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Tips for making a cold weather road trip with the 2004 Cabriolet


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I decided to make a road trip from MIami to NYC with stops along the way this holiday season in my 2004 Cabriolet (BLack/BLack with 43K miles). Going to pack my cold weather clothes, put the two English Staffys in the passenger footwell (see enclosed picture), fire up the Valentine along with Google maps and head north on Boxing Day then back down again in mid January.

Are there any cold weather pre-trip maintenance that I should be thinking of? I am going to be visiting my brother in Baltimore where we are going to put on new brake pads and change the oil (having an brother with practical mechanical instincts is a blessing when one owns older German cars), so we can do some of the stuff there, otherwise I can have my mechanic do it for me prior to my trip.

Any advice/insight would be appreciated.

I will send some pictures along the way. The two Staffys have service dog tags so I am sure that there will be some memorable moments along the way.

Hope you all have a great holiday!!

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That will be an awesome, epic drive. Make sure to take pics!.

Anyway here's a good trip checklist:

1. Check all fluids and top off - don't forget windshield washer fluid good to -15F

2. Check air pressure in tires

3. Bring along a tire plug patch kit - you never know where you'll be - I've found it invaluable and faster than waiting for a tow truck.

4. Make sure your portable aircompressor works

5. I hope you have AT LEAST all season tires if not winter tires. North of VA/ DC area it will get cold and your summer tires will become hockey pucks with very little traction. All seasons will help. You can get reasonably inexpensive Continental DWS or if price is no object go with Michelin A/S 3 (I track my car with Michelin A/S 3 - they're that good)

6. Download the app WAZE from either google or appstore. It's the best navigation app out there with realtime data - and it's free - and tells you where cops are too.

Drive safe!

Edited by roadsession
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  • 1 month later...

roadsession - Thanks so much for the advice. Just got back from my road trip on the 25th to NYC and back. A couple of observations on my trip:

  • I took Florida Turnpike/75/85 and just a bit of 95 from outside of Richmond to NYC. Stayed off of 95 as much as possible which was easy since I broke up the trip by staying in Atlanta with friends.
  • The time of day/night you travel makes all the difference. TIming so you stay away from rush hour while going through major cities is key.
  • Florida as the best public rest areas.
  • When I was in college, you had to make sure when driving at night that gas stations were open. That is not the case anymore, you can always find gas and places to eat no matter the time of day..
  • Cops were only bad on the last segment of my trip from Atlanta to Orlando to Miami. The rest of the way was smooth sailing.
  • Typically drove around 85-100mph. Gas mileage was about 23 mpg
  • Wow was it cold this trip. Especially in NYC the week after New Years.
  • Parking a 911 cabriolet on the streets of NYC overnight is no problem. I parked my car there for almost three weeks (alternate side of the street was suspended half the time due to snow/cold) and no issue.
  • Maryland is the worse state for people not getting out of the left lane. Florida is a close second. Lots of people get pissed when you pass them going 100 mph after giving them a quick flick of the high beams while approaching. I figured it was like a European vacation for them as it was like they were driving the Autobahn/Autostrata :)
  • Gas is super cheap in South Carolina.
  • Waffle House in the deep south is a cultural experience that one has to partake on a semi-annual basis. Plus they all have internet juke boxes so you can make friends with the locals by playing a Tom Petty song and the TLC song "Creep".
  • You see very few high end cars on the highway. I can count on one hand the number of Porsche's I saw while driving the entire trip.
  • My Valentine unit was throwing a ton of false positives. I guess that it is due to the traffic sensors that are getting installed on most major interstates. I really need to upgrade my unit
  • Spotify is fantastic for long trips. I bought the new Bose i20 in the ear noise reducing headphones and used them on my ipad while also running Waze in the background along with Google maps. Saved my *** a number of times with traffic and cops shooting radar.
  • I used my summer Continental tires for the trip which was probably not a smart idea, however I missed all the snow/ice while driving. I ended up having to put about 5-6 psi in all the tires after the first half of the trip. I guess I attribute it to the cold.
  • There are some serious pot holes in the northeast, fortunately I missed the vast majority of them :)
  • My dogs were amazing the entire trip. They slept in the passenger footwell the entire time when driving and were a big hit no matter where I took them.

In summary, I would do the trip again. Was a blast driving at night listening to music all in the comfort/performance of the best engineered car in the world.

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Edited by slaskowski
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Nice writeup! Thanks for sharing. Hey, are your Staffies service animals? How'd you get them into bars and restaurants?

We bring our cat into bars and restaurants sometimes, but he's a bit easier to hide (even at 22 lbs) than a couple of Staffies.

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