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Table of Contents > 5. Driving

2010 Honda CR-V Owner's Manual ➜ 5. Driving

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Driving Guidelines  
Do not modify your vehicle in any  
way that would raise the center of  
gravity.  
Four-wheel drive models  
Your vehicle has higher ground  
clearance that allows you to travel  
over bumps, obstacles, and rough  
terrain. It also provides good  
visibility so you can anticipate  
problems earlier.  
Your vehicle is equipped with a four-  
wheel drive (4WD) system. When  
the system senses a loss of front-  
wheel traction, it automatically  
transfers some power to the rear  
wheels. This gives you better  
traction and mobility.  
Do not carry heavy cargo on the  
roof.  
Because your vehicle rides higher  
off the ground, it has a high center  
of gravity that can cause it to roll  
over if you make abrupt turns. Utility  
vehicles have a significantly higher  
roll over rate than other types of  
vehicles.  
You still need to exercise the same  
care when accelerating, steering, and  
braking that you would in a two-  
wheel drive vehicle.  
See page 336 for off-highway driving  
guidelines.  
To prevent rollovers or loss of  
control:  
Take corners at slower speeds  
than you would with a passenger  
vehicle.  
Avoid sharp turns and abrupt  
maneuvers whenever possible.  
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Preparing to Drive  
You should do the following checks  
and adjustments before you drive  
your vehicle.  
5. Check the seat adjustment (see  
pages 97 and 98 ).  
6. Check the adjustment of the  
inside and outside mirrors (see  
page 114 ).  
1. Make sure all windows, mirrors,  
and outside lights are clean and  
unobstructed. Remove frost, snow,  
or ice.  
7. Check the steering wheel  
adjustment (see page 81 ).  
2. Check that the hood is fully closed.  
8. Make sure the doors and the  
tailgate are securely closed and  
locked.  
3. Visually check the tires. If a tire  
looks low, use a gauge to check its  
pressure.  
9. Fasten your seat belt. Check that  
your passengers have fastened  
their seat belts (see page 15 ).  
4. Check that any items you may be  
carrying are stored properly or  
fastened down securely.  
10. When you start the engine, check  
the gauges and indicators in the  
instrument panel (see pages 61 to  
68 ).  
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Starting the Engine  
1. Apply the parking brake.  
4. Without touching the accelerator  
pedal, turn the ignition key to the  
START (III) position. Do not hold  
the key in the START (III)  
position for more than 15 seconds  
at a time. If the engine does not  
start right away, pause for at least  
10 seconds before trying again.  
2. In cold weather, turn off all  
electrical accessories to reduce  
the drain on the battery.  
The engine is harder to start in cold  
weather. Also, the thinner air found at  
altitudes above 8,000 feet (2,400  
meters) adds to this problem.  
3. Make sure the shift lever is in  
Park. Press on the brake pedal.  
The immobilizer system protects your  
vehicle from theft. If an improperly-  
coded key (or other device) is used, the  
engine’s fuel system is disabled. For  
more information, see page 83 .  
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Automatic Transmission  
Shift Lever Position Indicators  
The ‘‘D’’ indicator comes on for a  
few seconds when you turn the  
ignition switch to the ON (II)  
position. If it flashes while driving (in  
any shift position), it indicates a  
possible problem in the transmission.  
Shifting  
If the malfunction indicator lamp  
comes on along with the ‘‘D’’  
indicator, there is a problem with the  
automatic transmission control  
system. Avoid rapid acceleration, and  
have the transmission checked by  
your dealer as soon as possible.  
RELEASE  
BUTTON  
U.S. model is shown.  
SHIFT LEVER  
These indicators on the instrument  
panel show which position the shift  
lever is in.  
To shift from any position, press  
firmly on the brake pedal and the  
release button on the side of the  
shift lever. You cannot shift out of  
Park when the ignition switch is in  
the LOCK (0) or ACCESSORY (I)  
position.  
CONTINUED  
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Automatic Transmission  
To shift from:  
P to R  
Do this:  
Press the brake pedal and  
press the shift lever release  
button.  
Park (P) This position mechani-  
Reverse (R) Press the brake  
cally locks the transmission. Use  
pedal and the release button on the  
Park whenever you are turning off or side of the shift lever to shift from  
starting the engine. To shift out of  
Park, you must press on the brake  
pedal and have your foot off the  
accelerator pedal. Press the release  
button on the side of the shift lever  
to move it.  
Park to reverse. To shift from  
reverse to neutral, come to a  
complete stop and then shift. Press  
the release button before shifting  
into reverse from neutral.  
R to P  
N to R  
D to 2  
2 to 1  
Press the shift lever release  
button.  
1 to 2  
2 to D  
D to N  
N to D  
R to N  
Move the shift lever.  
Press the D3 button.  
If you have done all of the above and  
still cannot move the lever out of  
Park, see Shift Lock Release on  
page 319 .  
D
3
to D  
D to D3  
To avoid transmission damage, come  
to a complete stop before shifting  
into Park. You must also press the  
release button to shift into Park. The  
shift lever must be in Park before  
you can remove the key from the  
ignition switch.  
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Automatic Transmission  
Neutral (N) Use neutral if you  
need to restart a stalled engine, or if  
it is necessary to stop briefly with  
the engine idling. Shift to the Park  
position if you need to leave your  
vehicle for any reason. Press on the  
brake pedal when you are moving  
the shift lever from neutral to  
another gear.  
D3 Mode  
Drive (D) Use this position for  
your normal driving. The  
transmission automatically selects a  
suitable gear (1 through 5) for your  
speed and acceleration. You may  
notice the transmission shifting up at  
higher engine speeds when the  
engine is cold. This helps the engine  
warm up faster.  
D3 SWITCH  
D3 MODE INDICATOR  
Press the D3 switch on the side of  
the shift lever to turn this mode on  
or off; the D3 mode indicator comes  
on whenever the D3 mode is  
selected.  
When the D3 mode is on, the  
transmission selects only the first  
three gears. Use D3 mode when  
towing a trailer, or to provide engine  
braking when going down a steep hill.  
D3 mode can also keep the  
transmission from cycling between  
third and fourth gears in stop-and-go  
driving.  
D3 mode can be turned on or off  
only when the ignition switch is in  
the ON (II) position and the shift  
lever is in the D position.  
CONTINUED  
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Automatic Transmission  
Shifting out from the D position will  
cancel the D3 mode, and the D3  
indicator will go out. Selecting the D  
position again will resume the D3  
mode and the indicator comes on.  
Use second gear:  
If you shift into first gear when the  
vehicle speed is above 31 mph (50  
km/h), the transmission shifts into  
second gear first to avoid sudden  
engine braking.  
For more power when climbing.  
To increase engine braking when  
going down steep hills.  
Turning the ignition switch to the  
LOCK (0) position turns this mode  
off. When you restart the engine,  
select the D position and press the  
D3 mode switch again to use this  
mode.  
For starting out on a slippery  
surface or in deep snow.  
Engine Speed Limiter  
If you exceed the maximum speed  
for the gear you are in, the engine  
speed will enter into the tachometer’s  
red zone. If this occurs, you may feel  
the engine cut in and out. This is  
caused by a limiter in the engine’s  
computer controls. The engine will  
run normally when you reduce the  
rpm below the red zone.  
To help reduce wheel spin.  
When driving downhill with a  
trailer.  
The D3 mode indicator also comes  
on for a few seconds when you turn  
the ignition switch to the ON (II)  
position.  
First (1) To shift from second to  
first, press the release button on the  
side of the shift lever. This position  
locks the transmission in first gear.  
By upshifting and downshifting  
Second (2) To shift to second,  
press the release button on the side  
of the shift lever. This position locks  
the transmission in second gear. It  
does not downshift to first gear  
when you come to a stop.  
3
through 1, 2, D , and D, you can  
operate the transmission much like a  
manual transmission without a  
clutch pedal.  
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Automatic Transmission  
Shift Lock Release  
RELEASE BUTTON  
COVER  
This allows you to move the shift  
lever out of Park if the normal  
method of pushing on the brake  
pedal and pressing the release  
button does not work.  
1. Set the parking brake.  
2. Remove the key from the ignition  
switch.  
SHIFT LOCK RELEASE SLOT  
3. Put a cloth on the edge of the shift  
lock release slot cover. Using a  
small flat-tipped screwdriver or  
metal fingernail file, carefully pry  
4. Insert the key in the shift lock  
release slot.  
6. Remove the key from the shift  
lock release slot, then reinstall the  
cover. Make sure the notch on the  
cover is on the right side. Insert  
the key back into the ignition  
switch, press the brake pedal, and  
restart the engine.  
on the edge of the cover to remove 5. Push down on the key while you  
it.  
press the release button on the  
shift lever and move the shift lever  
out of Park to neutral.  
If you need to use the shift lock  
release, it means your vehicle is  
developing a problem. Have the  
vehicle checked by your dealer.  
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Parking  
Always use the parking brake when  
you park your vehicle. Make sure  
the parking brake is set firmly, or  
your vehicle may roll if it is parked  
on an incline.  
Parking Tips  
If the vehicle is facing uphill, turn  
the front wheels away from the  
curb.  
Make sure the moonroof (if  
equipped) and the windows are  
closed.  
If the vehicle is facing downhill,  
turn the front wheels toward the  
curb.  
Turn off the lights.  
Set the parking brake before you put  
the transmission in Park. This keeps  
the vehicle from moving and putting  
pressure on the parking mechanism  
in the transmission.  
Place any packages, valuables, etc.  
in the cargo area or take them  
with you.  
Make sure the parking brake is  
fully released before driving away.  
Driving with the parking brake  
partially set can overheat or  
damage the rear brakes.  
Lock the doors and the tailgate.  
If equipped  
Check the indicator on the  
instrument panel to verify that the  
security system is set.  
Never park over dry leaves, tall  
grass, or other flammable  
materials. The hot three way  
catalytic converter could cause  
these materials to catch on fire.  
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Braking System  
Your vehicle is equipped with disc  
brakes at all four wheels. A power  
assist helps reduce the effort needed  
on the brake pedal. The anti-lock  
brake system (ABS) helps you retain  
steering control when braking very  
hard.  
Check your brakes after driving  
through deep water. Apply the  
brakes moderately to see if they feel  
normal. If not, apply them gently and  
frequently until they do. Be extra  
cautious and alert in your driving.  
Brake Pad Wear Indicators  
The front and rear disc brakes on all  
models have audible brake wear  
indicators.  
If the brake pads need replacing, you  
will hear a distinctive, metallic  
Braking System Design  
screeching sound when you apply  
the brake pedal. If you do not have  
the brake pads replaced, they will  
screech all the time. It is normal for  
the brakes to occasionally squeal or  
squeak when you apply them.  
Resting your foot on the pedal keeps  
the brakes applied lightly, builds up  
heat, reduces their effectiveness and  
reduces brake pad life. In addition,  
fuel economy can be reduced. It also  
keeps your brake lights on all the  
time, confusing drivers behind you.  
The hydraulic system that operates  
the brakes has two separate circuits.  
Each circuit works diagonally across  
the vehicle (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.  
Constant application of the brakes  
when going down a long hill builds  
up heat and reduces their effective-  
ness. Use the engine to assist the  
brakes by taking your foot off the  
accelerator and downshifting to a  
lower gear.  
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Anti-lock Brakes (ABS)  
The anti-lock brake system (ABS)  
helps prevent the wheels from  
locking up, and helps you retain  
steering control by pumping the  
brakes rapidly, much faster than a  
person can do it.  
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  
ABS Indicator  
If this indicator comes on, the anti-  
lock function of the braking system  
has shut down. The brakes still work  
like a conventional system, but  
without anti-lock. You should have  
your dealer inspect your vehicle as  
soon as possible.  
pumping the brakes. On dry  
pavement, you will need to press on  
the brake pedal very hard before the  
ABS activates. However, you may  
feel the ABS activate immediately if  
you are trying to stop on snow or ice.  
The electronic brake distribution  
(EBD) system, which is part of the  
ABS, also balances the front-to-rear  
braking distribution according to  
vehicle loading.  
If the ABS indicator comes on while  
driving, test the brakes as shown on  
page 396 .  
You should never pump the brake pedal.  
Let the ABS work for you by always  
keeping firm, steady pressure on the  
brake pedal. This is sometimes  
referred to as ‘‘stomp and steer.’’  
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Anti-lock Brakes (ABS)  
If the ABS indicator and the brake  
system indicator come on together,  
and the parking brake is fully  
released, the EBD system may also  
be shut down.  
Important Safety Reminders  
ABS does not reduce the time or  
distance it takes to stop the  
vehicle. It only helps with the  
steering control during braking.  
A vehicle with ABS may require a  
longer distance to stop on loose or  
uneven surfaces, such as gravel or  
snow, than a vehicle without anti-  
lock.  
Test your brakes as instructed on  
page 396 . If the brakes feel normal,  
drive slowly and have your vehicle  
repaired by your dealer as soon as  
possible. Avoid sudden hard braking  
which could cause the rear wheels to  
lock up and possibly lead to a loss of  
control.  
ABS will not prevent a skid that  
results from changing direction  
abruptly, such as trying to take a  
corner too fast or making a sudden  
lane change. Always drive at a safe  
speed for the road and weather  
conditions.  
ABS cannot prevent a loss of  
The VSA system indicator may come  
on along with the ABS indicator if  
there is a problem with the anti-lock  
brake system.  
stability. Always steer moderately  
when you are braking hard. Severe  
or sharp steering wheel movement  
can still cause your vehicle to veer  
into oncoming traffic or off the road.  
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Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA ), aka Electronic Stability Control (ESC), System  
The vehicle stability assist (VSA)  
system helps to stabilize the vehicle  
during cornering if the vehicle turns  
more or less than desired. It also  
assists you in maintaining traction  
while accelerating on loose or  
NOTE: The main function of the  
VSA system is generally known as  
Electronic Stability Control (ESC).  
The system also includes a traction  
control function.  
VSA Off Indicator  
When VSA is off, the VSA off  
indicator comes on as a reminder.  
Vehicle Stability Assist  
(VSA) System Indicator  
slippery road surfaces. It does this  
If the low tire pressure indicator or  
TPMS indicator comes on, the VSA  
system automatically turns on even if  
the VSA system is turned off by  
pressing the VSA OFF switch (see  
page 325 ). If this happens, you  
by regulating the engine’s output and When VSA activates, you will see the  
by selectively applying the brakes.  
VSA system 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. There may also  
be some noise from the VSA  
hydraulic system. You will also see  
the VSA activation indicator blink.  
If this 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. If the VSA  
system indicator stays on or comes  
back on while driving, have the VSA  
system inspected by your dealer.  
cannot turn the VSA system off by  
pressing the VSA OFF switch again.  
Without VSA, your vehicle will have  
normal braking and cornering ability,  
but it will not have VSA traction and  
stability enhancement.  
The VSA system cannot enhance the  
vehicle’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.  
If the indicator does not come on  
when the ignition switch is turned to  
the ON (II) position, there may be a  
problem with the VSA system. Have  
your dealer inspect your vehicle as  
soon as possible.  
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Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA ), aka Electronic Stability Control (ESC), System  
VSA is turned on every time you  
start the engine, even if you turned it  
off the last time you drove the  
vehicle.  
VSA OFF Switch  
VSA and Tire Sizes  
Driving with varying tire or wheel  
sizes may cause the VSA to  
VSA OFF SWITCH  
malfunction. When replacing tires,  
make sure they are the same size  
and type as your original tires (see  
In certain unusual conditions when  
your vehicle gets stuck in shallow  
mud or fresh snow, it may be easier  
to free it with the VSA temporarily  
switched off. When the VSA system  
is off, the traction control system is  
also off. You should only attempt to  
free your vehicle with the VSA off if  
you are not able to free it when the  
VSA is on.  
page  
374  
).  
If you install winter tires, make sure  
they are the same size as those that  
were originally supplied with your  
vehicle. Exercise the same caution  
during winter driving as you would if  
your vehicle was not equipped with  
VSA.  
This switch is under the driver’s side  
vent. To turn the VSA system on and  
off, press and hold it until you hear a  
beep.  
Immediately after freeing your  
vehicle, be sure to switch the VSA on  
again. We do not recommend driving  
your vehicle with the VSA and  
When VSA is off, the VSA off  
indicator comes on as a reminder.  
Press and hold the switch again. It  
turns the system back on.  
traction control systems switched off.  
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Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)  
Your vehicle is equipped with a tire  
pressure monitoring system (TPMS)  
Low Tire Pressure  
Indicator  
Driving on a significantly under  
inflated tire causes the tire to  
overheat and can lead to tire failure.  
Underinflation also reduces fuel  
efficiency and tire tread life, and may  
affect the vehicle’s handling and  
stopping ability.  
that turns on every time you start the When the low tire pressure indicator  
engine and monitors the pressure in  
your tires while driving.  
is on, one or more of your tires is  
significantly underinflated. You  
should stop and check your tires as  
soon as possible, and inflate them to  
the proper pressure as indicated on  
the vehicle’s tire information placard. Because tire pressure varies by  
temperature and other conditions,  
If you think you can safely drive a  
short distance to a service station,  
proceed slowly, and inflate the tire to  
the recommended pressure shown  
on the driver’s doorjamb.  
Each tire has its own pressure  
sensor (not including the spare tire).  
If the air pressure of a tire becomes  
significantly low while driving, the  
sensor in that tire immediately sends  
a signal that causes the low tire  
pressure indicator to come on.  
the low tire pressure indicator may  
come on unexpectedly.  
If the tire is flat, or if the tire  
pressure is too low to continue  
driving, replace the tire with the  
compact spare tire (see page 382 ).  
If you cannot make the low tire  
pressure indicator go out after  
inflating the tires to the specified  
values, have your dealer check the  
system as soon as possible.  
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