2006 Nissan Towing Guide 19 AUTOMATIC CRUISE CONTROL
Do not use cruise control while towing a trailer.
TOW MODE (IF EQUIPPED)
Tow Mode should be used when the vehicle and trailer weight is at least 75% of the
vehicle GCWR. This mode is most useful when towing a heavy trailer or hauling a heavy
load, particularly when stop-and-go traffic, rolling terrain, or a busy parking lot is involved.
Driving the vehicle in Tow Mode with minimal trailer load will not cause any damage;
however, fuel economy may be reduced, and transmission/engine driving characteristics
may feel different.
HILLS – UPGRADES
As the incline increases, shift down to a lower gear to maintain speed and prevent the
engine from lugging. However, for long and steep grades, do not stay in first gear when
driving above 35 mph or in second gear above 58 mph.* The added weight of a trailer
places an increased load on the engine and cooling system, so monitor your coolant
temperature gauge and automatic transmission fluid temperature gauge (if equipped) very
carefully. At the first sign of overheating, pull to the side of the road. See IF YOUR ENGINE
OVERHEATS later in this section for more information.
HILLS – DOWNGRADES
While going downhill, the weight of the trailer pushing on the tow vehicle may decrease
overall stability. Therefore, to maintain adequate control, reduce your speed and shift
to a lower gear.
When descending a hill, also avoid long or repeated use of the brakes as this reduces
their effectiveness and could cause overheating. Shifting to a lower gear instead provides
“engine braking” and reduces the need to brake as frequently.
IF YOUR ENGINE OVERHEATS
A moderate increase in engine operating temperature is normal when towing a trailer. If,
however, the coolant temperature gauge reading is abnormally high, or if you are
experiencing a significant loss of power, or if you hear unusual engine noises,** the engine
may be overheating and you should immediately take the following steps:
1. Pull your vehicle safely over to the side of the road, out of traffic. Apply the parking
brake, and move the gearshift lever to NEUTRAL (manual) or PARK (automatic). DO
NOT STOP THE ENGINE.
*For Murano, see your owner’s manual for information applicable to your vehicle.
**See your owner’s manual for additional indications that your vehicle may be overheating.
2006 Nissan Towing Guide 20 2. Turn off the air conditioning and, after opening all the windows, turn the heater on to
maximum hot and the fan to its highest speed. The heater core in your vehicle is just
like a miniature engine radiator and will provide an extra cooling surface to help reduce
3. Run the engine at a fast idle (approximately 1,500 rpm) until the temperature gauge
returns to a normal reading. If the temperature does not drop or continues to increase,
stop this step immediately.
4. Being cautious of traffic, step out of the vehicle and, from a safe distance, look for
steam underneath the engine. If you see steam or leaking coolant, stand clear to avoid
being burned. Shut off your engine immediately and allow it to cool. If there is no steam,
open the hood. Never remove the radiator cap when the radiator is hot. If the cap is
removed under these conditions, hot water under high pressure may spurt out, possibly
causing serious injury.
5. As soon as the engine has cooled to its normal operating temperature, visually inspect
the drive belts for damage or looseness. A loose belt reduces water pump efficiency.
Be careful to keep your hands, hair, jewelry, and clothing clear of the running drive belt
and other moving parts when inspecting the engine and radiator. Also check to see if
the cooling fan is running, and inspect the water pump, radiator, and radiator hoses for
leaks. Keep in mind, too, that if your vehicle is equipped with an electric fan motor, it
may start without warning any time the coolant temperature is high. If you find leaking
coolant, a loose or missing drive belt, or an inoperable fan, turn the engine off
6. If no leaks are apparent and all other components appear to be operating properly with
the engine cooled to its normal operating temperature, check the coolant level in the
reservoir tank with the engine running. Add coolant to the reservoir tank if needed. At
this point, if repairs are required, go to the nearest Nissan dealer. See the IN CASE OF
EMERGENCY section of your owner’s manual for additional information on overheating.
NOTE – Armada, Frontier, Pathfinder, Titan, and Xterra vehicles have an engine protection
mode which helps reduce the chance of engine damage if the engine coolant reaches a
specified temperature. The Murano has a high fluid temperature protection mode which
helps to reduce the chance of transmission damage. See your owner’s manual for details.