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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I guess I am going on a week long, 1200+ mile (one way) road trip next month 🙂🙂

In light of my recent engine swap, which obviously entails all new fluids, a recent grid charge, and after some tinkering, getting rid of most of those codes that popped up (still have a P1457 tho), what would you fellas recommend I do or check up on before I head out on this venture?

At the moment, I still have front and rear springs sitting in a box in the garage waiting to be installed, as well as the belly panel. I want to clean my whole under carriage real good (still mucked with grime from the old engine) and get that belly panel on and at least the rear springs before the trip. Maybe install the fronts at the meet up? 🙂

I am generally getting 48-50mpg city driving, and according to my Obd2 reader app, my coolant seems to stay around 203*F (coolant temp is my biggest concern and I watch it religiously). My idle is still too high imo in comparison to what I’ve read others are, but since getting the IMA functioning again, it has definitely leveled off and not been so sporadic. I think I idle around 1200rpms on cold start instead of 2000 now. Maybe smth y’all can help me look at also.

Any pointers? Anything in particular you do before a trip?

So excited to hopefully meet some of y’all soon!! 😊
Hagen
 

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Make sure you check the alternator and power steering fluid.

Seriously, having made sure the car will go, I’d give a look see to make sure it will continue to stop. A nice check/top off of brake fluid plus maybe a visual inspection of pads and rotors probably isn’t the worst idea. Not to mention a visual check of brake lines. They can rust/fail.
 

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203F coolant temp is perfectly normal, btw, especially if it's 90+ outside. I see as high as 225(107-108C) when climbing a local 6% grade out here in the summer, as temps are 95-105F.
 
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Fresh from my most recent trip, here are things I did (750 miles each way):
  • Shakedown trip beforehand. (Actually I spend 3-5 hours each weekend on this, 150-250 mile loop, so no special shakedown was needed)
  • Sticker near gas cap that reads "check oil and coolant!". I do this now at every fill-up. Coolant check is visual only (see below)
  • Sticker on coolant recovery tank with marks made when coolant was hot/car running, and cold-soaked.
  • 10 mm wrench, in case you need to disconnect 12V battery (test in case someone has changed the battery posts and they are no longer 10 mm)
  • A small lithium jump starter has saved my butt when I've left the car in autostop and forgot, or left the lights on. See Amazon
  • Second set of keys in pocket, even if not chipped (to get in, in case you lock yourself out)
  • Roll of paper towels for dip stick check and emergency spills
  • Load heavy stuff in passenger wheel well, lightest stuff furthest back for safer handling (goes for every car I own)
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  • Cigarette lighter splitter and adapters for charging stuff
  • A roll of "Gaffer tape" for keeping above plugs from falling out (not cheap, but doesn't ruin stuff like duct tape does).
  • You should have duct tape too - get some of some quality - for exterior repairs that need to survive wind/rain since some gaff tape can loosen if soaked
  • A bag of cable ties
  • A folding utility pliers multi tool so that you can saw, punch, squeeze, cut, unscrew and otherwise prep whatever it is that you need to duct, gaff or cable tie together
  • Keep eye out for cars slowing behind you to check out your strange ride, wave back
  • Accumulate dollar bills and coins ahead of trip for that occasional whacked toll both, campground and firewood, kids' roadside lemonade stands, small ice cream stands, and other places that don't give change or take cards (I was surprised how many times I was handing out dollar bills this trip)
On tools, you know the most common that you need. I used to pack tons of tools but now I just pack a few since I can buy more pretty much anywhere. When you are on the road, check out the truck section of a Flying J, Pilot, Loves or T/A and keep a mental image of what tools you can find there in a pinch (24 hours). Of course there is also Walmart and auto parts stores.
 

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I stopped patronizing establishments that don’t give change for cash transactions. Where I come from, that’s called theft.
Agreed, that sucks. I still carry change and bills for any travel though. The self-serve firewood and ice have mailboxes with slots in them so you can pay without bothering the campground host. The host probably may be able to make change if you wake them up. Many campgrounds have self-pay when you arrive after hours with a similar slot. You often can wait for a ranger campground host who may or may not have change, but they sometimes don't have cash or are able to open the box to retrieve change or it may be empty. Then there is the kid with the lemonade stand who you want to leave a large tip because you were there once. It's possible that all the coin tollbooths in the US are gone now, but some gumball machines and maybe some coin parking meters remain. Having a wad of ones and fives and extra quarters for road trips always comes in handy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, guys!
I made a couple edits to my original post.

The 1200 miles is just one way and could be +/- as I have a lot of places I want to visit :)

And about the coolant, I meant the temp in general is my main concern. I know 203* is in normal range, but I check it after every drive bc ya know, paranoia still haunts me 😝 It got up to 212F a couple weeks ago with temps outside over 100 and I was curious about that, but @Balto 225F doesn’t concern you?? Is that still considered normal?

Looks like a lot of stuff mentioned I’ve already done/ keep in the car at all times anyways. So, that’s good! 😅
 

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Get a AAA membership if you can (the expensive one with one long distance (200 mile) tow included.)

Notwithstanding Peter’s advice, which is fundamentally sound, please don’t ever attempt to change a tire in the breakdown lane of an Interstate highway. You are probably smart enough to know that, but for many folks, that is the last tire they ever end up changing. That is why I buy AAA memberships for my kids.
 

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Thanks, guys!
I made a couple edits to my original post.

The 1200 miles is just one way and could be +/- as I have a lot of places I want to visit :)

And about the coolant, I meant the temp in general is my main concern. I know 203* is in normal range, but I check it after every drive bc ya know, paranoia still haunts me 😝 It got up to 212F a couple weeks ago with temps outside over 100 and I was curious about that, but @Balto 225F doesn’t concern you?? Is that still considered normal?

Looks like a lot of stuff mentioned I’ve already done/ keep in the car at all times anyways. So, that’s good! 😅
230F is where I get concerned, 240 is where I would shut down the car and pull over because at that point it's just thermal runaway.

My insights always run 206-212 on 100F+ days... And mind you I own 8, so it's not like my sample size is small.
 

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Whenever my coolant temperature registers high on my Torque App (usually going uphill), I turn the heater on and roll the windows down. This always lowers the coolant temperature down by 8-10 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When I was in Kenya a couple years ago, it was like 115F+ out in squelching sun, no a/c anywhere to be found. Idky people always say Kenya has a moderately cool climate, but anyways. I was constantly served hot milk tea- all day, everyday bc anytime is tea time there. It’s delicious, but man all I wanted was like some ice cream, maybe a slushee. “Cure fire with fire” is what they always said to me and it’s actually true. It helps.
Anyway, that made me think of it. I guess the old school Kenyan voodoo applies to cars too haha.
 

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When I was in Kenya a couple years ago, it was like 115F+ out in squelching sun, no a/c anywhere to be found. Idky people always say Kenya has a moderately cool climate, but anyways. I was constantly served hot milk tea- all day, everyday bc anytime is tea time there. It’s delicious, but man all I wanted was like some ice cream, maybe a slushee. “Cure fire with fire” is what they always said to me and it’s actually true. It helps.
Anyway, that made me think of it. I guess the old school Kenyan voodoo applies to cars too haha.
Lol it was always the same when I went to the Philippines. Tea and coffee for breakfast lunch and dinner. After awhile your body just acclimates to the heat and humidity. I vouch this "kenyan voodoo" applied to me in TX too since my car never came with AC to begin with, lol.
 

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Lol it was always the same when I went to the Philippines. Tea and coffee for breakfast lunch and dinner. After awhile your body just acclimates to the heat and humidity. I vouch this "kenyan voodoo" applied to me in TX too since my car never came with AC to begin with, lol.
It is true, to a great degree. I grew up in the the deep south on a small farm. We hoed cotton and corn in June and really didn't think much about the heat. To this day, I usually drive my insight without the A/C running rather than take the 10 mpg hit ;)
 
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