Driving with a Trailer
When towing a trailer: • Become familiar with the state and local laws that apply specifically to trailer towing.
• Do not tow a trailer during the first 800 km (500 mi), to prevent damage to the engine, axle or other parts.
• Then, during the first 800 km (500 mi) trailer towing, do not drive over 80 km/h (50 mph) and do not make starts at full throttle.
• Vehicles with automatic transmissions can tow in D (Drive) but M (Manual Mode) is recommended. For vehicles with a manual transmission, it is better not to use the highest gear.
When towing a trailer, exhaust gases may collect at the rear of the vehicle and enter if the liftgate, trunk/hatch, or rear-most window is open.
When towing a trailer: • Do not drive with the liftgate, trunk/hatch, or rear-most window open.
• Fully open the air outlets on or under the instrument panel.
• Also adjust the Climate Control system to a setting that brings in only outside air.
See “Climate Control Systems” in the Index.
Towing a trailer requires a certain amount of experience. The combination you are driving is longer and not as responsive as the vehicle itself. Get acquainted with the handling and braking of the rig before setting out for the open road.
Before starting, check all trailer hitch parts and attachments, safety chains, electrical connectors, lamps, tires and mirrors. If the trailer has electric brakes, start the combination moving and then apply the trailer brake controller by hand to be sure the brakes work.
During the trip, check occasionally to be sure that the load is secure and the lamps and any trailer brakes still work.
Towing with a Stability Control System
When towing, the sound of the stability control system might be heard. The system is reacting to the vehicle movement caused by the trailer, which mainly occurs during cornering. This is normal when towing heavier trailers.
Stay at least twice as far behind the vehicle ahead as you would when driving the vehicle without a trailer.
This can help to avoid situations that require heavy braking and sudden turns.
More passing distance is needed when towing a trailer. Because the rig is longer, it is necessary to go farther beyond the passed vehicle before returning to the lane.
Hold the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand. To move the trailer to the left, move your hand to the left. To move the trailer to the right, move your hand to the right.
Always back up slowly and, if possible, have someone guide you.
Notice: Making very sharp turns while trailering could cause the trailer to come in contact with the vehicle. The vehicle could be damaged. Avoid making very sharp turns while trailering.
When turning with a trailer, make wider turns than normal so the trailer will not strike soft shoulders, curbs, road signs, trees or other objects. Use the turn signal well in advance and avoid jerky or sudden maneuvers.
Turn Signals When Towing a Trailer
The turn signal indicators on the instrument cluster flash whenever signaling a turn or lane change.
Properly hooked up, the trailer lamps also flash, telling other drivers the vehicle is turning, changing lanes or stopping.
When towing a trailer, the arrows on the instrument cluster flash for turns even if the bulbs on the trailer are burned out. Check occasionally to be sure the trailer bulbs are still working.
Driving on Grades
Reduce speed and shift to a lower gear before starting down a long or steep downgrade. If the transmission is not shifted down, the brakes might have to be used so much that they would get hot and no longer work well.
The vehicle can tow in D (Drive).
Use a lower gear if the transmission shifts too often.
When towing at high altitude on steep uphill grades, engine coolant boils at a lower temperature than at normal altitudes. If the engine is turned off immediately after towing at high altitude on steep uphill grades, the vehicle could show signs similar to engine overheating.
To avoid this, let the engine run while parked, preferably on level ground, with the transmission in P (Park) for a few minutes before turning the engine off.
Parking on Hills
Parking the vehicle on a hill with the trailer attached can be dangerous. If something goes wrong, the rig could start to move.
People can be injured, and both the vehicle and the trailer can be damaged. When possible, always park the rig on a flat surface.
If parking the rig on a hill: 1. Press the brake pedal, but do not shift into P (Park) yet. Turn the wheels into the curb if facing downhill or into traffic if facing uphill.
2. Have someone place chocks under the trailer wheels.
3. When the wheel chocks are in place, release the brake pedal until the chocks absorb the load.
4. Reapply the brake pedal. Then apply the parking brake and shift into P (Park) for vehicles with an automatic transmission or into gear for vehicles with a manual transmission.
5. Release the brake pedal.
Leaving After Parking on a Hill
1. Apply and hold the brake pedal while you: • Start the engine.
• Shift into a gear.
• Release the parking brake.
2. Let up on the brake pedal.
3. Drive slowly until the trailer is clear of the chocks.
4. Stop and have someone pick up and store the chocks.
Maintenance When Trailer Towing
The vehicle needs service more often when pulling a trailer. Things that are especially important in trailer operation are automatic transmission fluid, engine oil, axle lubricant, belts, cooling system and brake system. Inspect these before and during the trip.
Check periodically to see that all hitch nuts and bolts are tight.
Engine Cooling When Trailer Towing
The cooling system may temporarily overheat during severe operating conditions.
Rear Compartment Lid Emblem/Nameplate Replacement (LT or LTZ)
Rear Compartment Lid Emblem Assembly Caution: Refer to Exterior Trim Emblem Removal Caution in the Preface section. Procedure The part and surface should be 21°C (70°F) prior to installation. The vehicle should remain 21°C (70°F) for one hour after assembly to allow adhesive to deve ...
Heated Front Seats
WARNING If you cannot feel temperature change or pain to the skin, the seat heater may cause burns. To reduce the risk of burns, people with such a condition should use care when using the seat heater, especially for long periods of time. Do not place anything on the seat that insulates again ...
Variable Effort Steering System Description and Operation
The Variable Effort Steering (VES) system or MAGNASTEER® varies the amount of effort required to steer the vehicle as vehicle speed changes. At low speeds, the system provides minimal steering effort for easy turning and parking maneuvers. Steering effort is increased at higher speeds to provi ...