Chevrolet Equinox Owners Manual

Starting and Operating
Driving and Operating / Starting and Operating

New Vehicle Break-In

Notice: The vehicle does not need an elaborate break-in. But it will perform better in the long run if you follow these guidelines:

. Do not drive at any one constant speed, fast or slow, for the first 805 km (500 mi).

Do not make full-throttle starts. Avoid downshifting to brake or slow the vehicle.
During the first 1 000 km (600 mi), avoid using more than moderate acceleration in lower gears and avoid vehicle speeds above 110 km/h (68 mph).
Between the first 1 000 km (600 mi) and 5 000 km (3,000 mi), heavy acceleration in lower gears can be used. Vehicle speeds above 110 km/h (68 mph) should be limited to five minutes per use.
Avoid making hard stops for the first 322 km (200 mi) or so. During this time the new brake linings are not yet broken in. Hard stops with new linings can mean premature wear and earlier replacement. Follow this breaking-in guideline every time you get new brake linings.
Do not tow a trailer during break-in. See Driving Characteristics and Towing Tips on page 9‑51 for the trailer towing capabilities of your vehicle and more information.

Following break‐in, engine speed and load can be gradually increased.

Ignition Positions

Chevrolet Equinox: Starting and Operating. The ignition switch has four different positions.

The ignition switch has four different positions.

Notice: Using a tool to force the key to turn in the ignition could cause damage to the switch or break the key. Use the correct key, make sure it is all the way in, and turn it only with your hand.

If the key cannot be turned by hand, see your dealer.

The key must be fully extended to start the vehicle.

To shift out of P (Park), turn the ignition to ON/RUN and apply the brake pedal.

1 (STOPPING THE ENGINE/LOCK/ OFF): When the vehicle is stopped, turn the ignition switch to LOCK/ OFF to turn the engine off. Retained Accessory Power (RAP) will remain active. See Retained Accessory Power (RAP) on page 9‑22.

This is the only position from which the key can be removed. This locks the steering wheel, ignition and automatic transmission.

The ignition switch can bind in the LOCK/OFF position with the wheels turned off center. If this happens, move the steering wheel from right to left while turning the key to ACC/ ACCESSORY. If this does not work, then the vehicle needs service.

Do not turn the engine off when the vehicle is moving. This will cause a loss of power assist in the brake and steering systems and disable the airbags.

If the vehicle must be shut off in an emergency:

1. Brake using a firm and steady pressure. Do not pump the brakes repeatedly. This may deplete power assist, requiring increased brake pedal force.
2. Shift the vehicle to N (Neutral).

This can be done while the vehicle is moving. After shifting to N (Neutral), firmly apply the brakes and steer the vehicle to a safe location.
3. Come to a complete stop, shift to P (Park), and turn the ignition to LOCK/OFF. On vehicles with an automatic transmission, the shift lever must be in P (Park) to turn the ignition switch to the LOCK/OFF position.
4. Set the parking brake.

WARNING

Turning off the vehicle while moving may cause loss of power assist in the brake and steering systems and disable the airbags.

While driving, only shut the vehicle off in an emergency.

If the vehicle cannot be pulled over, and must be shut off while driving, turn the ignition to ACC/ ACCESSORY.

2 (ACC/ACCESSORY): This position provides power to some of the electrical accessories. It unlocks the steering wheel and ignition. To move the key from ACC/ ACCESSORY to LOCK/OFF, push in the key and then turn it to LOCK/OFF.
3 (ON/RUN): The ignition switch stays in this position when the engine is running. This position can be used to operate the electrical accessories, including the ventilation fan and 12-volt power outlets, as well as to display some warning and indicator lights. This position can also be used for service and diagnostics, and to verify the proper operation of the malfunction indicator lamp as may be required for emission inspection purposes. The transmission is also unlocked in this position on automatic transmission vehicles.

The battery could be drained if the key is left in the ACC/ACCESSORY or ON/RUN position with the engine off. The vehicle might not start if the battery is allowed to drain for an extended period of time.
4 (START): This position starts the engine. When the engine starts, release the key. The ignition switch will return to ON/RUN for normal driving.

A warning tone sounds when the driver door is opened if the ignition is still in ACC/ACCESSORY and the key is in the ignition. If the ignition becomes difficult to turn.

Key Lock Release

Chevrolet Equinox: Starting and Operating. Vehicles with an automatic transmission are equipped with an electronic key lock

Vehicles with an automatic transmission are equipped with an electronic key lock release system.

The key lock release is designed to prevent ignition key removal unless the shift lever is in P (Park).

The key lock release is always functional except in the case of an uncharged or low voltage (less than 9-volt) battery. If the vehicle has an uncharged battery or a battery with low voltage, try charging or jump starting the battery.

If charging or jump starting the battery does not work, locate the hole below the ignition lock. Insert a flat bladed tool or another key from the key chain into the opening.

When the lever can be felt, actuate the lever toward the driver, and remove the key from the ignition.

Starting the Engine

Move the shift lever to P (Park) or N (Neutral). The engine will not start in any other position. To restart the vehicle when it is already moving, use N (Neutral) only.

Notice: Do not try to shift to P (Park) if the vehicle is moving.

If you do, you could damage the transmission. Shift to P (Park) only when the vehicle is stopped.

Starting Procedure

1. With your foot off the accelerator pedal, turn the ignition key to START. When the engine starts, let go of the key. The idle speed will go down as the engine warms. Do not race the engine immediately after starting it.

Operate the engine and transmission gently to allow the oil to warm up and lubricate all moving parts.

The vehicle has a Computer-Controlled Cranking System. This feature assists in starting the engine and protects components. If the ignition key is turned to the START position, and then released when the engine begins cranking, the engine will continue cranking for a few seconds or until the vehicle starts. If the engine does not start and the key is held in START for many seconds, cranking will be stopped after 15 seconds to prevent cranking motor damage. To prevent gear damage, this system also prevents cranking if the engine is already running. Engine cranking can be stopped by turning the ignition switch to ACC/ACCESSORY or LOCK/OFF.

Notice: Cranking the engine for long periods of time, by returning the key to the START position immediately after cranking has ended, can overheat and damage the cranking motor, and drain the battery. Wait at least 15 seconds between each try, to let the cranking motor cool down.

2. If the engine does not start after five to 10 seconds, especially in very cold weather (below −18C or 0F), it could be flooded with too much gasoline. Push the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor and hold it there as you hold the key in START for a maximum of 15 seconds. Wait at least 15 seconds between each try, to allow the cranking motor to cool. When the engine starts, let go of the key and accelerator.

If the vehicle starts briefly but then stops again, repeat the procedure. This clears the extra gasoline from the engine. Do not race the engine immediately after starting it. Operate the engine and transmission gently until the oil warms up and lubricates all moving parts.

Notice: If you add electrical parts or accessories, you could change the way the engine operates. Any resulting damage would not be covered by the vehicle warranty.

Retained Accessory Power (RAP)

These vehicle accessories can be used for up to 10 minutes after the engine is turned off:

Audio System
. Power Windows
. Sunroof (if equipped)

Power to the audio system will continue to operate for up to 10 minutes or until the driver door is opened.

Power to the power windows and sunroof will continue to operate for up to 10 minutes or until any door is opened.

All these features will work when the key is in ON/RUN or ACC/ ACCESSORY.

Engine Coolant Heater

The engine coolant heater, if available, can help in cold weather conditions at or below −18C (0F) for easier starting and better fuel economy during engine warm-up.

Plug in the coolant heater at least four hours before starting the vehicle. An internal thermostat in the plug-end of the cord will prevent engine coolant heater operation at temperatures above −18C (0F).

To Use The Engine Coolant Heater

1. Turn off the engine.
2. Open the hood and unwrap the electrical cord.

The electrical cord is located on the passenger side of the engine compartment, in front of the air cleaner.

3. Plug it into a normal, grounded 110-volt AC outlet.

WARNING

Plugging the cord into an ungrounded outlet could cause an electrical shock. Also, the wrong kind of extension cord could overheat and cause a fire. You could be seriously injured. Plug the cord into a properly grounded three-prong 110-volt AC outlet.

If the cord will not reach, use a heavy-duty three-prong extension cord rated for at least 15 amps.

4. Before starting the engine, be sure to unplug and store the cord as it was before to keep it away from moving engine parts.

If you do not it could be damaged.

The length of time the heater should remain plugged in depends on several factors. Ask a dealer in the area where you will be parking the vehicle for the best advice on this.

Shifting Into Park

WARNING

It can be dangerous to get out of the vehicle if the shift lever is not fully in P (Park) with the parking brake firmly set. The vehicle can roll. If you have left the engine running, the vehicle can move suddenly. You or others could be injured. To be sure the vehicle will not move, even when you are on fairly level ground, use the steps that follow. If you are pulling a trailer.

Use this procedure to shift into P (Park):

1. Hold the brake pedal down and set the parking brake.
2. Hold the button on the shift lever and push the lever toward the front of the vehicle into P (Park).
3. Turn the ignition to LOCK/OFF.
4. Remove the key.

Leaving the Vehicle With the Engine Running

WARNING

It can be dangerous to leave the vehicle with the engine running.

It could overheat and catch fire.

It is dangerous to get out of the vehicle if the shift lever is not fully in P (Park) with the parking brake firmly set. The vehicle can roll.

Do not leave the vehicle when the engine is running. If you have left the engine running, the vehicle can move suddenly. You or others could be injured. To be sure the vehicle will not move, even when you are on fairly level ground, always set the parking brake and move the shift lever to P (Park).

If you have to leave the vehicle with the engine running, the vehicle must be in P (Park) and the parking brake set.

Release the button and check that the shift lever cannot be moved out of P (Park).

Torque Lock

Torque lock is when the weight of the vehicle puts too much force on the parking pawl in the transmission. This happens when parking on a hill and shifting the transmission into P (Park) is not done properly and then it is difficult to shift out of P (Park). To prevent torque lock, set the parking brake and then shift into P (Park). To find out how, see Shifting Into Park listed previously.

If torque lock does occur, the vehicle may need to be pushed uphill by another vehicle to relieve the parking pawl pressure, so you can shift out of P (Park).

Shifting out of Park

To shift out of P (Park):

1. Apply the brake pedal.
2. Turn the ignition to ON/RUN.
3. Press the shift lever button.
4. Move the shift lever.

If you still are unable to shift out of P (Park):

1. Fully release the shift lever button.
2. Hold the brake pedal down and press the shift lever button again.
3. Move the shift lever.

If you still cannot move the shift lever from P (Park), see your dealer for service.

Parking over Things That Burn

WARNING

Things that can burn could touch hot exhaust parts under the vehicle and ignite. Do not park over papers, leaves, dry grass, or other things that can burn.


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