The sale of specialty oil products such as automatic transmission fluid, synthetic engine oil and automatic transmission fluid additives is influenced by whether a vehicle is driven under normal or severe conditions. Vehicle manufacturers usually differentiate between normal and severe driving for their recommendations in owner’s manuals. Valvoline offers some advice for developing a driver profile for a given vehicle.
Normal conditions should almost be described as “ideal” driving conditions. Normal driving conditions are defined as long highway trips with few starts and stops in a moderate climate. Traveling salespeople and long-distance commuters are among the few who qualify as putting “normal” stress on their vehicle. (Which is at odds with most consumers’ thinking–ed.)
Severe conditions range from stop-and-go driving, pulling a trailer or heavy load, a succession of short trips, driving in extreme hot or cold temperatures and on dusty, dirty roads. Whether it is a compact car being driven in the city, or a pickup truck on rural roads, these conditions tax the engine and cause higher operating temperatures.
When operating standards are looked at objectively, from most drivers’ perspectives the severe driving conditions are the norm.