Chevrolet Equinox Owners Manual
Automatic TransmissionDriving and Operating / Automatic Transmission
The automatic transmission shift lever is located on the console between the seats.
P (Park): This position locks the front wheels. Use P (Park) when starting the engine because the vehicle cannot move easily.
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).
The vehicle has an automatic transmission shift lock control system. You must fully apply the regular brake first and then press the shift lever button before shifting from P (Park) when the ignition key is in ON/RUN. If you cannot shift out of P (Park), ease pressure on the shift lever, then push the shift lever all the way into P (Park) as you maintain brake application. Then press the shift lever button and move the shift lever into another gear.
R (Reverse): Use this gear to back up.
Notice: Shifting to R (Reverse) while the vehicle is moving forward could damage the transmission. The repairs would not be covered by the vehicle warranty. Shift to R (Reverse) only after the vehicle is stopped.
To rock the vehicle back and forth to get out of snow, ice or sand without damaging the transmission.
N (Neutral): In this position the engine and transmission do not connect. Use N (Neutral) to restart a vehicle that is already moving.
Shifting into a drive gear while the engine is running at high speed is dangerous. Unless your foot is firmly on the brake pedal, the vehicle could move very rapidly.
You could lose control and hit people or objects. Do not shift into a drive gear while the engine is running at high speed.
Notice: Shifting out of P (Park) or N (Neutral) with the engine running at high speed may damage the transmission. The repairs would not be covered by the vehicle warranty. Be sure the engine is not running at high speed when shifting the vehicle.
D (Drive): This position is for normal driving. It provides the best fuel economy. If you need more power for passing, and you are:
• Going less than 56 km/h (35 mph), push the accelerator pedal about halfway
• Going about 56 km/h (35 mph) or more, push the accelerator all the way down.
Notice: If the vehicle seems to accelerate slowly or not shift gears when you go faster, and you continue to drive the vehicle that way, you could damage the transmission. Have the vehicle serviced right away.
M (Manual Mode): Allows the driver to select the range of gear positions.
Electronic Range Select (ERS) Mode
ERS or manual mode allows for the selection of the range of gear positions. Use this mode when driving downhill or towing a trailer to limit the top gear and vehicle speed.
The shift position indicator within the Driver Information Center (DIC) will display a number next to the M indicating the highest available gear under manual mode and the driving conditions when manual mode was selected.
To use this feature:
1. Move the shift lever to M(Manual Mode).
2. Press the plus/minus button on the shift lever, to increase or decrease the gear range available.
When shifting to M(Manual Mode), the transmission will shift to a preset lower gear range. For this preset range, the highest gear available is displayed next to the M in the DIC.
All gears below that number are available to use. For example, when 4 (Fourth) is shown next to the M, 1 (First) through 4 (Fourth) gears are shifted automatically. To shift to 5 (Fifth) gear, press the + (Plus) button or shift into D (Drive).
M(Manual Mode) will prevent shifting to a lower gear range if the engine speed is too high. If vehicle speed is not reduced within the time allowed, the lower gear range shift will not be completed. Slow the vehicle, then press the − (Minus) button to the desired lower gear range.
While using the ERS, cruise control can be used.
Fuel Economy Mode
Vehicles with a 2.4L engine have a Fuel Economy Mode. When engaged, fuel economy mode can improve the vehicle's fuel economy.
Press the “eco” (economy) button by the shift lever to turn this feature on or off. The “eco” light in the instrument cluster will come on when engaged. A Driver Information Center (DIC) message “ECO MODE ON” is also displayed.
See Fuel System Messages on page 5‑28 for more information.
When Fuel Economy Mode is on:
• The transmission will upshift sooner and downshift later.
• The torque converter clutch will apply sooner and stay on longer.
• The gas pedal will be less sensitive.
• The vehicle's computer will more aggressively shut off fuel to the engine under deceleration.
• The engine idle speed will be lower.
• Driving performance is more conservative.
• The climate controls may take longer to heat or cool the cabin.
• The rear defogger will stay on for shorter periods of time.