Preparing a vehicle for winter cross country travel

Our son and his fiancee are traveling from MA to Southern CA in the first week of January. Other than good tires and wiper blades, what should they do to get the vehicle ready? 2000 Ford Excursion w/ 97,000 miles

whatever maintenance is required, and fix anything that’s not working right.

And a body kit that makes it look like a Prius, 'cause they’ll want to blend in when they get there :wink:

Oil change and fluid change for the transmission (if not done in last 40K miles). Perhaps nervous mom can provide a AAA card? Lots of money for gas, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and a roadside assistance kit (reflectors, flares, jumper cables, stuff like that). Everyone has cell phones, take one but don’t let the driver talk on it while the car is moving.

Good one! The Excursion will certainly stand out! Thanks.

Catch up on any overdue maintenance like the serpentine belt, antifreeze, transmission fluid. A fresh oil change unless recently done. Then pack a cell phone, a gallon of water and winter rated sleeping bags. The cell phone should have a car charger.

Since it’s a Ford, they shouldn’t have that much problem should something happen, tons of dealerships around the country. I just wouldn’t want to hafta pay for all the gas they’ll be using up. :stuck_out_tongue:

3A card is coming for Christmas. Thanks for the suggestions!

The gas will be hefty, for sure. Thanks!

Take the southern routes or stay on top of the weather reports and conditions. In certain places and during certain weather conditions roads are closed and they won’t get through no matter what they’re driving.

That gallon of water might freeze and explode before they hit the warmer part of the country.

Rather than packing a gal. of water just bring an empty coffee can and some candles for melting snow. You can also stick a roll of tp in there & some candy bars. Pack a snow shovel so you can clear your exhaust pipe if needed too.

This. Have them ask themselves which they have more of; time or money. If they have more money than time, then feel free to go boldly everywhere. If they have more time than money, they can sit and wait it out.

I have lived in the south most of my life and there may have been 10 days the roads were closed due to ice and snow in all that time. If they get past Atlanta the possibility of thunderstorms is the greatest concern and January is usually a cold (below freezing some nights) and clear situation. One winter I traveled to Austin and there was enough snow in Houston at sunset for me to stop and spend the night. In the a.m. the sun was up and the snow was melting quickly and dozens of cars were in the ditches because the locals had no idea how to drive in the ice. That snow storm was an outrageous fluke according to all the radio station weather reporters. I recall the LaQuinta Inn that I found had to call in help to handle the unexpected rush of old people who decided to take a break. The Pizza Hut nearby answered the phone saying they could not guaranty half hour service.