Acura CL (2003 year). Instruction — page 14

this defeats the

purpose of the ABS. Let the ABS
work for you by always keeping firm,
steady pressure on the brake pedal
as you steer away from the hazard.
This is sometimes referred to as

You will feel a pulsation in the brake
pedal when the ABS activates, and
you may hear some noise. This is
normal; it is the ABS rapidly
pumping the brakes.

Activation varies with the amount of
traction your tires have. On dry
pavement, you will need to press on
the brake pedal very hard before you
activate the ABS. However, you may
feel the ABS activate immediately if
you are trying to stop on snow or ice.

Your car has an Anti-lock Brake
System (ABS) as standard
equipment. ABS helps to prevent the
wheels from locking up and skidding
during hard braking, allowing you to
retain steering control.

When the front tires skid, you lose
steering control; the car continues
straight ahead even though you turn
the steering wheel. The ABS helps to
prevent lock-up and helps you retain
steering control by pumping the
brakes rapidly; much faster than a
person can do it.

The hydraulic system that operates
the brakes has two separate circuits.
Each circuit works diagonally across
the car (the left-front brake is
connected with the right-rear brake,
etc.). If one circuit should develop a
problem, you will still have braking
at two wheels.

‘‘stomp and steer.’’

CONTINUED

Brake System Design

Anti-lock Brakes

You should never pump the
brake pedal;

The Braking System

Driving

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such as trying to take a

corner too fast or making a sudden
lane change. Always drive at a safe,
prudent speed for the road and
weather conditions.

Always steer moderately

when you are braking hard. Severe
or sharp steering wheel movement
can still cause your car to veer into
oncoming traffic or off the road.

it

only helps with steering control
during braking. You should always
maintain a safe following distance
from other vehicles.

on loose or

uneven surfaces, such as gravel or
snow, than a vehicle without anti-
lock. Slow down and allow a greater
distance between vehicles under
those conditions.

The ABS is self-checking. If anything
goes wrong, the ABS indicator on
the instrument panel comes on (see
page

). This means the anti-lock

function of the braking system has
shut down. The brakes still work like
a conventional system without anti-
lock, providing normal stopping
ability. You should have the dealer
inspect your car as soon as possible.

61

Important Saf ety Reminders

ABS Indicator

ABS will not prevent a skid that
results f rom changing direction
abruptly,

ABS cannot prevent a loss of
stability.

ABS does not reduce the time or
distance it takes to stop the car;

A vehicle with ABS may require a
longer distance to stop

The Braking System

Driving

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Your Acura is equipped with a
Traction Control System (TCS) to
assist you in maintaining traction
while driving slowly on loose or
slippery surfaces. The TCS assists
only in low-speed, low-traction
conditions; up to approximately 18
mph (30 km/h).

TCS monitors the speed of all four
wheels. When it senses a front wheel
losing traction, it applies braking to
that wheel. The TCS indicator
flashes when this occurs.

Driving with TCS requires no special
skills or technique. The TCS does
not control your car’s whole braking
system and cannot prevent skidding
if you enter a corner too fast. It is
still your responsibility to drive at
reasonable speeds and to leave a
sufficient margin of safety.

When starting out or driving at low
speeds on a loose or slippery road
surface, you may notice that the
vehicle does not respond to the
accelerator in the same way it does
at other times. This is a sign TCS is
activating. You will see the TCS
indicator light flash.

You should still install winter tires on
your car during the winter. Make
sure to use the same size originally
supplied with vehicle. Exercise the
same caution in winter driving as you
would if your car was not equipped
with TCS.

Driving with the compact spare tire
installed (see page

) may

activate the TCS. You should turn off
the system.

294

CONTINUED

On Premium model

Driving

Traction Control System

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If the brakes overheat while TCS is
activating, the TCS indicator will
stop flashing and stay on temporarily.
This indicates that TCS has turned
off. After the brakes have cooled
down (usually for about 10 minutes),
TCS will turn back on and the
indicator will turn off.

Deactivate the system by pressing
the TCS On/Off switch. The TCS
indicator light comes on as a
reminder. Pressing the switch again
turns the system back on.

This switch is under the side vent. It
lets you turn the Traction Control
System on and off. You cannot turn
off the TCS while the TCS indicator
light is flashing.

Traction Control System

Driving

TCS ON/OFF Switch

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This indicator will come on along
with the ABS indicator if there is a
problem in the anti-lock brake
system (see

on page

).

The TCS indicator may occasionally
come on for one or two seconds and
then go out. This is normal.

The Traction Control System turns
on every time you start the engine,
even if you turned it off the last time
you drove the vehicle.

The TCS indicator comes on or
flashes under the following condi-
tions:

When you turn the ignition switch
to ON (II).

When you manually turn off TCS.

If the TCS indicator comes on and
stays on for more than 10 minutes
while driving, pull to the side of the
road when it is safe and turn off the
engine. Reset the system by
restarting the engine, and watch the
TCS indicator. If the indicator
remains on, or comes back on while
driving, have the system inspected
by your Acura dealer. You can still
drive the vehicle without TCS.

It flashes when TCS is regulating
wheelspin.

If the system’s diagnostics senses
a problem with TCS, the indicator
will come on and stay on.

If the brakes overheat, the
indicator will come on.

208

ABS Indicator

TCS Indicator

Traction Control System

Driving

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The VSA system cannot enhance the
car’s driving stability in all situations
and does not control your vehicle’s
entire braking system. It is still your
responsibility to drive and corner at
reasonable speeds and to leave a
sufficient margin of safety.

When VSA activates, you will see the
VSA Activation indicator blink.

When VSA activates, you may notice
that the engine does not respond to
the accelerator in the same way it
does at other times. You will also see
the VSA Activation Indicator blink.

The Vehicle Stability Assist system
helps to stabilize the vehicle during
cornering if the car turns more or
less than desired. It also assists you
in maintaining traction while
accelerating on loose or slippery
road surfaces. It does this by
regulating the engine’s output, and
by selectively applying braking.

On Type-S with A/T

VSA Activation Indicator

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) System

Driving

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If the VSA indicator comes on while
driving, pull to the side of the road
when it is safe and turn off the
engine. Reset the system by
restarting the engine, and watch the
VSA system indicator. If the
indicator remains on, or comes back
on while driving, have the VSA
system inspected by your Acura
dealer.

When VSA is off, the VSA Activation
Indicator light comes on as a
reminder. Pressing the switch again
turns the system back on.

If the indicator does not come on
when the ignition switch is turned
ON (II), there may be a problem
with the VSA system. Have your
dealer inspect your car as soon as
possible.

Without VSA, your car will have
normal braking and cornering ability,
but it will not have VSA traction and
stability enhancement.

This switch is under the left vent.
Press it to turn the Vehicle Stability
Assist system on and off.

The VSA system indicator (see page

) comes on and stays on when

there is a problem with the VSA
system. The VSA Activation
indicator will also come on.

The VSA system indicator may come
on along with the ABS indicator if
there is a problem with the anti-lock
brake system.

62

CONTINUED

VSA System Indicator

VSA Of f Switch

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) System

Driving

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VSA is turned on every time you
start the engine, even if you turned it
off the last time you drove the car.

Driving with varying tire or wheel
sizes may cause the VSA to
malfunction. When replacing tires,
make sure they are of the same size
and type as your original tires (see
page

).

Deactivate the VSA system if you
need to drive with the compact spare
tire installed (see page

).

If you install winter tires, make sure
they are the same size as those that
were originally supplied with your
car. Exercise the same caution
during winter driving as you would if
your car was not equipped with VSA.

270

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VSA and Tire Sizes

Driving

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) System

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Exercise extra caution when driving
in rain after a long dry spell. After
months of dry weather, the first
rains bring oil to the surface of the
roadway, making it slippery.

Rain, fog, and snow conditions
require a different driving technique
because of reduced traction and
visibility. Keep your car well-
maintained and exercise greater
caution when you need to drive in
bad weather. The cruise control
should not be used in these
conditions.

Always drive

slower than you would in dry
weather. It takes your car longer to
react, even in conditions that may
seem just barely damp. Apply
smooth, even pressure to all the
controls. Abrupt steering wheel
movements or sudden, hard appli-
cation of the brakes can cause loss of
control in wet weather. Be extra
cautious for the first few miles
(kilometers) of driving while you
adjust to the change in driving
conditions. This is especially true in
snow. A person can forget some
snow-driving techniques during the
summer months. Practice is needed
to relearn those skills.

CONTINUED

Driving Technique

Driving in Bad Weather

Driving

215

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Being able to see

clearly in all directions and being
visible to other drivers are important
in all weather conditions. This is
more difficult in bad weather. To be
seen more clearly during daylight
hours, turn on your headlights.

Check your tires

frequently for wear and proper
pressure. Both are important in
preventing ‘‘hydroplaning’’ (loss of
traction on a wet surface). In the
winter, mount snow tires on all four
wheels for the best handling.

Watch road conditions carefully,
they can change from moment to
moment. Wet leaves can be as slip-
pery as ice. ‘‘Clear’’ roads can have
patches of ice. Driving conditions
can be very hazardous when the
outside temperature is near freezing.
The road surface can become
covered with areas of water puddles
mixed with areas of ice, so your
traction can change without warning.

Be careful when downshifting. If
traction is low, you can lock up the
drive wheels for a moment and cause
a skid.

Be very cautious when passing, or
being passed by other vehicles. The
spray from large vehicles reduces
your visibility, and the wind buffeting
can cause you to lose control.

Inspect your windshield wipers and
washers frequently. Keep the wind-
shield washer reservoir full of the
proper fluid. Have the windshield
wiper blades replaced if they start to
streak the windshield or leave parts
unwiped. Use the defroster and air
conditioning to keep the windows
from fogging up on the inside (see
pages

and

).

128

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Visibility

Traction

Driving in Bad Weather

Driving

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Your Acura has been designed
primarily to carry passengers and
their cargo. You can use it to tow a
trailer if you carefully observe the
load limits, use the proper equipment,
and follow the guidelines in this
section.

The total

weight of the trailer and
everything loaded in it must not
exceed 1,000 lbs (450 kg). Towing
a load that is too heavy can
seriously affect your car’s
handling and performance. It can
also damage the engine and
drivetrain.

The weight that

the tongue of a fully-loaded trailer
puts on the hitch should be
approximately 10 percent of the
trailer weight. Too little tongue
load can make the trailer unstable
and cause it to sway. Too much
tongue load reduces front-tire
traction and steering control.

CONTINUED

Load Limits

Total Trailer Weight:

Tongue Load:

Towing a Trailer

Driving

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The total weight of the vehicle, all
occupants, all cargo, and the
tongue load must not exceed:

The total weight of the vehicle, all
occupants, all cargo, and the
tongue load must not exceed:

To achieve a proper tongue load,
start by loading 60 percent of the
load toward the front of the trailer
and 40 percent toward the rear, then
re-adjust the load as needed.

on the front axle

on the rear axle

on the front axle

on the rear axle

Gross Axle Weight Rating
(GAWR):

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
(GVWR):

Towing a Trailer

Driving

Premium model

Premium model

Type-S

Type-S with A/T

Type-S with M/T

218

2,445 lbs (1,110 kg)

1,950 lbs (885 kg)

4,280 lbs (1,940 kg)

4,365 lbs (1,980 kg)

2,425 lbs (1,100 kg)

1,950 lbs (885 kg)

4,321 lbs (1,960 kg)

Exceeding load limits or
improperly loading your vehicle
and trailer can cause a crash in
which you can be seriously
injured or killed.

Check the loading of your
vehicle and trailer carefully
before starting to drive.

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Always use safety chains. Make sure
they are secured to both the trailer
and hitch, and that they cross under
the tongue so they can catch the
trailer if it becomes unhitched.
Leave enough slack to allow the
trailer to turn corners easily, but do
not let the chains drag on the ground.

Acura recommends that any trailer
having a total weight of 1,000 lbs
(450 kg) or more be equipped with
its own electric or surge-type brakes.

If you choose electric brakes, be
sure they are electronically actuated.
Do not attempt to tap into your
vehicle’s hydraulic system. No
matter how successful it may seem,
any attempt to attach trailer brakes
to your vehicle’s hydraulic system
will lower braking effectiveness and
create a potential hazard.

Any hitch used on your vehicle must
be properly bolted to the underbody.

Towing can require a variety of
equipment, depending on the size of
your trailer, how it will be used, and
how much load you are towing.

Discuss your needs with your trailer
sales or rental agency, and follow the
guidelines in the rest of this section.
Also make sure that all equipment is
properly installed and that it meets
federal, state, province, and local
regulations.

The best way to confirm that vehicle
and trailer weights are within limits
is to have them checked at a public
scale.

Using a suitable scale or a special
tongue load gauge, check the tongue
load the first time you set up a
towing combination (a fully-loaded
vehicle and trailer), then recheck the
tongue load whenever the conditions
change.

CONTINUED

Saf ety Chains

Trailer Brakes

Hitches

Towing Equipment and
Accessories

Checking Loads

Towing a Trailer

Driving

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Your car has a trailer lighting
connector located in the trunk by the
left taillight. To use the connector,
undo the fastener and unscrew the
cargo net mounting button on the
left side of the trunk lining. Refer to
the drawing in this page for the
wiring color code and purpose of
each pin.

If you use a converter, you can get
the connector and pins that mate
with the connector in your car from
your Acura dealer.

Since lighting and wiring vary in
trailer type and brand, you should
also have a qualified mechanic install
a suitable connector between the
vehicle and the trailer.

Trailer Lights

Towing a Trailer

Driving

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Your vehicle tires and spare are
properly inflated (see page

),

and the trailer tires and spare are
inflated as recommended by the
trailer maker.

When preparing to tow, and before
driving away, be sure to check the
following:

The vehicle has been properly
serviced, and the tires, brakes,
suspension, and cooling system
are in good operating condition.

All weights and loads are within
limits (see pages

and

).

The hitch, safety chains, and any
other attachments are secure.

All items on and in the trailer are
properly secured and cannot shift
while you drive.

The lights and brakes on your
vehicle and the trailer are working
properly.

Many states and Canadian provinces
require special outside mirrors when
towing a trailer. Even if they don’t,
you should install special mirrors if
you cannot clearly see behind you, or
if the trailer creates a blind spot.

Ask your trailer sales or rental
agency if any other items are
recommended or required for your
towing situation.

217

218

267

Pre-Tow Checklist

Additional Trailer Equipment

Towing a Trailer

Driving

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The added weight, length, and
height of a trailer will affect your
vehicle’s handling and performance,
so driving with a trailer requires
some special driving skills and
techniques.

For your safety and the safety of
others, take time to practice driving
maneuvers before heading for the
open road, and follow the guidelines
discussed below.

Make turns more slowly and wider
than normal. The trailer tracks a
smaller arc than your vehicle, and it
can hit or run over something the
vehicle misses. Allow more time and
distance for braking. Do not brake or
turn suddenly as this could cause the
trailer to jackknife or turn over.

When climbing hills, closely watch
your temperature gauge. If it nears
the red (Hot) mark, turn the air
conditioning off, reduce speed and, if
necessary, pull to the side of the
road to let the engine cool.

Gear position

1

2

3, 4

Speed range

0

37 mph

(0

60 km/h)

12

68 mph

over 25 mph
(over 40 km/h)

When towing a trailer in the
Sequential SportShift mode, select
Fourth, Third, Second, or First gear;
depending on the vehicle speed and
road condition. Do not use Fifth gear.
The recommended speed range for
each gear position is shown in the
table.

Drive slower than normal in all
driving situations, and obey posted
speed limits for vehicles with trailers.
If you have an automatic
transmission, use the D or D
position when towing a trailer on
level roads. D is the proper shift
lever position to use when towing a
trailer in hilly terrain. (See ‘‘

’’ in the following column for

additional gear information.)

If the automatic transmission shifts
frequently between 4th and 5th
gears while going up a hill, shift to
D . And if the transmission shifts
frequently between 3rd and 4th
gears, shift to D .

(20

110 km/h)

5

4

3

4

3

Driving Saf ely With a Trailer

Towing Speeds and Gears

Making Turns and Braking

Driving on Hills

Driving

on Hills

Towing a Trailer

Driving

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