The most important tip to keep your family safe while driving is to always use safety belts and proper child restraints. Children are safer when placed in the rear seat in the appropriate infant, child, booster seat, or safety belt – appropriate for the size and age. Never place a rear facing infant restraint in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with an active air bag.
Both Hands on the Wheel!
The first car safety tip is to always drive with both hands on the wheel. The best place for your hands are at the nine and three o'clock positions, which help provide greater control when steering.
Lights On Please!
With your safety in mind, all new GM vehicles come equipped with daytime running lamps. To help with safe driving, turn on your lights in rainy or snowy weather to make sure that your headlamps, tail lamps and other exterior lamps are on. Even if your visibility is good, other drivers will have a better view of your vehicle.
Snow on the Roof
Don't let snow pile up on top of your car or truck. Peaks of snow increase drag and decrease gas mileage. And snow piled in your pickup's bed can obstruct both your view and the view of other drivers.
If you need to veer suddenly to avoid hitting an object in your vehicle's path, before turning, make sure you look in the direction you'd like to head towards to make sure the path is clear
How to Speak Mechanic
Brake fade = Stopping distance seems to increase, causing longer braking distance, similar to braking at high speeds.
Low brake pedal = Brake pedal must be pushed unusually far to engage brakes.
Brake pedal pulsation = Brake pedal fluctuates while brakes are applied.
Grabs = Vehicle has a tendency to move right or left when brakes are applied; brakes engage suddenly when applying steady pressure to brake pedal
Cuts out = Temporary complete loss of power. Engine quits at irregular intervals. May occur repeatedly or intermittently, usually under heavy acceleration.
Detonation = Mild to severe pings, usually worse under acceleration. Sounds like popcorn popping.
Dieseling = Engine runs after ignition switch is turned off. Runs unevenly and may make knocking noises.
Hesitation = Momentary lack of response as accelerator is pressed. Can occur at any speed, usually most severe when starting from a complete stop. May cause engine to stall.
Miss = Pulsation or jerking that changes with engine speed. Exhaust has a steady spitting sound at idle or low speed. Not normally felt above 30 mph.
Rough idle = Engine runs unevenly at idle. Car may also shake.
Sluggish = Engine delivers limited power under load or at high speed. Won't accelerate as fast as normal. Loses speed going up hills. Vehicle has less speed than normal.
Spongy = Little or no increase in speed when accelerator is pushed down. Continuing to push pedal down will eventually give an increase in speed.
Stall = Engine stops running or dies out. May occur at idle or while driving.
Surge = Vehicle speeds up and slows down with no change on accelerator pedal. Can occur at any speed.
Steering & Handling Descriptions
Bottoming = Suspension moves to extreme end of travel and hits compression bumpers. Feels like a heavy thud.
Excessive play = Steering wheel must be turned unusually far before vehicle responds.
Hard steering = Vehicle difficult to steer, especially during parking situations or when first started.
Pulls = Vehicle moves to one side when steering wheel is released.
Shimmy = Rapid side-to-side motion of both front wheels felt in steering wheel.
Sway or Pitching = Mushy or spongy ride; vehicle takes a long time to recover from bumps in the road.
Vibration = Vehicle shakes.
Wanders = Vehicle meanders, requiring frequent steering adjustments to maintain direction.
Odors & Stains Descriptions
Antifreeze or coolant leak = Sweet odor, usually accompanied by steam from under the hood.
Axle leaks = Black stains with heavy, thick consistency.
Burning oil = Thick, heavy odor, sometimes accompanied by smoke from under the hood or from the exhaust.
Coolant streaks = Yellow, green, pink, or orange stains that are lighter and thinner than oil.
Crankcase, oil and power-steering fluid leaks = Brownish stains .
Electrical short = Acrid odor, like burned toast.
Emission = Contiguous, heavy sulfur odor like rotten eggs.
Overheated brakes or clutch = Burning rubber odor.
Overheating = Hot, metallic odor usually accompanied by antifreeze/coolant odor.
Transmission oil leaks = Reddish stains.
How do you know if you need new tires?
Tire wear depends on several factors, including your driving style and tire maintenance habits. Wrong size load and speed rating can void your warranty. But one sure way to know when to replace your tires is when treadwear indicators appear. A tire's built-in treadwear indicators are "wear bars" that look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread and appear when it's time to replace the tire.
You also need a new tire if:
- You can see three or more treadwear indicators around the tire.
- Cord or fabric is showing through the rubber.
- The tread or sidewall is cracked, cut or snagged deep enough to show cord or fabric.
- The tire has a bulge or split.
- The tire has a puncture, cut, or other damage that can't be repaired correctly.
Immediately after a collision
Take a breath. Try to relax (we know it’s hard). Then check to make sure you’re all right. No injuries? Great. Now make sure no one else in your vehicle or the other vehicle is injured.
If there has been an injury, call 911 for help. Don’t leave the scene of an accident until all matters have been taken care of. Move your vehicle only if its position puts you in danger or you are instructed to move it by a police officer.
Give only the necessary and requested information to police and other parties involved in the accident. Do not spontaneously discuss your personal condition, mental frame of mind, or anything unrelated to the accident. This will help guard against post-accident legal action.
Trust an OnStar Advisor to help guide you through the minutes after an accident, if your OnStar subscription is activated. In the event that your air bags deploy, your vehicle automatically sends a signal to OnStar and an Advisor will attempt to contact you to see if you need assistance. OnStar can also contact a nearby emergency service provider with your location and request help. Learn more about OnStar services.
If you need roadside assistance, phone GM Roadside Assistance. You’ll find the number in your Owner’s Manual.
If your vehicle cannot be driven, know where the towing service will be taking it. Get a card from the tow truck operator or write down the driver’s name, the service’s name and phone number.
Remove any valuables from your vehicle before it’s towed away. Make sure this includes your insurance information and registration if you keep these items in your vehicle.
Gather the important information you’ll need from the other driver. Use the handy form located in the attached Collision Survival Guide (0.8 MB).
If it’s possible, call your insurance company from the scene of the accident. They’ll walk you through the information they’ll need. If they ask for a police report, don’t worry. Just phone or go to the police department’s headquarters the next day and you can get a copy of the report for a nominal fee. In some states with “no fault” insurance laws, a report may not be necessary. This is especially true if there are no injuries and both vehicles are drivable.
Choose a GM dealer collision repair facility for Certified Service for your vehicle. That's the best way to help make sure you're getting genuine GM replacement parts. Whether you select a GM dealer or a private collision repair facility to fix the damage, make sure you're comfortable with them. Remember, you'll have to feel comfortable with their work for a long time. Search for your GM dealer.
Once you have an estimate, read it carefully and make sure you understand what work will be performed on your vehicle. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation. Reputable shops welcome this opportunity.
The only way to get genuine GM Parts is to ask for them yourself. Ask your insurance agent and collision repair facility representative if your vehicle will be repaired with genuine GM Parts. If the answer is “yes,” then you’ll be getting the value, safety, endurance and peace of mind you expect. If they say imitation parts might be used, you have the right to refuse them. It’s your choice.
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