Recent Alaska Shipping News

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How to care for your car’s heat
What to do if your heat stops working
Conclusion
 
car-heat-alaska

 

How to care for your car’s heat

Your car’s heat serves more of a purpose than just keeping you warm during the cold winter months as you drive. The same system that releases heat into your passenger cabin on cold days is the system that takes excess heat off of your engine and releases it safely away from the engine which prevents your vehicle from overheating as well as keeps the engine operating at an optimal and efficient level. So, if your heating system stops working you will be quite cold during the winter. But, this can also lead to more serious issues during the summer such as a break down.

For these reasons, you need to make sure that you take care of your car’s heating system. Doing so will not be difficult at all. It will basically just consist of not abusing the system as well as getting regular maintenance performed by a trusted mechanic. Be sure that this maintenance includes making sure antifreeze is clean and filled up as well as checking on the belts and hoses that are a part of the heating system.
 

What to do if your heat stops working

If your car’s heat suddenly stops working on a cold winter night, you will want to get it back in working order as soon as possible rather than wait a day to see a mechanic and then wait hours or even days while they repair it. Thankfully, getting your car’s heat working again is something that you might be able to do yourself depending on the cause of the issue. Either way, if your car’s heat stops working and you are actually able to get it working again or not, you should bring your car in for maintenance as soon as you can.

If your car’s heat has stopped working, you should first check the coolant. If the level is low, you should add more. Doing so might get the heat going because the heater’s core requires coolant to function properly. Next, you should make sure that the blowers and vents are working properly. The blowers and vents dispense the air in your passenger cabin. To do this you can take a look with a flashlight and see that the vents move when you change their alignment. You should also be able to see if anything is blocking the vents. If you still find yourself without heat at this point than you should get your car to the mechanic as soon as you can.
 

Conclusion

Your vehicle’s heat will obviously be quite important to keeping you warm as you drive during the winter. But few people know that your vehicle’s heating system is also responsible for the prevention of your engine overheating during warmer months of the year. In order to keep your car’s heating system running well, you should make sure that you take your car in for regular maintenance.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

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What to do to save on car insurance
What not to do to keep rates low
Conclusion
 
alaska-car-insurance

 

What to do to save on car insurance

Paying as little as you can for car insurance while still having good coverage is the name of the game. However, it is no simple task. The first thing that you can do to get a lower car insurance rate is to look at getting a multi-car discount if you are getting auto insurance as a family and not just an individual. Ask your particular insurance provider about specific details.

You can also choose to pay a higher deductible. Doing so means your insurance cost each month will be lower but the amount you will need to pay in case of an accident will be higher. If you trust you and your family’s skills driving, this might be a good option for you. You should also make sure that your credit rating is as high as possible prior to getting car insurance as this will definitely affect your rate.

Consider getting some anti-theft technology installed in your car as well because doing so can help you procure a lower auto insurance rate with certain companies. Finally, you can always shop around before you pick a provider for your car insurance. We recommend getting quotes from at least three different companies before you make a final decision.
 

What not to do to keep rates low

In order to keep rates low, you will need to make sure you stay out of accidents and do not get pulled over. Obviously, if you are in an accident that is not your fault, your insurance rates will not increase. Long story short, always drive safely and carefully. If you do not, rates can get much higher really quickly.

For example, if you get ticketed for speeding in Alaska, the average annual insurance cost increase was seventeen percent. That means if your regular annual insurance rate was $1500, it will be increased by $255 per year for at least a few years. The increase will be much higher for more severe driving infractions or serious accidents.
 

Conclusion

Everyone wants to pay a minimum for car insurance but not many want to put in the effort needed or even know how to do so. Thankfully, it is not that difficult when you do a few different things such as shopping around for your car insurance, looking into a multicar discount, paying a higher deductible and more. Once you have a nice low rate, you can keep it there by simply driving safely and avoiding accidents and traffic tickets.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

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The danger of a flat tire in Alaska
What you will need to fix your flat
How you can change your flat tire
 
flat-tire-in-alaska

 

The danger of a flat tire in Alaska

Alaska is, by far, the biggest state in the US. There are many areas of vast wilderness and lonely highways. The population can be dense in city areas such as Anchorage or Fairbanks but it is quite sparse in most areas throughout the rest of the state.

That is exactly why getting stranded out on the highway because of a flat can turn out to be an incredibly dangerous situation in Alaska. Not only will help likely be quite far away, but you also might be in an area will cell service is extremely poor or non-existent. This obviously means that you might not be able to call for help either.

Areas like this are much higher in frequency in Alaska than anywhere else. This is why it is so dangerous to get stranded here without knowing how or being able to fix your own flat tire.
 

What you will need to change your flat

In order to change your flat tire, you will need a spare tire or at least a reliable donut. You will also need a few tools in order to be able to make the change. This includes a lug wrench, wheel wedges and a jack. This might also include alignment studs as well as a wheel lock depending on the type of car that you have.

This means you will also need your car’s owner manual. This will let you know what you specifically need to do in order to successfully change your tire as each type of car will vary in what you will need to do. Finally, you will also need a few miscellaneous items such as a flashlight, a small piece of wood, a rain coat or poncho and gloves.
 

How you can fix your flat tire

You will also need to know what you are doing before you ever even attempt to change one or more of your tires. As we mentioned before, the process will be slightly different for different cars. However, the general process will remain the same.

When you get a flat tire in Alaska it is “safety first” as always, so be sure that you find an area off the road that will be safe to change the tire. You should also turn on and keep your hazard lights on. With that in mind you should also turn your car off because changing a tire can take a while especially at night and/or in poor weather conditions. Leaving your car on for too long can result in your battery dying or your car running out of gas.

Next, you should apply the parking brake and put the wheel wedges under the other tires of the car to make sure that it does not start rolling as you are fixing the one tire. After that you can remove the hubcap.

After that you should loosen up the lug nuts and then you should place the jack under the car. You can then raise the vehicle using the jack. Once you have done that, you should remove the lug nuts completely and remove the flat tire.

After that is done you can put the spare tire or donut on the lug bolts. Then you need to put the lug nuts back on and tighten them completely. You then can lower the car by using the jack again. Once that is completed, check the lug nuts to ensure they are completely tightened. Finally, put the hubcap back on and you can be on your way.

Remember, if you have never changed a tire before and you have no one else with you, call for help instead. Do not attempt to learn on the fly in an emergency situation. This can result in your tire coming off while you are driving which can be extremely dangerous for you and your passengers.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

Jump to section:
What are bumper guards and their benefits?
Advice for avoiding fender benders
Conclusion
 
bumper-guard-alaska

 

What are bumper guards and their benefits?

A bumper guard is either a set of metal bars that run vertically or a thick rubber pad which will cover one of your bumpers. They are meant to protect your car from front and/or rear end scratches and dents. Typically, the metal bar version will be used for the front bumper so it will not hinder your headlights and the rubber pads are used for rear bumpers. For the metal bars they are usually affixed to the car where the rubber pads are left hanging out of your trunk over your bumper when it is closed.

These guards have a couple of great benefits. First, they will protect your car from small scratches and dents when you are parking, someone else is parking near you or if you are in a low-speed fender bender. They can also reduce the chance of you getting whiplash in a more typical fender bender. Finally, they can protect your car’s paint from things such as shopping carts or careless kids when your car is parked.
 

Advice for avoiding fender benders

If you want to keep damage from fender benders to an absolute minimum, you should do what you can to avoid them altogether. You can start by making sure that you always stay one hundred percent focused on the road by eliminating any potential distractions such as cell phone use, playing loud music and turning your head to look out your window and/or have a conversation with a passenger.

You should also avoid high driving speeds as well as aggressive driving as both are top causes for fender benders. If you see someone else driving at high speeds and/or aggressively, do your best to avoid driving near them. Another important part of fender bender prevention is to always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you as well as avoiding making abrupt stops when you are in traffic.
 

Conclusion

Getting a chip, scratch or dent in your car can be unsightly and will cost you money that you could have easily kept. Using a bumper guard is a great way to prevent these things from happening due to parking, shopping carts and low speed fender benders. However, you should always try your very best to avoid any potential fender benders. Doing so will include driving slower, keeping your distance as well as avoiding making sudden stops in traffic. If you are ever considering shipping a vehicle to or from Alaska, give us a call at (907) 331-3100 for a free quote today!

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

Jump to section:
When you can legally use your hazard lights
Safety advice for using your hazard lights
Final word
 
hazard-lights-alaska

 

When you can legally use your hazard lights

Your vehicle’s hazard lights are quite important because in an emergency situation, they alert other drivers that something is going on and they should only drive near your vehicle with extreme caution. In Alaska, the use of your hazard lights is not permitted at all while your car is in motion. So, this means that you can only use your hazard lights legally in Alaska when you are parked. If you use your hazards to signify you are driving slower than normal for example, you might get pulled over and get a ticket for improper use of your hazards.

This can still be extremely useful. There are times where you might need to pull over due to inclement weather conditions such as a blizzard. If this is the case, you should pull over as far as you can and put your hazards on as you wait it out. The same goes for if you get a flat tire or are having engine issues. Anytime that you need to pull over in Alaska, you should use your hazard lights because visibility for other drivers is not always the best.
 

Safety advice for using your hazard lights

We already mentioned that, in Alaska, it is illegal to use your hazard lights when you are driving. However, there are a few situations when using your hazards while driving is generally accepted. One of these situations is if you are experiencing a medical emergency such as chest pains and are unable to pull over right away. Another is if you are a part of a funeral procession.

You should never use your cars “blinkers” for something unnecessary such as when you are transporting large cargo and need to drive under the speed limit. You should also never use you blinkers to temporarily park illegally in a loading zone, handicapped spot or anywhere else. Doing any of these can easily lead to a ticket.
 

Final word

You should only use your car’s hazard lights or “blinkers” when it is completely necessary to do so. If you ever need to pull over in Alaska, you should definitely use your hazards because inclement weather conditions can really lower visibility for other drivers on the road. Finally, in Alaska, it is illegal to use your hazards when driving although there are situations where you might need to such as if you are part of a funeral procession. Do not use your hazards as an excuse to something illegal such as park illegally.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

Jump to section:
When you can put your studded tires back on
The benefit of studded snow tires
Final word
 
studded-snow-tires-alaska

 

When you can put your studded tires back on

In Alaska, it is legal to have studded tires on your vehicle from September 30th until April 15th of the next year. This only applies to paved roads. For unpaved roads, you may use studded tires year-round. For those of you driving on roads in Alaska north of sixty degrees latitude, these dates are slightly extended, the studded tire season will range from September 15th until May 1st in those areas.

The reason for this is that studded tires can easily cause damage to road surfaces that are not covered with snow or ice. This can lead to costly repairs being needed to be performed on the roads which can cause the need to raise taxes. Thus, the state government wants to avoid that. A recent study also found that studded tires can increase the amount of distance that you need to brake on roads without snow or ice by about ten percent. So, it is for safety’s sake too that these tires are illegal outside of snow season in Alaska.

If you are caught in Alaska using studded tires on your vehicle out of season, you will be ticketed and fined fifty dollars per tire, which will likely add up to two hundred dollars as you will likely have chosen to use studded tires on all four wheels.
 

The benefit of studded snow tires

Although changing your tires twice a year every year might seem like an inconvenience, studded tires can be a big help in Alaska where roads are quite frequently covered with snow and or ice. Studded tires end up providing the best possible traction. The “studs” on your tire are small metal spikes that break and penetrate the snow and ice which gives your tires a much better grip as a result. Because the studs actually penetrate snow and ice rather than just handle them better, it makes them a much better option than other snow tire options out there.
 

Final word

Studded tires can be a huge help on snowy and icy roads in Alaska because they give you the best traction of any tire in these particular conditions. However, when the roads are not full of ice and/or snow these tires can cause your car to take longer to brake as well as damage paved roads. As a result, it is illegal to have these tires on your car during warmer months. If you are caught with studded tires out-of-season, you will be fined fifty dollars for each tire that has studs.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

Jump to section:
Times when traffic is its worst
Traffic apps
Final Word
 
alaska-traffic

 

Times when traffic is its worst

If you happen to do most of your driving in areas of Alaska where it is most populated such as Anchorage or Fairbanks, you likely can end up hitting some bad traffic at certain points throughout each week and each day. Odds are you will want to avoid that traffic. You can do so by planning ahead, avoiding driving during the densest traffic times and/or by using a traffic app on your phone.

In Alaska, in an area such as Anchorage for example, traffic will typically be at its worst between 7:30AM and 9:00AM as well as from 4:00PM and 6:00PM. This will be from Monday through Fridays due to people commuting to and from work. You also could experience higher than normal levels of traffic in areas like Anchorage when there is an event such as a concert in town.

The point is, always plan ahead. Do your best to avoid driving during the times mentioned above as well as when there is an event going on near the area where you will be driving. Finally, always give yourself some extra time so that if you do get caught in traffic, you will not end up late or trying to speed and/or drive aggressively.
 

Traffic apps

Traffic apps are another effective tool to use in order to avoid getting stuck in a big traffic jam. These are especially useful against sudden and unpredictable traffic situations such as the ones caused by accidents. These apps tend to be crowdsourced with their data/information by users of the app. Users who are stuck in traffic report a slowdown, then the app uses this data to inform other drivers. Other apps might track smart dives along roads and detect when smart devices along a certain stretch of road simultaneously slow down considerably.

If you do use these apps and unfortunately end up stuck in traffic, try and “pay it forward” to the other drivers on the road by reporting the traffic to the app. Popular traffic apps include Waze, Google Maps and INRIX.
 

Final Word

No one ever wants to get stuck in traffic, especially when you need to get somewhere on-time. The best ways to avoid traffic are to plan ahead and use a traffic app such as Waze. In Alaska, there typically is not too much traffic. However, if you are in areas like Fairbanks and Anchorage, then you should try to avoid driving from seven to nine in the morning and four to six in the afternoon as this is when rush hour typically occurs, and traffic is at its worst.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

Jump to section:
How to yield to an emergency vehicle
The penalty for not yielding
Final word
 
emergency-vehicle-hawaii

 

How to yield to an emergency vehicle

If you are driving and you see an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance or police car with their lights and or sirens on behind you, then you must yield to that vehicle. That essentially means get out of their way as long as it is safe for you to do so. You should do whatever you can to yield to your right side so the emergency vehicle can pass on the left, but if yielding left is all you can do, that is better than doing nothing.

Be sure if you are changing lanes and/or pulling over that you do so safely. Check your blind spot and mirrors before you do, make sure that you signal before you do and do so at a safe speed. Keep in mind, yielding to an emergency vehicle who has their lights or siren on is the law and there are penalties for failing to do so.
 

The penalty for not yielding

In Alaska, failure to yield to an authorized emergency vehicle is a serious offense. You will be fined two hundred and fifty dollars as well as get six points on your license. The point system in Alaska for traffic violations dictates that any driver who gets twelve points on their license in twelve months or eighteen points in twenty-four months will have their license suspended for up to a year.

For example, that means if you get a failure to yield to an authorized emergency vehicle ticket in January, and then you are caught driving over the speed limit by only ten miles per hour twice in the next eleven months, your license will be suspended.

You might question “What exactly counts as an emergency authorized emergency vehicle?” Well, in Alaska, the following vehicles are considered authorized emergency vehicles: all ambulances, all police vehicles, all fire trucks and vehicles, all corrections vehicles, all armed forces vehicles, all blood delivery vehicles, all hazardous materials and all sanitation patrol vehicles. In short, if you see flashing lights on a vehicle behind you then yield.
 

Final word

Yielding to an emergency vehicle in Alaska is important because you can slow a first responders’ response to an emergency. For example, you need to let an ambulance by because it might be EMTs responding to a heart attack victim. Regardless, when you do yield to an authorized emergency vehicle, you should always do so safely. If you do not yield to an authorized emergency vehicle in Alaska, the penalty will be steep with a two hundred and fifty dollar fine as well as six points added to your license.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

Jump to section:
The causes of engine stalls
How you can avoid an engine stall
Wrapping up
 
car-engine-in-alaska

 

The causes of engine stalls

Your car engine can stall for a variety of reasons. These reasons can include a dead battery, an empty gas tank, fuel pressure that is too low, a filthy air filter, a faulty alternator and more. Some of these are more likely causes than others. Regardless, you will need to resolve the problem in order to get your engine started again.

When your engine stalls, you should eliminate the possible causes by starting with the simplest to fix until you reach the most complex to fix. You will be able to take care of many of these potential causes yourself but if you feel inexperienced and unsure you will always have the option of bringing your car into the mechanic. Some of the more complex causes will require you take your car into a mechanic.

Start by checking that you have at least a little bit of gas in your tank. If you do, you can then check that you haven’t applied your clutch incoorectly (in the case of manual transmissions). After that, move on to check the state of your air filter. At this point consider the age and condition of your current battery. Also consider that you engine might be flooded. If you still cannot get your car to start back up after checking/repairing these things, it is likely time to get a mechanic involved.
 

How you can avoid an engine stall

Prevention of an issue such as your car stalling will be much easier and less stressful than reacting to and fixing it will be. So, how can you prevent your vehicle from stalling? Well, you can start by taking good care of your car in terms of overall maintenance. You should be taking your car into the mechanic for regular checkups and service at least twice a year. You should also do semi-regular checks on your gas fuel level, the state of the air filters and more. Finally, be sure that you do not abuse your vehicle by doing things like driving through flood waters either.
 

Wrapping up

When your car stalls, it can really bring your day to a halt. Fortunately, there is a decent chance that there will be a relatively quick fix to the issue. However, if there is not, then you can always get your car into the mechanic for an ultimate solution to the issue. In the end, if you take your car in for regular service and take good car of your car in general, engine stalling should never be an issue for your vehicle.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping

Jump to section:
How to react to a chip in your windshield
How to avoid chips in your windshield
Conclusion
 
windshield-chip-alaska

 

How to react to a chip in your windshield

Some people will choose to ignore a new chip in their windshield and that is a mistake, in Alaska or anywhere else. A chip in your windshield can start to crack which can easily end up getting bigger and bigger. Cracks in your windshield will really weaken its effectiveness in protecting you from debris as well as put you at risk of getting an expensive ticket.

That is why as soon as you get a chip in your windshield, you should take care of it right away. You will have a few options for getting a chip in your windshield repaired. You could choose to take care of it yourself by getting a windshield repair kit. This will be the least expensive but most complicated and time-consuming option. If you go this route, follow the directions that come with the kit carefully. You can also find instructional videos on sites like YouTube as well if you need to see the process in action first.

You also have the option of getting professional glass repair for your chip. There are two types of this service, taking your car to a glass repair shop and mobile glass repair. Taking your car to a shop will take less time but it will be a bit less expensive. Mobile glass repair will cost a bit more but it will be much more convenient because the service will send one of their qualified repair people to your location and they will get the job done while you go about your day within an hour or two in most cases.
 

How to avoid chips in your windshield

If you want to skip the hassle of getting a chip in your windshield repaired, you should try your best to avoid getting one in the first place. Sometimes getting a chip will be unavoidable, however, you should do what you can to minimize the chance of getting one.

Doing so will actually not be that difficult. You can start by driving more slowly. By driving slower there will be less of a chance of debris coming up off of the road and striking your windshield. You can also stay away from larger vehicles like eighteen wheelers and vehicles that are driving very fast and or aggressively. Always try to avoid driving off-road and/or on gravel. Finally, do whatever is in your power to keep your distance from the vehicle driving in front of you.
 

Conclusion

Chips in your car’s windshield can be a definite inconvenience. However, they can turn into a major problem and can even become quite dangerous for you and your passengers. If you get a chip, get it fixed as soon as you can. You can do it yourself with the right repair kit, you can bring your car into the shop, or you can hire a mobile glass repair service. If you drive safely, avoid off-roading and keep your distance from the car that is driving in front of you, it can go a long way in terms of preventing these chips.

Posted in: Alaska Car Shipping