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  1. Default mountains vs. desert

    okay i'm so torn here.
    i am driving from oakland ca to chicago next week because i'm moving. it's unfortunately not going to be a lazy sightseeing trip, we pretty much have to drive all day, taking four days probably (i made it here in 3).
    anyways my car is getting older and even though i've had it checked out and they say it's good to go, i'm confused about which route will be safer and better on my car...hwy 80 through the mountains or hwy 40 through the desert. i was thinking the desert would be better but now so many people have told me that my car will overheat and we'll be stuck in the middle of nowhere in 150 degree heat....that i was starting to lean towards the mountains. but then today the mechanic said the desert would be better.
    i'm just torn.
    so....anyone have any experience with summer driving through the desert? and/or the mountains? especially in an older car? help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Shortest is the best

    Quote Originally Posted by tstarfish
    i am driving from oakland ca to chicago next week because i'm moving.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum. Even if it is a move, it will still be a roadtrip adventure!

    The only mountains of any scope on I-80 are the Sierra Nevadas in California, whereas I-40 has several smaller passes and it is way out of the way for you. I would suggest I-80 makes the most sense to me.

    Mark

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default another vote for Mountains

    I agree with Mark, the mountains should provide no problem. Just take it easy and let the car rest every few hours, even if its only for 15 minutes, and take that time to check your fluids. You'll spot a problem sooner if you keep an eye on everything. You might actually have more problems if you add more miles than you need to to your trip, but of course, we can't gurantee anything.

    -Brad

  4. Default transmission

    the mechanic said that my transmission would be the worry in the mountains, and i agree. it sometimes slips although they say that everything appears to be fine with it. in an older car it could easily go out and i fear that all that incline driving could do it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Then do not go I-40!

    Quote Originally Posted by tstarfish
    the mechanic said that my transmission would be the worry in the mountains, t sometimes slips although they say that everything appears to be fine with it. in an older car it could easily go out and i fear that all that incline driving could do it.
    You need to look at the map! The gradient increase from Sacramento to Reno over Emigrant Pass is much gentler than the one that climbs up into Flagstaff on I-40. If mountain driving is that much of a concern for your car, I would seriously consider selling it and getting alternative transportation.

    That being said, the only way to avoid mountain driving is to duck as far south as you can - that would I-10 and that would add 800+ miles to your journey.

    Mark

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