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  1. Default Phoenix to Detroit Route Advice needed

    Hi, I'm driving my dog back home after the winter in AZ.

    On the way here from Detroit we took the Indy, St. Louis, OK City, Albuquerque route. It was fine but my little car didn't like the hills in OK and IL much.

    I see that we could go through Wichita and KC from Albuquerque to Indy.
    If you' ve driven that route would you please post your thoughts relating to flatness and where to stay. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome!

    I am very familiar with the route you took, and I don't recall any hills of any consequence in OK and IL, but there are a couple fair pulls in MO. I drive a full size pickup truck with a 6 cylinder engine and drive I-44 between Joplin and St. Louis frequently, there are no hills where I can't maintain the speed limit. I'd be more concerned about the long pull up I-17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The Wichita/KC route is no less "hilly" and it will take you longer, it adds an extra 100 miles. Your drive back should go easier because you will probably have a tailwind - you may have been fighting a headwind driving west.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

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    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I have to say, I'm a bit surprised that you'd have any problems at all with Oklahoma and Illinois. There certainly are some hills there, but the elevation change is relatively minor. I would actually would have thought you would have had much more issue between New Mexico and Phoenix, where you are seeing a much bigger change in Elevation.

    If by a route through KC, you are talking about taking US-54 to cut through Oklahoma, that is an option, but while it is shorter, I think it will take more time as it goes through a lot of towns, and is not freeway quality. I don't think you'll find it to be much flatter either, as the route you previously took is pretty much as good as you're going to find in that regard. If you thought Illinois was bad, you could consider heading up to Chicago from St. Louis, rather than to Indy, but they you will be dealing with more potential traffic problems.

    There are other options too, if you're looking for a drive that would be different, but they involve more time. How much time do you want to spend on the road?

  4. Default

    Thank you for the welcome. I've pretty much accepted the Phoenix to Albuquerque hills because to get out of AZ you face them regardless. It was the rest of the route that I was inquiring about. If I can get a flatter route on Interstates between Albuquerque and Detroit then I'd like to do so. For my PT Cruiser even rolling hills require accelerating on the way down and slowing down on the way up.

    We're taking 4 days only so about 8ish hours of driving per day. Thnx again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I don't see how a PT Cruiser can't handle any hill on the whole route. Of course, it may downshift but it shouldn't have any problem maintaining 70 mph up anything it may encounter. I have a manual transmission in my truck and I use the cruise control up and down the hills - even on the hills on I-44 in MO it holds 70 without having to disengage and take it out of overdrive. There really isn't anything flatter once you get out of NM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I really have to agree that there isn't going to be a better or significantly flatter route than the one you took. However, I think the reason you've got us all fairly confused is that we can't think of any spot in Illinois or Oklahoma where you would have seen any significant grades at all.

    Perhaps you might want to get your car double checked to make sure you don't have a cylinder misfiring or something else that is reducing your cars power output?

    For stopping points, I'd be looking at Albuquerque or Santa Rosa, Oklahoma City, and the eastern suburbs of St. Louis (ie Collinsville IL)

  7. Default

    Thanks guys. You've never driven a PT Cruiser. I can tell.
    Yes it makes it up the rolling hills in those states mentioned but it kicks down to 3rd gear and slows down up the hills. There is nothing wrong with the car. I've had 3 of them and they are all the same, underpowered.
    I was just looking for advice that may save me some gas mileage and be easier on the car. You've let me know there isn't a flatter route so thank you for the information.

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