Will my car make it cross country?


#1

I have.a 1995 izuzu rodeo an I plan on making a 1500 mile trip to Texas the car has 226,000 miles on it I jus had the water pump an all the belts changed haven’t had any other real problems with it I jus need some advice on if you think it will make it


#2

How long have you owned it? If you’ve had it for at least a couple of years and kept up on all maintenance, then it should be fine. How long has it been since you changed the fluids and filters? It would be a good time to change the trans fluid and coolant if they haven’t been done for a while.


#3

I get all fluids changed ever 2 months an I’ve owned it for a little over a year


#4

You may get the engine oil changed every 2 months, but I’m skeptical about the transmission, brake fluid, and coolant every 2 months.


#5

Pay a local independent mechanic to look it over for an hour and give you his/her best assessment.


#6

Like everyone says, it comes down to the basics. If this puppy has been fairly trouble free for extended 1500 mile intervals, it should be fine, theoretically. But, I wonder about parts and safety so I would rent a car as your history with it is not that long. They are not turnpike cruisers. Also, the key is how you drive it. Is the car ready for 75 mph speeds or will you drive it the same way on your daily uses you have been. What was fine at 45 mph, may not be OK at 75 for several days. The pressures can be higher for longer periods on these extended trips compared to what you do now. That would give me enough pause to rent as well. They never had a stella reliability record. What @jtsanders asks is key IMO. Regardless, have your AAA paid up and a charged cell phone handy.


#7

I agree with JoeMario that a pre-trip inspection would be a good idea. Also, it should go without saying that all scheduled maintenance needs to be up-to-date.

Even if everything seems to be in running order, it’s an old car with lots of miles, so you at least need to be prepared for a breakdown. Make sure you have appropriate clothing for the weather if nothing else.


#8

…and the OP should be sure to check all of his fluid levels every time that he stops for gas.
Even with fresh fluids, with a senior citizen vehicle like this, new leaks can develop at any time, and oil consumption can increase–especially if you are consistently driving at high speed.


#9

I’d say, if you are going on a round trip, rent a car. Use Orbitz.com or Costco.com or Priceline.com to find a car. A one way trip can be costly to rent, and then your vehicle is not with you. So, round trip; rent. One way; get ready and go. Stop and go driving is very hard on a car, long cruises are pretty easy as long as you keep your speed reasonable.


#10

Check the tire pressure and oil level and go for it.


#11

OK can it run another 50 hours for round trip? Ever had plugs, fuel filter, air filter, trans fluid and filter serviced? Asuming coolant fluid change, had the suspension components checked, if so go!


#12

Make sure you have the car inspected and maintenance brought up to date well before you leave. You need to drive around town 2 weeks or so before leaving. Many drivers, me included, have had the misfortune to have leaks or hoses blow off when on a holiday trip!


#13

I like Doc’s suggestion of having the maintenance done at least a week or so prior to the trip. That way, the OP will have a chance to verify all fluid levels (mistakes can happen), and to make sure that there are no new leaks following the maintenance (mistakes can happen!).

If, after fluid checks and verification that there are no new leaks, everything looks good, then the OP can set off with a reasonable degree of confidence. The very last thing to do before leaving is to make sure that the tires are correctly inflated, and to do this pressure check when the tires are cold (before driving more than a mile or two).


#14

How well it’s been maintained is the key.

My 4runner has over 260k miles on it…and I wouldn’t hesitate to drive to California and back.


#15

I like @Wentwest suggestion. One way, take it and pray. Two way, 3000 miles and return, rent a car.
With all due respect @MikeInNh, a 2003 4Runner is not an 7 year older Rodeo. The Rodeo was not one of the more reliable SUVs to begin with new and certainly not a Toyota. Parts are not aplenty for a 17 year old Isuzu like they are for a 10 year old Toyota. Plus, he has but a one year maintenance history with the car while you have had 10 with your Toyota. Giving up smoking for one year does not a completely healthy body make. You are absolutely right; how it was maintained is very important too. But I feel for the entire 17 years and not one, is the key.


#16

It will likely make it if in good condition. There are plenty of older, high-mileage cars on the highways. Steady highway miles are easy on cars. If it is a pleasure trip, have fun. If it isn’t a pleasure trip, try turning it into one by planning a route through great scenery with lots of interesting places to stop and take a break.

Not necessarily major attractions that will make your trip a lot longer, just beauty spots and historical sites (if you’re interested in that sort of thing.) If you’re in a hurry stick to the Interstates, but if you can afford an extra day or two take the two lane federal and state highways where you won’t be blasting along in a parade of trucks with nothing to look at.

The exception being urban areas, of couse. In my childhood we travelled Route 66 every year from LA to Joplin. Before freeways OK City and Albuquerque were just awful and took forever to cross. Every year there was a little more of I40 open and we’d lose another piece of 66. At the time we thought it was great, but there were far fewer trucks.

I love the idea of a nice road trip. The western US hardly has any really dull places (the San Joaquin Valley is one) so it is easy to lay out a great route.


#17

1500 miles really isn’t much, but Dag made a good point. If you were to breakdown half way across the country in many cars you can readily find parts. Not necessarily so with this vehicle.

But 50% of the answer really is dependent upon the condition of the Rodeo, the other 50% on whether or not this is a one way trip. If it’s a one way trip, get it serviced and checked out before leaving and be prepared with a AAA card, a cell phone, and a “plan B” if it fails. If it’s to be a round trip, you might be better to rent.


#18

I guess our advice differs somewhat with age and willingness. I picture making my wife and I ride in a 17 year old Rodeo and having it break down. Divorce papers would immediately be served. Now, if OP is single and the adventurous type, then I’m with the rest of you. At my age, I’m much more of a wiener then I used to be and my advice, I guess, reflects it.


#19

If the engine and transmission appear to be solid then in theory anyway the vehicle should make the trip with no problem. Look at it this way. Would you feel secure motoring around for the next few thousand miles in your current driving habits? If so, a few thousand highway miles should not be an issue.

You really need to keep an eye on fluid levels and not rely on the levels remaining in the safe range during the entire trip.
A good habit to develop is glancing at the temperature gauge now and then; keeping an eye out for any warmer than normal running temps, etc.
I’ve carped on this with my wife for 30 years but the only gauge that matters to her is the gas gauge so that advice is null and void with her. Maybe it will help you… :slight_smile:

If it brings any optimism, many years ago I made a cross country trip in a 10 dollar car. The only problem during the trip was a flat tire about halfway across the Mojave Desert of all places.


#20

The Mojave is where we always broke down as a kid, about half a day from home. Nothing major, just a tire, or maybe a belt or hose, but it always left us spending the night in Needles instead of Flagstaff. In those days our SW didn’t have AC and getting through the first day was tough. Even though it was hot the rest of the way, too, 95 is not 115. Getting to Flagstaff was much to be desired with its great mountain weather. If we broke down we ended up lunching there, also quite nice.

The next car, a '71 Ford Country Sedan, had AC, though it was somewhat unreliable. Mom always made sure it was working before the vacation. She’d had enough of being blasted with hot air through open windows with a damp washcloth plastered to her forehead. We didn’t have six of them so it got passed around, refreshed with ice water from a one gallon Thermos jug, also our drinking water.

Fun days. I have always felt so lucky that my parents loved to travel (at least 3 weeks every summer.) I’d been to over 40 states and much of Canada and Mexico by the time I was 16. Now I wish I could relive those wonderful trips (mostly camping in a tent.)