With frigid temperatures returning this week, The Alberta Motor Association is reminding motorists that in extreme cold, calls for dead car batteries can spike upwards of six times. However, in order to avoid being stuck, there are things motorists can do to help ensure their cars start up.

“When it’s -15°C or colder, plugging in your vehicle three to four hours before driving can be the difference between an engine that starts and an engine that doesn’t,” Ryan Lemont, Manager of AMA Driver Education, said previously. “If you don’t have that option, ensure you have a newer battery—about three years or less—and use synthetic oil.”

With temperatures predicted to plummet in the coming days, Lemont said that other tips that motorists should consider are always carrying an emergency roadside kit, which should include things like a blanket, warm clothing, caution triangles, a flashlight, gloves, and a folding shovel, as well as ensuring your tires are properly inflated. Most tires lose one pound per square inch for every 5°C drop in temperature.

You should also ensure your gas tank is at least half full and consider using gas-line antifreeze if your vehicle frequently moves from warm to cold environments (e.g. a heated garage to an outdoor parking lot) and make sure vehicle windows and roof are clear of snow and ice. 

As of Tuesday morning (February 21), AMA reported that wait times within the Airdrie area for towing or winching were around eight hours, whereas battery boosts, lockout, flat tire, or fuel delivery were also around an eight-hour wait time. Calgary area wait times are stretching into 11 hours for towing and around three-and-half hours for battery boosts. 

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to news@discoverairdrie.com