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Old 02-22-2018, 01:30 PM   #1
seatech30
 
Drives: Yaris 2008 Sedan
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Old yaris 218k miles, 30k+ road trip?

Hello Everyone,

Long post warning? Thank you for reading. FYI will be posting on r/roadtrips for non-car technical aspects of this road trip.

My Yaris is currently hovering around 218k miles (351,000 km). It is coming up on its decaversary in June, and I figured what better way to celebrate than by reaching the moon with an epic all USA states road trip (considering shipping to Hawaii if it survives the first 49.) Well not really the only reason, I just always thought about making such a trip and I am currently unemployed and have the funds for it, so why not? I've mapped out all national parks that can be driven to and some other sites of interest, very rough draft and the count is currently at 25k miles rt. I figure after I finish putting in all the last stops I'll be at 30k or more. Expected starting time is about May/June.

My tires,ECOPIA EP422+, are past half worn at 38k/70k. I figure I may need new ones before I finish the trip, but may get by, also another reason for tackling Alaska and northern states first. I've been on top of my maintenance as much as I can, and going to mechanics for other items. Just switched out drums, and will do rotors too before beginning. All brakes are still good, ceramic, 2 years old. Brake and coolant fluids were changed at 160k miles. Water and fuel pumps are still stock, perhaps I should consider changing these before going? I'm estimating 5-6 oil changes. I plan to do a trans drain and fill and filter change before starting. Considering switching spark plugs before starting, last done at 176k, so may not be necessary?

The car has been suffering from engine vibration since 160k miles about 3 years now. Hasn't broken down on me. I have drained and filled the trans twice, changed motor mounts twice, spark plugs, battery, Airflow sensor swap, cleaned throttle body, 6 mechanics, nothing has been able to get rid of the vibration. It is more noticeable when in drive, but on neutral and park it is subtle (maybe even normal?) At this point, I have reason to believe it is not terminal.

Have:
3/8 Socket wrench set
3/8 breaker bar
1/2 torque wrench
3/8 digital torque wrench adapter
1/4 torque driver
1/2 3/8 1/4 adapters
fix-a-flat (spray can size)
Coolant extra 1L toyota mixed 50/50
Spare donut (non-edible)
Long flat head screwdriver (near pry bar status worthy, but not quite)
Spare lug nuts and studs
Spare head and tail light bulbs
Screwdriver set small generic
Load strap small generic
Dashcam front
Battery charger BESTEK 600A Peak 10000mA
Stock jack w/ jack handle
K&N car filters
Gerber Gator Combo Axe II
Snow cables (used 2 times)
Gloves, mechanic gloves & thick nitrile gloves
2 phones with offline GPS maps + battery charger pack

Spare full size tire/wheel
Emergency triangle
Dashcam back
AAA for trip duration
The Milepost?
Tire plug kit

Need:
Road Atlas

About me:
I've done plenty 430 (860rt) trips between SoCal and NorCal over the past 6 years. I've done a 2k mile road trip to Utah, and recently a 3k trip of the southern west coast. I did all the driving, but had company. On this trip, I'll be going alone, and plan to stay under the speed limit (...like always) and be safe as possible, especially the Alaska/Canada stretch. I will spend 1 week each in Vancouver, Montreal, NYC, Boston. During this time I'll probably take it easy, maybe 1 major hike in Vancouver but mostly just eating good food. On the trip, I plan to eat mostly simple diet, take vitamin supplements. I would like to do most of my sleeping in my car unless my gut is telling me not to. When I stay at the major cities, I'll be getting lodging of some kind. Considering couchsurfing, even if it is just to sleep in the car in someone's driveway where I know they're ok with it. I'll be backing a 32F degree mummy bag, another regular mummy bag, and another rectangular sleeping bag.


Primary concerns:
-Are a max of 400 miles daily too much for the car?
(I intend to tackle the day to day driving in 1.5 to 2 hour spurts around rush hours or morning/noon/evening until I reach a location where I can spend the night safely.)

-Should I switch out my stock fuel and water pumps before beginning the trip?

-Is one spare tire/wheel + donut combo enough... you know what I mean, or I guess I should ask if it's just a really bad idea not to bring more? (I've seen a post in the history of someone with a tow hitch rack with a full set of tires/wheels. lol)

-Road atlas reviews on amazon seem very polar. Would like to hear from some long drive experienced drivers.

-I would like to hear thoughts on whether or not this is doable, any advice/suggestions or critique is welcome.

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to this.

Update: Updated list of things needed. Starting trip on the 12th.
Hope imgur links are ok. Mod and map.

Last edited by seatech30; 05-02-2018 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:02 PM   #2
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Drive 1000 miles a day if you want it doesn’t matter. Leave the water pump and fuel pump alone. Every day raise the hood and check the bottom of it for telltale coolant strains. On second thought remove the serpentine belt and rock the wp pulley. If there’s noticeable play change out the water pump before leaving.

Leave the Sparkplugs alone. They’re good for 100k. If you’re not burning oil they should be fine. If you are burning oil check the plugs for oil fouling and clean them.

I drove the haul road from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle in 2011. You might want to consider not doing that because if you break down the law is you have to pay five dollars a mile for flatbed from Fairbanks to come and get you. That’s each way! You can’t just abandon the car. If you feel brave have at least a spare tire besides the doughnut. A string type plug kit is a good idea too.

I’ll post more as I read your post over again. Good luck, take pictures, and post here during your trip!

A Rand McNally road atlas Is what I use to plan and during trips.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:12 PM   #3
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Every morning;

Check your tire pressure’s.

Check the oil level. Open the hood look for coolant stains on the bottom of it.

Start the engine in with the car in park look under the engine to make sure nothing is dripping.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:12 PM   #4
seatech30
 
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Hi Brosin,

Thanks for the advice on the water pump, I'll start definitely do the pull test on the WP.

I have no reason to believe I'm burning oil, but I'll keep a close eye on the dip stick, I'll also pull the plugs out and do an inspection.

I was not planning to do the Arctic Circle (heard the name but didn't know what it was), but now that I've read a little on it... it seems like the kind of place I should visit on this road trip. So far only have Kenai Fjords, Wrangell–St. Elias, and Denali NPs on my list. However, a possible max $1550 bill for getting the car out does sound intimidating haha.


Yes, I've seen many good things about Rand McNally, however, seen some very bad reviews for the 2018 version. Which one are you using?


Thanks for the morning checklist items to add, in fact, I'll start a morning checklist to boot, double good idea!

Definitely, getting an extra full sized tire/wheel to bring along with the doughnut, have that in my need list.

Have you ever used the Milepost? I saw some good words on it. Seems a new edition will hit on March 1 before my trip, so I'll have time to wait on reviews to pop up for it.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:34 PM   #5
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Since prudence Bay is 400+ miles from Fairbanks, a round trip would be 800 miles at five bucks a mile is $4000!

I used a 2009 edition of the rand McNally road atlas on my 2011 trip. They’re all good. I can’t imagine why you would find fault with them. Maybe those people are just used to GPS?

I had a copy of the milepost but didn’t bring it on my trip I forgot it! On the trip I really didn’t find it necessary. Gas stations can be closed and you never know so fill up whenever you can. If it makes you feel more comfortable bringing along by all means.

PS gas was seven dollars a gallon in the Yukon Territory in 2011. A Canadian dollar cost $1.10 and that was very unusual. In Alaska gas was about four bucks a gallon
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:00 AM   #6
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Oh, when I typed in Arctic circle into maps, it routed me to Circle, AK. Yeah, not doing an extra 800 unfortunately. Maybe I'll find a cruise or flight for that later on.


One of the reviews came from a self professed Rand McNally fan, he said the 2018 version had less information than previous editions.


Maybe I should bring a 2 gallon fuel jug?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:44 AM   #7
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Dude. I'm so jealous.

The longest road trip I've done in my Yaris is 7500 miles from England to the Nordkapp and back.

I second Bronsin. I would pull the belt and check the water pump for play in the bearing. Although unless its bad i would just leave it. You're doing so many miles on your trip it could fail, get it dealt with if it does fail. Its not the worst repair to do. In fact you could probably do it on the side of the road if it came to it. I'd also get all the wheels off the ground and check the suspension of the car, play in the wheel bearings before you set off. I'd just inspect the spark plugs but they will be fine. Every couple of days depending on mileage, open the bonnet and check all your levels. I'd keep some oil in the car. Mine's an oil burner i always have a litre at the very least. When i went on my big trip in 2016 i had to take 4 litres.

I'd leave the fuel pump. Plenty of vehicles with more mileage than yours are still on their original fuel pump.

Do you have a jump pack or jumper cables in case you flatten the battery?

In my toolkit in my car i keep a 200mA test light and a £10 multimeter in case i have to diagnose an electrical issue.

I would recommend carrying a few bits of wire and electrical tape. I had to patch a wire on my old car with my butane soldering iron and a bit of wire i kept in my toolbox on my old car one night at the side of the road after hitting some debris.

Get a pack of cable ties, various sizes, small up to giant beefy ones, an assorted handful of nuts and bolts and a roll or two of duct tape. On my last road trip i had to use these to patch my car up after a small collision.

A bulb kit.

I'd keep a petrol canister with you when you get up into the more remote parts of US/Canada.

I really wouldn't worry mate. I've done multiple 1000 mile days in my car. I did my last roadtrip with a busted up front end (6000 miles of it) and a worn out clutch. I was regularly making commutes of 100+ miles every day of the week in mine.

You should do a thread in Photo/Media gallery to keep us updated.

Planning to go anywhere crazy like up on the Dempster highway in the NWT?
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:14 AM   #8
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This sounds awesome. If you're really going to every state let me know if you end up by Rockford, IL.
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:00 PM   #9
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I live in New Jersey across the river from Philadelphia. You’re welcome to stop by if you need work done on the car. Just message me here on the form.

PS the picture in my avatar was taken on the road between Kamloops and Prince George on my Alaska trip. I stopped to take a picture and an elderly couple come in the other way thought I had hit the movies with my Yaris! They didn’t See me standing on the side of the road and thought I was dead in the car! They were pretty pissed!
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:21 PM   #10
seatech30
 
Drives: Yaris 2008 Sedan
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I went after my front brake maintenance today.
Found the grease inside the sliding pins in nasty goop stage, cleaned everything up and re-greased with hi-temp brake grease.
The bushings on the bottom slide pins had expanded too much to slide back into place, so I had to replace them.
Replaced the boot bushings because they came in a kit from O'reily's.
Found one of my front shock insulators was all torn up. and my bleeder caps were thoroughly cracks, so I'll be ordering those parts and replacing them.

One of the bottom slide pins looked very corroded while the rest just seem to have some wear patches, I think I'll replace the corroded looking one.

zoidberg444, I have the WP and spark plug inspection on my list for tomorrow, today dragged out more than expected because I had to wait on parts, and it'd been a while since I had done the slide pins, so was feeling overwhelmed with the decisions of how much grease to use. lol

I have a Battery charger BESTEK 600A Peak 10000mA, it was buried in my "have:" list in OP. I have spare bulbs for head and tail lights already too.

Looks like I should definitely get a fuel container then, maybe a 2 gallon (~7.6L), should get me max 80 miles (129km). Good idea on the zip ties, although, I feel like I will be carrying too much stuff now, haha, but it's a long trip. Getting paranoid, but I know that doing such a huge amount of driving in such a short amount of time will statistically increase my chances of encountering hazards.

I'm actually planning to document quite a bit of the trip. I just got an essential phone with a 360 camera attachment, so I plan to do some pictures and video in that format. I also want to do some time lapsing of my dash cam recordings. May even start a youtube channel, but not too sure on that just yet. We'll see how it flows once, I start.


Dodge Aries K, Rockford, IL isn't much of a detour from my current route through Illinois. I'll send you a message when I get closer. I should be there about 37 days after I start my trip according to my route estimate.


Brosin, I'll actually be visiting a friend in New Jersey, haven't checked where he is just yet, but I'll definitely let you know if you're nearby. HAha, guess they had not seen the mythbusters video where they tried to drive a fast low car under the legs of a deer/moose?

Thanks again for all the support and great ideas!

EDIT: Forgot to mention I'm using furkot to map out my road trip. It's actually pretty neat and you can set parameters for max distance driven per day or max hours.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatech30 View Post
zoidberg444, I have the WP and spark plug inspection on my list for tomorrow, today dragged out more than expected because I had to wait on parts, and it'd been a while since I had done the slide pins, so was feeling overwhelmed with the decisions of how much grease to use. lol

I have a Battery charger BESTEK 600A Peak 10000mA, it was buried in my "have:" list in OP. I have spare bulbs for head and tail lights already too.

Looks like I should definitely get a fuel container then, maybe a 2 gallon (~7.6L), should get me max 80 miles (129km). Good idea on the zip ties, although, I feel like I will be carrying too much stuff now, haha, but it's a long trip. Getting paranoid, but I know that doing such a huge amount of driving in such a short amount of time will statistically increase my chances of encountering hazards.

I'm actually planning to document quite a bit of the trip. I just got an essential phone with a 360 camera attachment, so I plan to do some pictures and video in that format. I also want to do some time lapsing of my dash cam recordings. May even start a youtube channel, but not too sure on that just yet. We'll see how it flows once, I start.
Brake service is a good idea. How old is your brake fluid? I flushed mine before i went to Norway and i'm glad i did because the mountainous terrain really gave my brakes a workout. I'm sure your brakes will do some hard work on your trip criss-crossing mountain ranges and the like.

Yeah. Normally when i go on a trip and I'm camping my car gets a bit... full.



The Yaris takes it like a champ though!
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:02 AM   #12
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zoidberg444, haha, that's fully packed! How do you like the electric cooler? That's another item on my list, I've been debating. However, I think I may go with the $300 coolers since I'm not going to be driving 24/7 nor may be around outlets often enough.


I did my brake fluid change about 3 years ago at 160k miles, and had never done it before that, so I think it will be fine. However, I think I do need to top it up. I noticed it had moved down a bit. I was given a verbal warning on the mountains because I was going 5MPH over the limit, and "braking too much." I was in second gear, which tops out around 30MPH, limit was 25MPH. So I kept lightly tapping the brakes to try and stay below. Didn't care to argue since it was just a warning. If I had gone into 1st I'd be stuck at 15MPH -__-
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatech30 View Post
zoidberg444, haha, that's fully packed! How do you like the electric cooler? That's another item on my list, I've been debating. However, I think I may go with the $300 coolers since I'm not going to be driving 24/7 nor may be around outlets often enough.


I did my brake fluid change about 3 years ago at 160k miles, and had never done it before that, so I think it will be fine. However, I think I do need to top it up. I noticed it had moved down a bit. I was given a verbal warning on the mountains because I was going 5MPH over the limit, and "braking too much." I was in second gear, which tops out around 30MPH, limit was 25MPH. So I kept lightly tapping the brakes to try and stay below. Didn't care to argue since it was just a warning. If I had gone into 1st I'd be stuck at 15MPH -__-
I'm surprised how good it was actually. It was a cheaper one from a camping place that i got before going to Cornwall last year. It can run on 12V and 240V mains so you can leave it running in the tent when camping. Although on hot days it struggles so i i would probably spend more money if i was getting one for a really long trip and running only on the cars 12V.

I read the recommended service interval for brake fluid is 2 years. There is a little gadget you can get that checks the moisture content in the fluid and tells you if its time i change it. I did mine in 2016. I'll probably do it again this year for my winter service.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:54 AM   #14
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I saw the pictures of the cracked rubber bleeder caps. Change them if you like but it means nothing. It’s more important to hit the bleeders with a little penetrating oil every year and tighten and loosen them too. Otherwise show bleeding become necessary the bleachers may snap off when you try to loosen them. There is no requirement in the owners manual to change the brake fluid but it’s a good idea if you’re driving In mountainous areas. Just bleeding is probably enough.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:29 AM   #15
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damn that sounds like a trip i wanna take, in my experience (ive done 2 6000 mile trips, one in 13 days, the other in 6) was that rural, countryside driving gets pretty monotonous and i found myself doing 90+ average just to avoid boredom/exhaustion. the "highspeed driving"cold tire pressure is 35psi if i remember correctly and thats what i used.

i have an old cobra radar detector that saved me quite a few times in northern texas. it might be beneficial to have as it also shows compass and battery voltage, also its a good idea to have a splitter for the cigarette lighter so that you can charge more than one device at a time. another thing was my casio protrek, it showed me altitude the entire time and i was fascinated as hell with it (mostly because i live at sea level lol)

hmm what else, a lumbar support pillow also helped me alot! i used a small rectangular head pillow, it allowed me to change seating positions and keep my back from seizing up, every 20-30 mins or so i would recline the seat and stretch every way i possibly could (while still being safe) to get the blood moving

im an absolute health nut normally but being in a rush during my 6 day trip made me rotate trail mix, 5 hour energy's and cigarettes lol, also cigs and 5 hour energy's are potent as hell and obviously terrible but they're still healthier than falling asleep at the wheel..

message me anytime, i really enjoy talking about roadtrips :P
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:02 AM   #16
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I drove from FL to CA to ship my 2008 hatch back to ship her to HI. Pick up a nail and had to have a tire plugged. Engine light on for have the trip and then I looke at change the oil sticker and it was time for an oil change. I drove only during the day and stopped at dusk. Left on a Thursady and arrived in HI on a Tuesday. I took 75 to I10 to I20 and back to I10. I avoid where the hurricane went thru in Texas. In other words, I took the long way around. Change the oil once I got to HI.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:26 PM   #17
seatech30
 
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Brettguy, thanks for the info and suggestions. I'm planning to stick to under speed limit for this one. I really don't want to risk adding to my budget with fines and tickets. Also reducing the risk of hitting something on the road or increasing my changes of avoiding hazards.

I will probably look into something to keep my back cooled/aired. Luckily my seat is pretty good as is and don't need to worry about lumbar, but it can get a bit warm and sweaty some times. Haha, I was thinking about going Vegan for the trip to avoid needed a cooler box... but still working on that, we'll see.

libraryelf, I plan to get a full size spare tire to add to my already maxed out list of tire repair tools. I'll PM you with some questions about your trip I'm interested in hearing about.

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:06 PM   #18
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Dodge Aries K, Rockford, IL isn't much of a detour from my current route through Illinois. I'll send you a message when I get closer. I should be there about 37 days after I start my trip according to my route estimate.
Awesome, sounds good. You can see all the cool abandoned buildings here hahaha.
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