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Want to take long road trips in 300C

We have a 2011 Chrysler 300C AWD w/95,000 miles. It was bought new with a Chrysler factory lifetime warranty and it remains trouble free. The wife and I want to take some long road trips of 2-3 weeks at at time, to Alaska, Maine, cross Canada, the mountains, etc… Apart from taking a full-size spare and some key parts (belts, hoses), what else should I do to the car to help it survive long, arduous road trips? Better struts? Change the fluids to synthetics? Add a transmission cooler? Is any parts of the car subject to failure at 100,000+ miles?

Buy a good smart phone with a nationwide and Canada plan, and a car charger to go along with it. Add apps for AAA (if you are a member), and various hotels as well as a rental car company that picks you up, like Enterprise.

A full size spare is nice but eats up a TON of room in the trunk. If that’s OK with you, go ahead. I’d leave it behind. Same with hoses and belts. A 300C is not exactly exotic anywhere in the US or Canada and the roads are not exactly “arduous” anymore. Heck the AlCan highway is completely paved now. Detroit city streets are rougher than the AlCan.

Do all the maintenance you normally do and a few that tend to get ignored like brake fluid flush, transmission fluid and filter change, cabin air filter change, and differential fluid and power steering fluid. All that is past due at 95K if you haven’t done it.

Ignore the transmission fluid cooler unless you plan to tow a trailer, the car doesn’t need it.

If any issues arise on the trip, use the phone to summon help, get a tow and find a hotel near the auto shop that will be repairing your car. Rent one if the repair is longer than you’d like to stay and pick it up on the way home.

Enjoy your trip!

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A thorough car inspection, good tires and brakes, fresh fluids, and full tank of gas, and I wouldn’t worry about the car too much, eh?

Besides taking a passport/passport driver license, car registration, proof of insurance I’d check with my car insurance agent, if you haven’t done so already, eh?

They will probably need to supply you with a Canada Motor Vehicle Liability / Canada Inter-province card.

You don’t say how long (time-wise) you’ll be in Canada, but make sure you’ll be covered, as a limit could apply, eh?


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Wife and I took our 2015 300C on an over 14K miles trip across and around the country this year. Not a single problem and no oil change. I run synthetics fluids and changed it before and after the trip. Considered joining AAA before the trip, but decided against it.

Enjoy your road trips.

did you add any oil on 14k trip?

Wow! it looks like AAA Emergency Road Service covers drivers in Canada, too, eh?

Through my major insurance company (Not AAA) I was paying for road service on several cars.

When I looked into AAA I only needed one policy to cover my wife and I in ANY of our cars or anybody’s car, for that matter.

Plus, now they cover bicycles!

I cancelled my old road service insurance and bought AAA.
We build up discounts for referring people, making purchases, etcetera.

We leave one car in FL all the time and run another one south in the fall and back north in the spring. I feel better knowing that I’m covered in all vehicles, including bicycles!

Plus, you can’t beat all the maps and trip planning help, eh Bud?

You are planning farther ahead than I would. Did 1 1k mile round trip a month ago in my 03 with 190k miles. I figure if I keep up with needed stuff no need to carry spare parts. If it dies find a hotel until it is fixed.

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It gets to a point where that attitude is the best approach. No matter what you prepare for or what spare parts you take, if you encounter a problem, it will be for something you never planned (see Laws of Murphy).

Agree that if you keep up with “needed stuff” then there’s no problem hopping in for an extended road trip. I keep up with “needed stuff” on the old Grand Prix, pack up, and drive 1500 miles in a little over a day. It runs like it does when I go to the store or to play golf, no problem… Purrs like a kitten.

Good advice here! You don’t need a transmission oil cooler, unless are tow a trailer. AAA membership is recognized by the CAA in Canada and they have service everywhere. US insurance is good in Canada as well.

This car will stand up fine and give you a comfortable holiday.

Service for the 300C is available all over Canada, but a spare belt might make sense.

Have a nice trip.

The kind of problems that crop up around the 100K mark tend to be

  • thermostat
  • water pump
  • alternator
  • battery
  • timing belt (if applicable)
  • radiator
  • brake and clutch master cylinders

So if you wanted to be extra pro-active you could replace all those with new ones. Since parts should be readily available on the road wherever you are, bring enough money so you can buy them when needed is probably the best advice I can offer. I might be tempted to replace the thermostat and do a pressure test on the cooling system myself, but that’s about it.

Common sense says at the minimum to bring all the routine maintenance up to date, check the tires and brakes to spec, and test the battery and charging system before you go. Best of luck.

You’re planning to drive through some very remote areas subject to extreme weather. I’d also want to have appropriate survival supplies.

I believe Quebec has a winter tire requirement law during certain months, eh. I’m not sure when you are travelling, what kind of tires you’re running, or whether you know about or are concerned about it, but just thought I’d throw it in since you mentioned Maine and Canada, eh.

It’s been my experience with road trips that I see more cars on the side of the road with tire trouble than anything else. Not saying that there are other reasons but the majority are tire related. Make sure you have good tires, that is quality tires in good condition. Take a compact 12V air compressor and a good tire gauge. Check and balance your tire pressures early in the morning a few days before you start the trip and go about 2-3 psi higher than the pressure listed on the placard. While on the trip, visually check your tires each day but don’t use the gauge unless a tire looks low or the TPMS light is on.

Take a cell phone and charger as recommended. If each of you have a cell phone, it is best if you are on plans with different companies, better chance of coverage although any company that hears a 911 call is obligated to pick it up even if you are not one of their customers.

If you stray off the beaten path, you should have 2 gallons of distilled water per person. The distilled water can double for the radiator if needed. This is in addition to the regular drinking water you plan on carrying. I always take a case of drinking water in the 700 ml sports bottles that i get from Costco. Also take a warm sleeping bag for each person just in case. I also take some food like fig bars and some juices for snacking. All of these can save your life if stranded, but are just convenient to have along if you find yourself hungry and a long way from the next town.

Lastly, take a GPS along, even a cheap Garman that you can get from Cabellas or Bass Pro for about $110. It doesn’t come with the built in maps so also get a good Atlas for the areas you will be traveling in. Look for an atlas with the GPS lines on the maps so you can locate yourself on hte map with the GPS unit. And take enough batteries, oh and a flashlight, a whistle and a mirror.

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