Driving from CT to Raleigh, NC

subaru
forester

#1

Dear All,
Myself and my son are planning to drive from West Haven, CT to Raleigh, NC ( a 9-hour drive). My son is going to live in Raleigh temporarily and will use the car. We have a 2003 Subaru Forester with 178000 miles. Took it to the mechanic to get his opinion about the condition of the car and if it can handle the drive. He has been taking care of the car for 5 years or so.
He checks the hoses, tires, and all other essentials, and pointed out that the car needs front end brakes and rotors. He fixed the brakes, topped all of the fluids, checked out the headlights. He advised us to drive for 2 hours and take a break and check the fluids, especially oil. The car has a small oil leak. He asked us to use the A/C sparingly and carry some engine oil with us, just in case. I also have 100 miles tow coverage, if needed. I hope not.
We are also taking a essential items with us and are planning to start at 6 a.m. We have to drive through NYC, NJ, Washington, and then to NC. Appreciate your input and advice. Many thanks


#2

You’ve done everything I would’ve done. You had the mechanic inspect it, you replaced suggested items. I agree with carrying extra oil. I’d maybe toss in a gallon of premixed coolant too just in case. Is it all highway driving? That’s the easiest type of driving for a car, so you probably could drive closer to 4-5 hours before checking. I don’t imagine it would use more oil than normal


#3

Checking the fluids-yes
What would concern me is using the AC sparingly, why?
Does your Subaru need a new radiator?


#4

Thanks. Will carry Oil and Coolant. A/C works well. Radiator is fairly new. The mechanic did not want the car to get overheated.


#5

Any vehicle in decent shape should not overheat just because the air conditioner is being used.


#6

If you were driving a 1963 Rambler, that would be good advice.

You’re driving a fairly modern car and not going over any major mountains so the AC shouldn’t be an issue.

Chances of driving straight through without a bathroom or fuel stop or three are pretty slim, that’s when I would check the fluids.


#7

Thanks

It_s_Me

    June 27

omsairam911:
He advised us to drive for 2 hours and take a break and check the fluids, especially oil. The car has a small oil leak. He asked us to use the A/C sparingly

If you were driving a 1963 Rambler, that would be good advice.

You’re driving a fairly modern car and not going over any major mountains so the AC shouldn’t be an issue.

Chances of driving straight through without a bathroom or fuel stop or three are pretty slim, that’s when I would check the fluids.


#8

Thanks

VOLVO_V70

    June 27

omsairam911:
The mechanic did not want the car to get overheated.

Any vehicle should not overheat just because the air conditioner is being used. If you really are worried then rent something for the trip.


#9

OP seems to have followed the advice given here often for this question, get a local mechanic’s pre-trip inspection. Since that’s been done, I suggest to just follow the mechanic’s advice, drive safely, and otherwise enjoy the trip. Best of luck.

Prior to leaving, make sure the spare tire is properly inflated. If you’ve never used the jack before, trying it out in your driveway before leaving rather than learning how it works on the side of a busy road is a good idea too.


#10

You’ll be fine. This is easy work for a modern car, much easier than 500 miles of stop and go driving withing 50 miles of home.


#11

All set to go on the trip tomorrow morning. Gas tank full, spare tire all set, and the car is packed and set to go. Will let you know about our adventures. Thanks


#12

Great job. Wishing you a fun trip.


#13

Made it to NC. It took us 14 hours. Thanks for your suggestions and wishes.


#14

I took a tour of the cigarette factory in Winston-Salem one time. Very interesting, but the tobacco odor was a little too much. Beautiful country.


#15

Five extra hours? Let me guess. Terrible traffic in Central Maryland and Virginia. Sometimes I-95 is a good way to go, but sometimes it can be awful. I commute on that road when US295 (Baltimore Washington Parkway) is too crowded. Traffic on I-95 between D.C. and Richmond is often bad, too. There aren’t too many routes from CT to NC, but if time is important, there are a couple other ways to go that can save time, but will be more miles. Let me know if you are interested in other routes if you used I-95 as I suspect.


#16

We avoided I-95 for most of the part, due to accidents and construction. We used US 295. Stopped every three hours as I was unsure how my old car would do. Checked oil every time we stopped and it was just fine. Filled out air in the tires once. Started at 6:45, stopped by a quick lunch and supper, and reached at around 9:30. The drive was LONG and the Friday traffic was not helpful either. Would appreciate other routes, thanks


#17

This route takes you west, but you avoid the heavy NJ, DE, MD, and VA traffic associated with I-95 entirely.

Take I-287 west to I-78 west. This becomes I-81 just before Harrisburg, PA. Continue on I-81 through VA until the intersection with I-77 in Southwest VA. Take I-77 south and then exit onto I-74 towards Winston-Salem. When you get to I-40 at Winston-Salem, get on I-40 heading east to Raleigh.

It’s more miles, but there shouldn’t be traffic unless you get to Harrisburg at rush hour. If you leave at 6am, you should pass Harrisburg around 9am and you won’t see heavy traffic until you get to Winston-Salem. My son in-law grew up near Richmond and went to the University of South Carolina. He never used I-95, but used US highways to Charlotte, then the interstate from there. If we go to Charlotte from Central Maryland, we always use I-81 even though it is a big westward swing for us. Missing the I-95 parking lot is worth it though.


#18

Many thanks:-)
I am flying back home. Next time, I will take this route. Have a fun-filled 4th of July.