Thoughts on old cars and road trips


My Ford Probe I drove 17,000 miles around the USA

My Ford Probe I drove 17,000 miles around the USA


I bet a lot of you really want to go somewhere but you think because you have an old car it wont make it out of town.  Well in some cases you may be right, but usually your old car can take you a lot farther than you think.  I had a 1989 Ford Probe that I bought for $800 in Carson City, NV.  I had it for 3 months when I decided I wanted to take a road trip all the way around the USA.  I really wanted to go but I didn’t want to take my old car and get stuck somewhere on the road.  The only problem was that I would never be able to afford a new car….So I decided to find out a little more about cars.

Autozone has a feature on their website where you can plug in the year/ make/ model of your car and then you will get a complete repair manual for your car.  It will tell you everything from how to take out your engine to changing your fuses.  First I always suggest that you change your spark plugs and wires ( which is very easy and inexpensive. )  This will make your car run smoother and get better gas mileage.   Another thing to remember is to ALWAYS check your oil and other fluids before you leave on an extended drive.  It is very easy and only takes a second.  Something as small as checking your fluids can add YEARS on your old car.  Just don’t think because you added 3 quarts last week that it wont need another 3 this week.  Some older cars can burn through oil at an alarming rate!  At that point I usually suggest selling it (maybe on craigslist?) and getting a new one.  When I went on my road trip I would drive for 3 hours and then let my car cool down and check all my fluids.  This is a good thing to do for any car when your driving a long distance.

You can also invest in AAA or some other type of roadside assistance.  You can find this through many different places like insurance companies, and even some phone companies.  This will help in case you need a tow, change a flat, run out of gas, lock your keys in your car, ect…..I upgraded my policy through Gieco and got roadside assistance and full coverage for $60/ month (prices vary by age, driving record, ect….)  I never had to use it and I downgraded when the trip was done but I had it if I needed it.

The last bit of advice is to make sure somebody knows where you’re at and what you’re driving.  This is a very small detail but its nice to know that if something happens to you that someone knows at least where you were headed.  It may sound bleak but its a great precaution to take.

Other than those few tips  I just want to say….”don’t let anything hold you back from what you really want to do”.  Where there’s a will there’s a way right?  Get out there and see more than your hometown.  Even if that just means going on a “country cruise” a few towns over.  Just remember to check your fluids!