Safe to take old cars on long road trips? Owners share their experience

I do not have the courage to take an old car for a long highway run anymore, but my cousin just completed an 1800 km trip without a hiccup.

BHPian jonesanto recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Last week my cousin took my 17-year-old Elantra from Kerala to Bangalore and came back. I do not have the courage to take such an old car for a long highway run anymore. I am using the car very rarely and I thought if he is willing to accept what he was getting into, let him take the car and the car did not disappoint. It did an 1800 km up-and-down highway run without a hiccup in two days.

This makes me ask the question, “What is the longest highway run BHPians have done in a 15 year plus old car? Because I recently remember reading someone did a long highway run in an old Merc for FC purposes.

To be eligible, you need to check certain criteria.

  • The car has to be 15+ years old
  • It has to be a majority portion of the highway run. (Doing 100+ or whatnot is left to the driver)
  • Not a full mix of city, tier two, tier three towns and villages, where you can actually find a mechanic and parts if something goes wrong.

Cleaning the car stretching her legs after a long time.

Here’s what BHPian Aditya had to say on the matter:

My Toyota Corolla is in its 17th year. It does 1,200 – 1,500 km round trips on weekends regularly. Mumbai – Hyderabad – Mumbai, Mumbai – Goa – Mumbai are regular routes. While the last Hyderabad trip was in February, the latest Goa trip was just last month, during Diwali. The car ran as well as anything out there. This car is as trustworthy as a faithful Labrador.

Here’s what BHPian SS-Traveller had to say on the matter:

I had a 1972 Ambassador Mark II, in which I travelled at least 10 round trips between Kolkata and Delhi (over 3000 km for each round trip) between 1988 and 1996. I don’t see why the age of a car being >15 years should be a criterion to avoid highway runs, provided the car is well taken care of.

Here’s what BHPian Jeroen had to say on the matter:

I really don’t see why a 15-year+ car should be a problem going on long drives. Providing, of course, it has been well maintained.

Contrary to popular belief, a car and its engine and all of its components are much happier driving 100 km/ h on a motorway than your typical busy town traffic, starting stopping etc.

As all of my cars are 15+ years old I drive each of them on the motorway on a regular basis, all over Europe. I have written about some of my trips.

Earlier this year I took my 40-year-old Mercedes W123 to Frederikshavn. Two-day trip of about 1400 km. Almost all motorways.

Also, earlier this year spanner mate Peter and I took our two classic Alfa Romeo Spiders to a classic car event in Italy. Our 42 and 36-year-old Spiders did well over 3000 km in just six days.

Some years ago, Peter and I also participated in a drive to the North Pole, in our Spider, in the winter, -27oC. There were two other Spider participants as well. At the time the Spiders were well over 25 years old.

On snowy motorways, -27oC, top-down we drove well over 5500km in nine days.

My 20-year-old classic Jaguar X308 is our luxury car for long trips. Last September we took the ferry to the UK and drove 1250km in five days.

For next year I have already two trips planned. I will be going to Hamburg in May to participate in the annual Harbour festival. It’s a 1200 km round trip, all motorway. Most likely I will be taking the W123.

Peter and I have two Spider trips lined up. Our regular trip to see our mutual friend in France. Usually, we clock between 1500-2000km in 4-5 days. In September Peter and I are planning to tour Scotland in our Spiders. We will clock another 2000-2500 km in five/six days as well.

So, really, with a properly maintained car, there is really no problem, even if it is forty years old!

Here’s what BHPian K a s h had to say on the matter:

Did a 1500 km trip (Bangalore -> Madurai -> Poovar -> Tiruchy -> Bangalore) in my 2005 Hyundai Tucson (2L kms+).

I also do frequent Bangalore -> Chennai (660 km) and Bangalore -Coimbatore (720 km) round trips with a full load all the time.

The last major work was done for a turbo rebuild and suspension replacement in 2013. I have not spent on anything other than consumables for the past 9 years. I do oil changes every 5k km and I can literally take it anywhere.

BTW, this is also running a Code6 remap and a Boost controller mod from 2013.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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