7hr road trip- bad idea?


I have an automatic, 92 accord with 224K. Water pump and timing belt were changed at 153K. The past 2 month the car has begun to worry me with its shifting.

When coasting down a hill from 35 to 25 mph- the car shifts really hard, like I hit the brakes. After that, the car seems to have a hard time shifting when I try to re-accelerate back to 35.

My mechanic recently checked the transmission fluid and put in an additive for the “slippage”. The car still did the same thing the next time I was driving in this sort of scenario though.

Is it a completely ridiculous idea for me to consider taking this car on a 7hr road trip tomorrow morning? I had planned on taking my husband’s Blazer, but the gas prices have me entertaining the idea of taking my car.

Does it sound like my transmission wants to call it quits?



I would be concerned about the transmission at that age and miles, based on your description, and consider a small rental car for the trip, if you don’t want to pay for Blazer gas.


If you’re on the highway cruising at 65mph all day this is very easy on a transmission, so give it a shot. In the end without feeling what you’re describing you must default to your mechanics opinion. Although the early Accords were notorious for harsh shifting in their automatics. My family many years ago owned a 92 Accord EX and it was the most abrupt automatic I can remember for shifting.


What’s the worst thing that can happen? If you are willing to chance having to pay for a tow and an alternate way of getting home, take the trip. If you aren’t going to have any fun because you’re worried about the car, drive something else.


Your Accord is due for another timing belt/water pump replacement, and the transmission symptoms you describe are not a good sign. This car won’t last forever, but at 224K miles you can’t complain.

Having said that, do you expect the car to survive another week or so of your normal driving? If so, then the 7-hour road trip should not be a problem. Once you’re on the highway the transmission won’t have to shift much, and the car will just be cruising along. Contrary to what many people believe, highway driving is not hard on a car. Every day stop-and-go driving is much tougher on a vehicle than highway travel.

I suggest you check all fluid levels and make sure the tires (including the spare) are properly inflated before you leave on this trip. This will maximize your fuel mileage and your chance of making the trip without mishap.


Thanks everyone!

I just had the oil changed and all the fluids checked last Friday.
I am very happy with the longevity my car has had as I have been squeezing all the life out of it that I can. I know I have myself on the edge of getting to where I’m going and being on the side of the road one day.

I may go with it as the trip is to a bike race that several locals are going to too. So if I do have a breakdown, there would be a way home with proper packing of bikes/bags/racers.

Thanks again- I appreciate the advise and opinions.


Normally I’d suggest a rental, but under your scenerio I’d suggest going ahead with it.

Good luck on race day.


If you are really concerned about the transmission, I wouldn’t use it for a long trip.

On another note, I wouldn’t let anyone add things to the transmission fluid. Don’t let some mechanic sell you transmission snake oil that may actually cause damage. Stick to Dexron III as called for in the owners manual, or even better, Honda Z1 ATF.


Your Accord is due for another timing belt/water pump replacement

Not it’s NOT…the interval is 100k miles for this year Accord. Still has about 30k to go.


Good luck on race day.

Thanks! I’ll be needing luck and spare legs for the climbs in TN!


90,000 mile or 7 year interval to be exact.


I assuming you have an S-10 Blazer, if not disregard. I get about 20 - 21 mpg with my S-10 Blazer 4wd doing 65 - 70 mph. According to www.edmunds.com, a 92 Accord was rated 29 - 30 mpg highway. Assuming 400 miles each way and $3.75 per gallon.

Cost for Blazer - 800 miles / 20 mpg = 40 gallons @ $3.75 = $150

Cost for Accord - 800 miles / 30 mpg = 26.67 gallons @ $3.75 = $100

So, the Blazer would cost about $50 more in gas. Is and extra $50 - $60 worth the peace of mind, that’s up to you.

Good luck on race day.

Ed B.


Thanks very much!!!

I ended up taking the Blazer and I’m glad I did. We spent about 150 mi on local state routes- up and down and plenty of stoplights.

I was talking to one of the girls on team before the race and she thought my symptoms sounded like the Torque Converter (any thoughts?). Hopefully it ends up being something smaller than the transmission and I can keep the car running for the local races.

And the race went well- thanks for the good luck wishes!