You may have noticed an intriguing phrase in your BMW Owner’s Manual warning you about “Severe Duty” driving. What does this mean? Are you routinely engaged in Severe Duty driving? Ottohaus, your local BMW repair shop in Charleston, SC, wants you to know more about this term and how it relates to you. 

Defining Severe Duty Driving 

This strange term refers to driving that places more strain on your BMW vehicle than normal. It usually means towing in hilly terrain or extremely hot or cold weather. Even normal operations in extreme weather conditions can tax your vehicle above the norm. What can this look like for your BMW? 


  • Prolonged operation in high outside temperatures (90 – 110 degrees Fahrenheit or more) 
  • Towing campers or trailers, especially in hilly country 
  • Clogged filters 
  • Rough or damaged road surfaces 
  • Overworked AC 


Moreover, drivers who neglect routine maintenance may create their own version of severe duty driving wear and tear, making expensive trips to a BMW repair shop necessary. 

How Does Severe Duty Driving Affect My BMW?

Your BMW is routinely called “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” but all machines are affected by wear. Normal use wears out fluids, components, and other items; but severe duty driving places that extra strain that causes components to wear out faster. 


  • Towing heavy loads for extended periods causes extra drivetrain strain (engine, transmission, etc.). 
  • Dusty, pollen-rich environments of the Low Country clog air and cabin filters faster than normal. 
  • Rough or damaged road surfaces and the extra weight from towing loads wear out or damage tires, wheels, brakes, and suspension components. 
  • Slow traffic with lots of idling in hot weather taxes your AC system components and makes your engine work harder. 


Consider how this affects the components on your vehicle that are already designed to wear out: tires, brakes, wipers, belts, filters, coolant, and other fluids. Maintaining your vehicle to the highest operating standards may require more frequent visits to your local BMW repair shop for routine checkups and maintenance. 

Severe Duty Driving and Your Local Charleston BMW Repair Shop 

The trained and experienced BMW technicians at Ottohaus of Charleston can help you maintain your vehicle in top condition regardless of your driving habits. We only work on German-made vehicles like your BMW, so we are thoroughly familiar with their unique problems and tendencies. Routine inspections can spot minor problems before they become major problems. Regular inspections are necessary to keep it operating optimally if you regularly tow loads with your BMW or drive it extensively in harsh conditions. 


Conversely, if you are preparing to tow a camper or trailer with your BMW for the first time, you should have your vehicle inspected to ensure it is ready for this new challenge. You also may need some advice on using the towing mode controls to their best advantage. Our technicians can answer your questions and recommend the best towing practices for your BMW. 


If you tow loads with your BMW or are just hard on your vehicle, call Ottohaus of Charleston at (843) 732-2793 or Ottohaus of North Charleston at (843) 279-4175 to schedule a vehicle inspection.