Starting

Positions of the ignition

1. Off— locks the gearshift lever and allows key removal. Note: In order to switch off the engine while the vehicle is in motion, shift to neutral and use the brakes to bring the vehicle to a safe stop. After the vehicle has stopped, turn the engine off and shift into park. Then, turn the key to the accessory or off position.

2. Accessory— allows the electrical accessories such as the radio to operate

2. Accessory— allows the electrical accessories such as the radio to operate while the engine is not running.
3. On— all electrical circuits operational and warning lights will illuminate. This is the position the key is in when you’re driving.
4. Start— cranks the engine. Release the key as soon as the engine starts.

Note: Do not store the key in the ignition after the vehicle is turned off and you have left the vehicle. This could cause a drain on the battery.

Preparing to start your vehicle

Extended idling at high engine speeds can produce very high temperatures in the WARNING: Extended idling at high engine speeds can produce very high temperatures in the engine and exhaust system, creating the risk of fire or other damage.

Do not park, idle, or drive your vehicle in dry grass or other dry ground cover. WARNING: Do not park, idle, or drive your vehicle in dry grass or other dry ground cover. The emission system heats up the engine compartment and exhaust system, which can start a fire.

Do not start your vehicle in a closed garage or in other enclosed areas. Exhaust WARNING: Do not start your vehicle in a closed garage or in other enclosed areas. Exhaust fumes can be toxic. Always open the garage door before you start the engine. See Guarding against exhaust fumes in this chapter for more instructions.

If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, have your dealer inspect your vehicle WARNING: If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, have your dealer inspect your vehicle immediately. Do not drive if you smell exhaust fumes.

Engine starting is controlled by the powertrain control system.

This system meets all Canadian interference-causing equipment standard requirements regulating the impulse electrical field strength of radio noise.

When starting a fuel-injected engine, avoid pressing the accelerator before or during starting. Only use the accelerator when you have difficulty starting the engine. For more information on starting the vehicle, refer to Starting the engine in this chapter.

Important safety precautions

A computer system controls the engine’s idle revolutions per minute (RPM). When the engine starts, the idle RPM runs higher than normal in order to warm the engine. If the engine idle speed does not slow down automatically, have the vehicle checked by your authorized dealer.

Before starting the vehicle:

1. Make sure all vehicle occupants have buckled their safety belts. For more information on safety belts and their proper usage, refer to the Seating and Safety Restraints chapter.
2. Make sure the headlamps and vehicle accessories are off.

If starting a vehicle with an automatic transmission:

• Make sure the parking brake is set.

• Make sure the gearshift is in P (Park).

• Make sure the gearshift is in P (Park).

If starting a vehicle with a manual transmission:

If starting a vehicle with a manual transmission:

• Make sure the parking brake is set.
• Press and hold the clutch pedal to the floor and put the gearshift lever in N (Neutral).

3. Turn the key to 3 (on) without turning the key to 4 (start).

3. Turn the key to 3 (on) without turning the key to 4 (start).

Some warning lights will briefly illuminate. See Warning lights and chimes in

Some warning lights will briefly illuminate. See Warning lights and chimes in the Instrument Cluster chapter for more information regarding the warning lights.

Starting the engine

1. Turn the key to 3 (on) without turning the key to 4 (start). If there is difficulty in turning the key, rotate the steering wheel until the key turns freely. This condition may occur when:

• the front wheels are turned.
• a front wheel is against the curb.

2. Turn the key to 4 (start), then release the key as soon as the engine begins

2. Turn the key to 4 (start), then release the key as soon as the engine begins cranking. Your vehicle has a computer assisted cranking system that assists in starting the engine. After releasing the key from the 4 (start) position, the engine may continue cranking for up to 10 seconds or until the vehicle starts.

Note: Cranking may be stopped at any time by turning the key to the off position.

3. After idling for a few seconds, release the parking brake, apply the brake, shift into gear and drive.

Note: If the engine does not start on the first try, turn the key to the off position, wait 10 seconds and try Step 2 again. If the engine still fails to start, press the accelerator to the floor and try Step 2 again, keeping the accelerator on the floor until the engine begins to accelerate above cranking speeds; this will allow the engine to crank with the fuel shut off in case the engine is flooded with fuel.

Cold weather starting (flexible fuel vehicles only)

The starting characteristics of all grades of E85 ethanol make it unsuitable for use when ambient temperatures fall below 0°F (-18°C).

Consult your fuel distributor for the availability of winter grade ethanol.

As the outside temperature approaches freezing, ethanol fuel distributors should supply winter grade ethanol (same as with unleaded gasoline). If summer grade ethanol is used in cold weather conditions, 0°F to 32°F (-18°C to 0°C), you may experience increased cranking times, rough idle or hesitation until the engine has warmed up.

You may experience a decrease in peak performance when the engine is cold when operating on E85 ethanol.

Do not crank the engine for more than 10 seconds at a time as starter damage may occur. If the engine fails to start, turn the key to off and wait 30 seconds before trying again.

Do not use starting fluid such as ether in the air intake system. Such fluid could cause immediate explosive damage to the engine and possible personal injury.

If you should experience cold weather starting problems on E85 ethanol, and neither an alternative brand of E85 ethanol nor an engine block heater is available, the addition of unleaded gasoline to your tank will improve cold starting performance. Your vehicle is designed to operate on E85 ethanol alone, unleaded gasoline alone, or any mixture of the two.

See Choosing the right fuel in the Maintenance and Specifications chapter for more information on ethanol.

If the engine fails to start using the preceding instructions (flexible fuel vehicles only)

1. Press and hold down the accelerator 1/3 to 1/2 way to floor, then crank the engine.
2. When the engine starts, release the key, then gradually release the accelerator pedal as the engine speeds up. If the engine still fails to start, repeat Step 1.

Guarding against exhaust fumes

If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, have your dealer inspect your vehicle WARNING: If you smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, have your dealer inspect your vehicle immediately. Do not drive if you smell exhaust fumes.

Carbon monoxide is present in exhaust fumes. Take precautions to avoid its dangerous effects.

Important ventilating information

If the engine is idling while the vehicle is stopped for a long period of time, open the windows at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) or adjust the heating or air conditioning to bring in fresh air.

    See also:

    Service recommendations
    To help you service your vehicle, we provide scheduled maintenance information which makes tracking routine service easy. If your vehicle requires professional service, your authorized dealer can p ...

    Parking brake
    WARNING: If the parking brake is fully released, but the brake warning lamp remains illuminated, then driving the vehicle could result in reduced braking ability, increased stopping distances and ...

    Keyless starting
    Note: The keyless starting system may not function if the key is close to metal objects or electronic devices such as mobile phones. Note: A valid key must be located inside your vehicle to switch ...