What are "Normal" vs "Severe" driving Conditions?
Let us take a minute and think. Think about the days when it is so cold in the morning, you start your car so it can heat up for a few minutes. Or the days that you’re stuck in a little traffic and it's hot, you have the A/C on blast. Did you know that these small things we do are severe conditions for your vehicle?
Your owner’s manual contains a large amount of information that few drivers ever read. Inside your vehicle owner’s manual, you will find two driving schedules. Schedule “A”- Normal and Schedule “B”- Severe. The severe schedule has a shorter time between fluid changes, and applies if:
Most trips are less than 10 miles when outside temperatures are below freezing and less than 5 miles in normal temperatures.
If trips include extensive idling (such as driving in stop-and-go traffic) or driving at low speeds, less than 50 MPH, or for long periods of time.
If the vehicle is frequently driven in dusty areas, or on dirt or gravel roads.
And, if the vehicle is used for towing a trailer or using a carrier on top, or snow plowing.
In a 2011 poll, 90% of drivers in six western states considered themselves normal drivers, yet 89% of those drivers had habits defined as severe.
In fact, “normal” driving conditions are a bit of a myth in today's world. The everyday driver checks a minimum of 2 of these condition boxes.
Observing the recommended mileage in your manual, and keeping track of when you complete your services will help you stay on schedule. Your vehicle will last longer and will save you money in the long run by avoiding any surprise expenses.