I was wondering if anyone may be able to advise on the effects on a car's engine by driving it over long distances. To be specific, my wife and I are planning a vacation, where we would be driving 1300 miles over 2 days from Michigan to Florida, some short distance driving while we're there, then doing the 1300 mile journey in reverse a week later.
We're driving a 2007 Dodge Caliber with just under 40k on it. We've had the car 6 months and have not had any mechanical problems with it yet. We did the same journey 2 years ago in a 1999 VW Jetta that had approx. 110k on it at the time, and while it made the journey without any problems, lots of problems started cropping up in the months after getting back. I really can't be sure if they were related to the long journey or not though, given the age of the car.
Obviously I plan on getting it checked out by a mechanic before leaving, but I was wondering if there would be any short, mid or long term effects on a newer car by driving it nearly 3000 miles in a week. It'll be highway all the way. I'm half tempted to rent a car just to avoid putting miles on our car, but I don't know if it's worth the extra money to do that. Any insite on people's experiences would be great!
People put on 30KJ+ miles a year - I easily did 300/week when I was at my first professional job. If the car is well maintained then there will likely be zero issues related to putting that many miles on.
As noted - highway miles are the easiest on a car - even on a Chrysler tranny...
Obviously I plan on getting it checked out by a mechanic before leaving, but I was wondering if there would be any short, mid or long term effects on a newer car by driving it nearly 3000 miles in a week.
Good job. Other things to check are to make sure your tires are properly inflated and all of your fluids are topped off. Even keep some extra bug-juice in the "trunk" so you can wash the nasty bug-guts away.
We've put lots of miles on our vehicles in a week's worth of travels. As long as your vehicle is in good condition and you don't abuse it, you'll be fine. Cruise control (assuming a lack of hilly terrain) will go a long way to decent gas mileage and being easy on your car.
It's probably a good idea to give the vehicle a once-over before your return trip. Make sure the oil levels are good and the air pressure in the tires is correct.
No ill effects. Highway miles are easy on a car, as already mentioned here. This is why you always see people in classified ads claiming their car has "highway miles" on it when it is a high mileage vehicle. Makes people think it has had an easier life. Taking their word for it is up to you though.
I have a 2007 Caliber too - no problem. I've taken two very long road trips in it already since I picked it up last October. It had 7,000 miles on it when I bought it. It just hit 20,000. I also have a 1992 Saturn SL2 sitting out back with 250,000 miles on it, 90% of which are highway miles. It still runs like a top but burns a little oil the first minute or so after starting it if it has been off for a couple days.
I've done 4,000 miles in a week. Won't hurt anything. Change your oil before and then after the trek.
Highway miles are very easy on a car. It will just putt along happy as can be. Much much easier then driving around a city. -- »KmanScooters.com Home of Wisconsin's Most Affordable Cars, Motorcycles and Scooters
Just make sure the car's coolant fluid is good & the oil is not dirty and in need of a change. Properly inflated tire pressure and you should be good to go. Since you are heading to FL, might be wise to put some Rain-X on the windshield, really helps in tropical downpours. Have a safe trip and enjoy the vacation!
When I take long trips I change the oil before and after the trip. My reasoning maybe flawed, but a good long run will warm up the engine and maybe some extra gunk will come loose in the oil - thus I replace the oil. Please note that my wife's van sits most days and only does short trips to the store.
Lastly, changing the oil early can cause no harm except for the cost of the oil change.
edit: I don't believe changing the oil early is wasteful. The old oil is recycled properly. The only thing that may be hard is the cost of the oil change. Most importantly I don't believe changing your oil sooner does any harm.
i to know most will change the oil and get a car checked by the mechanic before a long trip. just helps insure you wont be calling AAA. for long road trips my dad used to pack a small tool kit, a quart of oil and a jug of anti-freeze. course that was in a station wagon so room wasnt an issue. -- [65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
Highway miles don't hurt a car one bit. I'd do normal pre-trip check: oil change, air filter, tire check, etc. Other than that enjoy the ride. -- Fight the war against secular progressives before the ideals that made this country great are lost forever
I've gotten to where I just find a good rental car rate when I go on long trip vacations. No wear and tear on my car and less worry about the reliability of my car. I sure don't want to face a major auto repair in a strange city.
i have a buddy that just a did a 2,282 mile trip from Toledo Ohio to move to Issaquah Washington, This is over a span of 3 days. He stopped at my house here for half the day also so he drove almost non stop. He did this in a new '09 subaru legacy se btw. Subaru FTW! oh yeah it also has only about 1k miles on it.
I did 2000 miles in two days on my Triumph motorcycle......no problems, except 2/3 of the journey was in a perpetual thunderstorm!!
The good thing was the bad weather seemed to keep the idiots and the Cops off the roads....
As a long distance motorcycle courier from the UK..I can attest to the fact that long runs are usually of no mechanical concern for an engine, and compared to short/stop-go runs are actually beneficial.....some of my Bike engines did over 140K before needing major work!!!!
I learnt that car engines are virtually indestructible for long journeys as long as you have a good radiator and oil in it.
I work for a company that uses machines with vehicle engines to pump water out of the ground and these things run all day long, 24 hrs for up to 4 months straight, they are turned off only for 3 minutes to check the oil and restarted again.
A car travelling from Michigan to Florida would be to it's engine like you walking 10-ft to the bathroom, nothing.
Had a 1992 toyota Corolla with over 400,000 miles on it. Mostly highway miles as I have a 40 mile one-way commute each day. Drove it to Florida from Toledo, also to Washington DC with no problems. routine maintenance.
Currently have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 130,000 miles on it. Drove it to Atlanta from Toledo last year, averaged over 40 mpg with it. Cars just love highway miles.
As long as you do the proper pre trip maintenance, you should be ok. enjoy the trip!