Roadtrip with an old toyota?

Hi! I drive an old Toyota Tercel (1999). It has 248 000 km (which is around 154 000 miles, I believe). I plan on doing a small trip to Ontario. In total, I would have to do around 1300 miles to go and get back. The car runs great, but it has a bit of rust. I will have to change the breaks and the tires before going. Do you think I can make it? Or should I rent a car? Thanks!

If the car is safe, it should make it

Many of us have cars with as many miles, if not more

Make sure all of your fluids are topped up before the trip. Make sure you don’t have any spongy hoses or frayed accessory drive belts

Also make sure the battery and alternator test good. If the battery is more than 5 years old, just replace it now

Might want to check the oil level a few times during the trip. Bring along a quart or so, just in case

That’s not a lot of miles for a Toyota. However it is 16-17 years old, and you may have body rust.

Why does it need brakes and tires? do you have the car maintained regularly and correctly?

If the car has been maintained correctly, and you checked for major body rust, you should be OK. Just take extra cash or a credit card and a cell phone.

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If you need new brake pads and tires, get the work done. You might also consider changing oil and filters, depending on how long it has been since the last change. Another possible maintenance item is the transmission fluid. Again, depending on how many miles since the last change. You need to do it all anyway, and this should not influence your choice of rental or your car. I have an Accord with similar mileage, and I would not hesitate to drive it on a long trip. For that matter, we have an Olds Silhouette with similar mileage and I’d drive that, too.

Have the car checked over, but if it gets a clean bill of health (other than the items you mentioned) I see no reason whatsoever why you should be concerned. Parts for these cars are readily available worldwide and the likelihood of something catastrophic happening if the car’s in good shape is small.

Friends older civic broke the timing belt during 800 mi drive. Why did it happen 300mi from home? That’s life.


Was the timing belt overdue by time, mileage or BOTH . . . ?!