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Tbnewswatch Local News
Wednesday May 27 2015
1:42 AM EDT
2014-01-06 at 16:03

Cars on ice

A CAA service truck responds to a call shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon. Regional field coordinator Brad Salantion said that call for assistance was received at 9:30 a.m.
Matt Vis,
A CAA service truck responds to a call shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon. Regional field coordinator Brad Salantion said that call for assistance was received at 9:30 a.m.
By Matt Vis,

The extreme cold is having an extreme impact on residents automotive health.

The local Canadian Automobile Association have been kept busy as another round of bitter cold struck the area Sunday night into Monday morning. The situation has become so bad that field coordinator Wayne Salatino said calls for home assistance coming in Monday afternoon were being  pushed back to  Tuesday.

“We’re already at 24-hours a day for anybody at home. That’s how swamped we are,” Salatino said. “This is the busiest that we’ve seen in 20 years. In Thunder Bay alone last week we handled probably close to 900 calls and we’re at 150-200 calls already for the start of this week.

“We’re running into a lot of problems that equipment is starting to break down. A lot of calls that used to be a boost are now a tow.”

The equipment breakdown is also taking its toll on the repair crews. The CAA service department is down one of their repair trucks, leaving only three to respond to calls.

They also have a couple of contractors working as well, but that side is down a pair of trucks leaving seven to perform services.

Salatino asks people calling for assistance to be patient, and he doesn’t expect things to quiet down until the end of the week if the weather cooperates.

“We need it to slow down. We need to give our drivers a chance to get a breather and we need to get our equipment serviced so I’m hoping for slowdowns by the end of the week,” he said.

Headaches over getting engines fired up were not merely limited to personal vehicles. School buses were cancelled in the morning for Nipigon, Red Rock and Dorion due to the buses not being able to start.

The Lakehead Public School Board said there were some issues with buses in the morning but that they were sorted out and service was fairly normal.

All of the battery issues have meant increased business for local auto parts stores.

Doug Wilson, the owner of Fat Guys Auto Parts, reports that his staff has been kept busy by people looking for new car batteries.

“We got about four skids on Friday and we’re going to reorder (Monday). I think we sold 70 or 80 on Friday,” Wilson said. “The transport guys that drop them off are wowed by the number of batteries.”

He added that many people have had troubles with block heaters and cords as well as antifreeze if it has not been properly mixed.

Car maintenance this winter has been affected in areas other than just under the hood. Many people have been springing to buy winter tires with the mix of cold temperatures and accumulated snow.

Done-Rite Tire and Auto service manager Darryl Roberts said that the tire section of the shop is routinely packed and sales are greater than last year.

“This year is a lot busier. Even this year we’ve sold a lot of studded tires and basic (winter tires),” Roberts said.

“When it gets to - 40C the all-season tires don’t have the flexibility that a winter tire has. A winter tire is a lot more pliable at - 40C and it grips better.”

Environment Canada forecasts temperatures to gradually increase over the next couple of days with highs of just more than - 20C on Tuesday and Wednesday before reaching - 11C on Thursday and - 7C on Friday.

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unknowncronik says:
And at the same time, certain areas in The Netherlands are seeing record breaking HIGHS!!
1/7/2014 11:17:41 AM
mystified says:
If cars were equipped with a oil heater instead of a block heater there wouldn't be any need to call for a boost unless your battery was shot.
1/7/2014 11:12:49 AM
dockboy says:
I too bought a booster pack from Canadian Tire. I paid only $99.00 and I got what I paid for. Junk.
1/7/2014 8:41:41 AM
livewire says:
Get a Battery Tender and plug in on cold nights along with block heater. PS - MagnaCharge sells the best batteries in town.
1/7/2014 6:21:29 AM
gremlin says:
My mistake:

That should have been "warming".
1/6/2014 9:29:13 PM
fastball says:
The mistake was everything you said AFTER "my mistake".
1/7/2014 8:59:07 AM
Dan dan says:
The CAA co-ordinator is giving misleading information about CAA operating "24-hours a day". In fact, when I called last Thursday for a battery boost, I was informed that the battery truck was not in service because it was too cold for the technicians. What? This is when you are needed most!
1/6/2014 8:27:18 PM
gremlin says:
Sure enjoying that "global worming".
1/6/2014 8:13:04 PM
BetterThunderBay says:
If it gets cold, sometimes, in some places, it does not invalidate climate change theories. "Global warming" is an unfortunate name, because it leads to ridiculous arguments like this.

The current weather pattern is due to a shift in the jet stream, which yes, happens periodically climate change or not. There is a theory that climate change may cause more frequent jet stream abnormalities.
1/7/2014 12:46:51 AM
Tachyion says:
No, you were just left out "Al Gore's"
1/7/2014 9:27:37 AM
JakobWellis says:
Australia (where it is summer) has hit 54*C in some areas. It's winter here - of course it is going to be cold and snowy. Generally we have been getting closer and closer to having a green Christmas.... Or did you already forget about last year? The arctic is actually fairly warm right now (it's warmer than it is here).

Remember the term is Global warming - a localized cold snap (this is centered over NWO and MN; the north pole is actually warming than average right now) does not mean that the Earth as a whole is not steadily warming, as virtually every climate scientist agrees. Read this article, which details how this extreme cold may very well be another sign of climate change:

But please, tell me again about your own research into atmospheric levels of CO2 and ice core sampling that shows that every scientist is lying or stupid and that joe layman has a better understanding of climate patterns.
1/7/2014 9:47:05 AM
Synical says:
"The Lakehead Public School Board said there were some issues with buses in the morning but that they were sorted out and service was fairly normal."

Well that's just an out and out lie. My kids bus arrived 30 minutes late (while they stood outside!), and didn't get them to the school until 10am. The bus didn't even bother going to the east end to get students, who then had to arrange rides. The driver simply decided it was too cold to bother.

1/6/2014 7:15:38 PM
sd says:
That is why the comment said "fairly normal"
That implies that not every bus was on time and every student was picked up. So no it's not an out and out lie. You are just synical
You comment is an out and lie.
1/6/2014 8:40:29 PM
unknowncronik says:
hmmm, funny how both stores quoted are owned by the same person...
1/6/2014 6:53:49 PM
fastball says:
The old saying is true - summertime kills your battery, but wintertime BURIES them.
The worst thing ever invented (for cars, that is) is the self-serve gas station. 90 percent of the stuff that goes wrong is the stuff that wouldn't go wrong if was checked periodically (like the attendants USED to do years and years ago) - or replaced it when the manual told you to.
1/6/2014 6:10:44 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Just stay indoors , give the Wife a hug and snuggle under the down comforter . We don't need to be outside . :)
1/6/2014 5:14:26 PM
rootbear says:
Cold blew my power steering hose a week ago. Majority of people react instead of proact. Example, I was in Canadian Tire a day after one of our first snow storms and was blown away by how many people were buying shovels! Did they all break them at the same time? Another word of advise, car batteries have a healthy life of 5 - 7 years maybe. Wouldn't it be nice to change one in the middle of summer instead of winter or getting a tow?
1/6/2014 4:25:39 PM
SadButTrue says:
By that your logic shouldn't you have changed your power steering hose last summer? I changed a friends battery this winter that was fine when checked by a mechanic in the summer and I bought a new shovel this year cause mine I wanted a second one to keep in the truck.
1/7/2014 8:49:46 AM
eddylives says:
Purchase of booster pack from Canadian Tire.....
Money well spent lol.
1/6/2014 4:12:37 PM
brooky says:
Good advice. Mine has saved the day about a dozen times this winter so far.
1/6/2014 5:40:10 PM
Cletus Van Damme says:

These cars today are wimps for weather.
Get an 84 Bronco, and you can fire up in any weather!
1/7/2014 12:06:21 PM
unknowncronik says:
mostly ALL new vehicles today in 2014 are running 0/w20 synthetic oil stock directly from the factory & can go for as long as 8000km in between oil changes!!!

big differences compared to any 30 year old vehicle.
1/7/2014 7:42:53 PM
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