Manual 13824619 | Section 5 Problems on the Road
Section 5 Problems on the Road
Here you’ll find what to do about some problems that can occur on the road.
Hazard Warning Flashers
The hazard warning button is located on the center of the instrument panel between the two air vents.
Press the button in to make the front and rear turn signal lamps flash on and off.
The light in the center of the button will flash, indicating that the hazard warning flashers are on.
Your hazard warning flashers let you warn others. They also let police know you have a problem. Your front and rear turn signal lamps will flash on and off.
Your hazard warning flashers work no matter what position your key is in, and even if the key isn’t in.
Press the button again to turn your hazard warning flashers off. When the hazard warning flashers are on, the turn signals won’t work.
Other Warning Devices
If you carry reflective triangles, you can set one up at the side of the road about 300 feet (100 m) behind your vehicle.
If you cannot start your vehicle and you are unable to remove your key from the ignition, see “Shift Lock
Release” in the Index.
If your battery has run down, you may want to use another vehicle and some jumper cables to start your vehicle. Please follow the steps below to do it safely.
Batteries can hurt you. They can be dangerous because:
D They contain acid that can burn you.
D They contain gas that can explode or ignite.
D They contain enough electricity to
If you don’t follow these steps exactly, some or all of these things can hurt you.
Ignoring these steps could result in costly damage to your vehicle that wouldn’t be covered by your warranty.
battery in your vehicle has a built
in hydrometer. Do not charge, test or jump start the battery if the hydrometer looks clear or light yellow. Replace the battery when there is a clear or light yellow hydrometer and a cranking complaint.
Trying to start your vehicle by pushing or pulling it won’t work, and it could damage your vehicle.
1. Check the other vehicle. It must have a 12
volt battery with a negative ground system.
If the other system isn’t a 12
volt system with a negative ground, both vehicles can be damaged.
2. Get the vehicles close enough so the jumper cables can reach, but be sure the vehicles aren’t touching each other. If they are, it could cause a ground connection you don’t want. You wouldn’t be able to start your vehicle and the bad grounding could damage the electrical systems.
To avoid the possibility of the vehicles rolling, set the parking brake firmly on both vehicles involved in the jump start procedure. Put an automatic transaxle in PARK (P).
3. Turn off the ignition on both vehicles. Unplug unnecessary accessories plugged into the cigarette lighter or accessory power outlets. Turn off all lamps that aren’t needed as well as radios. This will avoid sparks and help save both batteries. In addition, it could save your radio!
If you leave your radio on, it could be badly damaged. The repairs wouldn’t be covered by your warranty.
4. Open the hoods and locate the battery on the other vehicle and the remote positive (+) terminal, located on the passenger’s side of the engine, on your vehicle. (You will not see the battery under the hood of your vehicle, since it is located under the rear seat on the passenger’s side.) Find the positive (+) and negative (
) terminals on the battery in the other vehicle.
You do not need to access your battery for jump starting. The remote positive (+) terminal, located on the driver’s side of the engine compartment, is for this purpose.
An electric fan can start up even when the engine is not running and can injure you. Keep hands, clothing and tools away from any underhood electric fan.
5. Lift and move the red positive (+) terminal cover away from the relay center.
Using a match near a battery can cause battery gas to explode. People have been hurt doing this, and some have been blinded. Use a flashlight if you need more light.
Be sure the battery has enough water. You don’t need to add water to the ACDelco
battery installed in every new GM vehicle. But if a battery has filler caps, be sure the right amount of fluid is there. If it is low, add water to take care of that first. If you don’t, explosive gas could be present.
Battery fluid contains acid that can burn you.
Don’t get it on you. If you accidentally get it in your eyes or on your skin, flush the place with water and get medical help immediately.
6. Check that the jumper cables don’t have loose or missing insulation. If they do, you could get a shock.
The vehicles could also be damaged.
Before you connect the cables, here are some basic things you should know. Positive (+) will go to positive (+) and negative (
) will go to a heavy, unpainted metal engine part. Don’t connect positive (+) to the negative (
) or you will get a short that would damage the battery and maybe other parts, too. Also, don’t connect the negative (
) cable to negative (
) terminal on the dead battery because this can cause sparks.
Fans or other moving engine parts can injure you badly. Keep your hands away from moving parts once the engine is running.
7. Connect the red positive (+) cable to the remote positive (+) terminal of your vehicle.
8. Don’t let the other end of the positive (+) cable touch metal. Now, connect the red + terminal to the red positive (+) terminal of the other vehicle’s battery. Use a remote positive (+) terminal if the vehicle has one.
9. Now connect the black negative (
) cable to the good battery’s negative (
Don’t let the other end of the negative (
) cable touch anything until the next step. The other end of the negative (
) cable doesn’t go to the dead battery.
10. Your vehicle has a remote negative terminal, marked “GND”, located near the power steering fluid reservoir. Attach the cable to the remote negative terminal provided.
11. Now start the vehicle with the good battery and run the engine for a while.
12. Try to start the vehicle with the dead battery.
If it won’t start after a few tries, it probably needs service.
13. Remove the cables in reverse order to prevent electrical shorting. Take care that they don’t touch each other or any other metal. Replace the red positive (+) remote terminal cover to its original position.
A. Remote Positive (+) Terminal
B. Good Battery
C. Heavy, Unpainted Metal Engine Part
Towing Your Vehicle
To help avoid serious personal injury to you or others:
D Never let passengers ride in a vehicle that is
D Never tow faster than safe or posted speeds.
D Never tow with damaged parts not
D Never get under your vehicle after it has
been lifted by the tow truck.
D Always secure the vehicle on each side with
separate safety chains when towing it.
D Use only the correct hooks.
Use the proper towing equipment to avoid damage to the bumper, fascia or fog lamp areas of the vehicle.
With current trends in automotive styles and design, it is essential that the correct towing equipment is used to tow a vehicle. Your vehicle can be towed with wheel lift or car carrier equipment.
Consult your dealer or a professional towing service if you need to have your vehicle towed. See “Roadside
Assistance” in the Index.
You will find an ENGINE COOLANT HOT, IDLE
ENGINE message or an ENGINE OVERHEATED,
STOP ENGINE message on the Driver Information
Center (DIC). You will also hear a chime. There is also an engine temperature warning light and/or gage on the instrument panel. See “Engine Coolant Temperature
Warning Light” or “Engine Coolant Temperature Gage” in the Index.
Overheated Engine Protection
Should an overheated engine condition exist and the message ENGINE OVERHEATED, STOP ENGINE is displayed, an overheat protection mode which alternates firing groups of cylinders helps prevent engine damage.
In this mode, you will notice a loss in power and engine performance. This operating mode allows your vehicle to be driven to a safe place in an emergency; you may drive up to 50 miles (80 km). Towing a trailer in the overheat protection mode should be avoided.
After driving in the overheated engine protection operating mode, to avoid engine damage, allow the engine to cool before attempting any repair.
The engine oil will be severely degraded. Repair the cause of coolant loss, change the oil and reset the oil life indicator. See “Engine Oil” in the Index.
If Steam Is Coming From Your Engine
Steam from an overheated engine can burn you badly, even if you just open the hood. Stay away from the engine if you see or hear steam coming from it. Just turn it off and get everyone away from the vehicle until it cools down. Wait until there is no sign of steam or coolant before you open the hood.
If you keep driving when your engine is overheated, the liquids in it can catch fire. You or others could be badly burned. Stop your engine if it overheats, and get out of the vehicle until the engine is cool. See “Overheated Engine
Protection Operating Mode” in the Index.
If your engine catches fire because you keep driving with no coolant, your vehicle can be badly damaged. The costly repairs would not be covered by your warranty. See “Overheated
Engine Protection Operating Mode” in the Index.
If No Steam Is Coming From Your Engine
If you get an engine overheat warning but see or hear no steam, the problem may not be too serious. Sometimes the engine can get a little too hot when you:
D Climb a long hill on a hot day.
D Stop after high
D Idle for long periods in traffic.
D Tow a trailer.
If you get the overheat warning with no sign of steam, try this for a minute or so:
1. If your air conditioner is on, turn it off.
2. Dial temperature control to the highest heat setting and open the windows, as necessary.
3. If you’re in a traffic jam, shift to NEUTRAL (N); otherwise, shift to the highest gear while driving
DRIVE (D) or THIRD (3).
If you no longer have the overheat warning, you can drive. Just to be safe, drive slower for about 10 minutes.
If the warning doesn’t come back on, you can drive normally.
If the warning continues, pull over, stop, and park your vehicle right away.
If there’s still no sign of steam, idle the engine for three minutes while you’re parked. If you still have the warning, turn off the engine and get everyone out of the
vehicle until it cools down. Also, see “Overheated
Engine Protection Operating Mode” listed previously in this section.
You may decide not to lift the hood but to get service help right away.
When you decide it’s safe to lift the hood, here’s what you’ll see:
An electric engine cooling fan under the hood can start up even when the engine is not running and can injure you. Keep hands, clothing and tools away from any underhood electric fan.
If the coolant inside the coolant surge tank is boiling, don’t do anything else until it cools down.
A. Coolant Surge Tank with Pressure Cap
B. Electric Engine Cooling Fans
A low coolant level should be indicated by a CHECK
COOLANT LEVEL message on the Driver Information
Center. If it is, you may have a leak in the radiator hoses, heater hoses, radiator, water pump or somewhere else in the cooling system.
Heater and radiator hoses, and other engine parts, can be very hot. Don’t touch them. If you do, you can be burned.
Don’t run the engine if there is a leak. If you run the engine, it could lose all coolant. That could cause an engine fire, and you could be burned.
Get any leak fixed before you drive the vehicle.
Engine damage from running your engine without coolant isn’t covered by your warranty.
See “Overheated Engine Protection Operating
Mode” in the Index.
When adding coolant, it is important that you use only DEX
If coolant other than DEX
COOL is added to the system, premature engine, heater core or radiator corrosion may result. In addition, the engine coolant will require change sooner
30,000 miles (50 000 km) or 24 months, whichever occurs first. Damage caused by the use of coolant other than DEX
is not covered by your new vehicle warranty.
If there seems to be no leak, with the engine on, check to see if the electric engine cooling fans are running. If the engine is overheating, both fans should be running. If they aren’t, your vehicle needs service.
How to Add Coolant to the Coolant
If you haven’t found a problem yet, but the coolant level isn’t at the proper level (2.5 inches (6.4 cm) below the base of the fill neck), add a 50/50 mixture of clean,
drinkable water and DEX
coolant at the coolant surge tank, but be sure the cooling system, including the coolant surge tank pressure cap, is cool before you do it. (See “Engine Coolant” in the Index for more information.)
Steam and scalding liquids from a hot cooling system can blow out and burn you badly. They are under pressure, and if you turn the coolant surge tank pressure cap
even a little
they can come
CAUTION: (Continued) out at high speed. Never turn the cap when the cooling system, including the coolant surge tank pressure cap, is hot. Wait for the cooling system and coolant surge tank pressure cap to cool if you ever have to turn the pressure cap.
Adding only plain water to your cooling system can be dangerous. Plain water, or some other liquid like alcohol, can boil before the proper coolant mixture will. Your vehicle’s coolant warning system is set for the proper coolant mixture. With plain water or the wrong mixture, your engine could get too hot but you wouldn’t get the overheat warning. Your engine could catch fire and you or others could be burned. Use a 50/50 mixture of clean, drinkable water and
In cold weather, water can freeze and crack the engine, radiator, heater core and other parts. So use the recommended coolant.
You can be burned if you spill coolant on hot engine parts. Coolant contains ethylene glycol and it will burn if the engine parts are hot enough. Don’t spill coolant on a hot engine.
1. You can remove the coolant surge tank pressure cap when the cooling system, including the coolant surge tank pressure cap and upper radiator hose, is no longer hot. Turn the pressure cap slowly counterclockwise (left) until it first stops. (Don’t press down while turning the pressure cap.)
If you hear a hiss, wait for that to stop. A hiss means there is still some pressure left.
2. Then keep turning the cap, but now push down as you turn it. Remove the pressure cap.
3. Then fill the coolant surge tank with the proper mixture, to the base of the filler neck.
4. With the coolant surge tank pressure cap off, start the engine and let it run until you can feel the upper radiator hose getting hot. Watch out for the engine cooling fans.
By this time, the coolant level inside the coolant surge tank may be lower. If the level is lower, add more of the proper mixture to the coolant surge tank until the level reaches about 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) below the base of the filler neck.
5. Then replace the pressure cap. Be sure the arrows on the pressure cap line up like this.
Start the engine and allow it to warm up. If the CHECK
COOLANT LEVEL message does not appear on the
Driver Information Center, coolant is at the proper fill level. If a CHECK COOLANT LEVEL message does appear, repeat Steps 1 to 3 and reinstall the pressure cap or see your dealer.
If a Tire Goes Flat
It’s unusual for a tire to “blow out” while you’re driving, especially if you maintain your tires properly. If air goes out of a tire, it’s much more likely to leak out slowly.
But if you should ever have a “blowout,” here are a few tips about what to expect and what to do:
If a front tire fails, the flat tire will create a drag that pulls the vehicle toward that side. Take your foot off the accelerator pedal and grip the steering wheel firmly.
Steer to maintain lane position, and then gently brake to a stop well out of the traffic lane.
A rear blowout, particularly on a curve, acts much like a skid and may require the same correction you’d use in a skid. In any rear blowout, remove your foot from the accelerator pedal. Get the vehicle under control by steering the way you want the vehicle to go. It may be very bumpy and noisy, but you can still steer. Gently brake to a stop
well off the road if possible.
If a tire goes flat, the next part shows how to use your jacking equipment to change a flat tire safely.
Changing a Flat Tire
If a tire goes flat, avoid further tire and wheel damage by driving slowly to a level place. Turn on your hazard warning flashers.
Changing a tire can cause an injury. The vehicle can slip off the jack and roll over you or other people. You and they could be badly injured.
Find a level place to change your tire. To help prevent the vehicle from moving:
1. Put the shift lever in PARK (P).
2. Set the parking brake firmly.
3. Turn off the engine.
To be even more certain the vehicle won’t move, you can put blocks at the front and rear of the tire farthest away from the one being changed.
That would be the tire on the other side of the vehicle, at the opposite end.
The following steps will tell you how to use the jack and change a tire.
Removing the Spare Tire and Tools
The equipment you’ll need is in the trunk.
Instructions for changing your tires are on the inside of the tire cover located in your trunk.
To gain access to the instructions, spare tire and jacking equipment, do the following:
1. Press the area at the front of the handle located on the cover, so that the back edge swings upward.
2. Grab the handle and remove the cover.
3. Unscrew the wing nuts to remove the container that holds the wrench and jack.
4. Remove the wheel wrench, jack and spare tire from the trunk. See “Compact Spare Tire” later in this section for more information about the compact spare tire.
The tools you’ll be using include the jack (A) and the wheel wrench (B).
Removing the Wheel Cover Removing the Flat Tire and Installing the
Models with Center Wheel Cover
For models having aluminum wheels with a center wheel cover, use the flat end of the wheel wrench to gently pry the wheel covers off. Be careful not to scratch the aluminum wheel edge and don’t try to remove it with your hands.
For models having exposed wheel nuts, use the wheel wrench to remove the wheel nut covers.
1. Using the wheel wrench, loosen all the wheel nuts.
Don’t remove them yet.
2. Find the jacking location from the diagrams above and corresponding hoisting notches located in the plastic molding. The notches may be labeled
“JACK” with an arrow pointing to the jacking location on the vehicle.
Getting under a vehicle when it is jacked up is dangerous. If the vehicle slips off the jack, you could be badly injured or killed. Never get under a vehicle when it is supported only by a jack.
3. Turn the jack handle counterclockwise to lower the jack lift head until the jack fits under the vehicle.
4. Raise the jack until the metal flange fits firmly into the channel of the jack head.
5. Put the compact spare near you.
Raising your vehicle with the jack improperly positioned can damage the vehicle and even make the vehicle fall. To help avoid personal injury and vehicle damage, be sure to fit the jack lift head into the proper location before raising the vehicle.
6. Raise the vehicle by turning the jack handle clockwise. Raise the vehicle far enough off the ground for the spare tire to fit under the vehicle.
7. Remove all wheel nuts and take off the flat tire.
8. Remove any rust or dirt from the wheel bolts, mounting surfaces and spare wheel.
Never use oil or grease on studs or nuts. If you do, the nuts might come loose. Your wheel could fall off, causing a serious accident.
Rust or dirt on the wheel, or on the parts to which it is fastened, can make the wheel nuts become loose after a time. The wheel could come off and cause an accident. When you change a wheel, remove any rust or dirt from the places where the wheel attaches to the vehicle. In an emergency, you can use a cloth or a paper towel to do this; but be sure to use a scraper or wire brush later, if you need to, to get all the rust or dirt off.
9. Place the spare tire on the wheel
10. Replace the wheel nuts with the rounded end of the nuts toward the wheel. Tighten each nut by hand until the wheel is held against the hub.
11. Lower the vehicle by turning the jack handle counterclockwise. Lower the jack completely.
12. Tighten the wheel nuts firmly in a crisscross sequence as shown.
If your vehicle is equipped with wheel nut covers, screw them on with your fingers, then tighten one
quarter turn with the wheel wrench.
Incorrect wheel nuts or improperly tightened wheel nuts can cause the wheel to become loose and even come off. This could lead to an accident.
Be sure to use the correct wheel nuts. If you have to replace them, be sure to get new GM original equipment wheel nuts.
Stop somewhere as soon as you can and have the nuts tightened with a torque wrench to
ft (140 N·m).
Improperly tightened wheel nuts can lead to brake pulsation and rotor damage. To avoid expensive brake repairs, evenly tighten the wheel nuts in the proper sequence and to the proper torque specification.
13. Don’t try to put a wheel cover on your compact spare tire. It won’t fit. Store the wheel cover and lug nut caps in the trunk until you have the flat tire repaired or replaced.
Wheel covers won’t fit on your compact spare. If you try to put a wheel cover on your compact spare, you could damage the cover or the spare.
Storing the Flat Tire and Tools
Storing a jack, a tire or other equipment in the passenger compartment of the vehicle could cause injury. In a sudden stop or collision, loose equipment could strike someone. Store all these in the proper place.
After you’ve put the compact spare tire on your vehicle, you’ll need to store the flat tire in your trunk.
Store the flat tire as far forward in the trunk as possible.
Store the jack and wheel wrench in their compartment in the trunk. For storage, the jack must be raised until the screw end is flush with the edge of the jack.
Storing the Spare Tire and Tools
Storing a jack, a tire or other equipment in the passenger compartment of the vehicle could cause injury. In a sudden stop or collision, loose equipment could strike someone. Store all these in the proper place.
The compact spare is for temporary use only. Replace the compact spare tire with a full
size tire as soon as you can. See “Compact Spare Tire” in the index. Check the storage instructions label for information on how to properly position and store the compact spare tire.
Compact Spare Tire
Although the compact spare tire was fully inflated when your vehicle was new, it can lose air after a time. Check the inflation pressure regularly. It should be 60 psi
After installing the compact spare on your vehicle, you should stop as soon as possible and make sure your spare tire is correctly inflated. The compact spare is made to perform well at speeds up to 65 mph
(105 km/h) for distances up to 3,000 miles (5 000 km), so you can finish your trip and have your full
size tire repaired or replaced where you want. Of course, it’s best to replace your spare with a full
size tire as soon as you can. Your spare will last longer and be in good shape in case you need it again.
When the compact spare is installed, don’t take your vehicle through an automatic car wash with guide rails. The compact spare can get caught on the rails. That can damage the tire and wheel, and maybe other parts of your vehicle.
Don’t use your compact spare on other vehicles.
And don’t mix your compact spare tire or wheel with other wheels or tires. They won’t fit. Keep your spare tire and its wheel together.
Tire chains won’t fit your compact spare. Using them can damage your vehicle and can damage the chains too. Don’t use tire chains on your compact spare.
If You’re Stuck: In Sand, Mud,
Ice or Snow
In order to free your vehicle when it is stuck, you will need to spin the wheels, but you don’t want to spin your wheels too fast. The method known as “rocking” can help you get out when you’re stuck, but you must use caution.
If you let your tires spin at high speed, they can explode, and you or others could be injured. And, the transaxle or other parts of the vehicle can overheat. That could cause an engine compartment fire or other damage. When you’re stuck, spin the wheels as little as possible. Don’t spin the wheels above 35 mph (55 km/h) as shown on the speedometer.
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.
For information about using tire chains on your vehicle, see “Tire Chains” in the Index.
Rocking Your Vehicle To Get It Out
First, turn your steering wheel left and right. That will clear the area around your front wheels. You should turn your traction control system off. (See “Traction Control
System” in the Index.) 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 doesn’t get you out after a few tries, you may need to be towed out. If you do need to be towed out, see “Towing Your Vehicle” in the Index.
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