Question regarding 5k mile road trip:

thecarguyMarch 15, 2009

I've got a big road trip coming up in a couple of months, which includes stops in Louisiana, Michigan, Canada and Maine(I'm leaving from Orlando, FL.). We will have covered close to 5k miles after all is said and done. There will be three of us driving and we'll be in my 2006 4-cyl Accord which will have about 65k miles on it. I had the automatic trans. fluid changed at 30k miles and again at 60k. I have also done the routine oil and filter changes as well as had a brand new set of tires and brakes recently installed. We'll be on the road for 9 days and I plan for us to drive in shifts. We'll stop at our destinations and spend a day or so, but I don't plan to stop in between (such as overnight in a hotel). I plan for us to drive straight through between each of our planned destinations. This is okay with everyone, but they asked me if it would be okay for the car to run for that long without being shut down. I'm about 95% sure that it will be just fine, but we're not planning on a long stop between Florida and Canada. Should we concern ourselves with allowing the engine to cool/rest or just let it keep on trucking? I do use Penzoil Plat. synthetic oil and plan to have it changed before we leave and again when we return. The coolant isn't due for replacement until after 100k miles. Just looking to get everyones opinions on what (if any) effect running the car for a couple of days at highway speeds non-stop a few times throughout the trip will have on the drivetrain and what I might need to do to ensure that we have a safe and reliable trip. Thanks in advance.

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Driving like that, is infinitely easier on the car than it is on the people in the car. JMHO. If you guys can handle it, the car will do just fine. VBG.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:33AM
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Just remember, if you go to synthetic oil, you can't change back to regular oil.

The car will handle the driving time just fine.

Enjoy the journey.
eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:03AM
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Popular myth..

"Just remember, if you go to synthetic oil, you can't change back to regular oil. "

There is no scientific reason that conventional oil cannot be used after a synthetic one has.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 10:06AM
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Continuous driving at reasonable speeds is fine so long as there is no over heating problem, and engine fluids remain within service limits. Fluids: engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid. Of these, the two most important fluids are engine oil level and coolant. The other fluids do not change level much unless thier systems develops a leak.

In fact, continuous driving creates less engine wear per mile than cyclic driving, e.g., warming up and driving 10 miles, and then shutting off to start again after full or partial cool down.

About 30 yeara ago, GM ran engine wear tests to answer this question. (It was related to the practice of truckers letting their engines idle in cold weather while they ate a meal.) The tests showed that most of the wear happened in the first 15 minutes from cold start.

GM measured wear by ssmpling engine oil and counting the amout of metal particles. When they wished to investigate a specific part, for exmaple, piston rings, irradiated rings were installed (or rings with a small amount of radioactive metal) and the radiation count of the oil was monitored. Their conclusion was that the marjority of wear occurred on cold start to warm up.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 3:24AM
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Drive it. If it's going to brake down it will do it on the
road. I had a guys van in the shop i worked in years ago.
The V8 ran on 6 cylinders. you couldn't see the motor for
oil leaks. It was a fire hazard. He asked me if it would
make California and back. I told him i would be suprized if
it made it out of my stall. It did make it there and back.
He and his van were back next month. Drive it. It will do one of two things. It will make it or it won't. Don't worry
about it. Have a nice trip. There is alway Murphys law.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 3:42PM
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What a cool trip! You need an extra driver?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 7:46PM
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save time and money by skipping michigan, its a crphole.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:43PM
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Thanks for all of the replies everyone. I'm not worried about the car making it or not, I would sure hope it would... it's a 2006 Accord. I still drive my 1996 Honda Accord w/ 330,000+ miles on 5-10 hour road trips. I've owned the car since it had 45,000 miles and it has only broken down once when the transmission conked out at 290,000. The engine (2.2L 4-cylinder) has NEVER quit for anything. The 06 has also been free of any mechanical problems so far in 61,000 miles. I maintain my cars well as I do a lot of traveling for my 'second' job (transporting motion picture fim) which is why I have over 60,000 on the 06 Accord and 330k on the 96. The cars are definitely used to traveling... I've just never driven for more than 10-12 hours at a time without stopping for at least 8 or more hours.

I will def. check all of the fluids before we hit the road and I'll just let it keep running.

As for the synthetic oil... I don't plan to switch back to dino. I use Pennzoil Platinum in the 06 and change it per the built in maintenance minder system (which is usually about every 5-7,000 miles). I've used Mobil 1 synthetic in the 96 Accord since I bought it. If I HAD to switch back to dino for what ever reason, I'd do it. I'd be hard pressed to believe that the engine would self destruct if I switched from synthetic to dino. Lol.

To bonebloodyidle: We are looking forward to the trip. A lot of people think we are crazy and can't understand how we could enjoy such a long trip in a car... but everyone has their hobbies and joys in life, and mine is driving. I LOVE to drive and I love road trips. I'd love to be a full time corrier, but I'm very happy at my current full time job (and I do have a 60 mile commute). I couldn't make enough money working full time for the film developing lab, but they know I'm always available and willing to do their 'emergency' runs on the weekends and in the evenings.

Billh: The only reason we are stopping in Michigan (Dearborn heights to be exact) is because I lived there for a couple of years while I attended school at Macombe community college. I haven't been back since I moved back home in 2004, so I'd like to just drive around and revisit some good memories.

You guys would laugh if I told you how many times I drove from Michigan back home to Orlando, FL during the 2 years that I lived there. I'll give you a hint... I bought my little 1996 Honda Accord in 2002 with 45,000 miles and it had 170,000 when I moved back in 2004. Ah, some good times... :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 9:48PM
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good luck with the trip, dearborn heights, not far from me, i`am in trenton. and i cant wait to retire and go back home to fla. fyi if you have trouble theres a big honda dealer at telegraph rd and mich avenue.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 1:02AM
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fyi if you have trouble theres a big honda dealer at telegraph rd and mich avenue.>>>

LaFontaine Honda... will never go back. Long story. I went in there for a transmission fluid change and the car was given back to me with a major transmission problem... it was skipping 2nd-3rd gear and check engine light was on. They told me that I would probably need a new transmission and they wanted to charge me for diagnostics. I actually drove the car 1300 miles back home to Orlando to my family mechanic (thank God that 4th gear worked!) and as it turned out, the tech. must have cut the TCU wires or something of that nature. My mechanic hooked/spliced the wires back together and the trans. was fine. I filed a complaint with Honda of America.

I drove a little extra to the Honda dealership at the Troy auto mall in Troy, MI where I worked.

Btw, I didn't live too far at all from Telegraph and Mich. Ave. I lived off of Ford Rd. about a mile from the Ford Headquarters and right near the Southfield Fwy. In fact, the apt. community that I lived in (Springwells Apts.) was originally built by Henry Ford for the original Ford factory workers.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 5:15PM
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sorry to hear that i always had good luck at lafontane, theres another honda dealer on eureka rd in southgate, closer than troy. have a good trip, i`ll be heading down your way in a week, heading to ocala, not too far from orlando.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:41AM
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I am one of those who loves the journey more than what you do when you get there. Being a hand carry courier has sent me all over the world, from Mexico to Hong Kong, just to deliver the part, turn round and come back again. I have lost count of the number of new years I have seen in six miles above the Noth Atlantic in a 747. And I do the same within Europe where it works out faster to do it in the car than on a plane. There's nothing I like better than to drive across Europe just to spend one night at my destination, then turn round and drive some of the best roads in the world like my hair is on fire to bring me home again.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:51PM
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thecarguy...I have put on a few long distance drives from 3k to 5k miles on an Accord that is 3 years older than yours. Some of those driving legs have been 24 hours of straight driving on the car. As the others have said, if you check you fluids at gas stops you will be fine and the car will thank you for the long drive and check ups. Switch between dino and synthetics oils as you wish...there will be no problems. Enjoy the drive and relish the memories.

"Sean McDonagh Racing"

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 9:52PM
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"the car will thank you for the long drive" I can second that. My wife only did a few miles here and a few miles there, whereas I do a very high mileage. Every so often we would swap cars for a day so I could give her car a good long run without making an unnecessary journey. The next day she would immediately notice the improvement. It is short journeys when the engine is cold that kills a car.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:10PM
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BTW Not sure what your overall plans are, but since you will be in the area and if you like roller coasters I'll suggest you visit Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cedar Point

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:13AM
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oh yea, and if you dont like amusement parks, at least spend a dat on south bass island, and put in bay. and stop by tony paco`s for a dog on your way back to i-75.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Put in Bay, absolutely!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:02PM
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To everyone: Thank you for all of the feed back and trip tips... GREATLY appreciated!

Quite a few other people recommended that I visit Ceder Point when I was living in Michigan, but I never got around to going... we'll definitely try to make it there, especially since we've decided to add a few more days to the trip. We don't want to be in a rush the entire time. This is, afer all, our vacation. I'll add Put in bay to the list as well.

Bonebloodyidle: I couldn't tell you how many times I've driven a long distance, only to turn around and come back home the next day. My jaunts to New Orleans (which is a 700 mile one-way drive) are usually no more than a weekend long... leave home Friday night after work, arrive in New Orleans on Saturday morning and leave Sunday afternoon to return home for work on Monday morning.

There have also been many trips that had no destination... I'd just drive until I decided that it was time to turn around and head back. I've actually done that a few times recently on my days off, now that fuel prices have come down. Gives me a chance to be alone, unwind and think.

Casey: Is your car the 4 or 6-cylinder engine? I have the 4-cylinder... but it moves the car quite well with the i-Vtec, dual over head cam and 5-speed automatic combo. I have no problems merging into highway traffic or passing someone at highway speeds. The engine is only running at 2500 rpms at 75 mph. No timing belt to replace, either... although I will have the chain and chain guide inspected at the 120k mile shceduled tune-up.

What is the mileage on your car and what problems (if any) have you encountered? I'm at 61,000 on the 06 and it's only been back to the shop for basic maintenance so far. Gas mileage has actually gradually increased along with the mileage. My best average so far has been 38 mpg on the highway.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:29PM
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Speaking of road trips, I've been been trying to imagine my ideal road trip. There's another discussion site I've been on where people are talking about their ideal road trip cars. It's fun to think about.

Here is a link that might be useful: Top Ten Trip Cars

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 3:39PM
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It will work just fine as long as good oil as you said is in the engine. One thing i check first back when i used to drive long trips is the belts and the hoses, make sure those are good. The other thing most people over look is differential oil in the rear end, make sure that is full. What wears todays cars out is like a user stated above of the cold to hot warm up of the engine and next is in town and in city driving of up and down reving and a drive train going through the gears.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 10:46PM
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