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  1. Default December Trip from San Diego to Minneapolis - Tips?

    I am planning to drive home for the holidays (San Diego to Minneapolis, round trip) due to ridiculous air fares. Having grown up in northern Minnesota, I am not all that worried about winter driving, but wondered if anyone has tips for me. What do I need to do to my Honda Pilot to prepare it for cold weather driving besides a cold-weather oil change and anti-freeze? What is the best route? I would prefer to avoid using chains (i.e., mountains), if at all possible. Any fun places to stop en route?

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

    Default What is the time span?

    Quote Originally Posted by traveller55270 View Post
    Having grown up in northern Minnesota, I am not all that worried about winter driving, but wondered if anyone has tips for me.
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! Here are a few reminder winter driving tips.
    I would prefer to avoid using chains
    You ought to carry them, even if you elect to simply not drive if they are required. How long will you have for this round trip run? The best route is ALWAYS dependent upon the weather of the moment -- but in general I would recommend I-15 to I-80 and then north to your destination.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
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    1,703

    Default Also check

    Quote Originally Posted by traveller55270
    What do I need to do to my Honda Pilot to prepare it for cold weather driving besides a cold-weather oil change and anti-freeze?
    I would also recommend having the battery and charging system checked out. I've had some batteries last for years, and others that weren't very good from the moment of purchase.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 08-06-2008 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Fixed Quote

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
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    10,748

    Default

    Hello and welcome to R.T.A

    I am not familiar with the whole route but using Interstates where possible should ease any problems there maybe as it's the main road networks that get priority maintenance.
    Other than making sure your car is in a sound and safe condition, such as the service you mention and either check things like brakes, tyres[ including pressures] and auxiliary belt conditions or get someone with the experience to do it. I always find that keeping a few tools in the boot helps, making sure you have a jack, the spare tyre in good condition [and correct pressure]with a suitable wrench and some spare oil and water to top up if necessary [don't forget the anti- freeze.

    And of course allow yourself enough time for the journey without pushing to hard.
    It's pretty much a 4000 mile round trip taking, I- 15 > I 70> I 76 > I 80 > I 35 so you are looking at 4-5 days each way going direct to keep a comfortable pace

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default winter preps

    Quote Originally Posted by traveller55270 View Post
    What do I need to do to my Honda Pilot to prepare it for cold weather driving besides a cold-weather oil change and anti-freeze?
    People tend to overthink how much work needs to be done to a car to deal with changing temperatures.

    Modern cars are built to handle a huge range of conditions. Most cars run year round on 5w30 these days (actually if you have a honda, its probably 5w20) which is generally the best thing you could use for cold weather anyway. And unless you are going to be spending several weeks in Minnesota doing lots of starts in the dead of the night, even using a heavier oil wouldn't hurt.

    The same is true with anti-freeze. The exact same substance that will keep your car working in sub-zero is also used to keep your car from overheating in 100+ temps. Its not a bad things to get checked/changed before a trip, but its not a must do because of the temperatures.

    As Tim mentioned, Getting the battery tested isn't a bad idea (and can usually be done for free) just to make sure it will have enough cold cranking amps to get going during your trip.

    I'll put it this way, I moved from the Dakotas to Arizona in the spring, basically going from winter cold instantly into summer heat, and I didn't make any changes to my car that I wouldn't have done anyway as part of routine maintenance.

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