Battered Battery: Pandemic has Canadians facing higher chances of dead car batteries, says CAA SCO

Thornhill, Ontario — It has been a hectic 2020 and this winter it is most certainly going to cause stress, however, you can avoid some stress by learning to avoid dead car batteries during the winter months.

With temperatures dropping and Ontarians spending more time at home due to the pandemic, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is alerting drivers that dead car batteries will be the main concern this winter, especially with vehicles staying idle for long stretches of time.

Last year, CAA SCO saw a total of 354,480 battery-related calls, a 34 per cent increase over the last two years; and the number is expected to go up this year.

“A dead or dying battery can easily leave you stranded at the worst possible time,” said Tony Tsai, VP of corporate communications services for CAA SCO. “We recommend that around the same time you install your winter tires, you should ask a mechanic to check the car battery.”

Cars and trucks contain thousands of complex electrical systems. Anti-theft systems, remote keyless entry gear, and even those cell phone charges plugged into a 12-volt socket can draw power even when not in use.

For that reason, a car battery will eventually lose its charge if it isn’t used at least once every few weeks. If you know you are not going to be using your vehicle that often in the winter, use a trickle charger or battery tender with an automatic shut-off feature to keep it in good condition.

But—how will you know if your battery won’t last this winter?

Tsai said, “watch for cranking, grinding or clicking when you turn on your ignition, these are all signs that your car battery needs to be replaced.”

A battery check usually takes only 30 minutes and can range from $30 to $50 at automotive facilities across Ontario.

If your battery is giving you problems or you are unsure if it’s time to replace it, you can call CAA’s mobile Battery Services at *222 to have a trained CAA Battery Service Representatives come to test your battery and provide a helping hand.

To learn more about the signs that your battery may need testing, click here.

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