Car servicing long distance trip

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scarson
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Car servicing long distance trip

Post by scarson » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:26 am

Hello All,

I own a 2013 Subaru Impreza with very low mileage around 25,000 miles. I am giving this to my son who will drive it from NJ to Chicago when he joins college in August. What type of servicing should I get done at the dealer. Since it is a 2013 car I am not sure if I should get the 90 month servicing or the 25,000 miles one?

Thanks
Sam

runner3081
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by runner3081 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:50 am

Honestly, outside of checking fluids (Power Steering (if applicable), brake fluid, oil, transmission, coolant) - do nothing. If it will be due for an oil change soon, get that done.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:58 am

If it's in the VIN range for the valve spring recall, have that done. That'll take 2 weeks to do. If the oil light ever comes on before the oil change interval, have the oil burning test done. Have a good mechanic check the wheel bearings (a weak point with all Subarus).

You're not me, but if you were, you'd change the diff fluid because....why not? And brake fluid and coolant.

I can't think of anything else that I'd expect to go wrong (beyond the CVT which is either fine or lights up the dash like a Christmas tree). And that's covered under the extended warranty Subaru put up for all these cars.

wrt power steering.....it's electric in these cars. If you add fluid, you're doing something wrong. If you have anything done with the CVT fluid, only do it at the dealer. The fluid is specific to CVTs and requires special procedures, including working within specific temperatures.
Last edited by Jack FFR1846 on Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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whodidntante
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:59 am

Don't ask Internet forums or the dealer what should be done. Read the owner's manual and follow the maintenance schedule.

RudyS
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by RudyS » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:19 am

We have a 2015 Outback. Used to make the 800 mile run from Michigan to Massachusetts a few times a year. Never did any special services beyond what the manual called for, although I made it a point to check fluids and tire pressure (I guess air is a fluid). In your case, I would go with the 25000 mile schedule since the 90000 assumes a lot more wear on things.
Of course check for recalls. Dealer can do it, or you should be able to do it online.

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Voltaire2.0
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by Voltaire2.0 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:24 am

Tires should be fine at 23K miles, but check them for uneven wear and ensure they are holding pressure. Give your son a tire pressure gauge and teach him to use it correctly, on a regular basis.

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scarson
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by scarson » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:32 am

Thanks a lot to you all.

Sam :happy

hudson
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by hudson » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:35 am

whodidntante wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:59 am
Don't ask Internet forums or the dealer what should be done. Read the owner's manual and follow the maintenance schedule.
agree....If I were your son, I would have an air pump, a flashlight, and one of these in the trunk...
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RF ... UTF8&psc=1

If you or your son can check fluids, filters, and air pressure, I wouldn't take it anywhere....but they may not fit your situation....and it's not what you asked.

hunoraut
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by hunoraut » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:37 am

the reason servicing schedules are distance OR time, whichever comes first, is that some things also degrade with age and exposure.

* check belts, they may rot and crack

* check tires, not just for wear and airtightness but dry rot

* basic fluids as aforementioned are also critical

livesoft
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by livesoft » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:44 am

Just about any time a car mechanic touches a car, something goes wrong shortly thereafter. I'd just make sure the windshield wipe fluid reservoir is full and any wiper blades are newish. If you do have the oil changed on schedule, then just make sure the car is driven several hundred miles before the trip in case that gets screwed up.

If the car battery is around 7 years old, then I would replace it myself.

Also make sure that the spare tire is inflated to its proper pressure.

NJ to Chicago? That's not long distance -- I would still be in Texas if I drove only that far.
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:47 am

New air filter. Bang out cabin filter (if has one).

Oil changed recently (full synthetic). Tire pressure checked.

25k is still pretty fresh.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:52 am

Recommended service depends on what you have done in the past to the car -

1. Check/insect all oils and fluids, replace if appropriate. Replace oil, and filters for oil, engine, and cabin. Replace brake fluid if its been more than 2-3 years.

2. Have the battery tested at Walmart. If it s marginal replace battery. Walmart sells very good batteries if you buy the battery with full 36 month replacement warranty.

3. If tires are original they are 7 years old. 6-7 years is generally max recommended age for tires. Replace them if original.

4. Replace windshield wipers.

5. Check spare tire for adequate pressure. Insure lug wrench and jack are in trunk and function. That means take them out and test.

6. Visually inspect all belts and hoses for dry rot, swelling, and any wear/cracks. Replace belts and hoses as necessary.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:54 am

hunoraut wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:37 am
the reason servicing schedules are distance OR time, whichever comes first, is that some things also degrade with age and exposure.

* check belts, they may rot and crack

* check tires, not just for wear and airtightness but dry rot
If original tires they may warrant replacement even if plenty of tread.

I recommend taking a breaker bar and knowing how to change tires.

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Watty
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by Watty » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:58 am

With the low mileage if the car has not been driven much, even before the pandemic, then I would want to have someone take it on a good long drive just to give it a good workout to make sure that there are not any problems that will show up when the car gets out on the highway. You might want to have someone drive it on the highway for an hour or more then turn around and come back.
scarson wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:26 am
...2013 Subaru Impreza with very low mileage around 25,000 miles.
The tires are likely the original tires and are likely 8 years old. There is a code on the side of the tire which will tell you when they were manufactured.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech ... ?techid=11

The issue is that even though they likely have a lot of tread left tires get old and degrade and should be replaced when they get to be maybe 10 years old. I have seen even shorter recommendations on when to replace older tires so you should research this more and you may be able to check the manufactures web site or call their 800 number to see what they recommend.

If your son is just starting college then the tires will not last him all the way through college just because of the age. If he will be needing new tires sooner or later anyway then I would consider going on and getting them now if that would fit in your budget. I think one year when my son was in college I gave him new tires as his Christmas present so if he will be coming home for Christmas that would be another option.

If you decide to do this then try to do it so he can drive the car for at least a week or two before heading off to college just in case there are any problems with the new tires.

I would get them somewhere like a large tire chain or Costco that will have stores near where he will at in college.

Also have them check the tire pressure in the spare tire, that is often overlooked. They should also inspect the spare tire to make sure that it still looks good but since it is less exposed to the elements I would not bother to replace it yet. Also double check to make sure that the jack and all the needed parts are in with the spare.

The battery should have a label on it that says when it was manufactured. I normally replace mine when they are 4(or maybe 5) years old even if I am not having problems with it. Since he will be in Chicago in wintertime I would want to have a really good battery.
scarson wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:26 am
What type of servicing should I get done at the dealer.
One big problem with most dealerships is that they will often recommend $500 worth of maintenance even when owners manual only says an oil change and some inspections are needed.

I would go with what the owners manual says and then have an independent shop do it. Since you have so few miles most owners manuals will likely say XX months or YY miles. Do the service based on the months.

Topic Author
scarson
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by scarson » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:58 am

Thanks a lot Guys. Really appreciate it.

Sam

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8foot7
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:10 pm

I think with all due respect lots of folks are overthinking this. This is a 7 year old vehicle with under 30,000 miles. From the furthest eastern point in NJ to Chicago is 794 miles. There should be zero issue with regard to that vehicle making this trip. Maybe get an oil change beforehand and make sure the tires are inflated.

If a 7 year old Subaru can't make an 800 mile trip without a bunch of servicing first then I have no idea why it's so frequently recommended on this forum.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DeskJumper
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by DeskJumper » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:14 pm

If it's still on the original tires, I would surely replace them. 7 years is old for tires, even if they still have great tread the rubber hardens and will no longer grip as designed, and the car won't handle as designed. Son is going to Chicago and will be driving in lots of snow and ice. Snow tires are not required, just get good all-season's with high ratings for wet and snow traction. Coolant is a good idea too, along with battery and windshield wipers. Basically take care of the items that could leave him stranded or hindered in winter weather.

Big Dog
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by Big Dog » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:18 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:10 pm
I think with all due respect lots of folks are overthinking this. This is a 7 year old vehicle with under 30,000 miles. From the further eastern point in NJ to Chicago is 794 miles. There should be zero issue with regard to that vehicle making this trip. Maybe get an oil change beforehand and make sure the tires are inflated.

If a 7 year old Subaru can't make an 800 mile trip without a bunch of servicing first then I have no idea why it's so frequently recommended on this forum.
Agree the trip itself is relatively short, so an oil change and tire pressure check is practically all that is needed for essentially a one-day drive. BUT, the kid is taking the car to college where it will sit in Chicago weather. And when something breaks, kid will have no idea on where to take it, other than a dealer. May be easier to fly home for winter break, so plan on not seeing the car until next May. So, as others have suggested, I'd crank up the preventive maintenance.

IMO
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by IMO » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:04 pm

As tires are 7-8 yrs old, I would make sure they are checked out before the road trip (10 yrs is max on tires, but 6 yrs is better to replace). He'll be moving to a cold climate and going to college, so I'd wait on new tires until he got there, although it would be safest to replace them before the trip. He might be better off with pure winter tires if he'll be driving much while in college. If he's not driving much, he could feasibly keep those on year round even though it's not ideal.

Other than just having any scheduled service (check the manual) and a good oil change with all fluids checked, I can't imagine that high of a likelihood of problems for a car with about 25K miles on it.

Havingfun1950
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by Havingfun1950 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:27 pm

Congratulations on raising a kid ready to leave home!

I have sent 4 out into the world plus have my own experience. (1) is a car essential? (2) is a grandparent available to guide to local car maintenance? If y and n, target maintenance for when you know the car will return. Replace everything rubber, these parts will be unreliable in several years. DS may decide to drive to Seattle in the meantime. One of mine did.

Two additional points. What to do about dental care, including emergency care. How to clear medical bills? Two of my kids gave their local address and took dings to credit scores when medical bills where not paid in a timely fashion.

Worrying is how parents show their love. All the best!

Topic Author
scarson
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by scarson » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:46 pm

Thanks Havingfun 1950 and others, you raise some important issues and I will look into them.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:26 pm

If I were sending a kid off to college with a car (and I have), I would make sure the tires are ok (OP probably needs new ones if theirs are 7 y/o) and belts are in good shape. As others have said, I would be sure all fluid changes are up to date. Anything else necessary or recommended in the owner's manual, I would evaluate.

Dealing with car issues long distance via phone with a college kid driving it (and I have) can be a true PITA. I would take steps to minimize the chances of that. It is my experience that few college kids are handy with "car things" today. If they haven't been educated on that prior to leaving home, do yourself a huge favor and try to avoid car issues.

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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:06 pm

I would probably rethink sending a kid to college that far away under the current circumstances.

Unless you live in a large city with mass transit and don't own a car at all, I don't see how a kid would get to be college-age without them being familiar with the basics of car ownership, maintenance, etc. I don't mean the technical how-tos of repairs, I mean things like what maintenance cars typically need and when, where are likely sources for that, what to do if the car breaks down or is involved in an accident, etc.

RudyS
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by RudyS » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:41 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:06 pm
I would probably rethink sending a kid to college that far away under the current circumstances.

Unless you live in a large city with mass transit and don't own a car at all, I don't see how a kid would get to be college-age without them being familiar with the basics of car ownership, maintenance, etc. I don't mean the technical how-tos of repairs, I mean things like what maintenance cars typically need and when, where are likely sources for that, what to do if the car breaks down or is involved in an accident, etc.
For breakdowns, call AAA. I set our kids up with AAA+ which provided enough towing to get them either back to school or to our home. AAA has a thing where they "approve" repair places. Should give a slight edge in choosing a mechanic. Or use the dealer. Hopefully the car is reliable enough not to need too much help.

tibbitts
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:00 pm

RudyS wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:41 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:06 pm
I would probably rethink sending a kid to college that far away under the current circumstances.

Unless you live in a large city with mass transit and don't own a car at all, I don't see how a kid would get to be college-age without them being familiar with the basics of car ownership, maintenance, etc. I don't mean the technical how-tos of repairs, I mean things like what maintenance cars typically need and when, where are likely sources for that, what to do if the car breaks down or is involved in an accident, etc.
For breakdowns, call AAA. I set our kids up with AAA+ which provided enough towing to get them either back to school or to our home. AAA has a thing where they "approve" repair places. Should give a slight edge in choosing a mechanic. Or use the dealer. Hopefully the car is reliable enough not to need too much help.
I agree with having AAA or some other towing service but I would make sure they understand the exact terms of the service they have.

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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by phxjcc » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:33 am

Buy new tires, Michelins.
Costco/Discount Tire.

Take it to an Indy place, tell them what is going on and have them look it over.
Belts and hoses,maybe.
For the trip, get a bucket from Home Depot, and put into it:
Duct tape
Quart of oil
Gallon of 50/50 coolant
ATF/PS fluid
Funnel
Surgical gloves
Leather man multi tool
KLEIN 12 in one tool.
Paper towels
Windex
Ice scraper

NJ to Chicago is along populated routes, it is not the western US where you can go 100 miles between services.
They will be fine.
If you are worried, go along and fly back.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by Mr. Rumples » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:21 am

runner3081 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:50 am
Honestly, outside of checking fluids (Power Steering (if applicable), brake fluid, oil, transmission, coolant) - do nothing. If it will be due for an oil change soon, get that done.
That's all I did when driving across the county. I'd add making sure the tires are good and the spare is fully inflated. Have a mask, wipes and hand sanitizer...gas stations are not the cleanest places; truck stops have really improved from what my niece tells me and she is fixated on cleaning. Many rest stops were closed in 2008 and never reopened, its helpful to know where they are.

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Car servicing long distance trip

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:23 am

Others have mentioned this but if the battery is original, I would consider replacing it while you can either do it yourself or have somewhere like an Autozone install it. You're approaching the end of life on the battery and Chicago is a more severe winter climate than NJ. You'll be able to shop for a deal on the new battery as opposed to maybe needing a tow and paying top dollar for a battery at a shop.

Beyond that, I like the advice about getting tires, belts and hoses checked as they do age out. If these are iffy, some preventative maintenance now might save a lot of grief and money later.

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