ARE YOU A SEVERE DRIVER?
If you regularly make frequent errands throughout the day or end up sitting in a lot of traffic, you may be considered a “Severe Driver” according to your owners manual. And that means a different maintenance schedule to keep your car running trouble-free.
- If you regularly drive in the following conditions, then you likely fall into the category of a severe driver.
- A lot of stop-and-go traffic
- Short commutes (generally under 5 miles each trip)
- Frequently carry heavier loads: cargo, passenger or towing a trailer
- Drive on rough or mountainous roads
- Are exposed to constantly dusty or salty environments
- Drive in extremely hot or cold weather
- Spend a lot of time driving for your job (traveling salesperson, real estate agent, etc.)
If your usual driving is described in one or more of the above conditions, then you are considered a severe driver. Driving in these conditions will increase the wear and tear on your vehicle, can reduce your fuel economy and increase your repair costs.
But there are ways that you can protect your vehicle even if you are a ‘severe driver’.
First, by checking your vehicle’s owners manual, you will see there is a normal and a ‘severe conditions’ schedule in your owner’s manual. The severe schedule usually consist of extra inspections, earlier replacements and decreased intervals between vehicle inspections.
Below are some of the more common things you’ll find in your owner’s manual for severe driving:
MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR SEVERE DRIVING
Proper maintenance can help reduce the wear and tear on your car and includes:
- Check and change your important fluids more frequently for signs of contamination or break down. Be sure to change your oil filter with every oil change.
- Inspect the ‘wear and tear’ items, such as tires, brakes and shocks, more regularly.
- Rotate your tires at each oil change for even tire wear and to help your tires last as long as possible
- Replace your tires if they are worn or slick around turns or in wet conditions.
- Check out your tire alignment. If you let your hands off your steering wheel and your car drifts to one side, your alignment is likely out of alignment – which can cause uneven or premature tire wear.
- Inspect your exhaust system. Holes or excessive rust can cause dangerous fumes to seep into your car while you are driving.
- Check your belts and hoses for signs of cracking or becoming brittle or loose
DRIVING TIPS FOR SEVERE DRIVERS
By changing your driving habits, you can reduce the wear and tear on your car including:
- Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph.
- Practice even starts and stops. Aggressive driving can decrease fuel efficiency and work the engine harder than necessary
- Clean out your trunk and pickup bed. The more unneeded items you carry, the heavier your vehicle becomes and can reduce your gas mileage.
- Get to know your mechanic. When you are a regular customer at a tire and repair shop, they get to know you AND your car. The more they get to know you, the more they will teach you about your car and can provide tips and assistance to keep your car in top shape.
HOW FOX RIVER TIRE & AUTO CAN HELP SEVERE DRIVERS
We offer inspections to make sure your car is in top shape
At Fox River Tire & Auto, we know that most of us fall into the Severe Driver category. Living where we live, we can’t control the weather, the road salt or how traffic can be on most days around town.
This is why we offer FREE and IN DEPTH vehicle inspections. Our inspections check the major components of your vehicle for damage or wear and let you know how well your car is holding up. After our technicians check out your car, we’ll share with you the condition of your vehicle which gives you peace of mind as you use your vehicle.
WHAT WE RECOMMEND FOR SEVERE DRIVERS
Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles
Oil change intervals are typically between 3,000 and 5,000 for most vehicles. Always check your owners manual for what your vehicle recommends for oil AND oil filter replacement. If you are a severe driver, come in every 3,000 miles so we can keep your oil and filter clean, can inspect your brakes and rotate your tires. You may also want to consider a better oil, such as a full synthetic oil, that can last longer and perform better in extreme conditions.
Rotate Your Tires At Each Oil Change
Tires wear unevenly due to cars being heavier in front due to the weight of the engine and through normal braking. By rotating your tires at each oil change, you can ensure an even wear, allow us to inspect your tires for any punctures or tire issues and can extend the life of your tires.
Inspect The Brakes
Inspecting your brakes is important for any driver but very important for severe drivers. By having your brakes inspected, you can replace the brake pad as soon as they are worn down before they turn into a costly brake repair. If you rotate your tires with Fox River Tire and Auto, we can check out your brakes as we rotate your tires. A Win-Win.
Listen To Your Car
You know your car best. If you hear a new noise, feel a different vibration or suspect something is not right, drive into Fox River Tire and Auto and let us know. We can check things out to see if something is wrong.
Maintenance vs Repairs
We’ve all heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is especially true when owning a vehicle. Repairing a car after something has broken or worn down past its usable life is almost always more expensive then maintaining a car before something needs repair.
We offer manufacturer recommended maintenance (the same services that your vehicle manufacturer recommends in your owner’s manual). These services are designed to catch issues before they turn into something major and can provide you with many miles of worry-free driving.
Taking the extra steps to protect your car will help your car under any driving conditions.