The typical owner’s manual offers a schedule for your specific vehicle’s recommended preventative maintenance, including oil changes, transmission services, etc. While we all understand the regular service schedule, it comes as a surprise to many that there is a severe service schedule as well.
You’re probably thinking, “Severe service doesn’t apply to me because my driving conditions aren’t extreme or severe,” but what you call normal everyday driving could be wearing heavily on your vehicle.
Some of the driving patterns and conditions that manufacturers consider severe include:
- Most trips are less than four miles
- Most trips are less than 10 miles with outside temperatures below freezing
- Driving in very hot weather
- Driving at low speeds most of the time (under 55 mph)
- Driving in stop and go traffic
- Operating your vehicle in dusty, polluted or muddy conditions
- Towing a trailer, regularly carrying heavy loads or using a car-top carrier
Most drivers operate under severe conditions at least some of the time, so how do we know which schedule to follow?
Carefully think about your driving conditions and decide if you should do your preventative maintenance closer to the severe recommendation, the regular recommendation or somewhere in the middle.