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Car/tire advice for move to Our Fair City

My wife and I will be moving from California to the Cambridge area in a few months and we need some advice. First off, we need to get new tires shortly, so are there particular tires we should go with for our 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid (taking into account the cross country drive AND the new winter conditions our poor Scoot will have to survive)? Also, is there anything else we should do to prepare for the trek and the new locale? Scoot likely won’t need an oil change, but we’ll still get a full inspection before the drive. Anything else?

Final question: Any recommendations or tips on how to transport our adult cat in the back seat (who likes to pee on things when he’s nervous)?

I would wait and buy tires when you get to MA – you will get local service (rotations and repair). Put four real winter tires on your car from October to March and you will be OK. Don’t run them in the summer as the soft rubber compound will wear out pretty quick. There are no such thing as all season tires (three seasons at best).

My tires are pretty darn low: 3/32 as per my last regular maintenance back in Feb (which was about 1500 miles ago thanks to my long commute). I’m just concerned about driving cross country on near-bald tires.

Also, forgot to say ‘thanks’ for your input. So: thank you!

Depending on your travel route and requirements, Mass snow removal on main arteries is good. Side streets may be a problem buy a good set of all seasons for the first winter is all I’d recommend. A nervous cat that likes to pee ? I’d trade him for a small dog that didn’t.

Check out for all sorts of good information on tires.

Consumer Reports magazine is another good source. They test and rate lots of tires of different types.

I’d get new tires and a wheel alignment before a cross country trip. You don’t want to be traveling all that distance on worn out tires.

Winter tires are a separate issue. Don’t worry about them until autumn, then get some advice from fellow residents of Cambridge.

Put the cat in a travel crate so it doesn’t pee all over the car. Take the cat for car rides more frequently, before the long journey, to get it acclimated to being in the car.

I’d get the tires NOW…Don’t chance a long trip on iffy tires. Get a decent all season tire…Yes MA gets snow…but in all reality you only NEED snow/winter tires 3-4 days a year. They have PLOWS in MA (I know I’ve seen them).

I’d also get the oil changed. That’s a long trip…Start with good oil. Why take a chance when it’s CHEAP insurance.

Two recommendations.
One, drug the cat. Your vet can prescribe sedatives. If you don’t you are going to want to throw the cat out the window well before you reach Nevada.
Two, don’t name your car. It’s a car, not a pet.

As for the tires, if you are living in the city and don’t have a job that requires you to drive to work regardless of conditions, you can get away with all season tires. If you were out in the suburbs, or are an emergency worker, get a set of snows for December to early March. It rarely snows outside of that range.

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone!

PS: If it’s acceptable to name your boat, then I get to name my car.

I agree!!! When I retired “The Chariot” (93 Civic) I proclaimed my new (used) 2002 S10 as “Spike”; when I wrecked him the, smashed-in, front-end reminded my sister of her favorite Pug.

If more people named their cars maybe they would take better care of them. :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t mind AL5000. It’s “acceptable” to name anything, any name you wish. The only restriction for boats, is that it’s bad luck to change the name from the original. Don’t know what it might be for cars. Thought it may irritate some, I would not worry about it. The name is more of a reflection of the owner.

My sister named my first car because of all the body work done, it was barely recognizable as the original make and was not confused with any of the other 7 cars everybody in our family used, parked in the drive. Our last boat was named “Merlin” because it would take a magician to return to port after a race w/o breaking
something.Some guys are into names like “SS 396 Chevelle Super Sport” or Hummer and think that’s not just
as contrived, when it is but by some one else.

Now if you actually think the car is animate because of the name, you’re on your own and subject to any criticism anyone wishes to heap on you. :=) And, I’m a little worried about Carveaholic using the reference “him” for the car, like I am for anyone calling a boat “she”, but that’s my hang up,
not his.

Please tell me that you will not be forcing your cat to ride in a car that has unsafe tires. The cat is an innocent victim here and someone must speak out for him/her. I do not like it one bit that you named your car but the poor kitty does not have a name. If you don’t get tires before you leave at least make sure “kitty” is securely belted in.

Since I am against supporting “big pharma” may I suggest that you get a perscription for a more natural product and see if this helps with the poor kitty’s anxiety problem (I hear it helps humans with this condition but over use may result in the same “wet the bed” type thing"). You may have to “re-applY” this product several times durning the trip so I suggest you try to time the kittys “med-break” around your own dinner time.

I’m a cat owner, and have learned many valuable lessons about traveling with cats.

First off, get a plastic cat carrier.
Preferably one that the can will fit in comfortably.
No point having a squished kitty being unhappy.

Second, if you can, fly with the cat to get it across the country.
Trust me on this fact, but traveling cross country in a car with a cat in it, will not be a good experience for either you, or the cat.

Third, if you do travel across the country in the car with your cat, DO NOT TAKE THE CAT OUT OF THE CAR, LOOSE. I was on a motorcycle ride from NYC to North Carolina many years ago, and I stopped at a rest area late at night in North Carolina.

When I pulled up, I parked far away from the one lone car in the parking lot, because that’s how I am. As I was walking up to the rest area building, there was a young couple sitting next to their car, holding their cute little black kitten in their lap.

Well, right about that same moment, a State Trooper pulled in, tires squealing to a stop, probably to bug me about riding a motorcycle in his state, in the middle of the night. He pulled up right next to the cat couple’s car, right in front of where they were sitting, and this loud roaring cop car scared the heck out of the cat, which then bolted off under the bushes behind the couple.

The couple then started screaming at the cop, pleading with their kitten to come back to them, and was sobbing intensely at the stressful situation the cop created for them. The cop, upon realizing his stupidity, hopped back into his car, and got the heck out of town, leaving me to try and help the couple get their cat back, which we were unsuccessful in doing.

So, let the cat run around in the car if need be, but don’t take it outside of the car.
You might wind up regretting that choice.


We are in the upper Midwest that likely has much worse winter weather than Cambridge. We just run whatever tires are on our cars down to the wear bars before replacement and have no trouble. Road salt is your friend until the car rusts, of course.

As to the cat, another suggestion is chucks or Chux. You can buy washable chux or paper, disposable chux (bedpads) from a handicap supply store. Sam’s club might have the disposable kind or look in a pharmacy. Line the cat’s area with chux if you want to let it run loose inside the car.