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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I just purchased a 1999 cr-v ex model with 158k miles. I'll be doing a cross country trip in about a week, and I'm not sure how I should prepare the car for the trip. I know I should bring a spare tire, and I'll be bringing a jumpstarter just in case, is there anything else you guys suggest? Do the cr-v models burn oil like some other Honda models do? Would bringing an extra bottle of oil be a good idea? I want to be prepared and pack whatever the car may need during the trip.
Thanks for any tips.
 

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lots of things.
change the oil.
check the age, condition and tread on the tires. set to minimum recommended pressures as specified by manufacturer on the door jamb, not the sidewall of the tire.
since its this old, and not sure where you are going or what you will be hauling, i'd recommend changing out the brake fluid as it could be old and diluted. while you're at it, check the pads as well.
check all your lights to ensure proper working condition
i'd also recommend flushing and refilling coolant. again, age of what's in there - do you know for sure????

those are the minimums i would check before i took a newly purchased 22 year old car across the country with.

there would be more if it were in my garage, but you won't have that much time to get it all done before your trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
lots of things.
change the oil.
check the age, condition and tread on the tires. set to minimum recommended pressures as specified by manufacturer on the door jamb, not the sidewall of the tire.
since its this old, and not sure where you are going or what you will be hauling, i'd recommend changing out the brake fluid as it could be old and diluted. while you're at it, check the pads as well.
check all your lights to ensure proper working condition
i'd also recommend flushing and refilling coolant. again, age of what's in there - do you know for sure????

those are the minimums i would check before i took a newly purchased 22 year old car across the country with.

there would be more if it were in my garage, but you won't have that much time to get it all done before your trip.
Great advice, thank you, we'll check on all of those! We're not sure about the coolant age, but better safe than sorry, so we'll probably replace it to be safe. I agree the situation is far from ideal, we had been trying private sales for weeks and sellers kept bailing on us and wasting our time, so we eventually just purchased at a dealership. The carfax shows that it appears to have been very well maintained by a single owner. The purpose of the trip will be moving from MD to ID for college.
 

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You got some good advice already. Differential service if AWD, transmission fluids or clutch fluids if manual and soon, find out when the timing belt was last changed. I forget the exact interval but I think it was something like every 60,000 miles or 5 years, check up on that. We've gone longer but not much. But those things aren't going to happen this time.

You don't have a spare on the rear door? Other than that, just make sure you have a car jack with you. On that vintage it should be under the table in the well where it looks like a wheel could fit. We kept a bag with the jumper cables there. I always stuck a quart of oil in one of the pockets in the back because we never used them for much else. Never used the oil, either, both First Gen CRV's we had/have were good that way but each car has its quirks. A roll of duct tape- because yours truly has had the windshield rubber molding begin flapping on a 350 mile trip. Got it fixed before return trip. Of course, duct tape is just a handy thing to have.

But if you don't know the car, check the jack out. I'm saying that because this weekend our 1999 CRV got some much needed TLC and I couldn't locate the jack. After SO consulting the owner's manual, (because we hadn't been in that area for a bit) shocked to find the jack gone. Either it got "jacked" somewhere along the way or more likely, SO lent it out, never got it back, and forgot about it. ;)

Idaho? University of Idaho, Idaho State University?
 

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Not directly related to your car, but I'd make sure you have your medical insurance information, if not your actual records.
I have a QR code on the inside of my watch band that, if scanned by an EMT, gives him my complete info.
Not saying you'll need it, but if you do, having it can save your life.
You'll enjoy life here in the West, more laid back than the East Coast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You got some good advice already. Differential service if AWD, transmission fluids or clutch fluids if manual and soon, find out when the timing belt was last changed. I forget the exact interval but I think it was something like every 60,000 miles or 5 years, check up on that. We've gone longer but not much. But those things aren't going to happen this time.
Thanks! It is awd, and my first awd car model, so I had no idea that needed to be done! I do know about the timing belt and interference engine, so we'll be having that looked at too for sure. It's 90k or 7 years, at least for my old civic it was.
You don't have a spare on the rear door?
I do, but with such a long trip, I'm not sure if that will be a safe enough bet. However, I also don't want to take up space and weigh the car down, so maybe just that one will be sufficient peace of mind.
Idaho? University of Idaho, Idaho State University?
And BYU!
 

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It's 90k or 7 years, at least for my old civic it was.
Yes, it's 90k miles for the timing belt in this generation of CR-V. As long as you drain and refill all the fluids, and take a quart or two of oil with you, it should be good. The B-series does consume oil.

I took my '97 on a 19 hour marathon trip to Maine back in 2014, with 240,000 miles on it, and aside from an oil change I had no problems whatsoever. In fact, it was "infamous" among friends since they knew I'd piled up a lot of miles and had owned it since new. So despite it looking a little worse for wear, it made the trip just fine. It also made a trip to South Carolina without incident. The first-gen certainly isn't powerful (don't attempt passing on two-lane roads unless you're completely clear of traffic, and have your life insurance paid up), but they are simpler vehicles than the later generations. That's back when Honda made reliable cars that could run 200,000 miles on scheduled maintenance and wear items.
 

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If you've got the service records and an owner's manual you can do a quick check list. That should tell you when things need to be done. If you got it at a Honda dealer, or know one, you may be able to augment the Car Fax report with records from Honda. We were able to fill in a few gaps that way. Don't know if they will do that unless you get it serviced at a dealer or you might get to pay a small fee.
 

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First, unless you are placing an unusually heavy load in the vehicle, inflate all five tires to 36 PSI, not 26 as the door jamb suggests. The recommended 26 on the door jamb will wear your tires out really really fast, and while it is ideal for off-road driving, it is not appropriate for Highway driving.

If you do not know when your valves were last adjusted, or if it has been more than three oil changes since they were adjusted, adjust them now. The exhaust valves will run tight over time, and you will have engine damage if it is not addressed.

My CR-V does not lose a noticeable amount of oil between oil changes, but that doesn't mean yours won't. I would take with you a container of fluid in every type your CR-V uses until you have driven it long enough to expect how much fluid you will be losing over time.

I would also do a thorough underbody, suspension, belt, hose, electrical, exhaust, etc inspection when you change your oil and all of your fluids. Properly inspecting the car every time it is serviced is the easiest way to find issues you need to address before they become problems that will leave you stranded.

On the subject of fluids, every drain plug, and the rear differential fill plug, requires a crush washer. That crush washer must be replaced every time the drain or fill plug is removed. They are very cheap and easy to get at any Honda dealer.

The rear brakes on these don't self-adjust terribly well. If you want to check yours, start the engine and remain parked with the parking brake off. Step on the brake pedal several times to get an idea of how squishy it is. Then pull the parking brake lever up as far as you can, and step on the brake pedal a few more times. If the brake pedal gets significantly more firm while the parking brake is engaged, the rear brakes need to be adjusted.

As has been mentioned, make sure the timing belt is replaced in a timely manner. Under normal conditions, the timing belt on a first gen only has to be replaced 100,000 miles, but if the car has been driven in extreme temperatures, hot or cold, the belt needs to be replaced after only 60,000 miles. If you don't know when the timing belt was changed, change it now. Also, always replace the coolant pump whenever you replace the timing belt. The coolant pump is operated by the timing belt, and if the coolant pump goes bad, it can destroy the timing belt immediately. Timing belts usually come with a replacement timing belt tensioner pulley. That should also be replaced whenever the timing belt is replaced. All three accessory belts should also be replaced at the same time, since you have to take them off anyway.

If you want to be super prepared, make sure that you have some sort of roadside assistance, like aaa, that can tow you either to your destination or back home if you break down and can't fix your car on the road. CRVs don't break down frequently, but since the vehicle is new to you, you aren't going to have a clear picture of what repairs may have been neglected.
 

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First, unless you are placing an unusually heavy load in the vehicle, inflate all five tires to 36 PSI, not 26 as the door jamb suggests. The recommended 26 on the door jamb will wear your tires out really really fast, and while it is ideal for off-road driving, it is not appropriate for Highway driving.

If you do not know when your valves were last adjusted, or if it has been more than three oil changes since they were adjusted, adjust them now. The exhaust valves will run tight over time, and you will have engine damage if it is not addressed.

My CR-V does not lose a noticeable amount of oil between oil changes, but that doesn't mean yours won't. I would take with you a container of fluid in every type your CR-V uses until you have driven it long enough to expect how much fluid you will be losing over time.

I would also do a thorough underbody, suspension, belt, hose, electrical, exhaust, etc inspection when you change your oil and all of your fluids. Properly inspecting the car every time it is serviced is the easiest way to find issues you need to address before they become problems that will leave you stranded.

On the subject of fluids, every drain plug, and the rear differential fill plug, requires a crush washer. That crush washer must be replaced every time the drain or fill plug is removed. They are very cheap and easy to get at any Honda dealer.

The rear brakes on these don't self-adjust terribly well. If you want to check yours, start the engine and remain parked with the parking brake off. Step on the brake pedal several times to get an idea of how squishy it is. Then pull the parking brake lever up as far as you can, and step on the brake pedal a few more times. If the brake pedal gets significantly more firm while the parking brake is engaged, the rear brakes need to be adjusted.

As has been mentioned, make sure the timing belt is replaced in a timely manner. Under normal conditions, the timing belt on a first gen only has to be replaced 100,000 miles, but if the car has been driven in extreme temperatures, hot or cold, the belt needs to be replaced after only 60,000 miles. If you don't know when the timing belt was changed, change it now. Also, always replace the coolant pump whenever you replace the timing belt. The coolant pump is operated by the timing belt, and if the coolant pump goes bad, it can destroy the timing belt immediately. Timing belts usually come with a replacement timing belt tensioner pulley. That should also be replaced whenever the timing belt is replaced. All three accessory belts should also be replaced at the same time, since you have to take them off anyway.

If you want to be super prepared, make sure that you have some sort of roadside assistance, like aaa, that can tow you either to your destination or back home if you break down and can't fix your car on the road. CRVs don't break down frequently, but since the vehicle is new to you, you aren't going to have a clear picture of what repairs may have been neglected.
This.

You don't know the car yet.

Ditto on tires. With about 16 years of ownership of 1999 and 2001 First Gen, we followed the advise of the people we bought tires from- Discount Tire and Les Schwab. Generally the max psi is around 44- which you don't run them at unless you maybe have a really heavy load. We have run from 32 to 34 psi. I figure, maybe incorrectly, that the door jam psi was for a "softer" ride and maybe tires have evolved since then. Our First Gens handled like sloths at 26psi and I never "got" the wisdom of running them at pretty much half inflation. In fact, on ours I would consider the way they handled at that low psi unsafe. Since we're getting temperature changes, check inflation if you haven't. SO recently took the '99 in and with the warming that happened recently, tires were up to 38.

Thanks Lochinvar for the information on the timing belt- I was thinking 60,000 because yes, we were operating them in areas of pretty cold or hot temperatures and it just got to be norm for us. At 158,000 the car has either had the belt replaced (Maybe twice) or overdue if not. Would for sure be trying to get that information. Looks like coming from Maryland so a bit cold there. Having had a water pump fail in another Honda last year, they just did the belt at the same time. (Wasn't that far off needing done) I've heard that for years and I think they also replace the pump at the same time, if memory serves. Water pump- do the timing belt too. Timing belt- replace water pump too. At least, that's what has been done in our Hondas.

If you haven't spent any time in the west before, Maryland to BYU Idaho may come as a bit of a culture shock. Personally, I liked the "out in the boonies" (Compared to big city) university I went to. But then, I was raised in a rural area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As long as you drain and refill all the fluids, and take a quart or two of oil with you, it should be good. The B-series does consume oil.
Great, I'll definitely be packing a bottle or two of oil then! Thanks! These models take 5w30, right?
First, unless you are placing an unusually heavy load in the vehicle, inflate all five tires to 36 PSI, not 26 as the door jamb suggests. The recommended 26 on the door jamb will wear your tires out really really fast, and while it is ideal for off-road driving, it is not appropriate for Highway driving.

If you do not know when your valves were last adjusted, or if it has been more than three oil changes since they were adjusted, adjust them now. The exhaust valves will run tight over time, and you will have engine damage if it is not addressed.

My CR-V does not lose a noticeable amount of oil between oil changes, but that doesn't mean yours won't. I would take with you a container of fluid in every type your CR-V uses until you have driven it long enough to expect how much fluid you will be losing over time.

I would also do a thorough underbody, suspension, belt, hose, electrical, exhaust, etc inspection when you change your oil and all of your fluids. Properly inspecting the car every time it is serviced is the easiest way to find issues you need to address before they become problems that will leave you stranded.

On the subject of fluids, every drain plug, and the rear differential fill plug, requires a crush washer. That crush washer must be replaced every time the drain or fill plug is removed. They are very cheap and easy to get at any Honda dealer.

The rear brakes on these don't self-adjust terribly well. If you want to check yours, start the engine and remain parked with the parking brake off. Step on the brake pedal several times to get an idea of how squishy it is. Then pull the parking brake lever up as far as you can, and step on the brake pedal a few more times. If the brake pedal gets significantly more firm while the parking brake is engaged, the rear brakes need to be adjusted.

As has been mentioned, make sure the timing belt is replaced in a timely manner. Under normal conditions, the timing belt on a first gen only has to be replaced 100,000 miles, but if the car has been driven in extreme temperatures, hot or cold, the belt needs to be replaced after only 60,000 miles. If you don't know when the timing belt was changed, change it now. Also, always replace the coolant pump whenever you replace the timing belt. The coolant pump is operated by the timing belt, and if the coolant pump goes bad, it can destroy the timing belt immediately. Timing belts usually come with a replacement timing belt tensioner pulley. That should also be replaced whenever the timing belt is replaced. All three accessory belts should also be replaced at the same time, since you have to take them off anyway.

If you want to be super prepared, make sure that you have some sort of roadside assistance, like aaa, that can tow you either to your destination or back home if you break down and can't fix your car on the road. CRVs don't break down frequently, but since the vehicle is new to you, you aren't going to have a clear picture of what repairs may have been neglected.
And this is great, thanks! I will be sure to check all of this.
At 158,000 the car has either had the belt replaced (Maybe twice) or overdue if not. Would for sure be trying to get that information.
We're trying to figure this out, the car is undergoing MD inspection before its sale right now, and I've read that there may be a sticker with the replacement date on it, so I'll check for that when I pick up the car. If I can't find that information, I'm going to have it replaced preventatively. I know this model has an interference engine and I do NOT want to deal with that if it snaps!
Generally the max psi is around 44- which you don't run them at unless you maybe have a really heavy load. We have run from 32 to 34 psi.
So should we inflate them to the 36 as stated above? Or should we just pick somewhere in the 32-36 range? Would there be an exact ideal psi number?
 

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So should we inflate them to the 36 as stated above? Or should we just pick somewhere in the 32-36 range? Would there be an exact ideal psi number?
The higher you pump them up, the rougher the ride will be. So, on a long drive, a few pounds too high, especially at high speed, can be tiring.
 

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We're trying to figure this out, the car is undergoing MD inspection before its sale right now, and I've read that there may be a sticker with the replacement date on it, so I'll check for that when I pick up the car. If I can't find that information, I'm going to have it replaced preventatively. I know this model has an interference engine and I do NOT want to deal with that if it snaps!

So should we inflate them to the 36 as stated above? Or should we just pick somewhere in the 32-36 range? Would there be an exact ideal psi number?
Everyone will have different views on psi. And it depends on tire and car. We have generally been told to run at 34 through several sets of tires on the First Gens. Toyo, Yokahama. Except now that the '99 has Continentals, 32 is recommended. That 32 - 34 seemed to be the sweet spot for handling for us. All of the tires I've mentioned here had that top psi of 44. We never took ride into consideration- it's a First Gen CRV. Right now with a new to us Second Gen CRV, having just put new General tires on it, the recommendation for those tires was 32. Your temperature can change the psi so for winter, they may need more air to get to the desired psi because they lose some, in summer, reverse. With a heavy load, as Lochinvar said, a few more psi.

I've only had one dealer who wouldn't set the psi as requested- and I ended up swinging by the tire dealer anytime the car had been there. That's been years ago now. So, if the car is being serviced you may want to note where you want the tires.

I've never heard of a sticker for the timing belt but maybe I'll learn something new. Any records you can get hold of would help. If you've got it at a Honda dealership, they should be able to use the VIN to pull any records they may have in their system. If not, maybe the people checking the car can ask a dealer to run the VIN for maintenance records. However, that will only hold if the work was done at a dealership. Timing belt replacement isn't cheap but may be worth peace of mind.
 

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So should we inflate them to the 36 as stated above? Or should we just pick somewhere in the 32-36 range? Would there be an exact ideal psi number?
On another forum (now long gone), I learned that 30 to 32 psi for the tires was ideal for everyday driving, not the 26 psi Honda listed on the door plate, and this was after I'd owned it a dozen years. This made tires wear more evenly and improved the gas mileage and made it a little less sluggish. 26 was an odd choice, too, since my earlier Hondas were at higher pressures. I found anything over 32 to be like riding on concrete donuts (not that the CR-V has a great ride to begin with), and handling suffers as well. Safety issue, in other words.

I've never heard of a sticker for the timing belt but maybe I'll learn something new.
Some independent shops might do this. But, the stickers are sometimes included in timing belt kits, like the kit I bought for our Civic. Mileage and date can be written in, and I can stick it anywhere I choose. Given how old the Civic is, with 240k miles, this timing belt change will probably be its last.
 

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I bumped my tires up to 36 for wear. Anything less constantly gives me shoulder wear, but I also drive in the mountains, so constant winding roads probably contribute to that. I've had no complaints about ride comfort. I'm almost always glad to be rolling in BG after having to drive something newer (with those stupid low-profile tires).

I did try to run my tires at 38 for a week to even out my tread wear, but that was a bit uncomfortable, so back to 36, it went.

I do let them down to 26 for OHV trails, and 23 for snow driving, but that's unusual.
 

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32 to 35 psis is a good number BUT make sure you don't roll on the sidewalls when making a turn.
As for maintenance goes stop chasing ghosts, just replace all fluids, inspect brake pads condition, remove valve cover and see if the t belt is showing how old it is. Never assume this "should have been" done or replaced x time ago.
Paper will hold anything you write on it.
Just inspect it and you will know the condition of the part being inspected.
Look at suspension bushings, mounts and anything related to suspension and steering. Replace what looks obviously damaged or about to go(cracked rubber bushings or missing pieces or rubber).
I'm not trying to be the bad guy here.
Like it was said, everyone has their own opinion about everything or anything( me included).

But the only way to know for sure what needs replacement is by looking at the part in question then deciding how bad it is and how soon it needs to get replaced.

Cheers
 

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I think overall, we've said many times in the forums here that when you purchase a used vehicle, a good "reset" is to change out all the fluids. That gives us a baseline that we can base further maintenance off of. A good inspection of the suspension lets you see what's going to need attention. Minor oil leaks? Fix them. Valve cover gaskets and the cam plug are two culprits on the B-series. If it's this old, I would probably do a timing belt, water pump and tensioner immediately--belts can look fine but fail due to the rubber weakening. Tires good? Air 'em up to spec. Beyond that? Gas it up and hit the road! 😁
 
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