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Are Road Trips Bad for Cars?

by Andy Mercado
Are Road Trips Bad for Cars

Are road trips bad for cars? Driving long distances can be intimidating, especially if you plan a road trip. Over a hundred or more miles per hour can trigger images of your car’s odometer reaching the high mileage mark, which usually means that vehicles will eventually break down.

However, this shouldn’t mean that you’re damaging your car while you’re driving. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the signs that your car might be doing damage while you’re on the road.

Are Road Trips Bad for Cars?

Generally speaking, road trips are not bad for your car. The goal of a vehicle is to get you where you need to go safely and efficiently. Everything else is for your safety and convenience. Long road trips are not bad for your car.

However, long road trips might be risky if your car is not in good condition. For instance, if your vehicle is low on oil, you might want to avoid driving for several thousand miles. It might also have issues with its cooling system or tires and strange noises when you use it. Other problems might include:

  • Your headlights are not working correctly.
  • Low or flat tires.
  • The brake lights are not working correctly.

If you plan on driving for several thousand miles, a long road trip might exacerbate an issue that already exists with your car. It’s not the car’s fault, but it’s making the problem worse.

Even if you have just gotten your car serviced, a long road trip might still cause issues. Cars are intricate, and it’s impossible to predict what might happen in the future with them. Dealing with a vehicle problem is a risk you take every time you get in the car.

Read also: How Soon After Birth Can a Baby Travel by Car?

Should You Rest Your Car on Road Trips?

After all, long-distance trips are generally safe. But, before planning a road trip, are you sure your car needs to rest?

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Although cars do not require rest when traveling to a specific destination, many owners assume you must rest the engine to function correctly. In reality, it only needs to refuel once.

In hot weather, it’s essential to give the engine a break to cool down. You can do this through the cooling down period, which your car’s dashboard can measure. Rest is also necessary if your vehicle is old and has a faulty engine.

How Long Can You Continuously Drive Your Car?

A car can drive for up to 8 hours before it needs to refuel, depending on its tank capacity. It is not a mechanical limit, as long as the vehicle is in good physical condition and has adequate engine lubrication. The time it takes to drive a car equals the fuel it consumes per hour.

Before you leave for a long road trip, ensure your car’s various components are in good condition. Having your car checked can help prevent costly repairs later.

Is It Possible to Rent a Car for Roadtrips?

If you’re worried you might have too much mileage on your car, consider renting one instead. However, this can be a waste of money for most people. The average cost of a rental car in the US is around $100 a day, and if you’re planning on traveling for a long time, you might end up owing a lot of money. You still have to pay for gas and might also want insurance coverage if something goes wrong.

Putting a hundred dollars worth of wear on your car would be challenging during a long road trip.

A rental auto might be the most suitable option if you have a one-of-a-kind vehicle you can’t fix before your trip. In addition to being comfortable, you also need to consider if the car will be spacious enough for the long journey.

Can You Drive Your Car Nonstop?

It’s important to factor in frequent breaks when traveling, as not stopping while driving is considered dangerous. You must check for at least 15 minutes between each trip to maintain a steady state of alertness and endurance. Falling asleep behind the wheel can also affect your reaction time and attention.

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If you’re planning on driving for more than two hours, you must stop at least once. Doing so will help prevent you from feeling tired and will allow you to take some time to hydrate.

The recommended amount of time you should spend driving is 8 hours daily. Having stops every two hours will help maintain a steady state of alertness and prevent tiredness.

How to Make Your Car Road Trip Ready?

Before leaving for a road trip, ensure your car is clean and in good condition. Doing so will allow you to feel good about yourself and your vehicle.

Before working on your interior, ensure all the components are working correctly. These include the power adapter and navigation systems. These components will allow you to keep your electronics charged and ready to go.

If you have tires, ensure they are correctly inflated and tested. Doing so will allow you to avoid having an exploding tire during your trip. Also, ensure that you replace them if they have failed the penny test.

If you have a damaged engine, you must regularly check the condition of your car’s timing belt. You can find this component in small displacement cars and SUVs. If you have a Subaru, you might want to get it fixed.

What Should You Do Before a Long Road Trip?

After a long road trip, you must take the time to inspect and maintain your vehicle thoroughly. Doing so will allow you to keep it in good condition when you return to your daily routine.

High mileage and excessive use can affect the resale value of your vehicle. It can also lead to the end of your extended warranty. If you have a vehicle over ten years old, consider leasing a car instead of using it for long road trips.

Road trips are a special occasion for many families. They allow them to create lasting memories. Having the proper vehicle care will allow you to continue driving after the trip is over.


Are road trips bad for cars? If your vehicle is running smoothly and everything is working as it should, long road trips aren’t bad for it. If you compare the miles traveled by city drivers with those on the highway, you’ll find that road trips cause less wear and tear on the car.

Road trips are the best way to get around, and cars for long driving. However, before you leave, ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Also, take care of yourself while traveling, as you need more rest than the car can provide.

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