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Old 06-30-2009, 05:13 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,283,004 times
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Drove my (then) 9 year old Mustang from New York to Arizona via Moab. Went like a dream especially over the high passes on I70 in Colorado.

The cross country drive is much easier on cars than driving round town. You basically get them up to highway speed and then you are on cruise control. Relatively little breaking, gear changes, stopping and starting.

I found my Mustang was much happier cruising at a steady 70-80mph (depending where we were) than driving in New York and my gas mileage went from around 20 to 25mpg.

 
Old 06-30-2009, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, IN
914 posts, read 3,937,404 times
Reputation: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
I found my Mustang was much happier cruising at a steady 70-80mph (depending where we were) than driving in New York and my gas mileage went from around 20 to 25mpg.
That is very true! I was worried, but my car absolutely loved the drive. I don't think it has ever run better!
 
Old 06-30-2009, 07:38 PM
 
1,525 posts, read 3,369,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksgator View Post
I have a ten year old Mitsubishi than has about 96k miles on it. I have never had a single problem with it, I have only had routine repairs done to it like getting new brakes, batteries, etc. I will be getting new tires before my move and I will have my car checked out by a mechanic I trust. My drive will be approximately 3500 miles and I am not worried about it, but my parents seem overly concerned that my car will not make it. Have any of you driven an older car across the country and did you have any problems along the way?
Well, you're going to have to make an estimate.

How many days/weeks/months does 3500 miles of driving represent for you?

Do you think the car would go that long without a breakdown?

Of course you *are* guessing. For example some part you can't see may be about 10 miles from failure.

Best you can do is look it over good, listen to it carefully and make a guess.

You could go to a mechanic and have him run diagnostics if you wanted and that's about as good as you can get in making that estimate.
 
Old 06-30-2009, 08:41 PM
 
845 posts, read 2,475,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMadison View Post
Well, you're going to have to make an estimate.

How many days/weeks/months does 3500 miles of driving represent for you?

Do you think the car would go that long without a breakdown?

Of course you *are* guessing. For example some part you can't see may be about 10 miles from failure.

Best you can do is look it over good, listen to it carefully and make a guess.

You could go to a mechanic and have him run diagnostics if you wanted and that's about as good as you can get in making that estimate.
That's what I tried explaining to my parents. I told them I just as easily can break down on my way to the work or the beach and would be in the same situation. And even though my car is old it has low mileage and has never broken down and a brand new car is just as capable of breaking down for some random reason. There are no guarantees but I am preparing for the worst in case is happens but in all likelihood it wont. My car has been nothing but reliable and so I have no real reason to doubt it can go across the country.

My parents are from the Caribbean and so the idea of driving 3500 miles is pretty foreign to them. They just moved about 1000 miles from where they were living and they shipped their cars
 
Old 06-30-2009, 11:09 PM
 
786 posts, read 921,805 times
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I have driven across the country 3 times. I have a 2001 Volvo S40. The first time I drove from San Francisco to DC and my wife and I did a road trip, visiting a ton of places along the way. Other than a flat tire, I had no problems. Second time I drove from DC to LA with no problems. 3rd time I drove from LA to DC and one of my headlights burnt out, but it wasn't a big deal. I was able to stop along the way and get it fixed. Make sure you get your car checked out before you go.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 05:01 AM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,903 posts, read 10,909,711 times
Reputation: 2858
Sounds like all good advice here.
I've driven a minivan with over 200k to Florida and back.
As others have said, after having it checked out completely I'd do it. Your brake system will not get a workout driving all those highway miles, and the tranny should not either.

Life always has risks and you seem to have a good head about things...good luck!

Frank
 
Old 07-01-2009, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Tennessee bound...someday
2,515 posts, read 4,371,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
It would be a good idea not to make a habit out of running 80 or more with A/C full on up hills, the car isn't new, you shouldn't do this with a new car anyway.

Why is that? I mean what could happen?

I drive a 2006 Town & Country mini-van for work & I'm taking it from NY to Colorado & back this September. I've made that round trip 5 times so far in the past 20+ years with various cars. I put a lot of miles on the van - it's at 83,000 right now. I do get everything checked out before I leave, but I'm trying to read some of the threads in the auto forums just to cover my bases.

While I can't remember the last time I did 80 going up a hill, with or without AC, I still want to keep your advice in the back of my mind.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 07:45 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,100,440 times
Reputation: 3888
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksgator View Post
I have a ten year old Mitsubishi than has about 96k miles on it. I have never had a single problem with it, I have only had routine repairs done to it like getting new brakes, batteries, etc. I will be getting new tires before my move and I will have my car checked out by a mechanic I trust. My drive will be approximately 3500 miles and I am not worried about it, but my parents seem overly concerned that my car will not make it. Have any of you driven an older car across the country and did you have any problems along the way?
I don't own a vehicle with ONLY 96,000 miles, and I'd drive any of them across the country right now - even my 97 VW Golf that has 350,000.

While there are no guarantees, the main key is maintenance. If that's done, you're chances of success are very high.



One note... You might want to considering an AAA Membership. Roadside Assistance Coverage might give your folks a little peace of mind. In fact, maybe they'd like to take out a membership for you!
 
Old 07-01-2009, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,413 posts, read 5,106,232 times
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About the only thing that I can think of that others have not mentioned is the timing belt (or chain). If it is soon do to be changed I would go for it before the trip. Keep your windshield clean, it reduces eye strain.

I've found that Brach's Lemon Drops are a good alternative to drinking lots of liquids to keep my mouth moist (my meds cause dry mouth) without having to make so many pit stops from drinking.

Have a great trip. Take pix.

ps: I did drive an old Saab Shrike, 3 cylinder, two stroke engine cross country and blew the engine in Wentzville, MO. The details make a funny story 35 years later but not so much then. But I survived and so did the car.
 
Old 07-01-2009, 11:28 AM
 
845 posts, read 2,475,974 times
Reputation: 519
Thanks everyone! I will heed all of the advice, I did not know about the a/c thing. I grew up in Florida where we have no hills, so I know next to nothing about driving on elevated terrain. My friend has decided to come along with me so at least I will have some company. I leave in exactly one month and I will be driving from Oregon to Florida but I will be making some pit stops at several national parks along the way. I am very excited for this trip and for my move. I will go through this tread and make my checklist.
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