With the mercury dropping today and for the next few days, CAA Manitoba is once again reminding motorists to be prepared for the elements.
On a typical winter day with moderate freezing temperatures, CAA Manitoba gets 200 calls for service.
When the temperature dips below -20 C, the calls for help usually double or triple.
“During the most recent cold snap, we had more than 750 calls in one 24 hour period, more than half were battery-related problems,” said Liz Peters, CAA Manitoba’s public and government affairs manager.
“We don’t expect it to be as busy this week because fewer people are driving, but people still need to be prepared.”
Peters said because at -18 C, a vehicle’s battery needs twice as much power to start the engine, plugging in is the most important thing a motorist can do.
Other quick tips include:
• Carry a fully-stocked emergency roadside kit in your trunk —especially if are venturing out on the highways;
• If you aren’t driving for several days in a row, turn your car on every day for a few minutes; and,
• Have “plug-in plan” if you are leaving home for extended periods of time.
“Christmas dinner can be a four or five hour event, so a weak vehicle battery sitting unplugged is likely to have trouble starting,” Peters said.
“Bring an extension cord with you to keep your engine warm while you enjoy some holiday festivities. You’ll be glad you did.”