Friday, October 10

plugging our cars in {hello, Alaska}


In Alaska, many vehicles have block heaters installed on the engine so they can be plugged in when the temperature drops low enough that engines revolt and decide not to start. It's real, people. Every winter our cars won't start at some point, even when plugged in. Around January/February, it's so stinkin' cold that I don't blame them.
Our family plugs our vehicles in all winter because we don't have a garage to keep them from the elements. But we do have autostart in the form of our 12 and 13 year old sons who love every chance they get to have the car keys in their hands. Even in this fall weather, we have to warm our van up for a bit before loading everyone up. It's cold out there already!
Many residents have an actual autostart installed (if it didn't come factory included) so they can start their cars from inside their home, workplace, or wherever they've stopped. Here we use autostart to warm the insides of our car, but you may use it to make your car cool. It's a real luxury we had one time for about a year. But then we outgrew that vehicle. I'm convinced that's what the rich and famous feel like every day.
Engine block heaters leave a cord hanging out the front of the vehicle like you see in the picture below. Until recent years, I honestly thought cars everywhere came this way. I've lived in Alaska since I was eight years old, so this is really all I know.
Some cities/towns have outlets in parking lots so residents can plug their cars in when out running errands. We don't have many of those in southcentral Alaska, they're more common further north. But there were outlets in the parking lot of my college dorm in Anchorage. They sure helped my beater Nissan Pulsar survive the winter. Bless that piece of junk.
I dated Jeremy through the years he drove "the brown bomb" as we called it (among other names). It was an old Ford Fairmont with a broken-out window covered in plastic, a blue door, and no power steering. Did I mention it had NO heater? Even in -20 degrees? On date nights I often suggested we take my junker instead of his. At least it was warm. Some of the time.
Yeah. Jeremy says it was the car that won me over to him. I don't know about that, but I do know that there was no amount of plugging in or autostarting that would make that bad boy warm to ride around in. Welcome to life in Alaska!  

Catch all the hello, Alaska posts in one spot by clicking HERE.

3 comments on "plugging our cars in {hello, Alaska}"
  1. I am so glad I found you through #write31days - what a wonderful blog you have! I am fully enjoying reading about your adventures. Hello, Alaska. :)

  2. I have never in my life heard of this! Loving your series, Amanda:)

  3. :) This post made me smile. Sometimes we plug in our cars, too (here in Sweden).


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