Don't be fooled by Mother Nature: It's time for winter tires, vehicle battery check

Thornhill, ON, Dec. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - This year's long, hot summer and mild fall temperatures may have left some Ontario drivers unprepared and caught off guard for what's to come. CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) reminds all drivers to install their winter tires and check their vehicle's battery to prepare for the winter driving season ahead.

With recent intermittent periods of cold temperatures, snow and ice mixed in with phases of warmer weather, CAA SCO says looks can be deceiving.

"It's important now that winter tires are installed, and that your car battery is checked for any deterioration caused by hot temperatures this past summer," said Ryan Peterson, Manager Automotive Services, CAA SCO. "Don't be fooled by the weather. The grass may be greener than ever in some parts of Ontario, but drivers should take these important steps, if they have not already."

Changing Your Winter Tires

A good time to switch from all-season to winter tires is when the temperature reaches 7°C or below and winter tires should be removed when the temperature reaches 7°C or higher. In the cold weather, all-season tires turn hard and lose their elasticity. This causes reduced grip and longer stopping distances.

Drivers should also check their tire pressure once a month. As the temperature drops so too does tire pressure. For every 5°C dip in the thermometer, tire pressure decreases one pound per square inch, which results in reduced handling and control of a vehicle.

Depending on speed and the weather, the braking distance of winter tires can be up to 25 per cent shorter (or two vehicle lengths) compared to all-season tires.  Winter tires consist of a rubber compound that keeps tires flexible in cold temperatures and a tread design that helps maintain a firm grip on snow and ice packed roads. Also, sets of four matching winter tires will help your vehicle maintain control and stability.

Checking Your Vehicle's Battery

Drivers are also encouraged to have their battery checked to avoid potential power failure without warning. This summer's heat wave level temperatures can cause extensive damage to batteries, but the effects may not be seen until it is cold outside. Extreme heat can cause water in the battery's acid to evaporate, which can drain the power necessary to start the car in cold winter temperatures. Batteries should be tested regularly as they approach their average life span of 3-5 years.

CAA Winter Weather Services

CAA-Approved Auto Repair Facilities across the region provide comprehensive vehicle tests and tire replacements. CAA's mobile Battery Service will test, replace and recycle your old car battery where you are, such as your home, workplace or other location.

For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and member savings for our 2 million members.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

For further information: Media contact: Jeff LeMoine, Communications Consultant, CAA SCO, Office: (905) 771-4709, Cell: (416) 254-0641 or; Tammy Bender, Communications Consultant, CAA SCO,, Cell: (519) 998-1861.

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