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Don’t Get Left in the Cold on New Years: CAA

December 30, 2010 7:28 AM | News

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 28: The word 'HELP' is written on the window of a car covered in snow on West 73rd Street on December 28, 2010 in New York City. Two days after a blizzard pounded the city many of the city's streets remain unclear. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Temperatures have plummeted in southern Manitoba and are expected to stay that way for the next several days.

To avoid getting stranded on the way to or from your New Year’s festivities on Friday, CAA Manitoba is reminding motorists to perform a quick battery check.

“It seems like whenever New Year’s Eve rolls around, Manitoba either gets a huge dump of snow or deep freeze temperatures,” said Liz Peters of CAA Manitoba. “Whatever the reason, it always means CAA call volumes go through the roof.”

Peters says it takes 40 percent of your battery’s charge to start your engine in colder weather below -18°C.

CAA received more than 500 calls for service last New Year’s Eve when the temperatures dropped to -35°C with the wind chills. More than half of those calls were for battery assistance.

The automobile association recommends older batteries be tested to guarantee they’re still up to par. The average life of a maintained battery in Manitoba is three to five years.

Vehicle owners should also inspect all cords and make sure their block heater is working and plugged in tight.

If at all possible, CAA also suggests to park your car facing away from the wind. This will ensure cold air isn’t getting blown into the engine unnecessarily, making for greater chances your vehicle will start at the end of the night.