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Old 11-05-2011, 01:47 PM
 
1,474 posts, read 3,413,446 times
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May be coming to Elmendorf. I have a Mustang. Should I get rid of the car and buy something else for AK? Would the Mustang make it during the winters?

If not, what would be a recommended vehicle?

Would it be best to purchase a vehicle in the lower 48 or buy one in AK?

Thanks for any thoughtful replies.


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Old 11-05-2011, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Lyons, France, Whidbey Island WA
19,414 posts, read 15,077,128 times
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Sell there

Buy here

4WD or AWD.

Johnsons Tires
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
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How are you planning on getting up here? That may help determine whether it would be better to buy down there.

Lots of people drive front wheel drive cars as well as AWD. You see all sorts of vehicles here, but there's a predominance of 4wd trucks and Subarus. I wouldn't do rear wheel drive in the winter, but some brave (and patient) souls do. Older used vehicles tend to have a lot of miles on them and be in worse shape for the money up here, but that's apparently not the case with newer used vehicles. There's no sales tax in Fairbanks or Anchorage, so you can save some money if you're buying new. Personally I like having an older but reliable vehicle up here rather than something you're going to be all sad about getting dented or scuffed in some way.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:00 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
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I wouldn't drive a RWD vehicle in the winter in Anchorage. The area gets a fair amount of snow, and the roads in Anchorage are often wet ice because of traffic causing constant condensation and melting.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Harbor Springs, Michigan
2,294 posts, read 3,170,028 times
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Bring your Mustang with you, put some decent tires on it and it should do just fine. The used car market in Anchorage is diabolical prices are high and quality is way low, we looked at a Volvo 1995 850 wagon at Continental in fair condition they wanted $6,000 for it

d/h test drove a 2006 mustang in a snow storm and was amazed at how it held the road, hes lifelong Alaskan so he knows what goes up here and what doesnt.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
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I haven't seen this on the road since the first snowfall, I don't think he's even driving around anymore. This came on the last barge.

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Old 11-06-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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What year Mustang? What Motor? Auto? Stick? If it was optional, do you have ABS/Traction Control?

I would NOT drive any of my pre-1997 V8's in snow.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Default Mustang

Since our winters are so long, sliding about in a Mustang will get frustrating. For a commuter, I would go with something all-wheel drive such as a Subaru with a fresh set of Bridgestone Blizzaks or Nokian hakkapeliittas.

Studs or studless? I think studs are the way to go in Anchorage because of the freeze thaw cycles we get when a warm Chinook blows in and does the mid-winter melt.

This may seem to be overkill, but South-Central Alaska has more than it's share of overly aggressive drivers and defensive driving is very important. The all-wheel drive will get you out of the way of danger much quicker than waiting impatiently for a FWD or RWD car to hook up and move on the compact snow and ice. Driving The Glenn Highway and/or the Seward Highway is considered a bloodsport for many.drivers.

There are some other great AWD cars on the market, but for the value, it's hard to beat a Subaru Legacy, Forester or Impreza.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
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It's possible to get around in a rear-wheel drive in Anchorage if you have good snow tires. I flew an acquaintance down to Missouri last September to drive my Miata up here after I moved because I simply couldn't bear to part with it. I drove it, with studded Hakkapelitta tires, and had no serious problems. I When I finally parked it for the winter, it was for reasons completely unrelated to road conditions. (It's still parked, and in need of a new battery, new top, AK tags, and whatever is wrong with the headlights to be fixed.) However, one problem I *would* have had with it had the snow gotten really deep last year is the fact that it is so low-slung. Even the best tires are useless if the underside of the car won't clear the snow.

When you plan to come is a factor, too. I'm sure some intrepid souls have made the trip drive up here at this time of year, but probably not in a car like that. And shipping is expensive. Whether or not it is worth it depends, in part, on how much your car is worth. If it's brand-new, it might be worth the expense. I know I lost money bringing mine up, but it is an older model.

If I had it to do over, I would have sold it before I moved, and used the money to get an old workhorse of a 4x4 and a snowmachine.

Ah, well...live and learn.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Lyons, France, Whidbey Island WA
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You love that Miata!
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