Most people tend to think that the conditions in which they drive are considered normal. Although each manufacturer defines the term a bit differently, “severe driving conditions” often refers to: traveling in extreme weather, in dusty or sandy areas or towing a heavy load. However, many drivers may not realize that stop-and-go traffic is included in many “severe driving conditions” descriptions. Consistently driving in stop-and-go traffic can impact your vehicle’s components, fluid levels, and filters much more quickly than driving at steady speeds.
The Stop-Start Effect
Stop-and-go driving, particularly for short distances can be taxing to your vehicle. During many short trips, your car’s engine doesn’t have time to reach normal operating temperature. This can cause harmful deposits to build up over time.
Naturally, your brakes have to work harder in heavy traffic as well. Repeated stopping puts additional wear on your brake system. However, this problem that can be alleviated to some extent by increasing the space cushion between you and the vehicle in front of you when traffic is slow. It’s always advisable to have your brakes promptly inspected if you notice any irregularities, such as squealing, grinding or the feeling that your car pulls to one side when coming to a stop.
What Can Be Done
If it turns out your vehicle does operate mostly in severe conditions, don’t worry – you can still take good care of your car or truck with a bit of extra attention. Keep these tips in mind:
- Driving in severe conditions often calls for more frequent servicing. Consider having your oil changed frequently, as recommended in your owner’s manual.
- Major components should be inspected more often to protect against potential failures and unexpected repairs.
- It is vital to make sure that fluids (brake, antifreeze, transmission, power steering, and engine oil) are flushed and replaced on a regular basis.
At Sun Auto Service, we specialize in the kind of preventative maintenance that keeps cars and trucks performing their best, even in the toughest conditions. Our work is guaranteed, and our technicians are ASE certified, so you know you’re getting quality service at a great price.