Things change, including the way we use our cars, how we drive them and the condition of our roads. Although normal driving is defined as steady driving in non-extreme weather or environments, for most motorists today, being a severe driver is more the rule than the exception, says the Car Care Council.
According to the council’s Car Care Guide, severe driving refers to:
- 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
“According to definition, most driving is going to be considered ‘severe.’ However, there are easy steps you can take to limit the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle and improve fuel economy,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “By properly maintaining and repairing your vehicle, it will perform safely, dependably and efficiently for years to come, no matter the driving conditions.”
The Car Care Council recommends that motorists be car care aware and take actions to reduce the effects of severe driving, such as:
- 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 www.carcare.org/car-care-resource/car-care-guide/.
The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s popular Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.