Are you a severe driver? Normal driving is defined as steady driving in non-extreme weather or environments, so for most motorists today, being a severe driver is more the rule than the exception. According to the non-profit Car Care Council, severe driving includes:
- Stop-and-go traffic
- Short commutes
- Heavier loads: cargo, passenger or towing a trailer
- Rough or mountainous roads
- Dusty or salty environments
- Driving in extremely hot or cold weather
"While most driving is considered 'severe' according to the definition, limiting the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle, and improving fuel economy, can be achieved in a few easy steps," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "By taking action, your vehicle will perform safely, dependably and efficiently with proper maintenance and repairs for years to come, regardless of the driving conditions."
The Car Care Council recommends that motorists be car care aware and take a few easy steps to reduce the effects of severe driving on their vehicles.
- Follow the "severe" service schedule in your owner's manual.
- Check fluids, including oil, and filters more frequently.
- Have certain components such as brakes and shocks inspected more regularly.
- Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
- Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage.
- Don't haul unneeded items in the trunk as extra weight will reduce fuel economy.
- Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage.
Order a free copy of the 80-page Car Care Guide at Car Care Guide.
The council's popular Car Care Guide is available electronically or printed copy in English and Spanish. The guide covers major vehicle systems, component groups within the vehicle, service interval recommendations and much more.
Source: Car Care Council