November 29, 2006

BCAA warns B.C. motorists to prepare for cold weather

Burnaby, British Columbia – The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is warning motorists to prepare for plummeting temperatures forecast throughout the province, including the normally mild Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

“Preparing for and driving in snow is one thing, but very cold weather presents a whole new set of challenges,” says Ken Cousin, BCAA Director of Road Assist. “Additional preparation is critical in coastal areas where maintenance items such as the strength of a vehicle’s antifreeze may not be top of mind.”

BCAA urges drivers to take the following precautions:

  • Test your battery and replace if necessary. Colder temperatures will reduce a battery’s power output, as well as thicken engine oil, making engines more difficult to start.
  • Check your engine’s cooling system for sufficient antifreeze strength.
  • Make sure all windows are clear of snow and ice. Use heaters and rear-window defrosters only as needed; excessive use can place added strain on the battery, and during long idling periods may cause a car with a weak battery to stall and not restart.
  • Place lock lubricant in key cylinders to prevent locks from icing over. Silicon spray can also be used to prevent door seals from freezing shut.
  • Keep an emergency kit in the car, along with warm clothes, a blanket, good winter boots and gloves. Make sure your cellular phone is fully charged when you start your trip.

  • Anticipate icy conditions; slow down and leave more room to stop, and watch for shaded spots that the sun hasn’t hit.

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