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/.