Car question for smart people

Arin38

Dryer sheet aficionado
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
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About to take a 1994 Toyota 4Runner (94k miles) on a cross country trip. I'd like to avert a major disaster on the road and will take it into the mechanic next week.

Any thoughts on key areas I should have checked/replaced/filled etc. that I might not otherwise consider? Brakes were recently done.

Oil and filter
Air filter
Spark pl.
Fluids and belts checked
Battery and terminals checked (may just get new battery....)
Wiper blades replaced
Spare checked
 
Don't forget about the brakes, as well as the tires actually on the vehicle
 
Hoses. In general, replace any belts, hoses, or other doodads that are loose, frayed, worn, or herniated.
 
Last summer we had the car serviced, the radiator flush, new fluids, etc at the dealer. Then went on vacation. The dealer mechanics did not secure the radiator hose properly and big whoosh.

So, maybe you shouldn't do anything to your car before a big trip?
 
Yes, I second the idea of no work on the car shortly before a major trip. Dad had a loose oil filter after an oil change spew oil. I had my throttle stick intermittently after service. You should have some time to make sure there are no problems after the work plus time to fix any problems that pop up.

Take spare rubber: wipers, serpentine belt and check the spare tire and all tires' pressure.
 
Print out a list of all the Toyota dealers (address and phone number) in the areas you are going to visit. Hopefully you won't need this. I recall being on vacation and having troubles with a non-US made car. Locating a dealer was a bit of work.

omni
 
I have an old 1985 VW camper so this always comes up when we set off on a road trip. I'm in the camp that if your major systems are serviced on schedule and everything looks right then just go. You will probably make it in any case and you don't know what will go out and often you can get services along the way if necessary (my camper loves AAA). Modern vehicles can go a long time. Are the miles on the 4runner over 200K? If not, I would just go.
 
I drive about 60,000 miles per year. 94,000 miles on a vehicle is moderate mileage to me. I perform maintenance to a schedule or when problems emerge. I do not try to perform preventive maintenance before long mileage trips. If I did, I would be constantly performing preventive maintenance. :)
 
((^+^)) SG said:
I drive about 60,000 miles per year.  94,000 miles on a vehicle is moderate mileage to me.  I perform maintenance to a schedule or when problems emerge.  I do not try to perform preventive maintenance before long mileage trips.  If I did, I would be constantly performing preventive maintenance.   :)

SG: You obviously go on a lot of long trips. (Easy on the car use). It would surprise me if you ever had to have a "brake job" before you get rid of car. ;) Using a car the way you do, I would guess you can get an amazing amount of mileage on your cars.

Contrast that to my daughter (Lives in Bay Area).
She has a 45 mile commute that takes her over 3 hours round-trip.

Her odometer will only show 90 miles a day, but her engine time, will more than double what mine, (or yours) will show, and thats "hard mileage". Braking system, etc. etc.

Her car is going to be pretty tired at an odometer reading of 94,000 miles. ;)

Hard to make a case of buying a used car that has been used in a heavy traffic metro area. ;)
 
ex-Jarhead said:
SG:  You obviously go on a lot of long trips. (Easy on the car use). It would surprise me if you ever had to have a "brake job" before you get rid of car. ;)  Using a car the way you do, I would guess you can get an amazing amount of mileage on your cars.

Contrast that to my daughter (Lives in Bay Area).
She has a 45 mile commute that takes her over 3 hours round-trip.

Her odometer will only show 90 miles a day, but her engine time, will more than double what mine, (or yours) will show, and thats "hard mileage".  Braking system, etc. etc.

Her car is going to be pretty tired at an odometer reading of 94,000 miles. ;)

Hard to make a case of buying a used car that has been used in a heavy traffic metro area. ;)
Those are all good points, Jarhead. Everyone has different driving needs and habits. Mine are probably not mainstream.

I always notice this when it is time to shop for another car. Reviews and advice pieces never seem to apply to my situation. :)
 
((^+^)) SG said:
I drive about 60,000 miles per year. 

Good Lord, at 50 mph average speed you spend 1200 hours a year driving.

If it were me, I'd want to go back to work, almost any work other than driving a cab or truck.

Ha
 
HaHa said:
Good Lord, at 50 mph average speed you spend 1200 hours a year driving.

If it were me, I'd want to go back to work, almost any work other than driving a cab or truck.

Ha
Well, that actually includes mileage on two vehicles and driving done by both my wife and I. But we do spend a lot of time on the road. It's not as much this year. When we do cross-country trips, we often drive 12 to 14 hours in a day. We listen to a lot of books on tape and study languages on the road. We also get a lot of planning done. Of course we average well over 50 mph on the long road trips. I would guess that we spent over 700 hours on cross-country trips last year.

I did drive a truck several years ago before I found out I could get paid to go to college. Now that did burn me out on driving for quite awhile.
 

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