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Old 07-11-2017, 08:18 PM
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moving to Alaska

I'm moving to Anchorage Alaska this December. I'm trying to find out if I need to get block heater or oil pan heater for my family's cars or not. I drive 2000 v6 Tacoma and my wife drives a 2011 v6 highlander. Anyone have any experience with them? I haven't lived up there since I was a kid and I don't remember my dad ever plugging in a block heater to his old Toyota pickup but I do remember seeing them around.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:02 PM
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I doubt you will need a block heater, cars start much easier than they used to and a v-6 will usually crank faster than a v-8 so it will usually start better in cold weather. The main reasons you may want one are that having some warmth in the engine when you start it will help it last longer, it will build oil pressure quicker than with stone cold oil. also it will run cleaner and your windows will thaw out quicker. I live a little south of Anchorage and I recommend a block heater and an auto start. especially in Anchorage, you will want to leave your car running to thaw the windows before you drive anywhere and unless you want to sit in a cold car waiting you will want one. also leaving your car running with the keys in it in Anchorage is just asking for it to be stolen (worst crime rate in the state).
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:54 AM
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That helps a lot. I'm gonna be driving up there to so I wasn't sure if I should worry about it before the drive up there. By the sound of it an oil pan heater would work pretty well and wouldn't cost to much. I think I'll look into the block heater once I get up there though for the reasons you mentioned.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:03 AM
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block heaters warm up the whole engine better than a pan heater and the warm coolant helps defrost your windows quickly
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:30 AM
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I have a Viper 2-way alarm/remote start on my truck and Celica. The remote start works great, but you need to MAKE SURE the car is in neutral before leaving it. I've seen unfortunate things happen when the car lurches forward.

The Viper alarm also has add-on sensors, like field disturbance. If someone reaches into my Celica with the top down, the alarm activates.

The 2-way systems are about a hundred bucks, so not too bad. Took me a weekend to install the right way (soldering and heat shrinking components).
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:06 PM
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Depends on what part of Alaska you are gonna be in.
I was stationed at Ft. Richardson for 4 years. There were times a block heater and battery blanket helped

it was funny watching Alaska newbs ignoring people trying to get their attention while newb was backing up and forgetting to unplug their stuff.

people have their cars ripped off all the time during the winter because someone starts their car and goes back in for another cup of coffee and fail to pay attention to their driveway

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Old 07-13-2017, 03:40 PM
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That sucks to hear. It been forever but I used to live in Soldotna when I was a kid and it was pretty normal then to just leave the car running in the parking lot.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:36 AM
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Hows the salt situation up there? Might want to invest in some undercoating gear.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:10 PM
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They don't use salt up here, get some studded tires to use in the winter only. Oh, and learn to drive on ice!
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by akwheeler View Post
They don't use salt up here, get some studded tires to use in the winter only. Oh, and learn to drive on ice!
Interesting, is it just not worth the money to buy all the salt or do they use some kind of chemical aggregate?
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:23 AM
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I'm sure it's mostly cost driven, they use sand
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