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  1. Default driving from west to east with a Honda Civic?

    Hey guys! I need your expertise here and any opinions are highly appreciated. I'm planning to drive my Honda Civic 2002 from Washington to Pennsylvania and I'm wondering if I can make it? The mechanic guys said it'll be okay although the car already has 70,000 miles on it. I wonder if the engine is too small and if it can even cross the Rocky Mountain?

    Has anyone here done a road trip with their relatively old car? Are the roads really deserted and hotels are hard to find? I'm quite new at this and I wonder how dangerous it will be.

    I hope I can make it to Philly in 5-6 days and praying that my civic is drivable. What do you guys thinks?

  2. Default

    btw, just for clarification, I mean Seattle, Washington and NOT Washington, D.C.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Trust your mechanic

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Thousands of cars - even subcompact cars smaller than your civic - drive across this country every day, and driving cross country means going across mountains. The reality is that traveling over the mountains on the interstate highway system really isn't that much more stressful than everyday driving (and is probably easier on a car than stop and go city driving). In other words, if you car isn't able to get across the mountains, then its probably not able to make it across the plains either - but your mechanic has apparently said that's not the case. I'll also say that a 2002 with 70,000 miles is a car that's just starting to get broken-in in my book. My roadtrip vehicle is an 01 with well over 200,000 miles.

    For services, on the Interstate it will be extremely rare if you go more than about 40 miles between motels and other services. 5-6 days is about perfect for this trip.

    In other words - relax!

  4. Default

    hahaha thank you much! :) i feel better now because my family's not much of a traveler, themselves, and they've been stressing me out. :)
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-15-2010 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Quote of entire previous post removed

  5. #5


    Go for it! Just make sure you have extra money set aside in your bank if something did happen. I wouldnt worry too much about it. My last road trip started in Minnesota then to Niagra falls, New York, D.C, Florida, Gulf, Texas then back up north to Minnesota and that was in one trip! and me and my husband did that in a 2 door "94 Dodge Advenger w/ a little over 150,000! lol. And we did just find. The year before that we took that car to California which ment going thru the mountains and I mean we went thru the scary parts of the mountains, again we did just. We had to do little things to the car like oil change and new lights, ect. Just have fun and take lots of pictures!

  6. #6


    Should not be a problem at all -- just make sure your spare tire is ok, and I would probably recommend to join AAA (if you haven't already) -- just in case something happens on the road. Enjoy!

  7. Default

    thanks for your prompt replies! do you guys think i should book the hotels/motels ahead of time or crash in random ones as I go? which one is more effective and can save money?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You should not have a problem finding walk-in rooms at the Interstate exits as long as you aren't driving far into the night or are in a heavily touristed area on a weekend. I usually leave it open because I don't know exactly how far I'm going to drive before getting tired, and I also like the flexibility to do spontaneous sightseeing. I've come close, but have never been completely shut out.

    What you might want to do is stop by some local chain hotels before you go and pick up directories. This will at least give you an idea of what is where. I have directories for Motel 6, Super 8, and Best Western in my truck. This would also give you the phone numbers so you can at least call in from the road to inquire how full they are and what their rates are.

    Now, I'm going to map out the fastest route for you from Seattle to Philly, and suggest overnight stops. With this information, you can use to check on lodging choices in advance - they don't list Motel 6 properties but you can use to check on those. This assumes a 5 day trip, driving 10 to 12 hours a day, no appreciable sightseeing detours:

    I-90/I-94/I-90/I-80/I-476 (with appropriate bypasses around downtown MSP and Chicago)

    Butte MT
    Dickinson ND
    Minneapolis MN
    Fremont IN

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by rockymountain View Post
    thanks for your prompt replies! do you guys think i should book the hotels/motels ahead of time or crash in random ones as I go? which one is more effective and can save money?
    I say dont book any hotels. I always find that plans change on the way and if you find cool stops along the way you may want to stay longer. Some of my favorite road trip stories are about the good and the bad places we stayed at :) A good idea is to bring a tent, worse case if you dont find a hotel is to camp!

  10. #10

    Default "Old" vehicle?

    Hello rockymountain,
    By most any objective standard I can imagine, a 2002 model Honda with 70,000 miles does not qualify as an old or worn-down vehicle, provided of course the recommended maintenance schedule has been observed. I would further expect the modest Interstate grades will hardly slow a Civic down.

    Case in point on the mileage: my son and I drove his 1998 Chevy pickup from NC to CA in late 2007 at a time when it had 140,000 miles and he drove it back 9 months later with 155,000 miles. Today he routinely drives in on 300 mile round-trip weekends to attend his Reserve drilling duties. In about 3 weeks, I am departing on a 6,000 mile RoadTrip to Montana and back in my Ford pickup. She's got 186,000 miles today. She's got new tires, all new belts and hoses, fresh transmission fluid change, fresh oil change, and a fresh coolant change, new air and fuel filters, and just got down off of the lube rack. I don't expect any problems whatsoever.


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