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Old 08-08-2017, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
64 posts, read 20,732 times
Reputation: 91

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I would not get a diesel unless you plan to tow or carry heavy loads a lot. I have a diesel pickup but it is not my daily driver. In Anchorage or Kenai, you won't have the bone crushing cold that Fairbanks can get, but gas engines just start more reliably in subzero weather if you don't have access to a plug for the block heater.


I wash my car occasionally in the winter and it lives outside. Pick your day to do it, drive it around awhile after you wash it, don't use your parking brake that day, and bring a small rag to wipe off water around the doors weather seal strips. DOT seems to be using more salt than in the past but it still isn't near what they throw down on roads in the NE US.
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:08 PM
 
Location: on the wind
708 posts, read 191,678 times
Reputation: 2504
There are few things more embarrassing than to pull into a gas station on that first sub freezing day in the fall (OK, its early morning when your brain is still on autopilot), start the gas pump, grab the windshield squeegee, unthinkingly slop the slushy fluid across the bone cold glass, not hear the warning Uh WAIT! from a bystander, and stand there watching your windshield go opaque. You know, that really smooth thin glaze that no scraper seems to be able to deal with?

Last edited by AllisonHB; 08-08-2017 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:16 PM
 
Location: on the wind
708 posts, read 191,678 times
Reputation: 2504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventurer99 View Post
I've gone back and forth a lot on new vs used, but at this point I'm leaning towards new. I want all the factory warranties, free maintenance services, and I've read repeatedly on these forums about how beat up and overpriced the used rigs are up there. I am particularly looking for trouble free driving since I don't want to be trying to find a good mechanic, or have to worry about break downs up there, especially with the kids. I never thought I'd go for a new rig, but in this case, I've pretty well convinced myself.

I wouldn't be up in Fairbanks, likely near anchorage or kp. I just assumed they salted the roads all over. I was just trying to figure out if folks in Alaska don't usually buy bright colored rigs, and if so, why not, or maybe the stock on hand at the dealership was just uncharacteristically bland for colors right now.
Consider how much fancy electronic stuff a brand new car may have installed, and how long you can live without it. There may not be a mechanic available who can repair or replace it, and it can take longer for them to even get the part, warranty or not. Or, it doesn't happen to like the cold very much.

My Subaru is what I would consider bright....red, and my choice at the dealership was either red or white. Didn't particularly want a car the color of the stuff blocking other drivers' visibility. If I had my choice I would probably pick a car with a finish that was the same color as the primer underneath. Scratches and rock dings wouldn't upset me as badly or show too much.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
1,745 posts, read 1,342,380 times
Reputation: 1149
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
Consider how much fancy electronic stuff a brand new car may have installed, and how long you can live without it. There may not be a mechanic available who can repair or replace it, and it can take longer for them to even get the part, warranty or not. Or, it doesn't happen to like the cold very much.

My Subaru is what I would consider bright....red, and my choice at the dealership was either red or white. Didn't particularly want a car the color of the stuff blocking other drivers' visibility. If I had my choice I would probably pick a car with a finish that was the same color as the primer underneath. Scratches and rock dings wouldn't upset me as badly or show too much.
I completely agree with the first paragraph. I prefer and purposefully search for vehicles with manual features: hand-crank windows, transmission, hubs, transfer case, and most of all minimal "brain" (I wish I could find a good pickup with wind wings. I miss wind wings!). This usually dictates that my vehicles are older, but I prefer them that way. You can't jumpstart a new truck without voiding the warranty. Pass! Hard pass!

Regarding mechanics & part availability, I will mention again for the benefit of the op (everyone else has heard this too many times) that my cousin and her husband got stuck in the middle of the Yukon for three weeks when their brand new Cummins went t.u. They had to get a tow back to the closest "mechanic," which cost them a few grand, then they spent several thousands of dollars in lodging, etc while this guy flew the wrong parts into the Yukon several times, all while the $15 sensor he needed was out in his boneyard. New is not always better, and a warranty isn't going to solve all your problems, especially in Alaska & surrounds.

Funny, my sister and I were just talking about this... unintentionally, all of both of our trucks have been white or silver. I have never cared one tiny bit what color a vehicle was. If it checks out at the mechanic and has been taken care of, it could be polka dotted for all I care. Somehow I just end up with white or silver, aka "winter camo." haha.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
3,652 posts, read 1,690,101 times
Reputation: 6465
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
Consider how much fancy electronic stuff a brand new car may have installed, and how long you can live without it. There may not be a mechanic available who can repair or replace it, and it can take longer for them to even get the part, warranty or not. Or, it doesn't happen to like the cold very much.

My Subaru is what I would consider bright....red, and my choice at the dealership was either red or white. Didn't particularly want a car the color of the stuff blocking other drivers' visibility. If I had my choice I would probably pick a car with a finish that was the same color as the primer underneath. Scratches and rock dings wouldn't upset me as badly or show too much.

I've never had any problems with my electronics. And they sure do make driving easier and safer. I hear the same thing about ice makers and garage door openers. I bet there are people who would opt for a hand cranked engine so they wouldn't have to worry about the starter going out, if one were still available..
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:40 PM
 
Location: on the wind
708 posts, read 191,678 times
Reputation: 2504
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I've never had any problems with my electronics. And they sure do make driving easier and safer. I hear the same thing about ice makers and garage door openers. I bet there are people who would opt for a hand cranked engine so they wouldn't have to worry about the starter going out, if one were still available..
I agree that not all electronics are automatically bad, just that it's something to consider before buying one with lots of fancy extras.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:44 PM
 
Location: on the wind
708 posts, read 191,678 times
Reputation: 2504
Quote:
Originally Posted by riceme View Post
I completely agree with the first paragraph. I prefer and purposefully search for vehicles with manual features: hand-crank windows, transmission, hubs, transfer case, and most of all minimal "brain" (I wish I could find a good pickup with wind wings. I miss wind wings!). This usually dictates that my vehicles are older, but I prefer them that way. You can't jumpstart a new truck without voiding the warranty. Pass! Hard pass!

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Hand crank windows Yes! I hate it when a window gets left open and it freezes overnight! Wind wings Yes! Really miss those.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
1,745 posts, read 1,342,380 times
Reputation: 1149
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
Hand crank windows Yes! I hate it when a window gets left open and it freezes overnight! Wind wings Yes! Really miss those.
Electric windows are the worst, and some sharp marketing person really needs to bring back wind wings. True story, I stalled buying a new truck for almost a year once because I was looking for one with wind wings.

I honestly see no upside to an automatic transmission.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:29 PM
 
21 posts, read 5,707 times
Reputation: 10
So, the mileage comments by riceme got me thinking hard. Why on earth does a tundra get such crappy mileage? I have always driven trucks, and I'm used to not great jleage, but that would be an ongoing hassle for the life of the rig. I don't want to make a bad choice on a vehicle that will haunt me for years to come. I thought Toyota trucks were the way to go if one wanted a gas engine. But maybe not?

If you had to advise a single mom, not getting any younger, not wealthy, but with enough cash to get set up right for the future, on what rig to buy new that would be the best overall choice for a decade or more of reliable service up there, what would you recommend? Maybe I need to change my ways and go for a Subaru? I do need a truck now and then, but I guess not every day. Or maybe a gas ford or chevy would be ok? I am not willing to pay the cost of a new diesel full size truck, though, no matter how great they are. A new tundra max was pushing my comfort zone, but I thought the reliability and longevity would be worth it. I would greatly prefer a truck over an SUV or car, but I need to make a smart choice here, more than a preferred choice, I think.

I really thought I had this one all figured out, and now I'm all up in the air. The choice of vehicle will be one of my biggest, and I need to get it right the first time, and have it settled before I get up there. I don't feel confident enough to evaluate and select a good used rig, nor to track down a good, reliable mechanic my first winter there. I will have my hands full with all the other changes. I appreciate your opinions.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
729 posts, read 445,653 times
Reputation: 751
With 4 of you you will need a 4door pickup which will cost more. Maybe a SUV would be a better fit for 4 people. Daughter has a 2013 Toyota Rav 4 and loves it.
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