Chevrolet Cobalt Owners Manual: Winter Driving

Driving on Snow or Ice

Drive carefully when there is snow or ice between the tires and the road, creating less traction or grip. Wet ice can occur at about 0°C (32°F) when freezing rain begins to fall, resulting in even less traction. Avoid driving on wet ice or in freezing rain until roads can be treated with salt or sand.

Drive with caution, whatever the condition. Accelerate gently so traction is not lost. Accelerating too quickly causes the wheels to spin and makes the surface under the tires slick, so there is even less traction.

Try not to break the fragile traction. If you accelerate too fast, the drive wheels will spin and polish the surface under the tires even more.

If the vehicle has the Traction Control System (TCS) or Enhanced Traction System (ETS), it improves the ability to accelerate on slippery roads, but slow down and adjust your driving to the road conditions. When driving through deep snow, turn off the ETS, if equipped, to help maintain vehicle motion at lower speeds.

The Antilock Brake System (ABS) improves vehicle stability during hard stops on a slippery roads, but whether the vehicle has ABS or not, apply the brakes sooner than when on dry pavement.

Without ABS, if the vehicle begins to slide, let up on the brake pedal a little and apply steady pedal pressure to get the most traction. On vehicles without ABS, braking so hard that the wheels stop rolling can cause the vehicle to slide — brake so the wheels always keep rolling so you can still steer.

Allow greater following distance on any slippery road and watch for slippery spots. Icy patches can occur on otherwise clear roads in shaded areas. The surface of a curve or an overpass can remain icy when the surrounding roads are clear. Avoid sudden steering maneuvers and braking while on ice.

Turn off cruise control, if equipped, on slippery surfaces.

Blizzard Conditions

Being stuck in snow can be in a serious situation. Stay with the vehicle unless there is help nearby. If possible, use the Roadside Assistance Program.

To get help and keep everyone in the vehicle safe: - Turn on the Hazard Warning Flashers.

- Tie a red cloth to an outside mirror.

WARNING:
Snow can trap engine exhaust under the vehicle.

This may cause exhaust gases to get inside.

Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide (CO) which cannot be seen or smelled. It can cause unconsciousness and even death.

If the vehicle is stuck in the snow: - Clear away snow from around the base of your vehicle, especially any that is blocking the exhaust pipe.

- Check again from time to time to be sure snow does not collect there.

- Open a window about 5 cm (two inches) on the side of the vehicle that is away from the wind to bring in fresh air.

- Fully open the air outlets on or under the instrument panel.

- Adjust the Climate Control system to a setting that circulates the air inside the vehicle and set the fan speed to the highest setting.

See Climate Control System in the Index.

For more information about carbon monoxide, see Engine Exhaust.

Snow can trap exhaust gases under your vehicle.

This can cause deadly CO (carbon monoxide) gas to get inside. CO could overcome you and kill you.

You cannot see it or smell it, so you might not know it is in your vehicle. Clear away snow from around the base of your vehicle, especially any that is blocking the exhaust.

Run the engine for short periods only as needed to keep warm, but be careful.

To save fuel, run the engine for only short periods as needed to warm the vehicle and then shut the engine off and close the window most of the way to save heat.

Repeat this until help arrives but only when you feel really uncomfortable from the cold. Moving about to keep warm also helps.

If it takes some time for help to arrive, now and then when you run the engine, push the accelerator pedal slightly so the engine runs faster than the idle speed.

This keeps the battery charged to restart the vehicle and to signal for help with the headlamps. Do this as little as possible to save fuel.

    Hill and Mountain Roads
    Driving on steep hills or through mountains is different than driving on flat or rolling terrain. Tips for driving in these conditions include: - Keep the vehicle serviced and in good shape. - Che ...

    If Your Vehicle is Stuck in Sand, Mud, Ice, or Snow
    Slowly and cautiously spin the wheels to free the vehicle when stuck in sand, mud, ice, or snow. See Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out. If the vehicle has a traction system, it can often help to ...

    See also:

    Chevrolet Cobalt Service & Repair Manual. Power Steering System Leak, Inspection
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    Chevrolet Cobalt Owners Manual

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