AMA wait times for services are high due to the influx of calls from members dealing with issues the extreme cold is causing their vehicles.
According to Ryan Lemont, manager of Fleet Operations with the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), the average wait time is about 12 hours for customers in Airdrie who require full service towing. Those needing light service such as boosts, unlocks, and tire changes are looking at about a 9-hour wait. Edmonton and Calgary are unfortunately being quoted a 72-hour wait time due to the extremely high volume of calls.
"The biggest issue that we're seeing right now is mainly to do with batteries. So our normal call volume will be made up of about 26% of battery-related calls and in extreme weather like this, we see that jump to about 40% of our requests," explains Lemont.
If your battery is 3-5 years old (that's on average how long a car battery lasts in Alberta), it's nearing the end of its lifespan and a new battery will help drivers get started in these cold temperatures. Besides switching out your battery, there are a few other ways drivers can prepare their vehicles for the extreme cold weather.
- Keep an emergency kit with a flashlight, matches, candles, blanket, and non-perishable food in your vehicle.
- Consider using gas line anti-freeze to help prevent ice crystals forming in the fuel system.
- Keep your windshield clean at all times.
Lemont says the entire AMA team is working very hard province-wide to get to everyone as soon as they can.
"It's all hands on deck. We have every available unit, every available operator within our fleet territories going non-stop now, and kudos to all those people putting in all those extra hours to take care of all the members that are stranded out there."
Members should start seeing a decrease in wait times over the next 24 hours.
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