Severe Service

They Said What?

Over the last few years there has been a dramatic switch in the attitude of car makers regarding their service requirements. First off, many have changed the language in the owner’s manual from “Recommended” to “Required” maintenance. This single statement is a bold indicator of where they are headed. This requirement includes what service schedule you should follow, normal or severe service.

Over the last decade almost all manufacturers have extended their recommended service intervals for longer mileage between even the most routine maintenance. Some have stretched out the mileage for a basic oil change to 10 or 12 thousand miles. At the same time the trend in the industry was to offer longer power train warranties. This has not worked out well for the car makers.

Recently GM started requiring an oil change at no more than 7500 miles, and often less than that. The maintenance warning light system has been recalibrated to indicate required service much sooner than the older calibration. In many driving conditions the light will come on at 4 or 5 thousand miles.

Other car lines have also adopted a more aggressive requirement on service. Here are a few examples:
Hyundai, oil change every 3000 miles
Hyundai, recommends a fuel system additive every oil change
Hyundai, change coolant at 60,000 and then every 30,000 after that
Kia, similar to Hyundai, except they REQUIRE a fuel additive every oil change
Nissan Altima, oil change every 5000
Nissan Altima, Transmission fluid change every 20,000
Nissan Altima, brake fluid change every 10,000
Honda Accord, transmission fluid change every 30,000
Honda Accord, brake fluid change every 3 years
Dodge Ram, transmission fluid change every 60,000
Ford Fusion, transmission fluid change every 30,000
Subaru, oil change recommended every 3750 miles, required every 7500 minimum
Subaru, brake fluid every 15,000 miles in high humidity areas
Subaru, transmission fluid change every 15,000

These are samples of the changes in the REQUIRED maintenance for late model cars. It is always best to check your owner’s manual for the exact requirements for your particular model.

It is IMPORTANT to note that manufacturers are enforcing the severe service maintenance schedule in many cases. We have had a customer denied warranty repairs on her engine because she was following the normal schedule and not the severe on her car. This is becoming a more common practice as car builders try to minimize warranty costs.

You must follow the severe duty schedule if you have any ONE ­­­of the following conditions;                     Ambient temperatures above 90 (Gulf Coast)
High humidity (Gulf Coast)
Dusty conditions (Houston road construction)
Heavy traffic (Houston commuters)
Towing
Police, Taxi, or delivery use
Extended Idle time

It is vital to do your maintenance and just as important that you do it according to the proper schedule. If you have questions about your car and what schedule to follow please call or email the shop and we will be glad to help you.