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I didn't think of this before, as emergency-kit stuff is just always in my vehicles at all times, ready for use. A set of jumper cables is always a good idea, but I would advise getting some heavy-gauge 20' cables, if you have anything less. With the way many cars are these days, you never know when you will have the only car that can help you out be one that has the jump points on the opposite side of the engine bay in the next parking spot over. A 20' cable beats having to push the car out of a spot. Additionally, I would get a Li-ion jump-start battery pack. These things are great little devices, just make sure you get one that's big enough. I had one for a 4-cyl and one for a V-6. The 4-cyl one was so small that it couldn't even jump a 4-cyl car alone. You can plug them in to charge them and leave them in your trunk for 3 months without a recharge. FWIW, I always carry a roll of duct tape, a small spool of wire, and some rope. The rope can be used to tie things on/down. The wire can be used to wire things together or can serve as reinforcing on a coolant hose that blows or is about to blow. The tape is a suitable quick-fix for any non-solvent hoses/lines that need an air-tight, water-tight seal. I also always keep a 5-quart jug of oil and a gallon of coolant in the trunk. A 5-gallon gas can also isn't a terrible idea if you're going through someplace super rural. There are exits in Montana which have signs that say things like, "Last exit for 35 miles. Last service for 72 miles." 2 or 3 gallons jugs of spring water also come in handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thank you for all the advice. I am assembling the components for an emergency repair kit to keep in the vehicle, as well as replacing the serpentine belt this weekend.

What do you think of replacing the water pump? It is original with 175k miles on it, but it does not seem to be squeaking, squealing, or leaking any coolant. I looked at a couple of YouTube videos and while it looks like a bit of tight squeeze to get to it, replacing it does appear to be doable by a novice weekend mechanic like me. Are there any potential pitfalls and/or risks which would not warrant changing it out? If I do go down this route, is there anything else that I should also change while I am in there?
 

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You know the saying, "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." I have a 2010, too. I replaced the water pump at well past 300K. But if it'll make you feel better, by all means. The other thing worth replacing while you're there is the thermostat.
 

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One thing I hadn't thought of that just busted on my 05....upper strut mounts. You have to remove the wiper arms and the plastic cover just below the windshield. Check them for cracks and corrosion. Mine blew out when I hit a pothole but it was clearly corroded and weakened before it went out.
 

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One thing I hadn't thought of that just busted on my 05....upper strut mounts. You have to remove the wiper arms and the plastic cover just below the windshield. Check them for cracks and corrosion. Mine blew out when I hit a pothole but it was clearly corroded and weakened before it went out.
After actually removing this thing, most of the corrosion was underneath so best to inspect it from the wheel well.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
After actually removing this thing, most of the corrosion was underneath so best to inspect it from the wheel well.
I checked this out this weekend while I was replacing the serpentine belt (which was recommended here). All looks clean and good - no sign of any rust or corrosion. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
You know the saying, "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." I have a 2010, too. I replaced the water pump at well past 300K. But if it'll make you feel better, by all means. The other thing worth replacing while you're there is the thermostat.
Yes, I have been hearing a chorus of that too. I will leave it and hope that it will make it to 300K, or at least until we return home from our trip. Thank you for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Just a followup: we completed the trip last week - 7400+ miles and the van ran like a top. At 5K miles, I brought the van in for an oil and filter change and had the tires rotated and balanced. The mechanic recommended replacing the control arm bushings, but said that I could address that when I returned home. All in all, not bad for a vehicle with over 180K miles.
 
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