If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

To roadtrip or not?

I’ve since cleared up the headlights, that was the only thing Ive done to improve it aesthetically

So I’ve got a 1998 Dodge Neon RT that I recently picked up and have done the following maintenance:

  • Upper radiator hose
  • Lower radiator hose
  • 180 degree Thermostat
  • Coolant reservoir
  • Radiator cap
  • Oil filler cap
  • Oil change with filter
  • Spark Plugs
  • Spark Plug wires
  • Coil pack
  • Crank position sensor
  • Rear O2 sensor
  • Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Tank Straps

Other recent maintenance by previous owner

  • Timing Belt, water pump, seals (within 50k miles, not documented but the guy seemed trustworthy and the belt looks good under the inspection cover. Should be done within ~30k anyways as a precaution)
  • Battery
  • Shocks/Struts and springs
  • Brakes (rebuilt calipers, new rotors and pads)
  • Exhaust
  • Tires are recent enough and have enough tread that I approve of their safety

Some stuff I plan to do before leaving

  • Intake Gasket (maybe)
  • Change and bleed Brake Fluid
  • Front Engine Mount

And some outstanding maintenance items, but shouldnt affect a road trip (no power steering obviously):

  • Power Steering Reservoir
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Power Steering Belt
  • Power Steering fluid return line
  • Mild exhaust leak (could use some exhaust gasket maker)

And some other positive notes

  • Compression check was good, 180-200 all four cylinders
  • Clutch is pretty good, no issues there
  • No obvious fluid leaks with the power steering bypassed
  • No scary rust on the frame or anything like that
  • Lights are all good and functional

Now the only issue is I havent driven it very far yet so this would be the maiden voyage beyond an hour drive. I have tested it out enough to be sure it wont overheat or massively leak oil but who knows what else could go wrong on a 19 year old car. Brake lines are rustier than I’d like but otherwise its a great little car.


So the question to Oppo is, to road trip or not to road trip? I’ve got like 500 miles of driving planned for the weekend. Alternative plan is a Subaru BRZ (manual) on Turo. But I really do want to drive the Neon since it is fun to tool around with. I just am of course worried about something else breaking. But I think I really did cover EVERYTHING that could go wrong.

2013 BRZ would be a nice car for the weekend, but do I want to spend $400??

Also, I need to wash it and take pictures for Oppo! I only have the first day photos still. And random internet photos of other ones. Would love to get it to look like this:


UPDATE: Girlfriend is the sensible one and has decided we are renting the BRZ. It helps that I absolutely love those cars anyways. Oh well, I will try to plan a road trip the following weekend with the Neon anyways. It will get road tripped!

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