safety and sporty - combining the two for teenage drivers

Getting On The Right Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

When it comes to keeping your vehicle running properly, regular maintenance is crucial. While most drivers recognize that investing in regular maintenance is important, few understand how to establish the right type of maintenance schedule for their vehicles.

Every car's manual features two maintenance schedules- one for normal drivers and one for severe drivers. You may be following the wrong maintenance schedule without even realizing it. Here are three questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not your driving patterns could be categorized as severe in order to get your vehicle on the right maintenance schedule.

1. How long are my trips? 

In order to establish whether or not you are placing your car under severe conditions while driving, you should start by evaluating the duration of your trips. Contrary to what you might believe, making several short trips can actually cause more wear and tear on your vehicle than longer trips can.

Shorter drive times don't allow your vehicle's mechanical systems to fully warm up and function properly, which results in the potential for damage over time. If you are commuting a short distance to work or  using your vehicle for in-town trips, then your driving could be categorized as severe and your maintenance schedule should reflect that.

2. How often do I tow things?

If you have a vehicle designed for towing, your driving patterns may be categorized as severe. The additional weight that is added to your vehicle when you hook up a trailer can cause your vehicle's mechanical systems to work harder in order to generate the power needed to haul the trailer.

If you are frequently towing heavy loads, then you should ensure that regular maintenance tasks like oil changes and brake checks are being conducted according to the severe maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.

3. What is the climate like where I live?

Environmental conditions can affect the performance of your car. If you live in an area where really hot or really cold temperatures are the norm, these climate conditions could contribute to severe driving patterns.

Driving in high temperatures prevents your car's mechanical systems from cooling completely, and driving in cool temperatures can cause metal components within your car's mechanical systems to become brittle. More frequent maintenance is required to keep a vehicle operational when you routinely subject it to extreme temperatures.

Understanding how to identify if your driving patterns could be classified as severe will allow you to get your vehicle on the right maintenance schedule in the future.