Since the extreme cold began on January 11th CAA Roadside Assistance has had about 4,000 requests to help with battery boosts, tows, lock outs, fuel and air delivery for tires. Spokesperson Christine Niemczyk advises CAA members who have requested help by phone, online or through the app are being managed as quickly as possible. She apologizes for any frustration clients may have with the wait times.
Niemczyk stresses that if you have a request for service by phone, you don’t need to duplicate that request on the app or online, because that is causing an unnecessary building of requests in their system. Although you can get your battery boosted, until things slow down, the battery service in Saskatoon and Regina where you can buy a battery and have it installed wherever your vehicle is, won’t be available.
CAA Saskatchewan has a few safety reminders:
✓ PACK A ROADSIDE SAFETY KIT: Items to include – non-perishable food, a shovel, window ice scraper, snow brush and booster cables. Pack extra winter gear such as mitts, toques, parkas, footwear, and blankets for all passengers. Remember, roadside safety kits are available at all CAA Saskatchewan Stores.
✓ STAY CONNECTED: Pack a mobile phone and charger to use in case of emergencies or calling for CAA Roadside Assistance. Ensure that your driver’s license, vehicle insurance, travel insurance, and CAA membership are up to date.
✓ CHECK YOUR TIRE PRESSURE: The right pressure is important for traction and fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure regularly. Improper inflation can not only be dangerous but can also cause increased tire wear resulting in added costs for replacement tires.
✓ BRAKES: Have your brakes inspected thoroughly and service them if necessary. This will help with better braking power especially on icy, snow-covered roads.
✓ CHECK YOUR VEHICLE’S BATTERY: Extreme weather weakens the battery, and it may require changing or charging. If the battery is more than 3 years old, it likely needs to be replaced.
✓ TOP UP FLUIDS: This includes antifreeze, brake fluid, and window washer fluid which are all vital to safe winter travel. Examine belts for proper belt tension.
✓ FUEL: Keep a full tank or at minimum a half tank of fuel. This will help reduce moisture in the gas tank plus it adds weight to your vehicle.
✓ BLOCK HEATER AND CORD: Make sure the block heater cord is not frayed. Always plug in at -15°C.
For further information, visit caask.ca/safety.