTION message if it senses that any of the wheels are spinning or beginning to lose traction while driving. If you turn off traction control, the TCS OFF warning light will come on and the TRACTION OFF message will be displayed The ESC system will remain operational unless it is turned off. For more information on the traction active message, see Driver Information Center (DIC) on page 179.

When the system is turned off, the TRACTION OFF message will first appear followed by the ESC OFF message. The ESC OFF and TCS OFF indicator lights will also appear to warn the driver that both traction control and ESC are disabled. It is recommended to leave the system on for normal driving conditions, but it may be necessary to turn the system off if your vehicle is stuck in sand, mud, ice or snow, and you want to “rock” your vehicle to attempt to free it. It may also be necessary to turn off the system when driving in extreme off-road conditions where high wheel spin is required. See If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud, Ice, or Snow on page 241. ESC may also turn off automatically if it determines that a problem exists with the system. The ESC OFF and SERVICE ESC messages and the ESC OFF light will be on solid to warn the driver that ESC is disabled and requires service. If the problem does not clear itself after restarting the vehicle, you should see your retailer for service. See DIC Warnings and Messages on page 182. Adding non-dealer/non-retailer accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 253.


Notice: If you allow the wheel(s) of one axle to spin excessively while the ESC, ABS and brake warning lights and the SERVICE ESC message 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 and this message 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, the ESC ACTIVE message will appear 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 on page 145. ESC 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 retailer for service.

Adding non-dealer/non-retailer accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 253 for more information.

Steering If the engine stalls while you are driving, the power steering assist system will continue to operate until you are able to stop your vehicle. If you lose power steering assist because the electric power steering system is not functioning, you can steer, but it will take more effort. If you turn the steering wheel in either direction several times until it stops, or hold the steering wheel in the stopped position for an extended amount of time, you may notice a reduced amount of power steering assist. The normal amount of power steering assist should return shortly after a few normal steering movements. The electric power steering system does not require regular maintenance. If you suspect steering system problems, contact your dealer/retailer for service repairs. See DIC Warnings and Messages on page 182.


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 the 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. See Traction Control System (TCS) on page 217
and Electronic Stability Control on page 219. 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 the 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-dealer/non-retailer accessories can affect your vehicle’s performance. See Accessories and Modifications on page 253.

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 the brakes. See Braking on page 214. 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 vehicle’s 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 the 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:129) 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:129) 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:129) 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:129) 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:129) Check your vehicle’s 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 vehicle’s inside mirror, activate the right lane change signal and move back into the right lane. Remember that an outside convex mirror makes the vehicle you just passed seem farther away from you than it really is.

(cid:129) Try not to pass more than one vehicle at a time on two-lane roads. Reconsider before passing the next vehicle.

(cid:129) Do not overtake a slowly moving vehicle too rapidly. Even though the brake lamps are not flashing, it might 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:129) (cid:129) 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, the 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. Remember: Any traction control system helps avoid only the acceleration skid. If your traction control system is off, then an acceleration skid is also 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 reducing vehicle speed 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:129) Drive defensively. (cid:129) Do not drink and drive. (cid:129) Adjust the inside rearview mirror to reduce the

glare from headlamps behind you.

(cid:129) Since you cannot see as well, slow down and

keep more space between you and other vehicles.

(cid:129) 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 might 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 might cut down on glare from headlamps, but they also make a lot of things invisible.


(cid:129) (cid:129) 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.


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 may 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 the brake pedal lightly until the 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.


If you drive too quickly through

Driving Through Deep Standing Water Notice: deep puddles or standing water, water can come in through the engine’s air intake and badly damage the 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



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.


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. (Continued)


Some Other Rainy Weather Tips (cid:129) 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:129) Have good tires with proper tread depth. See

Tires on page 298.


City Driving

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.

Here are ways to increase your safety in city driving: (cid:129) 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.

(cid:129) Try to use the freeways that rim and crisscross

most large cities. You will save time and energy. See Freeway Driving on page 232. (cid:129) 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.


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.

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.


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 at dealers/retailers all across the United States and Canada. They are ready and willing to help if you need it.


Here are some things you can check before a trip: (cid:129) Windshield Washer Fluid: Is the reservoir

full? Are all windows clean inside and outside?

(cid:129) Wiper Blades: Are they in good shape? (cid:129) Fuel, Engine Oil, Other Fluids: Have you

checked all levels? Lamps: Are they all working? Are the lenses clean?

(cid:129) 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:129) 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:129) Maps: Do you have up-to-date maps?

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.


(cid:129) Hill and Mountain Roads

Then here are some tips: (cid:129) Make sure your vehicle is well ventilated, with

a comfortably cool interior.

(cid:129) 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.

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


(cid:129) 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:129) 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.


If you do not shift down, the 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 the engine assist the brakes on a steep downhill slope.


Coasting downhill in NEUTRAL (N) or with the ignition off is dangerous. The 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 the engine running and your vehicle in gear when you go downhill.

(cid:129) 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:129) 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:129) 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:129) 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:129) Have your vehicle in good shape for winter. (cid:129) You might want to put winter emergency

supplies in your trunk.

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. Also see Tires on page 298.


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 have a lot less traction, or grip, and 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 can 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. If you have the Traction Control System (TCS), it will improve your ability to accelerate when driving on a slippery road. But you can turn the TCS off if you ever need to. You should turn the TCS off if your vehicle ever gets stuck in sand, mud, ice, or snow. See If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud, Ice, or Snow on page 241. Even if you have TCS, slow down and adjust your driving to the road conditions. Under certain conditions, you might want to turn the TCS 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 217 and Electronic Stability Control on page 219.


The Antilock Brake System (ABS) improves your vehicle’s stability when you make a hard stop on a slippery road. Even though you have ABS, begin stopping sooner than you would on dry pavement. See Antilock Brake System (ABS) on page 215. (cid:129) Allow greater following distance on any

slippery road.

(cid:129) 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 can 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 can 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: (cid:129) Turn on the hazard warning flashers. (cid:129) Tie a red cloth to your vehicle to alert police

that you have been stopped by the snow.

(cid:129) 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.



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


You will need a well-charged battery to restart the vehicle, and possibly for signaling later on with the 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 vehicle’s 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 the wheels can destroy parts of your vehicle as well as the tires. If you spin the wheels too fast while shifting the transaxle back and forth, you can destroy the transaxle. See Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out on page 242. For information about using tire chains on your vehicle, see Tire Chains on page 319.


Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out First, turn the steering wheel left and right to clear the area around the front wheels. Turn off any traction or stability system. See Traction Control System (TCS) on page 217 and Electronic Stability Control on page 219. Then shift back and forth between REVERSE (R) and a forward gear, spinning the wheels as little as possible. To prevent transmission wear, wait until the wheels stop spinning before shifting gears. Release the accelerator pedal while you shift, and press lightly on the accelerator pedal when the transmission is in gear. By slowly spinning the wheels in the forward and reverse directions, you will cause a rocking motion that could free your vehicle. If that does not get your vehicle out after a few tries, it might need to be towed out. If your vehicle does need to be towed out, see Towing Your Vehicle on page 247.

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. 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 298 and Inflation - Tire Pressure on page 304. 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.

Your vehicle is not designed nor intended to tow any trailer.


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


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.

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.

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:129) 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:129) Never stack heavier things, like

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

(cid:129) Do not leave an unsecured child

restraint in your vehicle.

(cid:129) When you carry something inside the vehicle, secure it whenever you can.

(cid:129) Do not leave a seat folded down

unless you need to.


Towing Your Vehicle Consult your retailer or a professional towing service if you need to have your disabled vehicle towed. See Roadside Assistance Program on page 377. 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:129) What is the towing capacity of the towing vehicle? Be sure you read the tow vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

(cid:129) How far will you tow? Some vehicles have restrictions on how far and how long they can tow.

(cid:129) Do you have the proper towing equipment?

See your dealer/retailer 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 will want to make sure your vehicle is prepared to be towed. See Before Leaving on a Long Trip on page 233.


Dinghy Towing When dinghy towing, the vehicle should be run at the beginning of each day and at each RV fuel stop for about five minutes. This will ensure proper lubrication of transmission components.

You may dinghy tow your vehicle from the front following these steps: 1. Position the vehicle to tow and then secure it. 2. Turn the ignition to OFF. 3. Set the parking brake.

(cid:129) 4. To prevent the battery from draining while the

vehicle is being towed, remove the following fuse from the instrument panel fuse block: (IGN SENSOR). See Instrument Panel Fuse Block on page 343 for more information.

5. Turn the ignition key to ACC. 6. Shift your transmission to NEUTRAL (N). 7. Release the parking brake. Remember to reinstall the IGN SENSOR fuse once you have reached your destination. Notice: towing your vehicle, it could be damaged. Never exceed 65 mph (105 km/h) while towing your vehicle.

If you exceed 65 mph (105 km/h) while

Notice: Towing your vehicle from the rear could damage it. Also, repairs would not be covered by the warranty. Never have your vehicle towed from the rear.


Dolly Towing To tow your vehicle with two wheels on the ground and a dolly:

3. Set the parking brake and then remove the

ignition key.

4. Clamp the steering wheel in a straight-ahead


5. Release the parking brake.

Towing a Trailer Your vehicle is neither designed nor intended to tow a trailer.

1. Put the front wheels on a dolly. 2. Put the gear shift lever in PARK (P).


Section 5

Service and Appearance Care

Service ........................................................ 253
Accessories and Modifications ................... 253
California Proposition 65 Warning .............. 254
Doing Your Own Service Work .................. 254
Adding Equipment to the Outside of Your

Vehicle ................................................... 255
Fuel ............................................................. 255
Gasoline Octane ........................................ 255
Gasoline Specifications .............................. 255
California Fuel ........................................... 256
Additives ................................................... 256
Fuels in Foreign Countries ........................ 258
Filling the Tank ......................................... 258
Filling a Portable Fuel Container ............... 261
Checking Things Under the Hood .............. 262
Hood Release ........................................... 263
Engine Compartment Overview .................. 264
Engine Oil ................................................. 265
Engine Oil Life System .............................. 268
Engine Air Cleaner/Filter ............................ 270
Automatic Transaxle Fluid ......................... 272
Engine Coolant .......................................... 272
Pressure Cap ............................................ 275
Coolant Surge Tank Pressure Cap ............ 275

Engine Overheating ................................... 275
Cooling System ......................................... 278
Windshield Washer Fluid ........................... 282
Brakes ...................................................... 284
Battery ...................................................... 287
Jump Starting ............................................ 289
Bulb Replacement ....................................... 294
Halogen Bulbs ........................................... 294
Taillamps, Turn Signal, Sidemarker,

Stoplamps and Back-up Lamps .............. 294
License Plate Lamp ................................... 296
Replacement Bulbs ................................... 296
Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement ....... 297
Tires ............................................................ 298
Tire Sidewall Labeling ............................... 299
Tire Terminology and Definitions ............... 301
Inflation - Tire Pressure ............................. 304
Tire Pressure Monitor System ................... 305
Tire Inspection and Rotation ...................... 310
When It Is Time for New Tires .................. 311
Buying New Tires ...................................... 312
Different Size Tires and Wheels ................ 314
Uniform Tire Quality Grading ..................... 315
Wheel Alignment and Tire Balance ............ 316

Section 5

Service and Appearance Care

Wheel Replacement .................................. 316
Tire Chains ............................................... 319
If a Tire Goes Flat .................................... 319
Tire Inflator Kit .......................................... 320
Appearance Care ........................................ 332
Cleaning the Inside of Your Vehicle .......... 332
Fabric/Carpet ............................................. 333
Instrument Panel, Vinyl, and Other Plastic

Surfaces ................................................ 334
Care of Safety Belts .................................. 335
Weatherstrips ............................................ 335
Washing Your Vehicle ............................... 335
Cleaning Exterior Lamps/Lenses ................ 336
Finish Care ............................................... 336
Windshield and Wiper Blades .................... 337
Aluminum Wheels ...................................... 337
Tires ......................................................... 338
Sheet Metal Damage ................................. 338

Finish Damage .......................................... 339
Underbody Maintenance ............................ 339
Chemical Paint Spotting ............................ 339
Vehicle Care/Appearance Materials ............ 340
Vehicle Identification .................................. 341
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ........... 341
Service Parts Identification Label ............... 341
Electrical System ........................................ 342
Add-On Electrical Equipment ..................... 342
Windshield Wiper Fuses ............................ 342
Power Windows and Other Power

Options .................................................. 342
Fuses ........................................................ 343
Instrument Panel Fuse Block ..................... 343
Engine Compartment Fuse Block ............... 346
Rear Compartment Fuse Block .................. 348
Capacities and Specifications .................... 351


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

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



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:129) Be sure you have sufficient knowledge,

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

(cid:129) 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.

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


Never try to do your own service on hybrid components. You can be injured and your vehicle can be damaged if you try to do your own service work. Service and repair of these hybrid components should only be performed by a Saturn-trained service technician with the proper knowledge and tools.


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 retailer 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. To help keep the engine clean and maintain optimum vehicle performance, Saturn recommends the use of gasoline advertised as TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline.

Gasoline Octane Use regular unleaded gasoline with a posted octane rating of 87 or higher. If the octane rating is less than 87, you might 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, the 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). Saturn recommends against the use of gasolines containing MMT. See Additives on page 256 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 172. If this occurs, return to your authorized Saturn retailer 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 retailer 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. We recommend 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 the fuel system and also damage 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. We recommend 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 retailer for service.


Fuels in Foreign Countries If you plan on driving in another country outside the United States or Canada, the proper fuel might 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. Do not use cellular phones. 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. Do not re-enter the vehicle while pumping fuel. 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 passenger’s side of the vehicle.

To open the fuel door, apply pressure in the center of the rear edge of the fuel door and it will pop open. To remove the fuel cap, turn it slowly to the left (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 from the hook on the fuel door.


Fuel can spray out on you if you open the fuel cap too quickly. If you spill fuel and then something ignites it, you could be badly burned. 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 335. When replacing the fuel cap, turn it to the right (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