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Frigid day in Ontario prompts almost 9,000 calls to CAA

Hailey Montgomery
Digital Reporter

Saturday, December 30, 2017, 2:49 PM - On an average winter day, the Canadian Automobile Association's south-central Ontario division (CAASCO) typically answers 3,000 calls a day from driver's needing assistance. By 1:30 pm on Thursday, when much of the region was under an extreme cold warning, 5,000 drivers had already called for assistance. 

In total, 8830 calls for service were made to CAASCO on Thursday, from Windsor to Kingston, including Toronto and the GTA. At its coldest, the temperature at Toronto Pearson International Airport was -22.5oC,the coldest daily low for the city this year.

Visit our Complete Guide to Winter 2017/18 for tips on how to to survive it, and much more.

Kaitlynn Furse, CAASCO's manager of public relations, says the association receives a significant increase in call volumes during extreme cold, with 98% of calls dealing with battery assistance or mechanical failure. 

"A lot of people think that  a snowstorm, which is very visible to people, will be the most busy, but we do find that during extreme cold is really one of our busiest times," Furse said.

Problems with your car battery actually begin in the warmer months.

"In the summer, often we don’t realize but our batteries are often impacted by extreme heat or hot weather, and we might not see the effects of that until a very cold day," she said. "When the temperature outside is around 0oC, your battery has actually decreased in capacity by around 35%. Obviously if it gets colder, that will only get worse."

Courtesy of Travis Sceviour

This is one reason why so many vehicles fail to start up during cold weather. 

As call volumes rise, wait times can increase, which means longer wait times while calling for assistance. Furse encourages driver's to keep a fully stocked emergency kit in their vehicle, including extra warm clothes and blankets. 

Watch below: If you don't check under the hood this winter, it could cost you thousands 

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