Can I drive this distance?

pontiac
sunbird

#1

Hi, I plan on driving from Florida to Connecticut in my 1994 Pontiac Sunbird LE, 4 cylinders. I’ve been advised by a co-worker that 4 cylinders aren’t supposed to last longer than about 50,000 without having problems. The driving distance one way is about 1,500 miles. I need to know my risks at driving this far. Transmission is new, brakes are new too i believe. I don’t think there are more than 100k miles on it.


#2

I meant to put this in General Discussion. Sorry


#3

Check all fluid levels before you leave. Keep checking them as you travel. Once a day is probably enough. Odds are you’ll be fine. Highway driving is NOT hard on a vehicle, despite what you might think or hear.

Whoever told you 4-cylinder engines only last 50K is nuts.

There are lots of 4-cylinder engines out there with 250,000-200,000 miles on them. As long as you keep up with the maintenance you shouldn’t have to worry.

I have a 4-cylinder Subaru with 126K on the clock, and I’m planning to keep it for quite a few more years.

My daughter had a 4-Cylinder Toyota with over 175K, and it ran great.


#4

If you are uncertain, have a mechanic look it over first. But, your co-worker is full of beans. 4 cylinder engines can run just as long as larger ones, with the proper maintenance. If your car is in reasonably good shape you can drive it to Connecticut with no problems. Long drives are easier on cars than stop and go city driving.


#5

Omg, this is a ton of weight off my shoulders. Thanks for the fast reply! Being in the military I admire anything with good integrity, this is the only website Ive found that claims fast reply (free even) and actually sticks to it. Ill be sure to recommend this site to anyone who has a question they cant answer. Thanks again!


#6

Lemme guess, this guy drives some sort of V8-powered macho-mobile and this is his way of justifying it?

My short list of cars that routinely make 500,000+ miles is: Benz 240’s, late 80’s Accords and 22R Toyota pickups. All are 4-cylinders.

Check all your fluids, tires, belts, hoses and have a nice trip. A long road trip is just about the easiest kind of driving you can do as far as your car is concerned, so it’s no more likely to break down than on any other given 1,500 miles you drive, probably less so even.


#7

In addition to the other good advice, if you’re close to needing an oil change or air filter, do it now.


#8

Just to add to texases comment. Do the oil change a few days before you leave. It’s best to drive locally a day or two to make sure the shop didn’t leave anything loose. You are unlikely to have a problem with a simple oil change, but it’s better to be close to home if you do.


#9

Your coworker is clueless.

The amount of cylinders is completely irrelevant to the engine life. Economical engine life is determined by driver style, maintenance habits, a bit of design and the big one LUCK.

The key thing is just making sure tires, fluids and drive belts are checked over by trusty mechanic before going given its old age.

Enjoy your trip.


#10

. I’ve been advised by a co-worker that 4 cylinders aren’t supposed to last longer than about 50,000 without having problems.

Wifes First Honda Accord with the 4-cylinder lasted over 300k miles. Running EXCELLENT when we sold it. Last I knew it had well over 370k miles. Her second Accord (again 4-cylinder engine) we sold (actually gave away to our niece) with over 200k miles…It now has over 240k miles. Neither of these engines had any problems what-so-ever. Still in EXCELLENT shape when we sold them.


#11

My mother-in-law has the exact same car. We help her(she’s 92) with the maintenance, but the car will easily travel this distance. the secret is to be prepared, since repairs en route are trouble-some and expensive.

As other advise:

  1. Check all the fluids, and have the cooling system checked for leaks. Fix any leaks before you leave. Although highway miles are easy on the car, the whole machine will warm up thoroughly, and small leaks may become big ones.

  2. Do an oil and filter change week or so before you set out.

  3. If the car has never had a transmision fluid and filter change, I would have that done as well. Have it done by a good, independent shop and have the pan dropped and the filter changed as well as the fuid. DO NOT GO FOR A TRANSMISSION FLUSH AT THIS MILEAGE.

Agree with other posters that 4 cylinder engines are fully capable of long life and high mileage. Your co-worker lives in the dark ages, the time before the VW Beetle set foot in America, the early 50’s. Then we only had British and some French 4 cylinder cars and they were junk. Your colleague is 60 years out of date!!!

Enjoy the trip.


#12

My 4-cylinder has over 500,000 miles on it. Rocketman


#13

There was an article in a Popular Mechanics or Popular Science back in the mid 1950’s about a person that drove across the U.S. in a King Midget. These cars had a one cylinder engine. Your chances of making the 1500 miles in your 4 cylinder Sunbird should be 4 times better than the fellow in the King Midget.


#14

Tell you friend that I’ve run numerous 4 cylinder engines for well over 100,000 miles without any problems.

In 2005 I gave my son my old Camry with 240,000 with no engine problems and my daughter’s Toyota pickup (that I gave her) went 338,000 miles when it got hit and totalled…without ever having nad any major work. It didn;t even burn oil…it still only used a quart of oil about every 1200 miles.

My current 4 cylinder, a 2005 Scion tC, has 119,000 miles with zero mechanical repairs. The only thing I’ve had to replace was a hatch strut. I had some moonroof leaks develop (it didn’t close fully) but since they showed me how to reset the moonroof programming it’s been trouble free. Oh, yeah, and the console lightbulb burned out.

Your friend is incorrect.


#15

If 4 cylinder cars only last 50K miles, then wouldn’t whatever V8 car he probably drives only last 25K miles?