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Getting Your Old Car Set for a Long Trip: Tips and Checks for a Safe Adventure

Published on Apr 25, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

At last! You've secured your dream destination and can't wait to embark on your much-deserved getaway. However, is your automobile suitable for lengthy trips? You might be asking yourself, "Can my high-mileage car handle a long journey?" Look through these safety measures before setting out to determine if your vehicle is prepared for the adventure ahead.


Can my old car handle this trip?

The initial concern you may have is, "Can my car withstand an extended journey?" Usually, the response is "it varies."


It's not typically the car's age that determines whether it's appropriate for long-distance driving. A well-maintained older or high-mileage vehicle should be safe for road trips. Nonetheless, if your car exhibits any of the problems mentioned below, a lengthy journey might not be advisable.


Does your car leak oil?

An oil leak is always a cause for concern and could indicate a more severe problem. A damaged engine gasket, deteriorated seals, or a leaking oil pan can all contribute to oil leaks, potentially causing significant damage to your car, particularly during extended trips.


If your car displays signs of an oil leak, such as oil pooling beneath it when parked, engine smoke, a burning oil odor, a lit oil light, or if you constantly need to refill oil between oil changes, your car might not be ready for a long journey.


Does your vehicle require constant replacements or repairs?

Are you on a first-name basis with the local towing service because your car wears out parts quickly? In that case, your automobile may not be prepared for a road trip. If components like brake parts, engine parts, tires, or batteries need frequent replacement, or if your transmission or engine often require repairs, there could be significant underlying issues that must be addressed.


Does your car regularly overheat while driving?

Multiple factors can cause your car to overheat frequently, and none are positive. A cooling system leak, a malfunctioning water pump, a defective radiator fan, or even a severe engine oil leak can all lead to engine overheating. This can result in other critical issues. If your engine's temperature gauge tends to rise the longer you drive, your vehicle is likely not suitable for a road trip.


Does your vehicle shake or vibrate excessively when you drive?

Don't overlook suspension issues. Excessive shaking or vibration while driving can sometimes be due to unbalanced tires. However, it can also indicate more severe problems like damage to the suspension system, issues with brakes or wheels, or broken engine mounts.


Persistent shaking while driving is not only irritating but also hazardous. Excessive vibration can cause other components to loosen, become damaged, or fail entirely. If your car feels unstable lately, a road trip could exacerbate the situation.


How to prepare your old car for a lengthy road trip:

The key to getting your car ready for a road trip is ensuring its reliability, rather than focusing on its age. If your vehicle is dependable for daily use and you keep up with regular maintenance, it should be suitable for a road trip. Trust the professionals at Kunes Service Center to thoroughly understand your car.


Schedule a comprehensive vehicle inspection before you leave, to help get your high-mileage car prepared for a long journey. During this inspection, a skilled Kunes Service Center technician will examine the engine, suspension, brakes, steering, tires, and more. A thorough vehicle inspection can help identify potential issues before they escalate into larger problems while traveling!

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