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  1. Default Taking 1991 Volvo 740 with 230,000 miles from San Francisco to Kansas City MO, 2,1k

    I know this may well be my Volvo's last voyage, i bought it for the road trip and want to be sure it will make it through the 2100 miles. I have only driven this car for a month and it runs like a nuclear submarine, but has 230,000 miles on it and will be moderately loaded.

    With a 7 day itinerary of 300 miles a day - Which I presume should be easier on the engine than 7 days of the often hilly urban commutes of San Francisco - would I make it? What red flags should I look out for? Mechanic tells me engine compression is well above 150psa. Its an old horse, will dump tonnes of Co2 on the way... but what should I do besides just counting its teeth? TT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default plan b

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You are right that driving across country should be much easier on your car than driving within the city. Of course, if something does happen and you break down in San Francisco, its a lot easier to get help than if you break down in the middle of Nevada!

    Really, if you've had your car looked over by a mechanic, there isn't a whole lot more to say. The engine compression issue is a bit concerning, since that is a sign of engine wear, and that's the kind of thing that can really kill a car. But your mechanic can tell you much more than anyone else if your car will make it. The fact is, its a 20 year old, high mileage car thats likely near the end of its life, and it may be a matter of luck as much as anything.

    I would recommend you sign up for AAA, and get the "Plus" service which will provide up to 100 miles of towing in case you do break down. I'd also think about "Plan B" - as in what will you do if your car's engine does fail along the way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Sydney - Australia


    If it doesn't leak, burn oil or overheat it should pull fine. If anything, have your transmission checked for the hilly sections but most importantly you'll want to make sure your brakes, tyres, lights and other safety features are up to scratch.
    Last edited by Julz; 07-12-2011 at 01:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If a competent mechanic gives it a clean bill of health, go for it. Steady highway cruising is a lot easier on a car than city driving.

  5. Default Plan B

    People I have spoken to have said the one big problem is higher altitude as you climb out of the peninsula into the sierras, but I have no idea what I'd do to protect my car from "altitude fluctuations" Does this make it heat up faster or slower? I have bought AAA and a couple of bus tickets in case wheels come off, Will update when this voyage begins. Thanks everyone for the tips. TT

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Altitude compensation is no longer an issue with O2 sensors and feedback fuel systems. It will just be down somewhat on power, and with the Interstates limited to 6% grades, you won't have a problem. I drive a full size pickup truck with a 6 cylinder and I've even had it up to the top of Pikes Peak.

  7. Default

    Made it without a problem except those I created. I added too much oil in Salt Lake City, UTand ended up draining it all and doing an impromptu oil change on the roadside, which improved fuel economy by at least 40 miles. All in all a great trip, thanks everyone for the tips!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Good, good.

    Glad you made it, they are tough old barges !

    Still going strong I presume ?

    Thanks for dropping by with the update !

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