I have a used Toyota rav4 with a little over 87,000 miles on it. I will be making a 3,000 mile road trip this summer. My mom is worried my car won’t make it. Any advice or tips to make it more reliable or safe?
Do y’all think my car will make it??

Your mom is worrying needlessly. I made a holiday 7000 mile road trip with a 10 year old Buick pulling a camper once. Everything went fine.

A Toyota RAV4 is a reliable machine, but you should have your mechanic check it over several weeks before you leave. The cooling system, transmission, tires and brakes are the most important. Bring all maintenance up to date.

Carry a cell phone and an AAA membership, if you have one.

Have a great trip.

It should be just fine as long as all the maintenance is up to date. Make sure the air filter is clean, the engine oil changed, and the tires have enough tread on them. Also, when was the last time the transmission fluid was changed? If you don’t know, it makes sense to get that done. What model year and engine is it? I looked up the 2006 and neither has a timing belt, but we need to be sure. If it has a belt and not a timing chain, it is about due for a new one. But you don’t have to change the chain.

Good Lord, the Rav4 is just barely broken in! If it’s been well maintained and not abused it’ll have no problem whatsoever with a 3,000 mile trip.

I’d probably change the oil and filters, and if it’s over 5 years old change the coolant out with fresh coolant and have the battery tested, but you should do that anyway. 3,000 is nothing.

It is. however, good to know you have a mom that loves you and worries about you.

Oh my thank yall for answering so fast! Yall have made me feel so much better! i will make sure to get all checked y’all have mentioned!
It is a 2006
She’s worried my engine will over heat or die

Thank you! I go to a shop to get the battery checked?
Yes :slight_smile: she is a good momma

Many parts stores will checik the battery and charing system for free.
Batterys and fluids, particularly the coolant and brake fluid, have useful lives. The plates on batteries erode, coolants’ anticorrosion inhibitors depleate, oil gets dirty and diluted, stuf like that.

Batteries are typically considered good for about 5 years. Coolant, it depends who you ask, but I like to drain it and replace it fresh every 5 years at least. Brake fluid, I like to flush the system with new fluid every 5 years. Your shop can check all of these things as well as brakes, wiper blades (good for about 4 months in my mind), tires, etc. The nice thing about having a checkup before leaving is that you can leave unconcerned about the possibility of having to do a repair in a strange town by a mechanic who knows he’ll never see you again.

But, again, 3,000 miles is nothing. I put that on in the average month.

Thank you so much for your help! I appreciate it! :slight_smile:

Have a great adventure. And just remember, millions of people go on driving adventures every year, most of them with no forethought whatsoever, and almost 100% of them get home safely. 99% of the things we worry about never happen.

Oh thank you so much for that! That makes me feel a lot better!
Thank you for your wise positive words!

The advice posted above is excellent, especially that your vehicle is certainly NOT too old for such a trip, as long as regular maintenance is up to date. Your car will be fine.

May I suggest also to get a good quality tire pressure gauge, and check tires periodically, especially on your trip. The recommended tire pressure should be marked on a manufacturer’s label on the car, most likely somewhere on the edges of the driver door or the frame around that door (open the door and look). Your owners manual may also have that info. It’s best to check pressure when tires are cold, but during a long day of driving, when you stop, it’s wise to at least do a visual inspection of the tires.

I also wanted to mention that the service recommendations posted above are things you should be aware of in general, regardless of beginning a long road trip. So what you do before your trip is what you probably needed anyway, regardless of a long drive. Fluid changes, belts, hoses, etc, do need routine inspection and eventually, replacement - that’s considered “maintenance”.

Finally, if you get a dashboard warning about overheating or low oil pressure, pull over as soon as you can find a safe spot off the road, and turn off the engine right away, rather than try to “limp along”. Overheating and low oil pressure, if sustained, can ruin an engine in minutes or possibly less. It’s best to get to the very first safe location off the road and then assess the situation.

I will give some slightly off topic advice as well: you’ll be safer if you carry a few gallons of drinking water, some non-perishable food, minimal eating utensils, a sleeping bag and a small tarp, a good flashlight, sturdy shoes, a warmish jacket, raingear, all to help in case of some unexpected complication. I also suggest carrying a quart or two of oil and transmission fluid (if it’s an automatic).

Have a great trip!

It seems that most cars having problems while on a trip, have problems with their tires, not their cooling systems. Certainly check the oil and the coolant. If the oil is really dark, change it even if it hasn’t been that long since the last one. Check the transmission fluid, it should be a clear red. If it is brown or black, then it needs to be changed (not flushed). The coolant should also be pretty clear, not cloudy. If cloudy or brown, it must also be changed, not flushed.

Now for the tires, check that they still have good tread. Look for the date code as well.|21263|||S|b|6698650813&

Less than 4 years old, OK. 4-8 years old debatable. Over 8 years old, replace.

Check the pressure early in the morning the day before or the day of the trip and inflate to about 3 psi over the recommended pressure on the placard, but not more that 35 psi. Don’t actually check the pressure during the trip, but each time you get gas, walk around the car and look at each tire to make sure one is not low. Also look at them at the start of each day before they get warmed up.

As you drive, especially at sustained highway speeds, the tires will get hot due to friction. If the pressure in the tire is low when cold, the tire will heat up more and heat is not good for the tires. Also higher speed means more heat, so start off with a little more pressure (up to 3 psi) to help keep the temperature down.