Heading for a road trip allows us to enjoy a much-warranted break from the daily schedule.
Taking time away from your daily routine or job and enjoying some time on the road can be very relieving.
However, you might get stressed wondering whether your old car will make it through the road trip.
So, Can You Take a Car With 100,000 Miles on A Road Trip?
Yes, you can take a car with 100,000 miles on a road trip. While a car with more than 100,000 miles has a higher chance of experiencing issues, it’s still very reliable if maintained regularly with fluid and oil changes. If you have been keeping on top of fluid and oil changes and regular maintenance, you will not likely develop unexpected issues suddenly. You should check a high mileage vehicle before a road trip, but if no known issue exists, you can feel confident about taking your high mileage car on a long road trip. Batteries and tires are the most common roadside emergency, so check these components well.
Your high mileage car can probably handle a road trip if you consistently rely on it daily.
However, if it develops a new problem each time you drive it, you should consider having it well checked before you trust it.
Either way, having it properly serviced and checked by a trusted professional before heading for a road trip will give you some peace of mind.
How Old Is Too Old to Take a Car on A Road Trip?
When planning for a road trip, you want to feel confident that your car will make the drive without hitches.
This said, only because a car is old doesn’t mean you can’t rely on it. Many cars have been on the road for more than 20 years.
The main consideration for older cars is how well you have maintained them. Does the oil get changed regularly?
Is it given a regular turn-up? Has it been inspected recently?
Regular maintenance is the secret to maintaining an older vehicle on the road for long.
If the old car has been maintained properly at the normal service intervals, it should not have any problems on a road trip except the normal issues experienced by even the newer cars.
To ensure you are on the safe side, you should only take your old vehicle on a road trip if you aren’t comfortable responding to a breakdown event.
However, if you think a breakdown would be a stressful experience for you, then a car with high mileage will not be worth the risk.
But your trip length and destination are also important considerations.
Eleven Tips For Preparing a High Mileage Car for A Long Trip
Before you take a high mileage or old car on a road trip, you should make a few considerations. Some of these include;
1. Check The Tires
As expected, tires are significant to comfort, safety, and fuel efficiency; hence it’s vital to inspect their condition before a road trip.
If your car tires have been driven for miles or sitting in the parking for an extended period, you should consider replacing them.
Also, if the tires have low treads or have become drily rotted, you should replace them before you head out for the trip. Ensure to replace even your spare tire.
2. Check Your Oil
Older vehicles often leak or burn oil to a particular degree.
Therefore, inspect your car’s oil before you depart to ensure it is in good condition and level.
Having your car run out of oil when driving can result in severe engine damage, and you might be forced to replace it.
3. Carry A Fire Extinguisher with You
Regardless of mileage or age, keeping a functional fire extinguisher in your car is highly recommended.
In case of a small fire in the car, you can put it out without much trouble.
However, if the car occurs below the hood, you should promptly exit the car and dial 911.
4. Lights And Brakes
Lights and brakes are essential components of any car.
Before the road trip, check the lights outside and inside the car to ensure they all work well.
Have a mechanic inspect the brakes, particularly if they feel squeaking or soft.
5. Give Your Vehicle A Tune-Up
A car tunes up involve replacing the vehicle components that keep it driving smoothly.
These components include the oil filter, oil, air filter, spark plugs & wires, and others.
You should never skip replacing these essential parts when required, particularly in an old car.
6. Inspect Coolant Levels
The car coolant keeps its engine cool, preventing it from overheating.
Older cars often get leaks in the radiator, making them operate on insufficient coolant. Engine overheating on your car could mean significant repair work will be required.
You can easily avoid such costly repairs by inspecting your coolant levels.
7. Top Off All Car Fluids
We have already talked about checking the coolant levels and changing the oil.
However, there are other fluids that you should also check. Instruct your mechanic to top off all the car’s fluids, including brake fluid, power steering fluid, and wiper fluid.
8. Check Your Seatbelts
Normally, everything breaks down over time, and seatbelts on your car are no exception.
While seatbelts are installed to help save a life during a collision, they can also be harmful if not functioning properly.
So, ensure your seatbelts are in good condition and lock and release seamlessly.
9. Get A Roadside Emergency Kit
A roadside emergency kit is a must when going for a road trip, particularly if you have an older vehicle.
The kit commonly includes; flashlights, jumper cables, first aid supplies, and other items you might require in an emergency. Make sure you have the kit in your car at all times.
10. Clean Your Car
Ensure your car is properly cleaned in the interior and exterior before going for a road trip.
Having trash on the floor and dirty windows can cause severe consequences in particular conditions and should hence be addressed immediately.
11. One Final Check
Once you do all the listed checkups, you should consider giving your car the last check.
Check to be sure that your emergency lights, horn, heat & AC, signals, etc., are all well functional.
Ensure the air and heat conditioning is working well for proper comfort inside the vehicle.
Because you are preparing a high-mileage car for a road trip, you can’t afford to take chances.
Generally, your car being old or having a high mileage does not mean you cannot take it on a road trip.
Before a road trip, consider your vehicle’s condition to ensure it will be reliable.
An older car with more than 100,000 mileages can conveniently complete a long trip, but you should provide it with a full checkup and necessary fixes.
With all the car concerns taken care of, you can enjoy your travel safely.