Questions about cars

There is noone in my family that is super smart about cars. I have a 1998 Ford Contour. It has a brand new timing belt & water pump. I have 103,000 miles on my car. I’m in OK and I have a friend in TN. I have thought about going to visit her and I can’t afford a plane ticket. Its around 1,000 miles there. Since I have the new timing belt and water pump do you think my car would be ok? I wouldn’t drive straight there I would stop half way so I wouldn’t just be driving 1,000 in 1 day. I checked into renting a car, but since I’m under 25 (I’ll be 24 when I go) I would have to pay an extra $25 a day and it would be almost $200 to rent a car for that long. End the end, round trip, I would have an extra 2,000 miles on my car.

What do you guys think?

I currently drive a 1997 Geo Prism (cough Toyota Corolla cough cough) and it has 177K on it. I drove it over 1,700 total round trip miles and it was fine for me. I had just had an oil change and new tires put on so I was comfortable doing this.

You can try to find a cheap plane ticket out there, you just have to try to fly on days that are not “busy days” ? Just a thought, then again maybe not.

If your car gets 30 miles to the gallon. It will cost you roughly $2.75 for every thirty miles that you travel. That will be around $185 in gas alone. That does not count the time that you would be on the road.

If I were you, I would look into flights on travelocity, orbitz, expedia, etc and see what is there.

If you still want to drive, pick up some good CDs and enjoy the trip!!!

If you do decide to drive, make sure you have a cell phone to take along incase of emergency. I have a few friends (women) who do not have cell phones, but I think that can be dangerous when traveling by car alone for a long distance. Just my :twocents:

Sounds like it is broking in now. Your gtg, should bring a cell phone anyways. Tim

Take it in for an oil change & tune up before your big drive… have a mechanic look it over and give their opinion… they’re the experts. You can have a perfectly running old car, or a new car that’s a lemon… so you need each car to be looked at by a professional to know for sure (we can’t just makes guesses here)…

IMO, I’d make a firm calculation of the cost of the trip. Calculate how much gas will cost, how much a night at a hotel 1/2 way through the trip will cost, etc, etc… you may find it to be more economical (and less wear and tear on the car) for you to fly.

If you do decide to drive, take a cell phone… and I highly recommend AAA memberships! :thumbsup:

Good luck!

My cell phone and I are very close! :stuck_out_tongue: I take it everywhere I go.

Oh don’t forget a car charger. Very important! :smiley:

Are you sure you can’t afford a plane ticket? Because once you factor in all your car repairs, gas it takes to get to and from your destination, food, hotel room, etc, it all adds up. You can get smokin’ deals on plane tickets on,, etc…

I often fly from the bay area to San Diego. it is much cheaper to fly then to drive. I can get a ticket on certain days for 79 dollars round trip. I don’t need a hotel and I don’t have to buy gas. Check Southwest air they are the cheapest if you get ticket in advance. It is alot fast to fly not so tiring. good luck And also if you don’t find a cheap fare today. keep trying they lower the price if the plane is not full. right now they have a 2 for 1 going so do check.

Along with a cell phone and a car charger, make sure you have some kind of roadside assistance (one that will cover you on a 1,000 milel trip - some bare bones plans have limits on mileage).

What kind of mileage do you get on your car? The reason I ask, let’s say you get 25 MPG.

It will take you 80 gallons of gas to get 2000 miles, at $3 per gallon, that is $240 right there.

You are going to take 2 days to get there, even if you only spend $15 per day on food… that is another $30.

You are stopping along the way? A decent hotel (one where a woman could stay alone and not feel creeped out) will cost you at least $80.

It may be less expensive to fly or rent a car…

I have a 1998 Ford Contour. It has a brand new timing belt & water pump. I have 103,000 miles on my car.

103K miles… your car is still a baby!

You know your vehicle better than you think, or better than your mechanic… in general terms of performance or it’s particular quirks. A timing belt & water pump at this mileage is almost a given, so you’re already points ahead.

Since the timing belt & pump has the car performed well? No concerns?
Does it start quickly, and idle smoothly?
Does the transmission shift smoothly? No jerks or clunks while driving?
Are all the guages (oil press., temp, alt/batt) showing in the middle of the “normal” range… or are there no indicator lights lit on the dash?
Do you feel confident about the car? Has it given you any reasons for concern, or have you been postponing a major maintenance item?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to the above, I’d take the car.

Frankly a good running, dependable “city-car” can use a good road trip from time to time! A long run at highway speeds will help clear carbon deposits from the cylinders, get all other “systems” up to temperature and their fluids really flowing. It’ll probably run better after the trip.

My suggestions for a road-trip:

  • Get the oil and filter changed at a reputable shop. Tell them you’re going on a trip, and you’d like things looked over. (Avoid the “Quicky-Lube” outfits. Nothing against them, but they’re not mechanics… “Jimmy” just finished “oil-change 101 training”, and he doesn’t know what to look for under your car. A mechanic will give a cursory once-over at things while he/she’s under there.)
  • Have all fluid levels checked and topped off. This should include:
    Brake fluid, Coolant, Transmission fluid, Power Steering fluid, and Windshield Washer fluid.
  • Check all tire pressures! Including the spare!! The recommended pressure is molded into the sidewall of the tire.
  • Check your jacking equipment! See if you even have one! There’s usually a sticker in the trunk detailing how to change a tire.
  • Change your wiper blades. Sounds silly, but getting caught in a downpour not being able to see stinks! Especially in an unfamiliar area.
  • Fill up at home, and then on the road from reputable/well-known fuel stations! Don’t try and save .03 a gallon and get a tankful of junk/water contaminated gas.

A 2000 mile trip isn’t that much.

I have a 1991 Land Cruiser with 195,000 miles on it, it is my daily driver. The old myth about cars only going 100k is flat wrong.:eek: Most diesels aren’t even “broken in” until 40,000 miles. Go to a mechanic you trust, ie a relative, and ask them to look it over. If you ask a mechanic and he tells you that, “you are lucky you made it here!” Run very fast. :eek: Check the tires with a penny test. put a penny in the tire and if the tread covers up the letters on the circumference you are good. Check your fluids. Every time you stop for gas, (after you fill up and the oil has a chance to drain back to where you check it) check the oil. You should be fine. All a MOTOR needs is fuel and fire. (gas and supply to motor, and spark, that is your battery and distributor.) All your CAR needs is good tires. simplistic but it all works. Take care of your car and it will take care of you, oh and of course there is st. christopher,:cool: and in some cases st. jude.:wink:

I’ll second checking the fluids, brakes, and (this is really important) the tires.

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