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  1. #1
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    n00b car question :-)

    Hi guys! EJ here. With the vast knowledge here on Foo, I couldn't resist to ask y'all a question.

    Ok, I will be driving my 2004 VW Jetta (56,000k miles) 1,200 miles in three days, from Dallas to Colonial Heights, VA (near Richmond).
    Day 1 = 460 miles Dallas - Memphis
    Day 2 = 450 miles Memphis - Bristol, TN
    Day 3 = 300 miles Bristol - C.H.

    My question is whether my Jetta can take that drive, and if there are any precautions I should know about. I am trying to avoid any problems along the way.

    What should I know/do beforehand for this journey if I need to?
    What should I ask the dealership people tomorrow morning before its checkup?
    Should I restrict max speed <65mph?

    Thanks for any help!

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    You probably have nothing to worry about. Make sure that it's tuned up and has an oil change and you should be good to go.

    5 years back I drove my Toyota Pickup with 100k miles across the country, hauling my wife's Honda on a trailer. No trouble at all.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  3. #3
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ123 View Post
    Hi guys! EJ here. With the vast knowledge here on Foo, I couldn't resist to ask y'all a question.

    Ok, I will be driving my 2004 VW Jetta (56,000k miles) 1,200 miles in three days, from Dallas to Colonial Heights, VA (near Richmond).
    Day 1 = 460 miles Dallas - Memphis
    Day 2 = 450 miles Memphis - Bristol, TN
    Day 3 = 300 miles Bristol - C.H.

    My question is whether my Jetta can take that drive, and if there are any precautions I should know about. I am trying to avoid any problems along the way.

    What should I know/do beforehand for this journey if I need to?
    What should I ask the dealership people tomorrow morning before its checkup?
    Should I restrict max speed <65mph?

    Thanks for any help!
    Kids these days. Why, when I was your age, sonny, I used to drive a 25 year old Jeep with an unknown number of miles all over the place. Did I worry about it? Hell no! I mean, my wheel fell off at one point, the fan went through the radiator, and the beast just died once, but that still didn't stop me!

    56,000 miles is nothing on a new cars. Just check the oil and if it hasn't been serviced in a while, do that. Make sure all your fluids are topped up and your the air pressure in your tires is correct. Do these checks daily or more if needed, but apart from that, there's nothing more I would do.

    Restrict your speed if you want to conserve fuel, but your car was designed for highway speeds, so there really isn't any reason to restrict it, unless something is funky with the car already.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about it. My Dad and I drove a 1993 Acura Legend with 100,000+ miles on it (we had two of them) to Boston and back, possibly with a seeping head gasket and some other unknown issues. Got there and arrived just fine, even after pushing it on the highway (hit 120 mph at one point, and spent a lot of time over 75).

    I know the total mileage is a far cry from your trip, but it should show that, other issues notwithstanding, your car should complete the trip with no issues.
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  5. #5
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    You probably have nothing to worry about. Make sure that it's tuned up and has an oil change and you should be good to go.

    5 years back I drove my Toyota Pickup with 100k miles across the country, hauling my wife's Honda on a trailer. No trouble at all.
    big difference there is that you're using an indestructible toyota pickup while he's using a VW.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  6. #6
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I loved the Jetta that I rented. Floated at 90 mph on the highway like a swan.
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  7. #7
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Kids these days. Why, when I was your age, sonny, I used to drive a 25 year old Jeep with an unknown number of miles all over the place. Did I worry about it? Hell no! I mean, my wheel fell off at one point, the fan went through the radiator, and the beast just died once, but that still didn't stop me!

    56,000 miles is nothing on a new cars. Just check the oil and if it hasn't been serviced in a while, do that. Make sure all your fluids are topped up and your the air pressure in your tires is correct. Do these checks daily or more if needed, but apart from that, there's nothing more I would do.

    Restrict your speed if you want to conserve fuel, but your car was designed for highway speeds, so there really isn't any reason to restrict it, unless something is funky with the car already.
    reminds me when I was a kid, my mom's civic wagon broke it's radiator and we had to crank the heat to maximum in the midst of summer. I think it did 1000 miles in summer with that before the crankshaft finally broke.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  8. #8
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd probably make sure the fluids are topped off (and a fresh oil change), check the air pressure in the tires, including spare, check condition of the air filter perhaps but with ~56k it's probably been replaced not too terribly long ago. Oh, and just for the sake of being fairly complete about it, check when you but the battery in the car. Doubtful that a battery would start giving you issues during such a short trip, but you never know.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I'll agree with what others have said about car prep.

    But, 3 days for a 1200 mile trip? My wife and I make it from Tulsa to Jacksonville NC in just 2. Oh, well, if you're planning on taking I-40 through Arkansas, the state patrol likes the state lines, around their stations, and Little Rock. East of Little Rock, you can cruise at 90 with no problem it's so flat and relatively straight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  10. #10
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    When you go to the VW dealership and bend over...don't clench.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  11. #11
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    When you go to the VW dealership and bend over...don't clench.
    I grew up writing service at a VW store, and clenching only made us push harder.

    For a 1200 mile trip in that car, your biggest worry should be stocking up the music selection. You don't wanna get stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to listen to but preachers and country singers.
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
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    If you have a car bra, this would be the perfect time to use it since the front skirt of the car will be covered with bugs! Also, take quality breaks to keep the car cool in between long stretches. Other than that, take the listed advice previously posted, and have a fun/safe trip!

  13. #13
    I ain't no newbie redirekib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teatoe View Post
    If you have a car bra, this would be the perfect time to use it since the front skirt of the car will be covered with bugs! Also, take quality breaks to keep the car cool in between long stretches. Other than that, take the listed advice previously posted, and have a fun/safe trip!
    Nonsense, heating and cooling cycles are far worse than remaining at operating temperature.
    "Never send a monkey to do a man's job." ~ Captain Leo Davidson ~

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    Heating and cooling is what the radiator thermostat is for regulating. If the radiator can't keep the vehicle in operating temperature, then its faulty.

    I also second the bra for the long trip, although I've never bothered with buying one for any vehicles.

    As for what to check for a long trip, in general, I ask a mechanic to check, or if a component is even near its end of service life, change it out:

    1: Serpentine belt -- this breaks, you buy a new engine or a new car.

    2: Oil. For long trips, depending on car mileage, synthetic is always good as it lasts longer without breaking down. Make sure to get what the car maker wants... not just grab 10W40 off the self and drop it in. Also, consider having changed not just the engine oil, but the ATF fluid and the brake fluid.

    3: Battery and electrical system. If either the battery or alternator dies, you are stranded. Since you have had the vehicle for four years, the battery may be nearing the end of its life, so it can't hurt to change it out preemptively.

    4: Brake pads/rotors.

    Other things to consider:

    1: Consider a decent high capacity MP3 player such as the iPod Classic with at least an 80GB drive or one of the larger capacity Zunes, if you can afford it. You want to bring as much music as possible with you. An iPod Touch or an iPhone may not have the playing time you want for a long ride.

    2: Consider checking with your insurance company or AAA for a tow rider or whatnot. This can come in quite handy.

  15. #15
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    i drove from Charleston SC to Atlanta in a 150k mile 1986 Mazda 626 GT, averaging around 85 mph, with one spark plug lead disconnected.

    i drive a 310k mile 1990 Honda Civic daily, usually at speeds in excess of 75 if i'm on the interstate, and it's leaking every fluid it has from almost every orifice it has. gets good gas mileage, though.

    56k mile German car for a piddly 1200 mile road trip? no problem. and drive as fast as is safe - Germany invented the autobahn, right?

  16. #16
    Surf Bum
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    Bring some extra oil with you because the Jetta will burn a bit. It's just the way they are. We've owned two Golfs and have never had any problems with them at all, but do need to add oil now and then.

    If it were me, I'd change the oil, make sure i've got myvalentine 1, and drive 85 the whole way. have fun.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    At that mileage, even for a car made in Mexico, I don't know why there would be a problem. If the tires are good, the oil is fresh, and it runs fine, I can't see why you'd expect any problems.

    Still probably a good idea to carry a socket set, coolant, a full size spare, brake fluid, oil and transmission fluid, but I do that everywhere I go anyway.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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    My wife relatively recently drove a 1991 Corolla from Washington (state) to MN, non-stop, 26 hours straight without stopping. And it worked perfectly.

    I didn't know her at the time, though, thank goodness, or I would have been on edge for a while.

    Just check the oil and you will be fine. Heck, when my wife and I used to drive back and forth to Cincy regularly, we just hopped in the car and went ('03 ION, 920 miles one way).

  19. #19
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    my car has 213,000 miles on it. HTFU!

  20. #20
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    I'm assuming that your car gets regular 'normal' servicing by a mechanic, so this is a list of those little things that you should know how to do yourself. If you don't know where all this stuff is under the hood, ask some old-guy to show you - 2 mins of worthwhile knowledge.
    -------------

    Long distance drive standard/basic maintenance checks.

    1. clean all windows, inside and out. Helps your vision. The dirty film on the inside of your windscreen can be a problem in certain weather/light conditions.

    2. wipe clean your windscreen wiper blades.

    under the hood...

    3. fill the windscreen washer reservoir with a proper mix of water and washing fluid (not just any old thing like dishwashing liquid! It foams up like crazy)

    4. know how to check your oil (with the dipstick). top up with correct oil grade/spec before you start your trip (brand usually not important if spec ok). That way you know if the level has dropped during your long drive.

    5. inspect the water/coolant in your radiator (cap off only when cool). Rusty colour is not a good sign. Coolants are often wild green colours. Check level in secondary reservoir, top up with water or coolant (check spec) to ensure all ok before you go.

    6. look at levels on the brake fluid reservoirs. Top up if needed.

    7. look at battery terminals. Should be tightly attached. No sign of crazy white powder deposits. If things look strange, loosen terminals, scrub clean with wire brush, lubricate, re-attach.

    close hood

    8. check tyre air pressures. Manufacturer recommendations often on an information placard in the glove compartment or the inside of the front door frame (seen when door open). Often the recommended is a bit low for my taste (erring on side of comfort), so an extra 2-4psi per wheel can give better mileage and handling. Often front tyres are 2-4psi higher than rear tyres. Small front-wd car suggestion - 32psi front, 28 rear.

    9. check tyre sidewalls for cuts and wear. Check tread for even wear.

    open trunk

    10. check that your spare wheel is full of air (put in 40psi or a little more, just in case it leaks slowly) and that you have all the tools for changing the wheel and using the jack etc

    11. empty out all the junk that you don't need on this trip. Hell, just empty the junk! Saves you fuel, gives you more room for you gear, means less noises and rattles.

    12. have useful tools/etc. Screw driver (flat and cross). Adjustable wrench. Jumper leads. Gloves to protect your hands if you need to change a tyre, work under hood. Old t-shirt as a rag. A garbage bag (for garbage or for laying/kneeling on beside the road). Small box with the little half full bottles of the oil and fluids you used to top up everything under the hood (don't haul big lots, just the little bit left over - this will save you some time and some $ half way through your trip). A towel is always useful and I always had an old picnic blanket.

    other random stuff

    Clean the interior. Rubbish out (some people drive around in mobile trash cans!) and a vacuum.
    Ensure you have a good road map.
    Pack some useful 'stuff' in your glove compartment like tissues, torch with spare batteries, gum, mints, spare fuses to suit your car (even if someone else replaces them for you, just having the right ones there is good. They are cheap).
    Take enough music for you sound system (tapes/cds/ipod) so you don't go too nuts.
    Don't have too much loose stuff in the cabin/back seat - when you hit the brakes it will hit you in the head or end up on the floor (and you don't want to take your eyes off the road to pick this ***** up.

    --------------------

    this is 45 mins of time well spent.
    Useful for new or old cars alike.

    I drove 25,000km around Australia over 4 months in a 15 year old Toyota Landcruiser. I have owned a couple of cars that I would have easily trusted to work fine on a 800km non-stop drive with little or no notice, despite being 10-15 years old and with 150k plus km on the clock.

    Know your machinery, trust it. Well maintained cars are pretty tough. Often it is the little things that stop you.
    Last edited by JonnyHK; 05-28-09 at 09:24 PM.

  21. #21
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    Thanks for you help guys.

    I got off the phone with the dealership. They said the radiator mounts or something is ajar, because I think a year ago, my sister was driving down the highway and hit a box at a great rate of speed. It even dented the license plate border. But they want to fix that and something else, sigh, for 500 bucks.

  22. #22
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    looks like you've gotten some great advice so far!
    are you due for an oil change? consider going synthetic for your trip - and as someone else said, bring an extra quart of oil along.
    check your filters
    air your tires

    clean oil + clean filters + properly aired tires will help you mush the MPG

    Check your spare tire and jack. I also like having a can of tire sealer & inflator in case of a flat. beware, though, once you use this on the tire you'll have to replace it.
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
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  23. #23
    Grumpy Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Only thing I would totally disagree with: If the car already has 56k, and did not already use it, don't switch to synthetic oil. You are asking for leaks. Fresh motor oil of the type already in use will be great.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariah View Post
    Transcendental enumeration.

  24. #24
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trsidn View Post
    Only thing I would totally disagree with: If the car already has 56k, and did not already use it, don't switch to synthetic oil. You are asking for leaks. Fresh motor oil of the type already in use will be great.
    Just what I was thinking. I just didn't want to be the first one to say it.

  25. #25
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    really? didn't realize that.

    nevermind
    i woke up one morning and i stepped out of bed | had to get a bike, had to paint it red
    Of all the treasures I have, it’s the memories that are the most precious.

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