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Planning a Road Trip... Impala Prep!

 
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Domo
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject:  Planning a Road Trip... Impala Prep! Reply with quote

Hey Guys,

Im Planning to drive Brandi (My Impala) from Wash DC, To Nashville Tenn. round trip for a Thanksgiving next month. Ive Never had a car with this many miles on it before (122,XXX) and Im a bit nervous about taking it on such a long distance trip. I know I have to get my Oil Changed, and check my tire pressure, but what else should I do to prepare it for the long trip? Here is a list of things already done/repaired on it...

Coolant Flush/Replaced Upper and Lower Intake Manifold Gaskets because of Leak
Cabin Filter Changed (lol)
New Tires Purchased in July w/ alignment
Replaced front Brake Pads/Rotors in January
Engine Flush (Jiffy Lube)

Lately, since the weather has been cooler, the Tranny has been slamming when put into drive, along with high RPM's when I turn the car on. Usually, I have to turn the car off and back on to get it to "reset" When I ask my local shop to do a drain and refill of the tranny fluid (Not a flush.. too many horror stories) they wont do it because of the mileage. And I dont have any tools or jacks to attempt to do it myself. Anything I really should be concerned about? Any other maintenance items I should do before taking on this trip? Thanks Guys.
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

First off, I'm sorry you have to come to Nashville. Laughing

Second, the only thing I'd be concerned about is your transmission issue. I don't necessarily agree with your mechanic telling you that you can't drop the pan and put fresh fluid in because of the mileage. However, if you are having issues, putting fresh fluid in might make the problem worse by breaking up whatever deposits are holding the transmission together.

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05imp
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:47 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

AAA membership
A good cellphone
A good spare tire and a good jack and 4 way.
A descent emergency fund (ATM or credit card don't keep a lot of cash on hand)
map

Edit: Also make sure you have some coats and warm clothing , shoes /boots in case you have to do a walkaround hunting for a good cell signal
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preston87
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:32 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

05imp wrote:

A good spare tire and a good jack and 4 way.


Check the air pressure in your spare tire. Many people miss this. It is supposed to be inflated to a much higher pressure than your other tires. 60psi, I think.
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sh8dybizness
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

The main thing I have always been concerned with before going otr in any of my rides were the fluid levels. Of course an oil change with the amount of miles you'll be traveling. Also imo the most important, the condition of my tires. If all of those are in check you shouldn't have any troubles. GL on your trip.

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PushrodPower
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:43 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

IffyG wrote:
First off, I'm sorry you have to come to Nashville. Laughing

Second, the only thing I'd be concerned about is your transmission issue. I don't necessarily agree with your mechanic telling you that you can't drop the pan and put fresh fluid in because of the mileage. However, if you are having issues, putting fresh fluid in might make the problem worse by breaking up whatever deposits are holding the transmission together.


X2. The transmission would make me rethink the whole trip. You sure as hell wouldn't want to get stranded miles away from the homested.

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The_maniac
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:51 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I drove my '94 Grand Am back in 2008 with about 150K miles on it from Ohio to Maryland. A LONG drive. I normally have a 30-60 minute commute to work (one way). The car runs fine, so all I did make sure the oil was fresh and I had no outstanding issues that need serviced.

I still commute to and from work with that Grand Am (now over 200K miles). She's seen better days, but the drive train still runs strong!
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Arvetus
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I made a back-to-back round trip to MI from TX earlier this year with 180k. Back-to-back = 1 month apart - one was a regular trip to see family and the next one was grandma's funeral - glad to have made the trip a month prior to see her.

I'm at 190 now and we are going to be making another round trip for Thanksgiving next month. It is 1200 miles one way from here, yours looks to only be about 650 or so. Smile

Don't let the mileage on your car scare or discourage you, but I would investigate the transmission issue if it's slamming into gear. You may just have a bad solenoid, or there may be actual issues with the trans itself. This may or may not present an issue on your trip. It's not that long of a trip, but you never know.

Make sure you carry some extra fluids in your trunk (water and/or coolant, trans fluid, oil, brake fluid, ps fluid). I usually have a box or milk-crate for this purpose.
You're already planning on an oil change before hand, so that's good. I always have this done before any long trip like that. I wouldn't flush the trans, but a fluid change might be in order. I've never heard of a drop and replace fluid doing anything to hurt it. Flush, a different story.

Just remember, anything can go wrong on a trip with any car. All you can do is take precautions and deal with it accordingly Smile I've had a power steering pulley shaft break, get welded and break again, so had to put a smaller belt on. I've had to replace tires and then the tire store forget to tighten the lugs and almost lose a tire. Stuff happens, just make sure everything is up to snuff. 122,000 is nothing. Just get that trans checked just to put your mind at ease. You'll be driving through a lot of mountains, so you'll want to have a strong trans. Might want to keep it at the PSL or below and stay in 3 instead of OD to minimize constant shifting in and out of OD or "lockup."

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Domo
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Thanks Guys! All of these are really good tips and precautions! Yeah, the tranny started doing that as soon as the weather got cooler, so I def want to get it checked out.. I might have to go with a rental for the trip this time around... lol
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impalafirst
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I went on a road trip once and my serpentine belt broke on a dodge i had. Such a easy fix but so far away from an auto parts store with no wheels to get there. Tow was $75.00 and then about $30.00 for the belt. Check your belt.
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Domo
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Yeah thats the stuff im afraid off.. I got the belt changed last year so they should be good.

The Airbag light was on for two days.. but then it went away this am...

I always carry at least a qt of oil (she burns oil fast when im pushing her hard), some extra water bottles, gloves, shoes...

The only thing i am worried about now is the tranny.. I drove there once in my old car and i forgot about the mountains.. yeash. Looks like the coming years tax return might be used on a new tranny...
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Baywing
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:14 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Check the fluid in the tranny. If it's silver, you are likely headed for tranny repairs. Make sure to check when it's hot, let it idle until the radiator fans have run a couple of cycles.
As you say the tranny issue started when the weather cooled, you might be low on fluid. I recently had a similar issue but it started right after a fluid change. I never thought to check the fluid level, the dealer I've been going to has been very good, but out of desparation, I did and found I was 1 qt low.
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Domo
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Ok cool.. ill definately check the levels this evening... that way i can just add some and see how it reacts over the weekend...

Hopefully its not silver.. LOL
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