Driving 20yr Honda for 450 mile trip?

99 Acura Integra with 140k.
I am wondering if its a good idea to drive say 450 mile trip (one way)? Of course I will stop for coffee.

The question came in my mind because I hold the opinion that after a similar trip on my 87 Acura Integra with 100k, things started falling apart! In this trip I had 4 adults avg weighing around 125lb + bags. About 4 day trip. Distance 2 x 850 miles. AC was on as it was a summer trip. Its a 1.6 liter engine.

This 99 Integra, at 60mph, I feel engine is beginning to work hard without any other loads. I want to use the car but trying to figure the limits given its age. Its a 1.8 liter engine. Original suspension. Currently we put 5k miles a year.

I drove an '83 Accord to 277K miles and it was constantly used for long trips. I kept it maintained, especially the timing belt, water pump. Highway miles are fairly easy on a car. So I would judge more by the maintenance and driving history of the car. The biggest question is YOU. How would you react to a failure 450 miles from home?

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How fast do u drive on freeway?
Of course Accord has bigger engine than mine.

Well I used to do about 3000 miles a month in my old Riviera, so just depends. I think it was 1955 or 56 so I was a little tike, and I was with my Mom in our 54 Ford and saw a car from Florida. I think it was a 49 model of something. I commented how an old car like that could drive that far since we always had reasonably new cars. She just said lots of people drive older cars with no problems. Stuck with me.

My Saab is almost at 300k miles and I regularly drive 300 mile round trips without worry. It just depends on how reliable it’s been, whether you’ve kept up on maintenance and whether you have known issues that might cause a problem. A triple A membership is a good idea too.

People drive vehicles like this long distance all the time . And no it is not necessary to drive it slow regular highway speeds are not going to make anything fall off that was not already going to fall off or fail .

I thought nothing of making 8 hour courier runs in a S10 pickup as old as this with more miles.

My theory is this: my old car is worth $2K tops, so if I am 225 miles from home, and the car dies in a major way, all I need to do is give it to NPR, take off the plates and find a way home. If I have driven it one extra year, the $2K is less than the year’s depreciation on any new car. This makes the $2K car a better choice than a $10K car.
Have a top-to-bottom inspection of your car, and drive it without any special worry.

I look at it two ways. If your old car had a monthly repair bill that’s less than a new car payment or used car loan then it’s probably good to stick with it. If however that old car needs a tow to the shop every month then it’s reliability is impacting its value and maybe time for a replacement.

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Have the car checked over by your trusted mechanic, new belts and hoses if you’re due for example. Our '90 Mazda Protoge would do this sort of trip just fine and our main prep was to fill the gas tank. Had the char checked over about twice a year by our trusted mechanic so we never had any issues.

Put more miles on that car then the 1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager even though it wasn’t exactly the most comfortable car for long trips we never had to worry about making it. Donated to the automotive program at the community college with 194,000 miles. Still running and driving well.

I have bought older cars with more miles and never hesitated to take them anyplace I wanted to go.

I once tool a 60 hp VW bus on a 3000 mile round trip with 8 people and a dog.

By the way, stopping for coffee is of no benefit to your car


Taking a break is a good idea,I lost a 21yr old co-worker a few years ago who fell asleep at the wheel and went into a tree at about 50mph.

Coffee indirectly caused one of my aunts to pass out at the wheel (didn’t have the right medication along and passed out doing 50-60mph) Then after getting checked out and with the medication called her husband and told him she would just stay the night at a motel and drive home in the morning. We got the call after he peeled himself off the ceiling worried that we would miss church to help them. My aunt still wasn’t in any shape to drive when she got to our house the next morning.

Well, it comes down to what you are comfortable with. If you don’t want to drive your Acura, check into rental cars. I recently rented a CUV for 4 days, total of $170. I needed the bigger car as my car is a Hyundai Veloster, but the cost was so low that I think it was worth not driving my own car. The rental car got all sort of bugs on the buddy, dust and mid inside from our hiking and a small dent that I buffed out upon return.

OTOH, I think your car will just be fine, just have the obvious, a cell phone and roadside assistance.

My thoughts.
You either trust your car or you don’t.
If you’re here asking, you don’t trust it.

So why don’t you trust it?, lack of proper maintenance?, it’s left you stranded before?..


It depends on how you take care of your car . If you just drive it till it breaks and then take it in then anything could happen . If you are a person who does the maintenance , brakes , coolant flushes , transmission fluid changes , tuneups at 100000 miles, timing belts if it has one , and change the belts and hoses then the trip should be relatively risk free . Highway driving is actually the easiest miles you can put on a car . Highway miles keeps the engine from getting all sludged up . I would even go buy a bottle of Techron fuel system cleaner and dump it in the tank before you leave . It is all about how the car has been taken care of . 140K is not all that much in todays world .

No worries… just take your cell phone along. If it breaks down, call a tow truck. My 16 yer old truck has 140K on it and I’d take it anywhere, anytime.

As others have said, we can’t really tell you without knowing more about the condition the car’s in now. If it’s been severely neglected you might be lucky to make it across town. If it’s been well-cared for, and you’ve kept up on needed repairs, there’s no particular reason the car can’t make it much more than 450 miles. Consider taking it to a (local, independent) mechanic and asking them to do a pre-trip inspection.

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Check tire condition, especially pressure. A loaded car at highway speeds is stressing the tires more than when it’s doing errands around town.

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