(NAPSI)—October is National Car Care Month and a perfect time to think about how you treat your car. It may surprise you to know how everyday driving can take a major toll on your vehicle. In fact, most people who think they are “normal” drivers are actually considered “severe” drivers, according to the definitions of their vehicle manufacturers. |
Both normal and severe driving classifications relate directly to your total driving habits—how, when and where you drive. It is important to know how auto makers look at normal vs. severe driving since the maintenance schedule recommendations will most- likely differ between the two. Here are some examples of severe driving conditions:
Short Trips: Frequent use for short periods of time, such as driving to the supermarket.
Cold Starts: Leaving your garage or driveway on a cooler morning without sufficient warm-up time.
Stop and Go: Driving in traffic with many taps of the brake or long idling periods.
Towing and Heavy Loads: Hitching a trailer; packing the car for a family vacation or a move.
Extreme Temperatures: Driving in heat or those areas with temperatures dipping below freezing.
Regional Factors: Traveling in coastal areas, dusty and muddy conditions, or locations that may require road salt.
If it seems that your driving conditions fall into one or more of the categories above, you are not alone. In fact, nowadays, the average driver is much more likely to be considered a severe driver than ever before. To make sure that you are using the proper service intervals recommended by your auto manufacturer, try the following:
Check your owner’s manual
It will let you know the proper service intervals for your model based on your driving conditions. Your oil will break down more quickly if you are a severe driver, so the majority of owners’ manuals recommend changing oil every 3,000 miles to protect your engine. Your manual will also contain information about other critical components of servicing and preventive maintenance, such as your oil and air filters, engine cooling system, and other vital fluids.
Be aware of your driving conditions
Some minor changes in your driving—a few cold mornings or some stop-and-go driving—can put you in the severe driving category. By monitoring the change in types of traveling, destinations, weather and other conditions, you can help to ensure you are servicing your car at the right time to avoid a costly breakdown.
Ask an expert If you still have questions, you can ask preventive maintenance experts at a quick-oil change service station, like a Jiffy Lube. As part of its overall vehicle maintenance service, Jiffy Lube technicians will have access to information provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer and can provide you with those recommendations based on your driving conditions, as well as your local environmental or seasonal conditions.
As the weather gets cooler in most parts of the country, October is the perfect time for National Car Care Month. With temperatures changing, traffic once again heavier with school-bound traffic, and a variety of after-school activities turning your vehicle into the family taxi, take an extra moment to think about the needs of your car. And if you just happen to be a severe driver, it takes only a little extra care to ensure your car will keep you on the road year after year.
© Copyright 2006 by CarJunky®
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