Suzuki XL7 (2007 year). Instruction - part 10

 

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Suzuki XL7 (2007 year). Instruction - part 10

 

 

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
Your Driving, the Road, and
Drunken Driving
WARNING
Death and injury associated with drinking
Your Vehicle
and driving is a national tragedy. It is the
Defensive driving really means “Be
number one contributor to the highway
Defensive Driving
ready for anything.” On city streets,
death toll, claiming thousands of victims
The best advice anyone can give about
rural roads, or expressways, it means
every year.
driving is: Drive defensively.
“Always expect the unexpected.”
Assume that pedestrians or other
Alcohol affects four things that anyone
Please start with a very important safety
drivers are going to be careless and
needs to drive a vehicle:
device in your vehicle: Buckle up. Refer to
make mistakes. Anticipate what they
“Safety Belts: They Are for Everyone” in
• Judgment
might do and be ready. Rear-end col-
“Safety Belts” in the “Seats and Restraint
• Muscular Coordination
lisions are about the most prevent-
Systems” section.
• Vision
able of accidents. Yet they are
• Attentiveness
common. Allow enough following
distance. Defensive driving requires
Police records show that almost half of all
that a driver concentrate on the driv-
motor vehicle-related deaths involve alco-
ing task. Anything that distracts from
hol. In most cases, these deaths are the
the driving task makes proper defen-
result of someone who was drinking and
sive driving more difficult and can
driving. In recent years, more than 16000
even cause a collision, with resulting
annual motor vehicle-related deaths have
injury. Ask a passenger to help do
been associated with the use of alcohol,
these things, or pull off the road in a
with more than 300000 people injured.
safe place to do them. These simple
defensive driving techniques could
Many adults - by some estimates, nearly
save your life.
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, psycho-
logical, 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
4-1

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
many might think. Although it depends on
in both France and Germany. The BAC
each person and situation, here is some
limit for all commercial drivers in the United
general information on the problem.
States is 0.04 percent.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of
The BAC will be over 0.10 percent after
someone who is drinking depends upon
three to six drinks (in one hour). Of course,
four things:
as we have seen, it depends on how much
alcohol is in the drinks, and how quickly the
• The amount of alcohol consumed
person drinks them.
• The drinker’s body weight
• The amount of food that is consumed
But the ability to drive is affected well
before and during drinking
below a BAC of 0.10 percent. Research
• The length of time it has taken the
shows that the driving skills of many peo-
drinker to consume the alcohol
ple are impaired at a BAC approaching
0.05 percent, and that the effects are
According to the American Medical Associ-
1527211
worse at night. All drivers are impaired at
ation, a 180 lbs (82 kg) person who drinks
It is the amount of alcohol that counts. For
BAC levels above 0.05 percent. Statistics
three 12 ounce (355 ml) bottles of beer in
show that the chance of being in a collision
example, if the same person drank three
an hour will end up with a BAC of about
double martinis
(3 ounces or
90 ml of
increases sharply for drivers who have a
0.06 percent. The person would reach the
BAC of 0.05 percent or above. A driver with
liquor each) within an hour, the person’s
same BAC by drinking three 4 ounce (120
BAC would be close to 0.12 percent. A per-
a BAC level of 0.06 percent has doubled
ml) glasses of wine or three mixed drinks if
his or her chance of having a collision. At a
son who consumes food just before or dur-
each had 1-1/2 ounces (45 ml) of liquors
ing drinking will have a somewhat lower
BAC level of 0.10 percent, the chance of
like whiskey, gin, or vodka.
this driver having a collision is 12 times
BAC level.
greater; at a level of
0.15 percent, the
There is a gender difference, too. Women
chance is 25 times greater!
generally have a lower relative percentage
of body water than men. Since alcohol is
The body takes about an hour to rid itself
of the alcohol in one drink. No amount of
carried in body water, this means that a
woman generally will reach a higher BAC
coffee or number of cold showers will
speed that up. “I will be careful” is not the
level than a man of her same body weight
will when each has the same number of
right answer. What if there is an emer-
gency, a need to take sudden action, as
drinks.
when a child darts into the street? A per-
The law in most U.S. states, and through-
son with even a moderate BAC might not
out Canada, sets the legal limit at 0.08 per-
be able to react quickly enough to avoid
cent. In some other countries, the limit is
the collision.
even lower. For example, it is 0.05 percent
4-2

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
There is something else about drinking
can provide. That means you can lose con-
whether it is pavement or gravel; the con-
and driving that many people do not know.
trol of your vehicle.
dition of the road, whether it is wet, dry, or
Medical research shows that alcohol in a
icy; tire tread; the condition of the brakes;
Adding non-Suzuki accessories can affect
person’s system can make crash injuries
the weight of the vehicle; and the amount
your vehicle’s performance. Refer to
worse, especially injuries to the brain, spi-
of brake force applied.
“Accessories and Modifications” in
“Ser-
nal cord, or heart. This means that when
vice” in the
“Service and Appearance
Avoid needless heavy braking. Some peo-
anyone who has been drinking - driver or
Care” section.
ple drive in spurts - heavy acceleration fol-
passenger - is in a crash, that person’s
lowed by heavy braking
- rather than
chance of being killed or permanently dis-
Braking
keeping pace with traffic. This is a mistake.
abled is higher than if the person had not
Refer to “Brake System Warning Light” in
The brakes may not have time to cool
been drinking.
“Warning Lights, Gages, and Indicators” in
between hard stops. The brakes will wear
the “Instrument Panel” section.
out much faster if you do a lot of heavy
WARNING
braking. If you keep pace with the traffic
Braking action involves perception time
Drinking and then driving is very dan-
and allow realistic following distances, you
and reaction time.
gerous. Your reflexes, perceptions,
will eliminate a lot of unnecessary braking.
attentiveness, and judgment can be
First, you have to decide to push on the
That means better braking and longer
affected by even a small amount of
brake pedal. That is perception time. Then
brake life.
alcohol. You can have a serious - or
you have to bring up your foot and do it.
If your vehicle’s engine ever stops while
even fatal - collision if you drive after
That is reaction time.
you are driving, brake normally but do not
drinking. Please do not drink and
Average reaction time is about three-
pump the brakes. If you do, the pedal may
drive or ride with a driver who has
fourths of a second. But that is only an
get harder to push down. If the engine
been drinking. Ride home in a cab; or
average. It might be less with one driver
stops, you will still have some power brake
if you are with a group, designate a
and as long as two or three seconds or
assist. But you will use it when you brake.
driver who will not drink.
more with another. Age, physical condition,
Once the power assist is used up, it may
alertness, coordination, and eyesight all
take longer to stop and the brake pedal will
Control of a Vehicle
play a part. So do alcohol, drugs, and frus-
be harder to push.
You have three systems that make your
tration. But even in three-fourths of a sec-
vehicle go where you want it to go. They
Adding non-Suzuki accessories can affect
ond, a vehicle moving at 60 mph (100 km/
are the brakes, the steering, and the accel-
your vehicle’s performance. Refer to
h) travels 66 feet (20 m). That could be a
erator. All three systems have to do their
“Accessories and Modifications” in
“Ser-
lot of distance in an emergency, so keeping
work at the places where the tires meet the
vice” in the
“Service and Appearance
enough space between your vehicle and
road.
Care” section.
others is important.
Sometimes, as when you are driving on
And, of course, actual stopping distances
snow or ice, it is easy to ask more of those
vary greatly with the surface of the road,
control systems than the tires and road
4-3

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
Your vehicle has the Anti-Lock Brake Sys-
tem (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 may
hear a momentary motor or clicking noise
while this test is going on, and you may
even notice that the brake pedal moves a
little. This is normal.
1527213
1527212
Let us say the road is wet and you are driv-
As you brake, the computer keeps receiv-
ing safely. Suddenly, an animal jumps out
ing updates on wheel speed and controls
in front of you. You slam on the brakes and
braking pressure accordingly.
continue braking. Here is what happens
807057
Remember: ABS does not change the time
with ABS:
you need to get your foot up to the brake
If there is a problem with ABS, this warning
light will stay on. Refer to “Anti-Lock Brake
A computer senses that wheels are slow-
pedal or always decrease stopping dis-
ing down. If one of the wheels is about to
tance. If you get too close to the vehicle in
System Warning Light” in “Warning Lights,
Gages, and Indicators” in the “Instrument
stop rolling, the computer will separately
front of you, you will not have time to apply
work the brakes at each wheel.
the brakes if that vehicle suddenly slows or
Panel” section.
stops. Always leave enough room up
ABS can change the brake pressure faster
ahead to stop, even though you have ABS.
than any driver could. The computer is pro-
grammed to make the most of available tire
Using ABS
and road conditions. This can help you
Do not pump the brakes. Just hold the
steer around the obstacle while braking
brake pedal down firmly and let anti-lock
hard.
work for you. You may hear the anti-lock
pump or motor operate, and feel the brake
pedal pulsate, but this is normal.
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
Braking in Emergencies
the system on. But you can turn the trac-
“Accessories and Modifications” in
“Ser-
With ABS, you can steer and brake at the
tion control system off if you ever need to.
vice” in the
“Service and Appearance
same time. In many emergencies, steering
You should turn the system off if your vehi-
Care” section for more information.
can help you more than even the very best
cle ever gets stuck in sand, mud, ice or
braking.
snow and rocking the vehicle is required.
Electronic Stability Control
Refer to “Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It
The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) sys-
Traction Control System (TCS)
Out” in this section.
tem is an advanced computer controlled
Your vehicle has a traction control system
system that helps the driver maintain direc-
that limits wheel spin. This is especially
tional control of the vehicle in difficult driv-
useful in slippery road conditions. The sys-
ing conditions. This is accomplished by
tem operates only if it senses that one or
selectively applying any one of the vehi-
both of the front wheels are spinning or
cle’s brakes and reducing engine power.
beginning to lose traction. When this hap-
The ESC system comes on automatically
pens, the system reduces engine power to
whenever you start your vehicle.
limit wheel spin.
78J001
The SERVICE STABILITY CTRL message
The traction control system can be turned
may be displayed in the DIC after first driv-
off by pressing the traction control button,
ing the vehicle and exceeding 30 mph 48
located on the floor console to the left of
(km/h) for 30 seconds. The ESC system is
the shift lever.
off until the message has turned off. This
could take up to 15 minutes. Refer to “DIC
The traction control system can be acti-
Warnings and Messages” in “Driver Infor-
vated again by pressing the traction control
mation Center (DIC)” in the
“Instrument
1545635
button.
Panel” section for more information.
This light will come on when your traction
If the system is limiting wheel spin when
The SERVICE STABILITY CTRL message
control system is limiting wheel spin.
you press the button, the traction control
will stay on if there is a problem with the
off light will appear on the instrument panel
You may feel or hear the system working,
system. When this message is on, the sys-
cluster. The system will not turn off until
but this is normal. This light may also come
tem is not operational. Adjust your driving
there is no longer a current need to limit
on after extended heavy braking indicating
accordingly. ESC can be turned off using
wheel spin. You can turn the system back
the brakes have become too hot to limit
the traction control button. To disable ESC,
on at any time by pressing the button
wheel spin.
press and hold the traction control button
again. If the light does not come on, you
for five seconds. ESC can be activated
The traction control system automatically
may not have traction control and your
again by pressing the traction control but-
comes on whenever you start your vehicle.
vehicle should be serviced by a dealer.
ton.
To limit wheel spin, especially in slippery
Adding non-SUZUKI accessories can
road conditions, you should always leave
affect your vehicle’s performance. Refer to
4-5

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
All-Wheel Drive (AWD) System
Experienced driver or beginner, each of us
If your vehicle has all-wheel drive (AWD),
is subject to the same laws of physics
the AWD system operates automatically
when driving on curves. The traction of the
without any action required by the driver. If
tires against the road surface makes it pos-
the front drive wheels begin to slip, the rear
sible for the vehicle to change its path
wheels will automatically begin to drive the
when you turn the front wheels. If there is
vehicle as required. Torque is also applied
no traction, inertia will keep the vehicle
to the rear wheels during launches. There
1710823
going in the same direction. If you have
may be a slight engagement noise during
This light will come on along with the ALL
ever tried to steer a vehicle on wet ice, you
hard use but this is normal.
WHEEL DRIVE OFF message when the
will understand this.
rear drive system is overheating. This light
The traction you can get in a curve
will turn off when the rear drive system
depends on the condition of your tires and
cools down. If this light stays on, it must be
the road surface, the angle at which the
reset. To reset the light, turn the ignition off
curve is banked, and your speed. While
and then back again. If the light stays on,
you are in a curve, speed is the one factor
see your dealer for service.
you can control.
1710820
Refer to “All Wheel Drive Off” under “DIC
Suppose you are steering through a sharp
Warnings and Messages” in “Driver Infor-
This light and the SERVICE ALL WHEEL
curve. Then you suddenly accelerate. Both
mation Center (DIC)” in the
“Instrument
DRIVE message in the Driver Information
control systems - steering and accelera-
Panel” section for more information.
Center (DIC) will come on and stay on to
tion - have to do their work where the tires
indicate that there may be a problem with
meet the road. Adding the sudden acceler-
Steering
the drive system and service is required.
ation can demand too much of those
Refer to “Service All-Wheel Drive Light” in
Power Steering
places. You can lose control. Refer to
“Warning Lights, Gages, and Indicators” in
If you lose power steering assist because
“Traction Control System
(TCS)” and
the “Instrument Panel” section and “DIC
the engine stops or the power steering sys-
“Electronic Stability Control” in this section.
Warnings and Messages” in “Driver Infor-
tem is not functioning, you can steer, but it
What should you do if this ever happens?
mation Center (DIC)” in the
“Instrument
will take more effort.
Ease up on the brake or accelerator pedal,
Panel” section for more information.
steer the vehicle the way you want it to go,
Steering Tips
and slow down.
It is important to take curves at a reason-
Speed limit signs near curves warn that
able speed.
you should adjust your speed. Of course,
A lot of the “driver lost control” accidents
the posted speeds are based on good
mentioned on the news happen on curves.
weather and road conditions. Under less
Here is why:
4-6

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
favorable conditions you will want to go
from a possible collision. Then steer
Off-Road Recovery
slower.
around the problem, to the left or right
You may find that your vehicle’s right
depending on the space available.
wheels have dropped off the edge of a
If you need to reduce your speed as you
road onto the shoulder while you are driv-
approach a curve, do it before you enter
ing.
the curve, while your front wheels are
straight ahead.
Try to adjust your speed so you can “drive”
through the curve. Maintain a reasonable,
steady speed. Wait to accelerate until you
are out of the curve, and then accelerate
gently into the straightaway.
Adding non-Suzuki accessories can affect
your vehicle’s performance. Refer to
“Accessories and Modifications” in
“Ser-
vice” in the
“Service and Appearance
Care” section.
811539
Steering in Emergencies
An emergency like this requires close
There are times when steering can be
810696
attention and a quick decision. If you are
more effective than braking. For example,
holding the steering wheel at the recom-
If the level of the shoulder is only slightly
you come over a hill and find a truck
mended 9 and 3 o’clock positions, you can
below the pavement, recovery should be
stopped in your lane, or a car suddenly
turn it a full 180 degrees very quickly with-
fairly easy. Ease off the accelerator and
pulls out from nowhere, or a child darts out
out removing either hand. But you have to
then, if there is nothing in the way, steer so
from between parked cars and stops right
act fast, steer quickly, and just as quickly
that your vehicle straddles the edge of the
in front of you. You can avoid these prob-
straighten the wheel once you have
pavement. You can turn the steering wheel
lems by braking - if you can stop in time.
avoided the object.
up to one-quarter turn until the right front
But sometimes you cannot; there is not
tire contacts the pavement edge. Then turn
room. That is the time for evasive action -
The fact that such emergency situations
your steering wheel to go straight down the
steering around the problem.
are always possible is a good reason to
roadway.
practice defensive driving at all times and
Your vehicle can perform very well in
wear safety belts properly.
emergencies like these. First apply your
Passing
brakes.
The driver of a vehicle about to pass
another on a two-lane highway waits for
Refer to “Braking” in this section. It is bet-
just the right moment, accelerates, moves
ter to remove as much speed as you can
around the vehicle ahead, then goes back
4-7

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
into the right lane again. A simple maneu-
space if the vehicle ahead suddenly
• Try not to pass more than one vehicle at
ver?
slows or stops. Keep back a reasonable
a time on two-lane roads. Reconsider
distance.
before passing the next vehicle.
Not necessarily! Passing another vehicle
When it looks like a chance to pass is
• Do not overtake a slowly moving vehicle
on a two-lane highway is a potentially dan-
coming up, start to accelerate but stay in
too rapidly. Even though the brake lamps
gerous move, since the passing vehicle
the right lane and do not get too close.
are not flashing, it may be slowing down
occupies the same lane as oncoming traf-
Time your move so you will be increas-
or starting to turn.
fic for several seconds. A miscalculation,
ing speed as the time comes to move
• If you are being passed, make it easy for
an error in judgment, or a brief surrender to
into the other lane. If the way is clear to
the following driver to get ahead of you.
frustration or anger can suddenly put the
pass, you will have a running start that
Perhaps you can ease a little to the right.
passing driver face to face with the worst of
more than makes up for the distance you
all traffic accidents - the head-on collision.
would lose by dropping back. And if
Loss of Control
So here are some tips for passing:
something happens to cause you to can-
Let us review what driving experts say
cel your pass, you need only slow down
about what happens when the three con-
Drive ahead. Look down the road, to the
and drop back again and wait for another
trol systems - brakes, steering, and accel-
sides, and to crossroads for situations
opportunity.
eration
- do not have enough friction
that might affect your passing patterns. If
If other vehicles are lined up to pass a
where the tires meet the road to do what
you have any doubt whatsoever about
slow vehicle, wait your turn. But take
the driver has asked.
making a successful pass, wait for a bet-
care that someone is not trying to pass
ter time.
In any emergency, do not give up. Keep
you as you pull out to pass the slow vehi-
Watch for traffic signs, pavement mark-
trying to steer and constantly seek an
cle. Remember to glance over your
ings, and lines. If you can see a sign up
escape route or area of less danger.
shoulder and check the blind spot.
ahead that might indicate a turn or an
Check your vehicle’s mirrors, glance
intersection, delay your pass. A broken
Skidding
over your shoulder, and start your left
center line usually indicates it is all right
In a skid, a driver can lose control of the
lane change signal before moving out of
to pass, providing the road ahead is
vehicle. Defensive drivers avoid most skids
the right lane to pass. When you are far
clear. Never cross a solid line on your
by taking reasonable care suited to exist-
enough ahead of the passed vehicle to
side of the lane or a double solid line,
ing conditions, and by not overdriving
see its front in your vehicle’s inside mir-
even if the road seems empty of
those conditions. But skids are always pos-
ror, activate the right lane change signal
approaching traffic.
sible.
and move back into the right lane.
• Do not get too close to the vehicle you
Remember that your vehicle’s passen-
The three types of skids correspond to
want to pass while you are awaiting an
ger side outside mirror is convex. The
your vehicle’s three control systems. In the
opportunity. For one thing, following too
vehicle you just passed may seem to be
braking skid, your wheels are not rolling. In
closely reduces your area of vision,
farther away from you than it really is.
the steering or cornering skid, too much
especially if you are following a larger
speed or steering in a curve causes tires to
vehicle. Also, you will not have adequate
slip and lose cornering force. And in the
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
acceleration skid, too much throttle causes
- such as enough water, ice, or packed
• Slow down, especially on higher speed
the driving wheels to spin.
snow on the road to make a mirrored sur-
roads. Your vehicle’s headlamps can
face - and slow down when you have any
light up only much road ahead.
A cornering skid is best handled by easing
doubt.
• In remote areas, watch for animals.
your foot off the accelerator pedal.
• If you are tired, pull off the road in a safe
If you have the Anti-Lock Brake System
Remember: Any traction control system
place and rest.
(ABS), remember: It helps avoid only the
helps avoid only the acceleration skid. If
braking skid. If you do not have ABS, then
your traction system is off, then an acceler-
No one can see as well at night as in the
in a braking skid, where the wheels are no
ation skid is also best handled by easing
daytime. But as we get older these differ-
longer rolling, release enough pressure on
your foot off the accelerator pedal. Refer to
ences increase. A 50-year-old driver may
the brakes to get the wheels rolling again.
“Traction Control System
(TCS)” and
require at least twice much light to see the
This restores steering control. Push the
“Electronic Stability Control” in this section.
same thing at night as a 20-year-old.
brake pedal down steadily when you have
If your vehicle starts to slide, ease your
to stop suddenly. As long as the wheels
What you do in the daytime can also affect
foot off the accelerator pedal and quickly
are rolling, you will have steering control.
your night vision. For example, if you
steer the way you want the vehicle to go. If
spend the day in bright sunshine you are
Remember: Any Anti-Lock Brake System
you start steering quickly enough, your
wise to wear sunglasses. Your eyes will
(ABS) helps avoid only the braking skid.
vehicle may straighten out. Always be
have less trouble adjusting to night. But if
ready for a second skid if it occurs.
you are driving, do not wear sunglasses at
Driving at Night
night. They may cut down on glare from
Of course, traction is reduced when water,
Night driving is more dangerous than day
headlamps, but they also make a lot of
snow, ice, gravel, or other material is on
driving. One reason is that some drivers
things invisible.
the road. For safety, you will want to slow
are likely to be impaired - by alcohol or
down and adjust your driving to these con-
drugs, with night vision problems, or by
You can be temporarily blinded by
ditions. It is important to slow down on slip-
fatigue.
approaching headlamps. It can take a sec-
pery surfaces because stopping distance
ond or two, or even several seconds, for
Here are some tips on night driving.
will be longer and vehicle control more lim-
your eyes to re-adjust to the dark. When
ited.
• Drive defensively.
you are faced with severe glare, as from a
• Do not drink and drive.
driver who does not lower the high beams,
While driving on a surface with reduced
• Adjust the inside rearview mirror to
or a vehicle with misaimed headlamps,
traction, try your best to avoid sudden
reduce glare from headlamps behind
slow down a little. Avoid staring directly
steering, acceleration, or braking, including
you.
into the approaching headlamps.
reducing vehicle speed by shifting to a
• Since you cannot see as well, you may
lower gear. Any sudden changes could
Keep the windshield and all the glass on
need to slow down and keep more space
cause the tires to slide. You may not realize
your vehicle clean - inside and out. Glare
between you and other vehicles.
the surface is slippery until your vehicle is
at night is made much worse by dirt on the
skidding. Learn to recognize warning clues
glass. Even the inside of the glass can
4-9

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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
build up a film caused by dust. Dirty glass
roads. And, if your tires do not have much
washes can cause problems, too. The
makes lights dazzle and flash more than
tread left, you will get even less traction. It
water may affect your brakes. Try to avoid
clean glass would, making the pupils of
is always wise to go slower and be cau-
puddles. But if you cannot, try to slow
your eyes contract repeatedly.
tious if rain starts to fall while you are driv-
down before you hit them.
ing. The surface may get wet suddenly
Remember that the headlamps light up far
when your reflexes are tuned for driving on
Hydroplaning
less of a roadway when you are in a turn or
dry pavement.
Hydroplaning is dangerous. So much
curve. Keep your eyes moving; that way, it
water can build up under your tires that
is easier to pick out dimly lighted objects.
The heavier the rain, the harder it is to see.
they can actually ride on the water. This
Just as the headlamps should be checked
Even if your windshield wiper blades are in
can happen if the road is wet enough and
regularly for proper aim, so should your
good shape, a heavy rain can make it
you are going fast enough. When your
eyes be examined regularly. Some drivers
harder to see road signs and traffic signals,
vehicle is hydroplaning, it has little or no
suffer from night blindness - the inability to
pavement markings, the edge of the road,
contact with the road.
see in dim light - and are not even aware
and even people walking.
of it.
Hydroplaning does not happen often. But it
It is wise to keep your windshield wiper and
can if your tires do not have much tread or
washer system in good shape and keep
Driving in Rain and on Wet Roads
if the pressure in one or more is low. It can
your windshield washer fluid reservoir filled
happen if a lot of water is standing on the
with washer fluid. Replace your windshield
road. If you can see reflections from trees,
wiper inserts when they show signs of
telephone poles, or other vehicles, and
streaking or missing areas on the wind-
raindrops dimple the water’s surface, there
shield, or when strips of rubber start to
could be hydroplaning.
separate from the inserts.
Hydroplaning usually happens at higher
WARNING
speeds. There just is not a hard and fast
rule about hydroplaning. The best advice is
Wet brakes can cause accidents.
to slow down when it is raining.
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
1527470
the brake pedal lightly until the
brakes work normally.
Rain and wet roads can mean driving trou-
ble. On a wet road, you cannot stop, accel-
erate, or turn as well because your tire-to-
Driving too fast through large water pud-
road traction is not as good as on dry
dles or even going through some car
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
Driving Through Deep Standing Water
• Besides slowing down, allow some extra
trip into an unknown part of the city just
following distance. And be especially
as you would for a cross-country trip.
CAUTION
careful when you pass another vehicle.
• Try to use the freeways that rim and
Allow yourself more clear room ahead,
crisscross most large cities. You will
If you drive too quickly through deep
and be prepared to have your view
save time and energy. Refer to “Freeway
puddles or standing water, water can
restricted by road spray.
Driving” in this section.
come in through the engine’s air
• Have good tires with proper tread depth.
• Treat a green light as a warning signal. A
intake and badly damage the engine.
Refer to
“Tires” in the
“Service
and
traffic light is there because the corner is
Never drive through water that is
Appearance Care” section.
busy enough to need it. When a light
slightly lower than the underbody of
turns green, and just before you start to
your vehicle. If you cannot avoid
City Driving
move, check both ways for vehicles that
deep puddles or standing water,
have not cleared the intersection or may
drive through them very slowly.
be running the red light.
Driving Through Flowing Water
Freeway Driving
WARNING
Flowing or rushing water creates
strong forces. If you try to drive
through flowing water, as you might
at a low water crossing, your vehicle
can be carried away. As little as six
inches of flowing water can carry
away a smaller vehicle. If this hap-
pens, you and other vehicle occu-
1527452
pants could drown. Do not ignore
police warning signs, and otherwise
One of the biggest
problems
with city
be very cautious about trying to drive
streets is the amount of traffic on them.
through flowing water.
You will want to watch out for what the
808373
other drivers are doing and pay attention to
Some Other Rainy Weather Tips
traffic signals.
Mile for mile, freeways - also called thru-
• Turn on your low-beam headlamps - not
ways, parkways, expressways, turnpikes,
Here are ways to increase your safety in
just your parking lamps - to help make
or superhighways - are the safest of all
city driving:
you more visible to others.
roads. But they have their own special
• Know the best way to get to where you
rules.
are going. Get a city map and plan your
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
The most important advice on freeway
When you want to leave the freeway, move
Here are some things you can check
driving is: Keep up with traffic and keep to
to the proper lane well in advance. If you
before a trip:
the right. Drive at the same speed most of
miss your exit, do not, under any circum-
Windshield Washer Fluid:
the other drivers are driving. Too-fast or
stances, stop and back up. Drive on to the
Is the reservoir full? Are all windows
too-slow driving breaks a smooth traffic
next exit.
clean inside and outside?
flow. Treat the left lane on a freeway as a
The exit ramp can be curved, sometimes
Wiper Blades:
passing lane.
quite sharply. The exit speed is usually
Are they in good shape?
At the entrance, there is usually a ramp
posted.
Fuel, Engine Oil, Other Fluids:
that leads to the freeway. If you have a
Have you checked all levels?
Reduce your speed according to your
clear view of the freeway as you drive
Lamps:
speedometer, not to your sense of motion.
along the entrance ramp, you should begin
Are they all working? Are the lenses
After driving for any distance at higher
to check traffic. Try to determine where you
clean?
speeds, you may tend to think you are
expect to blend with the flow. Try to merge
Tires:
going slower than you actually are.
into the gap at close to the prevailing
They are vitally important to a safe, trou-
speed. Switch on your turn signal, check
ble-free trip. Is the tread good enough for
Before Leaving on a Long Trip
your mirrors, and glance over your shoul-
long-distance driving? Are the tires all
Make sure you are ready. Try to be well
der as often as necessary. Try to blend
inflated to the recommended pressure?
rested. If you must start when you are not
smoothly with the traffic flow.
• Weather Forecasts:
fresh - such as after a day’s work - do not
What is the weather outlook along your
Once you are on the freeway, adjust your
plan to make too many miles that first part
route? Should you delay your trip a short
speed to the posted limit or to the prevail-
of the journey. Wear comfortable clothing
time to avoid a major storm system?
ing rate if it is slower. Stay in the right lane
and shoes you can easily drive in.
• Maps:
unless you want to pass.
Is your vehicle ready for a long trip? If you
Do you have up-to-date maps?
Before changing lanes, check your mirrors.
keep it serviced and maintained, it is ready
Then use your turn signal.
to go. If it needs service, have it done
Highway Hypnosis
before starting out. Of course, you will find
Is there actually such a condition as high-
Just before you leave the lane, glance
experienced and able service experts in
way hypnosis? Or is it just plain falling
quickly over your shoulder to make sure
dealerships all across North America.
asleep at the wheel? Call it highway hyp-
there is not another vehicle in your blind
They will be ready and willing to help if you
nosis, lack of awareness, or whatever.
spot.
need it.
There is something about an easy stretch
Once you are moving on the freeway,
of road with the same scenery, along with
make certain you allow a reasonable fol-
the hum of the tires on the road, the drone
lowing distance. Expect to move slightly
of the engine, and the rush of the wind
slower at night.
against the vehicle that can make you
sleepy. Do not let it happen to you! If it
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
does, your vehicle can leave the road in
Hill and Mountain Roads
less than a second, and you could crash
WARNING
and be injured.
If you do not shift down, the brakes
What can you do about highway hypnosis?
could get so hot that they would not
First, be aware that it can happen.
work well. You would then have poor
braking or even none going down a
Then here are some tips:
hill. You could crash. Shift down to
Make sure your vehicle is well ventilated,
let the engine assist the brakes on a
with a comfortably cool interior.
steep downhill slope.
Keep your eyes moving. Scan the road
ahead and to the sides. Check your
WARNING
vehicle’s mirrors and instruments fre-
quently.
Coasting downhill in NEUTRAL (N) or
If you get sleepy, pull off the road into a
with the ignition off is dangerous.
rest, service, or parking area and take a
806088
The brakes will have to do all the
nap, get some exercise, or both. For
work of slowing down. They could
safety, treat drowsiness on the highway
Driving on steep hills or mountains is differ-
get so hot that they would not work
as an emergency.
ent from driving in flat or rolling terrain.
well. You would then have poor brak-
If you drive regularly in steep country, or if
ing or even none going down a hill.
you are planning to visit there, here are
You could crash. Always have the
some tips that can make your trips safer
engine running and your vehicle in
and more enjoyable.
gear when you go downhill.
• Keep your vehicle in good shape. Check
• Know how to go down hills. The most
all fluid levels and also the brakes, tires,
important thing to know is this: let your
cooling system, and transaxle. These
engine do some of the slowing down.
parts can work hard on mountain roads.
Shift to a lower gear when you go down
a steep or long hill.
• Know how to go uphill. You may want to
shift down to a lower gear. The lower
gears help cool your engine and tran-
saxle, and you can climb the hill better.
• Stay in your own lane when driving on
two-lane roads in hills or mountains. Do
not swing wide or cut across the center
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
of the road. Drive at speeds that let you
Also refer to “Tires” in the “Service and
stay in your own lane.
Appearance Care” section.
• As you go over the top of a hill, be alert.
Include an ice scraper, a small brush or
There could be something in your lane,
broom, a supply of windshield washer fluid,
like a stalled car or an accident.
a rag, some winter outer clothing, a small
• You may see highway signs on moun-
shovel, a flashlight, a red cloth, and a cou-
tains that warn of special problems.
ple of reflective warning triangles. And, if
Examples are long grades, passing or
you will be driving under severe conditions,
no-passing zones, a falling rocks area,
include a small bag of sand, a piece of old
or winding roads. Be alert to these and
carpet, or a couple of burlap bags to help
take appropriate action.
provide traction. Be sure you properly
secure these items in your vehicle.
Winter Driving
Driving on Snow or Ice
808402
Most of the time, those places where the
tires meet the road probably have good
What is the worst time for this? Wet ice.
traction.
Very cold snow or ice can be slick and hard
to drive on. But wet ice can be even more
However, if there is snow or ice between
trouble because it may offer the least trac-
the tires and the road, you can have a very
tion of all. You can get wet ice when it is
slippery situation. You will have a lot less
about freezing, 32°F (0°C), and freezing
traction, or grip, and will need to be very
rain begins to fall. Try to avoid driving on
careful.
wet ice until salt and sand crews can get
there.
Whatever the condition
- smooth ice,
packed, blowing, or loose snow - drive
808372
with caution.
Here are some tips for winter driving:
Traction control improves your ability to
accelerate when driving on a slippery road.
• Have your vehicle in good shape for win-
But you can turn the traction system off if
ter.
you ever need to. You should turn the trac-
• You may want to put winter emergency
tion system off if your vehicle ever gets
supplies in your vehicle.
stuck in sand, mud, ice, or snow. Refer to
“If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud, Ice,
or Snow” in this section. Even though your
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
vehicle has a traction system, you will want
If You Are Caught in a Blizzard
You can run the engine to keep warm, but
to slow down and adjust your driving to the
If you are stopped by heavy snow, you
be careful.
road conditions. Under certain conditions,
could be in a serious situation. You should
you may want to turn the traction system
probably stay with your vehicle unless you
WARNING
off, such as when driving through deep
know for sure that you are near help and
Snow can trap exhaust gases under
snow and loose gravel, to help maintain
you can hike through the snow. Here are
your vehicle. This can cause deadly
vehicle motion at lower speeds. Refer to
some things to do to summon help and
CO (carbon monoxide) gas to get
“Traction Control System
(TCS)” and
keep yourself and your passengers safe:
inside. CO could overcome you and
“Electronic Stability Control” in this section.
Turn on your hazard flashers.
kill you. You cannot see it or smell it,
The Anti-Lock Brake System
(ABS)
Tie a red cloth to your vehicle to alert
so you might not know it is in your
improves your vehicle’s stability when you
police that you have been stopped by the
vehicle. Clear away snow from
make a hard stop on a slippery road. Even
snow.
around the base of your vehicle,
though you have ABS, you will want to
Put on extra clothing or wrap a blanket
especially any that is blocking the
begin stopping sooner than you would on
around you. If you do not have blankets
exhaust pipe. And check around
dry pavement. Refer to “Anti-Lock Brake
or extra clothing, make body insulators
again from time to time to be sure
System (ABS)” in this section.
from newspapers, burlap bags, rags,
snow does not collect there.
floor mats
- anything you can wrap
Open a window just a little on the
Allow greater following distance on any
around yourself or tuck under your cloth-
side of the vehicle that is away from
slippery road.
ing to keep warm.
the wind. This will help keep CO out.
Watch for slippery spots. The road might
be fine until you hit a spot that is covered
Run your engine only as long as you must.
with ice. On an otherwise clear road, ice
This saves fuel. When you run the engine,
patches may appear in shaded areas
make it go a little faster than just idle. That
where the sun cannot reach, such as
is, push the accelerator slightly. This uses
around clumps of trees, behind build-
less fuel for the heat that you get and it
ings, or under bridges. Sometimes the
keeps the battery charged.
surface of a curve or an overpass may
remain icy when the surrounding roads
You will need a well-charged battery to
are clear. If you see a patch of ice ahead
restart the vehicle, and possibly for signal-
of you, brake before you are on it. Try not
ing later on with your headlamps. Let the
to brake while you are actually on the
heater run for a while.
ice, and avoid sudden steering maneu-
vers.
Then, shut the engine off and close the
window almost all the way to preserve the
808411
heat. Start the engine again and repeat
this only when you feel really uncomfort-
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
able from the cold. But do it as little as pos-
Loading Your Vehicle
sible. Preserve the fuel as long as you can.
CAUTION
It is very important to know how much
To help keep warm, you can get out of the
weight your vehicle can carry. Two labels
Spinning the wheels can destroy
vehicle and do some fairly vigorous exer-
on your vehicle show how much weight it
parts of your vehicle as well as the
cises every half hour or so until help
may properly carry, the Tire and Loading
tires. If you spin the wheels too fast
comes.
Information label and the Vehicle Certifica-
while shifting the transaxle back and
tion label.
forth, you can destroy the transaxle.
If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand,
Refer to “Rocking Your Vehicle to
Mud, Ice, or Snow
WARNING
Get It Out” in this section.
In order to free your vehicle when it is
Do not load your vehicle any heavier
stuck, you will need to spin the wheels, but
For information about using tire chains on
than the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
you do not want to spin your wheels too
your vehicle, refer to
“Tire Chains” in
(GVWR), or either the maximum front
fast. The method known as rocking can
“Tires” in the
“Service and Appearance
or rear Gross Axle Weight Rating
help you get out when you are stuck, but
Care” section.
(GAWR). If you do, parts on your
you must use caution.
vehicle can break, and it can change
Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out
the way your vehicle handles. These
WARNING
First, turn the steering wheel left and right.
could cause you to lose control and
If you let your vehicle’s tires spin at
That will clear the area around the front
crash. Also, overloading can shorten
high speed, they can explode, and
wheels. If your vehicle has traction control,
the life of your vehicle.
you or others could be injured. And,
you should turn the traction control system
the transaxle or other parts of the
off. Refer to
“Traction Control System
vehicle can overheat. That could
(TCS)” in this section. Then shift back and
cause an engine compartment fire or
forth between REVERSE (R) and a for-
other damage. When you are stuck,
ward gear, spinning the wheels as little as
spin the wheels as little as possible.
possible. Release the accelerator pedal
Do not spin the wheels above 35 mph
while you shift, and press lightly on the
(55 km/h) as shown on the speedom-
accelerator pedal when the transaxle is in
eter.
gear. By slowly spinning the wheels in the
forward and reverse directions, you will
cause a rocking motion that may free your
vehicle. If that does not get your vehicle
out after a few tries, it may need to be
towed out. If your vehicle does need to be
towed out, refer to “Towing Your Vehicle”
in this section.
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DRIVING YOUR VEHICLE
Tire and Loading Information Label
tion and “Inflation - Tire Pressure” in “Tires”
6) If your vehicle will be towing a trailer,
in the “Service and Appearance Care” sec-
the load from your trailer will be trans-
Label Example
tion.
ferred to your vehicle. Consult this man-
ual to determine how this reduces the
There is also important loading information
available cargo and luggage load
on the Certification/Tire label. It tells you
capacity for your vehicle.
the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
and the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)
If your vehicle can tow a trailer, refer to
for the front and rear axles. See “Certifica-
“Towing a Trailer” in this section for impor-
tion/Tire Label” later in this section.
tant information on towing a trailer, towing
safety rules, and trailering tips.
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.
1556694
2)
Determine the combined weight of the
A vehicle specific Tire and Loading Infor-
driver and passengers that will be riding
mation label is attached to the vehicle’s
in your vehicle.
center pillar
(B-pillar). With the driver’s
3)
Subtract the combined weight of the
door open, you will find the label attached
driver and passengers from XXX kg or
below the door lock post (striker). The tire
XXX lbs.
and loading information label lists the num-
4)
The resulting figure equals the available
ber of occupant seating positions (A), and
amount of cargo and luggage load
the maximum vehicle capacity weight (B)
capacity. For example, if the
“XXX”
in kilograms and pounds. The vehicle
amount equals 1400 lbs and there will
capacity weight includes the weight of all
be five 150 lb passengers in your vehi-
occupants, cargo, and all nonfactory-
cle, the amount of available cargo and
installed options.
luggage load capacity is 650 lbs (1400
- 750 (5 x 150) = 650 lbs).
The Tire and Loading Information label
5)
Determine the combined weight of lug-
also lists the tire size of the original equip-
gage and cargo being loaded on the
ment tires (C) and the recommended cold
vehicle. That weight may not safely
tire inflation pressures (D). For more infor-
exceed the available cargo and luggage
mation on tires and inflation, refer to “Tires”
load capacity calculated in Step 4.
in the “Service and Appearance Care” sec-
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