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  1. Default First road trip ever

    I was wondering if my car would last a road trip from Houston to New Orleans, I drive a 2008 Ford Fusion with about 94,000 miles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The only person who could answer that question is your mechanic. No one on any internet forum is going to have any idea how your car has been maintained or what work it might need.

    I can tell you that I've taken roadtrips in cars that are much older and have had well over 200,000 miles, so the age and mileage itself aren't a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    How is your vehicle, mechanically? Have you taken care of it? Has it had its regular oil changes, regular maintenance (besides putting gas in it), does it have "decent" tires on it? And last question, how's your sense of adventure and budget? It's about 700 miles round trip from Houston to NO, a day's drive in each direction.

    My husband and I regularly travel in vehicles with more than 100K on them, that are 6 - 9 years older than your vehicle. They are well maintained, PLUS we always have an emergency road service plan (ERS) such as AAA and a little bit in the budget to take care of unexpected repairs. We've had those unexpected repairs too -- one time, on a trip of 700 miles round trip, the driver's window mechanism decided to break. I had to have it repaired at my destination. Another time, on a 9000 mile trip, we developed a weird problem that still isn't completely resolved, with our vehicle. It got looked at in two different shops, miles apart. (Now we realize, it's a sensor on its way out.) Once again, it's a sense of adventure.

    It's your choice, but if your vehicle is well-maintained, why not?

    Donna

  4. Default

    I get oil changes every 3,000 miles and I got new tires and brakes at the start of this semester.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Get it checked, good to go.

    If it's generally in good shape you shouldn't have any problems but with any vehicle you need to expect the unexpected and be prepared for it. Long journeys are often easier on a car than the usual 'stop, start' local journeys they have to do every day, so as long as it has a health check and is given the all clear, go for it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssm View Post
    I get oil changes every 3,000 miles and I got new tires and brakes at the start of this semester.
    Well maintained is more than oil and brakes - though those are good starting points.

    Does that engine need a timing belt change at about that mileage?
    How long since coolant hoses and a coolant change?
    How long since new battery?
    How long since battery has been serviced? Battery connections removed, cleaned, reinstalled?
    Got any warning lights or codes on the dash?
    Does the engine use oil? (be sure and check it after a long high speed drive - oil consumption changes with different running conditions)
    Checked power steering fluid lately?
    Are there any unexplained clunks in the steering?

    My 3 cars are 14 years old. one has 190k miles, one has 167k miles, one has 67k miles.
    I'd take any of them on a long journey but that's because I pay a lot of attention to them and know what to watch for.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssm View Post
    I get oil changes every 3,000 miles and I got new tires and brakes at the start of this semester.
    noCB laid out some of the many reasons that's not enough to tell you if your car is ready for a roadtrip, and why a trip to the mechanic is in order. Most shops will do a basic pre-trip inspection for pretty minimal fee.

    Speaking of money, you're actually wasting your money changing your oil every 3,000 miles. Even in "severe duty," Ford recommends a 5,000 mile change interval, and in normal conditions, 7,500 miles or every 6 months is recommended.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Take the car to a Ford dealer for an oil change, and get the "101 point inspection" done that they do as part of the oil change service. Tell them that you will be taking a road trip so they check everything thoroughly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, CO.
    Posts
    304

    Default

    If the mechanics find something and you need to get it fixed - do NOT have it done the day before your trip. It's best to have it done a week or two ahead of time. This in case they do it wrong. The extra time gives you a chance to find it on test drives around home where you can take it back to them.

    Even when I do my own work, I do it well in advance of a long trip just in case. (I've made mistakes too)

    Not to mention the case where a friend had his oil changed the day before a big trip and 100 miles out of town the oil drain plug fell out, he lost his oil, burned up the engine and was stranded a long way from home.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Roadside Assistance.

    As well as all the good advice above, when going on a long trip it pays to have some sort of roadside membership, in case the worst happens. Any of the plans like AAA are cheap insurance so that you are not left stranded miles from home, should something happen..

    Lifey

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