MEDIA RELEASE: CAA Manitoba is reminding drivers to prepare for Winter: Top Battery and Winter Driving TipsOctober 18, 20224 min read
Winnipeg, MB, December 3, 2020 – Manitoba has been experiencing some warmer-than usual- weather, but as winter approaches, temperatures drop, and more of us spending more time at home because of the pandemic, CAA Manitoba (CAA MB) is reminding drivers that battery maintenance and adjusting to winter conditions when driving are the most important things you can do to keep yourself, and other motorists and pedestrians safe.
Battery maintenance will be one of the main concerns this winter, especially with vehicles staying idle for long stretches of time.“A dead or dying battery can easily leave you stranded at the worst possible time,” says Tony Tsai, vice president of corporate communications and services for CAA MB and South Central Ontario. “There are still many Manitobans changing winter tires right now, so this is an ideal time to also ask your mechanic to check the car battery as well.”
A car battery will eventually lose its charge if it isn’t used at least once every few weeks. If you know you are not going to be using your vehicle that often in winter, use a trickle charger or battery tender with an automatic shut-off feature to keep it in good condition.
If your battery is giving you problems or you are unsure if it’s time to replace it, you can call CAA’s mobile Battery Service at *222 to have a trained CAA MB Battery Service Representative come test your battery and provide a helping hand.
Every year when the weather conditions change, drivers must adjust to driving on icy and/or snowy roads, and inclement weather requires even more focus and attention while on the road. CAA MB recommends leaving plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead, reducing your speed and sticking to the main roads, and keeping a phone charger in your car in case something happens to keep yourself and others safe.
Also, avoid using overdrive or cruise control, practice emergency braking to understand how your vehicle will react, and never pass snow plows on the right-hand side, and slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, including stopped tow trucks.
Motorists can also avoid a dead battery with these preventative measures:
- Install a Battery Tender - This device has two claws that attach to your battery’s terminals like jumper cables. It then plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet and automatically delivers small amounts of electricity to keep the battery charged during periods of inactivity.
- Swap out your old one - Most batteries last between three to five years. If yours is getting old, replace it before wintertime.
- Keep corrosion at bay - The white or blue powder that appears on your battery terminals is corrosion, which can prevent a car from starting. Inspect your battery and carefully clean away any residue that you find.
- Turn off your accessories - Don’t start the car with the heater and radio on. They can use up the power coming from the vehicle’s alternator and prevent the battery from charging.
- Don’t disconnect your battery - If your car is going to sit idle for an extended period, don’t unplug your battery. Some devices, like clocks and alarm systems, use power when the car is off. If you plan on not using your vehicle for a long period of time, use a battery maintainer device.
Winter driving etiquette tips for motorists:
- Remove snow and ice - Always thoroughly clean your vehicle to avoid ice hazards and blowing snow that can reduce visibility and safety for other drivers.
- No, please, after you! - Allow others to change lanes ahead of you. Letting a fellow driver to merge can help the flow of traffic for everyone on a cold and stressful winter day.
- Protect others’ personal space - Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead to give you time to react to any changes in traffic flow, such as unexpected, quick stops and movements.
- Adjust to Canadian winter drive time - Leave extra time to get to destinations safely by planning ahead when poor weather is expected. Checking weather reports and readjusting morning routines and evening commutes to avoid being rushed leads to better overall driving behaviour.
- The rearview window wave - Extend a friendly gesture to others to express gratitude for their acts of courtesy and then pay it forward.
- Respect old man winter - Always stay focused and drive accordingly. That may mean adjusting your speed when necessary. Focus on driving to avoid being surprised by changes in another driver’s movements or road or traffic conditions.
Tony Tsai Vice President, Corporate Communications and Services
Tony Tsai oversees the organization's internal and external communications.