Toyota Corolla: How Far Will It Go?

I have a 1990 Toyota Corolla with 131,000 miles on it that I got in January. Since then it’s run great, although I did have to get a wheel bearing replaced.

With the high price of flying, I’m looking into driving on a 1,700-mile trip instead of getting a flight.

What I’m wondering is whether the little Toyota will make it that far. Does anyone have any advice on what I should check out to make sure it will make it or not? It needs new tires, so I’ll do that, and I’ll probably get the alignment checked out and the brakes. Is there anything else I could check that would give me a good indication?

I hear these cars will go 200,000 miles without a problem, but I guess they need a little maintenance between here and there.

It’s risky, only because it is an 18 year old car, and you only know it’s history for 8 months. The first rule of owning a 10 year plus old car (and I’ve owned several, and still do), is ‘Anything can break at any time’. Since the car is giving you no problems, chances are you can do it. But, be on the safe side, and have access to extra money, like credit cards in good standing, and join a car club, like AAA, just for the roadside assistance benefits. Having trouble on the road and just being able to call for assistance and get it is simple priceless.

Plan C - Something to think about?

I don’t know if you are of age to rent a car and you don’t say how long a trip, and whether it is within the States, but this could be an option. We have taken 3000 mile+ vacations in cars with weekly rental rates that include “unlimited miles” for a relatively small amount of money. Factor in peace of mind and having a company provide your back-up plan in case of an accident or break-down and there you go. Check the current “deals” and have your insurance agent explain your coverage. Often, you need no additional insurance. You will have “zero car maintenance,” besides.

No one knows for sure. I would take that trip without worrying about it. I would suggest making sure all the maintenance is up to schedule and today I always travel with a cell phone.

I vote to go with it.

The only thing I would worry about is the timing belt. If it’s been replaced in the past, then you have nothing to worry about. If you don’t know, think about having it done.

My daughter’s 1991 Corolla was at 175K miles when she sold it, and the woman who bought it a year ago is still driving it daily. I’ve known people with 300K miles on Corollas.

A 1,700 mile highway trip is not “hard” on a car. Driving to work every day in commuter traffic places much more wear on a vehicle.

Make sure all the fluids are at the correct level, check the tire pressure, and have a nice trip.

Renting can work, just make sure the rental rate covers out-of-state use. Friend got a great in-state rate, drove it 2000 miles, got a ticket out of state. Guess what? 2000 miles at $0.50/mile = $1000 extra! Ouch!

My 1991 Toyota Corolla is nearing 200,000 miles. I replaced the clutch 3 years ago, but that is the biggest repair it has needed.

The biggest reason I would be hesitant about taking such a long trip in my Corolla is comfort.

131,000 miles isn’t very much to worry about, but the age has me more concerned. Some service intervals are usually something like “every 12,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.” So if your service has been kept up according to the “whichever comes first” intervals, rather than just based on mileage, I think you should be fine with your Corolla.

If you do rent a car it must also be “checked out” (make sure it has a spare tire,jack etc check oil,tire pressures,give the under hood stuff a look) After all stuck is stuck.

With old cars it may help to know some tricks. My favorite one: If you get an engine light coming on when you are climbing a long hill, put the heater/defroster on full hot and at high fan speed. Unless you live in hilly territory, you could be surprised.

I’ve got 215,000 on my 93 and I’m just now needing to repair the engine. One reason I have so many miles is that I’ve driven all over the country in it. Check your spark plugs and gaps, get an oil change and hit the road with your credit card and cell phone. Sounds like yours is doing great. The tires and alignment are a must, though. Snowy weather may be ahead and you need good traction. Got chains? Good for you for getting the brakes adjusted. Have a nice trip and watch out for cheap gas at the mom-and-pop places - you get what you pay for.

One more thing - Every time you stop, run around the car and feel the side of your tires with the back of your hand. If they’re REALLY hot, you have a slow leak or low tire pressure and your tire will blow on the highway. Also when you go to get back in, look at them to see if they’re low. The front tires will be a bit hotter than the rear because of the engine heat and the sunny side of the car may be a bit hotter as well - this is normal. I’m talking about burning your hand kind of hot.

Mileage is irrelevant to this car. Your vehicle is 18 years old.

If has been maintained and is not neglected go for it. Just be prepared with cell and credit card in case you need to rent or fix on the way.

Very few Corolla’s go 200k without a problem. That is just conventional wisdom that is far from true. Very few vehicles make it that far without a single problem.

I’m Learning All Kinds Of Stuff. We Make A Lot Of Restroom Stops. A Lot.
Do I Have To Put The Back Of My Hand On Each Tire At Every Stop?

Will it wait until after we come out of the restroom?

I guess I can just leave that German MotoMeter tire gauge at home from now on.

I always wondered why I see people running around their cars at every rest area, touching their tires and then washing their hands. I’ve seen dogs do this a little differently, but I guess it works for them.

This Is One Of Those Questions That Has Risen From The Dead Of September

This whole thing may be irrelevant!

I think Jaime Toes has done flew the coop by now!

You are right!! Who resurrected this thread?