Old car road trip

Hey there I have a question. My car is a 95 Ford Taurus with 125K odo and no problems what’s so ever. I have not changed tires for a while but I have never had any problem with that car.
I need to drive 1300 miles to DC and 1300miles back. I would change the oil before hand and take break every 3Hrs. It is almost a 22hrs trip. The car would make 1300 miles there then do some light driving during a week and then 1300miles back. My car has no problems so far it is a good healthy car but because of its age I am a bit worried. Do you think it could make it?

Probably make it, but even with a new car there are no guarantees, sounds like you are worried about your tires, get them checked out.


A friend of my wife has a similar vehicle and it has been trouble-free so far. Going on any trip, check out the car and especially the tires.

A mechanic friend of mine used to do this for many single moms planning to travel. All fluids should be checked and any leaks identified. The mileage on your car is quite low for that age, and I can’t see why you won’t have a trouble-free trip.

I would check the fluids (oil, coolant) at each gas fill up stop.

Happy motoring.


Tires tend to go bad after 10 years or so, develop cracks and become unsafe. That varies with climate and tire model and brand, of course. But you might want to get them checked over before you start this trip.

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That’s great, but maintenance consists of a LOT more than just changing the oil, and you mentioned nothing about the car’s actual maintenance history.

Has it been consistently maintained at least as well as Ford specifies in the Owner’s Manual?
If not, then you need to have the full 120k mile service performed before you leave on your trip.
And, as was mentioned already, if those tires are 10 years old, they need to be replaced, even if the tread doesn’t show excessive wear.


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i have had the car for only 2 years and what I did to maintain was change oil anf get it checked every time i did that.
I will try to get it entirely checked

Instead of merely checking fluids such as the trans fluid, coolant, and brake fluid, you need to change them on a periodic basis. If you have had the car for 2 years without changing those fluids, and if you have no hard copies of its maintenance over the preceding 21 years, then you have to assume that NONE of the required maintenance has ever been done.

So, have all of the procedures that are listed for the 120k service done, but–in addition–you really need to change the trans fluid, coolant, and brake fluid, just in case those services are not a part of the 120k service. You should also have the air filter, spark plugs, and PCV valve changed if you don’t have evidence that these things have been done w/in the past 30k miles.

And, you really need to look at the Ford Maintenance Schedule. I can guarantee that many of the maintenance intervals specify changing fluids, and not just “checking” them.


A long steady drive is a lot easier on a car than a bunch of short stop and go drives. Your safety depends on those tires, so check them out, along with the brakes, brake lines and front suspension. Your other choice is renting a shiny new car and rolling up the miles. They only care about how many days you rent, not miles. You can get pretty good deals through places like Costco, or AAA, or some credit cards or organizations. I do it often on long mileage, short time trips.

I tried looking into this but since I am 21 they will not rent me anything under $400 pretty much. They had $25 day extra on every day for young driver

Then it’s time to get to work. I did lots of long trips in really poor cars when I was young and broke. The prep you do will help, and a box of tools can save the day. For less than $100 you can have a socket set, decent screwdrivers, pliers, etc. This forum and YouTube videos will guide you through many issues. Bring a sleeping bag. Keep your phone charged. Bring the car title, in case you just have to turn it in to a recycler.

I’d say this is the perfect opportunity to rent a no mileage limit car for a week. Then you can drive a nearly new car for your long distance trip, and leave your own car pampered at home in the garage. Be sure to check out the cost for a one week rental, make sure the terms include no mileage limit. I think you might be surprised how economical it is. Best to reserve the car 4 weeks in advance if possible. I tend to find the more frugal rental fares at places away from the airport, but I always still use a major rental car agency, like hertz, budget, or avis.

I think your own car would make the trip. If you do it that way, be sure to have a mechanic give it a look-see first and correct what needs to be corrected before you leave. But why put all those miles on your own car, when a rental car for a week is pretty inexpensive.

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If you check out all of the things listed above, I would go for it. I had many young experiences with long road trips in my early 20s. Be sensible and safe. You will be fine. Part of being young is having a sense of adventure. Don’t rent, drive what you own. Just be sensible. Check the car check the tires and take a look at things before driving back. And by all means. Let us know how your trip went. Good luck.

I don’t understand why you’re asking. You repeated several times that the car has no problems. You seem to have more confidence in this car than I do.

Get it checked out by a mechanic before you head out, but every road trip is a gamble. The car will either break down or it won’t, and nobody can reliably predict whether it will.

I regularly take my 1998 Honda Civic with 294,000 miles on the odometer on weekend trips of 400 miles, but I know there is always a possibility the car will die and I’ll finish the trip on a Bus. If you can’t live with that uncertainty, rent a car for the trip.

Did you not see the post where the OP say’s they are 21 years old. That puts vehicle rental out of the picture.

Some companies will rent cars to someone who is 21, but they have to pay a fee.


“Drivers ages 21 to 24 can now rent at most locations operated by Advantage, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Sixt, and Thrifty.”

They also have surcharges and vehicle type restrictions I did not know that had changed . The extra 27.00 a day can add up in a hurry.