Cold snaps and vehicles


Micah Waddell
Neepawa Banner & Press

Manitoba has always been a less than pleasant place for vehicles in the winter. This recent sudden cold snap has put many motorists in a bind where other years most residents have prepared their vehicles accordingly for the cold. During the Christmas holidays, Manitoba has dealt with colder then average temperatures, going as low as -35 without factoring in wind chill. Manitobans have had time for preparation in most recent years, where it has gotten cold suddenly but only for a couple of days giving people a rude awakening and making them aware of the need to check the battery and change the oil.

This year there was a lack of a wake-up call. Manitoba weather was balmy up until three weeks ago and then the cold snap hit hard. CAA spokesperson Liz Kulyk says, “The best thing people can do to ensure their New Year starts off smoothly is to plug in their vehicle at home and the office. It’s a small task that can make a big difference for your car and commute.”

CAA Manitoba has confirmed that they had a record breaking number of calls for road service for the last couple of weeks with a total of over 5,500 road service calls from Dec. 24, to Dec. 28. The highest day showing over 1,800 road service calls was  Dec. 27, 2017 in comparison to just under 600 on the same day in 2016. The five day period has shown at least double the service calls for every day in 2017 when compared to the past three years. Most of the service call in that short time were for “no start” conditions due to the cold. CAA recommends getting batteries checked, charged or changed depending on the condition and age of the battery. Also recommended is changing the oil in vehicles and possibly upgrading to synthetic oil for its viscosity in cold weather.