What Are Normal Driving Conditions

Posted August 17, 2011

If you were in the market for a used car this advertisement in you local newspaper would sound pretty good, right? Though it may sound good, given the scenario is true, it may not be as good a situation as on might think.

Vehicles which are driven occasionally or for short distances are in many cases subjected to unusual wear and strain. For example, cars that are driven short distances, consistently never have the opportunity for the engine to warm up to the normal heat range. This can cause excessive engine wear.

Relatively, low mileage transmissions which are regularly used in city or stop and go conditions are subject to much higher wear than transmissions of the same mileage which are used under normal or primarily highway conditions. It is important to note that that it is not necessarily the mileage on a transmission which determines probable wear.

Rather, it is the number of times the transmission has been run through its startup and shift cycles that determines probable wear. Many other seemingly normal driving conditions can affect transmission life. Things like extreme climate conditions either cold or hot, mountainous, driving, motoring problems which are associated with snow or ice (and a host of others) can take their toll.

Under ‘normal’ driving conditions vehicle manufacturers recommend servicing your transmission as seldom as every 100,000 miles. As you can see from the limited examples above, very few motorist fit into the ideal or ‘normal’ driving condition category.

If you operate your vehicle under more extreme conditions, more frequent transmission servicing will be necessary to maximize transmission life. Servicing your transmission yearly seems to be an industry average. Under the most extreme conditions, even more often may be advisable and you may want to install an external transmission cooler for additional protection.

1986 Chevrolet, 45,000 miles, only driven to the grocery store by elderly lady.

If you are uncertain about the frequency of transmission service for your vehicle and driving conditions, your local ATRA Member will be pleased to discuss your specific situation and make appropriate recommendations.

Questions to ask about a Warranty

  1. Is it written in simple and readily understood language?
  2. Does it identify the person to whom the warranty is issued?
  3. Does it clearly list the beginning date of coverage and the length of time and mileage allowed for the duration of the warranty?
  4. Does it list the items being covered and also items not covered by the warranty?
  5. Does it clearly explain what the consumer must do to receive repairs under the terms of the warranty?
  6. Does it clearly explain where the consumer’s vehicle will be repaired? Will the repair be authorized only in the original repair facility or does it offer national coverage?

Categories: Car Repair

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