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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    St.Inigoes, MD - on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake

    Default Mechanical Advice during 3 month Trip

    Hello all you Roadtrippers!

    My hubby and I will be driving from MD to CA via the Southern route in January and will return sometime in late March.

    We will be driving an 02 Highlander, which now has 57K miles. By the time we get to CA, it will have 60K on it and may hit 65K before we are home in late March/early April to take it to our trusted mechanic.

    Any advice for going about finding a trusted mechanic for those important mileage intervals? We will be staying in a friend's condo part of the time in P Springs and imagine we could ask the neighbors...otherwise, would appreciate any suggestions from those who have been in the same position!

    ALso, anyone out there used a Garmin Nuvi 760 GPS?

    Many thanks!


  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default AAA -- A great road trip resource

    Greetings Jane and welcome to the Forum!

    A good reference to find a trusted mechanic while in unfamiliar territory is to use an AAA Approved Auto Repair provider. You don't need to be a member to search for shops that have been approved by the AAA, but, members do get some dispute resolution benefits. Having worked for AAA Arizona and with the team that does the Approved Auto Repair shop list, the shops do go through a comprehensive overview and are under a decent amount of scrutiny from the AAA.

    It's about the best method I know for increasing the odds of finding a reputable shop in a place you're unfamiliar with, besides a word-of-mouth referral.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-15-2007 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Fixed the abbrevation format

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

    Default Avoid the issue!

    I'm assuming you bring up the 60k mark because typically there are a whole bunch of things that are "scheduled" in the owners manual to be replaced or inspected at this point, not the least of which is often the timing belt which can be quite labor intensive (ie expensive). If that is what you are talking about, I would certainly get those major things done a little early before you leave, while you can have the mechanic you trust doing the work. That would only leave really minor things, basically oil changes, that you would need to worry about on the road.

    While you can certainly find a good mechanic, Its never really possible to find someone you trust while on the road. If you can reduce the likelyhood of needing to find a mechanic while on the road, you'll really be better off.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default And an counter view

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    While you can certainly find a good mechanic, Its never really possible to find someone you trust while on the road.
    Having lived and worked on the road for 6.5 years, my experience, is that is relatively easy to find expert mechanics when on the road -- to this day, some of the mechanics who worked on the Phoenix One during our sojourn on the road remain close friends. Now, it certainly helped that I was driving a one-of-a-kind truck and those mechanics found the often-bizarre symptoms of our break-downs intriguing -- Here is my never-miss technique for finding superb shops -- don't look at the relative cleanliness (although a really dirty garage is a definite turn-off for me) but see if you can see the individual mechanic's tool chests and other specialized gear in the garage -- if they look like they could easily finance the expenses of a small country -- its likely you have found a "pride of ownership" mechanic.

    For me, chatting with an experienced and resourceful mechanic is almost as good as getting "lost" on a day's journey. (And I love to find those places when I seemed "lost").

    But, if you would rather be on the road than in the shop, Michael's advice is spot-on!

    For me, the break-downs were just part of the adventure of being on-the-road!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-15-2007 at 04:21 PM.

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