Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Will my car survive this road trip?

My car is a 2008, Ford Explorer, which we bought used, with 8000 miles on it, in 2012. It now has almost 55,000.
Right after we bought it, it had a “no power” incident. Coming out of a store, the car was completely dead.
The dealer had it towed. Problem, they said, was the computer system, and a new one, or parts of one, were installed. No problems along that line since, till last Fall.

Labor Day weekend, coming home after a three hour drive, I turned down our street, and lost all power. I was able to coast to our driveway.

To be truthful, I think the repair shop pretty much was guessing, with no clear idea of the cause. They did replace the alternator.

Now, in the near future, we’re planning on a month-long, several thousand mile trip. I’m nervous about taking this car. Should I be?

I too would be cautious about using any 12 year old car on a long trip. Computer systems can fail, but fail twice in 55K is unusual. Were there any warning lights prior to the car going dead? Is the battery/charging system good? It’s out of warranty now, you can tryan independent shop.

As far as your trip- -I would rent a car.

I would think the dealer did a good job if it lasted 8 years it is a good posibilty that this is a different problem.

1 Like

I woul rent a car. If the rental breaks down, a replacement would only be a phone call to the rental company away.

For me it would depend on how flexible your schedule is, and if you are willing to deal with the inconvenience of getting from where the car is towed to, to a motel. My last tow was on a Saturday afternoon, towed 75 miles to a station open on sundays. Got a flat, broke a stud due to rusted bolts from no hubcap I think. Called AAA, guy broke 2 more studs. Had to walk .5 mile and drag suitcases and pets to a hotel, sneak in 2 cats and a dog as pets are not allowed. The Sunoco station got some studs from a tires plus, and we were on the road by noon on Sunday. I consider that pretty lucky.

Maybe rental but they can be expensive depending. We rented a van with another couple for a trip to Florida for a week and it ended up costing me over $700. A snowbird I talked to last week said he checked on renting for a month and just bought a car instead. So you can check the rates and see.

I used to drive a car with 3-500,000 miles all around the state and usually had no problems. I think maybe a little pre-emptive work might be in order depending on what exactly the power loss was. If it was a true loss of battery power I might significantly check the condition of the ends of the battery cables or even replace them. Someone here said Ford cables are junk. If it was the engine stalling, could be anything. You’ve got a cell phone, get a motor club, sock the rental fee away for contingencies and have fun. I even used to carry a spare computer but really never needed it. Should be able to buy a few used spare parts cheap now if you really are concerned. Just in my humble opinion.

Doing wedding in Charleston, then going to Myrtle beach, pickup and drop off different cities, $378 a week unlimited mileage for a |C MAZDA 3 4 DOOR OR SIMILAR C00 ( ICAR ) INTERMEDIATE CAR AUTOMATIC AIR. I am sure you can find cheaper fares, but for some odd reason Charleston is expensive for everything. $320 direct flight to Charleston,69 direct flight from Myrtle Beach to Chicago. Suggested to wife Fly to Myrtle Beach do a 2 hour drive and save some , no way said she. Looks like the trip costs for NYC will be cheaper when we go in August for another wedding.

That’s scary – if you completely lose power on the interstate at night, you’ll get hit. Keep that in mind. Happened to a family of four here a few years ago. Their honda civic completely lost power and no one could see their car until it was too late. They were all killed.

They don’t say there were 2 computer failures.
1 computer replaced 8 years ago
1 alternator replaced 6 months ago.

I myself would have no problem driving this car cross country and back.

I got the impression they were concerned about the possibility of a second computer failure.

I wouldn’t hesitate to take this car on a long trip. The repairs were done long time ago. Maybe spending $100 and have it checked by a mechanic would be a good investment put you at ease.