• Karolena Serratos

What Severe Maintenance Means...


Manufacturers provide descriptions and service schedules for two different driving habits. Normal Service and Severe Service. I am not sure where Normal, Michigan is located, but I've never been there and have only heard of it...

Take a look below of something taken out of a 2011 Nissan Quest service manual. Items in pink are what I consider to be the most worthy of more thought.

Severe Service Defined:

Two different maintenance schedules are provided, and should be used, depending upon the conditions under which the vehicle is mainly operated.

Severe Service

Follow the Severe Service Schedule if your driving habits frequently include one or more of the following driving conditions:

  • Repeated short trips of less than 5 miles (8 km). How long is your commute? Do you drop off the kids and then go back to the house? How far is that? How often you make multiple trips like driving down the street to the grocery store, dry cleaners, out to dinner?

  • Repeated short trips of less than 10 miles (16 km) with outside temperatures remaining below freezing. Not too much of an issue in Houston, Texas.

  • Operating in hot weather in stop-and-go "rush hour" traffic. How many hours do you sit in Houston traffic during the summer...

  • Extensive idling and/or low speed driving for long distances, such as police, taxi or door-to-door delivery use. How about that carpool lane at the kids school? (I wonder how Uber or Doordashers qualify under this one.)

  • Driving in dusty conditions. Not too bad here, but we do have tons of construction.

  • Driving on rough, muddy, or salt spread roads. We definitely have rough roads here in Houston wreaking havoc on vehicle steering and suspension systems.

  • Towing a trailer, using a camper or a car-top carrier. Trailer towing a big one and highly recommend servicing your transmission under the service maintenance guide lines. People with campers on the trunk or the car-top carrier also need to consider the extra stress being put on the vehicle as the factory did not design the service schedule with those considerations for normal service.

Normal Service

Follow the Normal Service Schedule if none of the driving conditions shown in Severe Service apply to your driving habits.

Professional Auto Care has always believed on customizing maintenance based upon our clients' driving habits, budgets, needs, and long term car care goals.

[This is the founding reason behind the creation of Service Smart℠]