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  1. Default Will my car be able to handle this road trip?

    Hello,

    I am planning a road trip from Vancouver, BC down to SF to LA then back to San Jose and then back up to Vancouver in mid August. It's going to be about a 2 week trip in total.

    My current vehicle is a 1994 Acura Integra with about 207,000 km on it. I have taken good care of it with having regular scheduled maintenance performed on it. It has never had any problems outside of the the regular replacement needed for like brakes, tires, etc.

    As of this time of writing I've spoken to my mechanic and he is a bit hesitant to suggest that I take it down, though he mentions that if I make some stops about every 3 or 4 hours of the way then it could lower the risk of a major problem happening. I have a slight feeling that he is probably erring more on the safer side (and rightfully so as he doesn't want to jeopardize his reputation in case something does happen, but I wouldn't hold him accountable.)

    Does anyone else here have any suggestions on whether or not I should drive this vehicle down and back? I definitely do not plan to drive down to SF in one trip. I might even make an overnight stop in Oregan if I need to as I am in no hurry. I would just like to have a vehicle to drive around the city instead of flying and renting a car.

    Thanks

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

    Default Engines don't need to "rest"????

    Quote Originally Posted by Flopboyz View Post
    ... I've spoken to my mechanic and he is a bit hesitant to suggest that I take it down, though he mentions that if I make some stops about every 3 or 4 hours of the way then it could lower the risk of a major problem happening.
    This doesn't make any sense. What kind of problem could he be envisioning? Engines don't need to rest in that way -- Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Plenty of us have vehicles with more Kms or miles on them -- but I think you need to find out why your mechanic is worried...

    Mark

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    This doesn't make any sense. What kind of problem could he be envisioning? Engines don't need to rest in that way -- Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Plenty of us have vehicles with more Kms or miles on them -- but I think you need to find out why your mechanic is worried...

    Mark
    My mechanic is worried because he's afraid there might be a major breakdown like the transmission or ignition failing and the car going down. I have never had any major problems before. I've just had my timing belt changed, and right now the car is in the shop for a major tune up check, along with having the spark plugs changed and a muffler pipe replaced. The only really problem I could see is the alternator dying. I know the alternators are hard to predict when they will die. I could always get that replaced too before I go down to California.

    I think more than anything he is concerned that something big might happen and that he will be held liable as I have sought out his professional assessment. Like I said, I wouldn't do this. More than anything I just want him to make sure that he checks as much as he can to make sure the vehicle will operate properly. I am ready for the worst should it happen that my vehicle completely breaks down.

    It is, however, reassuring to know that many other people travel with older and higher mileage vehicles on road trips. Now I can focus on finding a good GPS, some nice places to make stops, and cheap motels! :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default 2nd opinions

    You're getting a very odd recommendation from your mechanic, and to be honest, I'm not sure that I would trust his opinions based on the advise he is giving you.

    While I am not a mechanic, I don't know of any problem that can be avoided by letting the car "rest." (other than an overheating issue, but that is a sign that you've already got a significant problem). As Mark mentioned, Any of the problems he's listed, like a transmission failure, aren't going to be stopped by taking a break.

    If your mechanic is worried about your car suffering a major breakdown, he should be able to examine the car, see where you have problems developing, and let you know what, if anything needs to be replaced. I wouldn't trust any mechanic who is worried about my car "going down" without having a specific reason for that concern.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default It's not a horse!

    Resting every few hours is beneficial...for the driver.

    Other than the aforementioned cooling system problems, the only other things I can think of that "resting" the vehicle would (temporarily) repair is fluid problems - brake or transmission, and if this is the case, the fluid should have been replaced long ago, or starter heat soak, but that's only the case if you try to start after a long drive and the car will not comply.

    Along with the others, I am confused as to what the sources of this concern and recommendation are.

  6. #6

    Default

    If you're driving a '94 Acura, you should be fine. 200,000 kilometres is about 120,000 miles - which for an Acura or Honda is peanuts!

    I drive a '97 Civic coupe with 175,000 km's on it. I just had the timing belt changed, along with the water pump, new spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, brake service, transmission service, basic oil change...

    She runs better than ever, is a daily driver and I have no worries at all that I'm going to break down while on a road trip. It sounds like you have done everything you should in terms of maintenance - although the best time to replace the water pump is when the mechanic has the motor disassembled to get at the timing belt.

    Just make sure your battery is reliable and that the coolant is fresh. You should be fine...

    Now if you said you were driving a hunk of junk like a 90's Chevy Cavalier or Pontiac Sunfire, I'd have recommended Greyhound!

  7. #7
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Resting the Car

    I know it sounds odd, but I personally like to allow the car to "rest", that is allowing heat to dissipate from the engine and transmission, and allow the fluids to settle down, even briefly.

    My father's been a mechanic for 18 years and advises rest stops for both the car and the driver. Even a newer car allowing it to sit off for 30-45 minutes after driving a thousand miles is good. You should be getting these stops anyway if you're stopping for personal breaks enough.

    I do recommend on each one before starting again, check tires and fluids for early diagnosis of possible issues.

    -Brad

  8. #8

    Default

    I have never taken a trip with a vehicle that has had less than 100,000 miles on it. The worst problem I had was a blown fuel pump and I had to walk about two miles to the next town. The parts store was closed, but the gas station attendant had a truck just like mine with a bad engine that he was parting out. His tools, $5.00, and a two mile hike back to my truck and I was on the road, after I returned his tools of course.

    As for resting the engine, I think that is more for the driver than anything else. Look at the big rigs on the roads, those with team drivers rarely if ever see any down time, unless something major fails. If there is a problem like overheating or what not with the various fluids, the cause should be determined and fixed, not just the symptoms.

    My little sis had an older honda(forget the model, sorry) and it had well over 250,000 miles on it when she got it. She was figuring on it lasting six or seven months, long enough to save up for something better. It lasted about nine years before it finally gave up due to rust and not drivetrain problems.

  9. #9
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    Your car is good for 350.000 miles easily.

  10. Default

    Last week, I took my 1990 Acura with 202,000 MILES on it across the country from Seattle to Ohio. I had just done the timing belt and water pump (it was due) and a 100,000 mile service. The car was fine, even through the mountains. We had to run the A/C the whole drive and I never run it at home, so that did worry me a little, but the car is fine.

    If there's no known problem, and you've just had your scheduled service, there's nothing you can worry about. If you have AAA or CAA, then if you do breakdown you'll get the free tow, and you can fix something if anything happens. But, with the car you describe, I think you'll be fine on this type of trip.

    Have fun!

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