Driving in Canadian Winters

Did you know? - Contrary to popular belief, idling your engine is not an affective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. According to Natural Resources Canada, the best way to warm up your engine is to drive it. In fact, with today's engines, you need no more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days before you start to drive.

Did you know? - Should your vehicle be stuck in snow:

  • Turn you wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way. Touch the gas pedal lightly, and ease forward. Don't spin your wheels, as this will only dig you deeper into the snow.
  • Alternatively, rock your vehicle. (Check your owner's manual first, as rocking can damage the transmission on some vehichles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you're in gear, give a light touch on the gas until your vehicle is in motion again.

Did you know? - In a rear-wheel drive vehiclce, you can usually feel a loss of traction on the beginning of a skid. There may be no such warning in a front-wheel drive, however. Front-wheel drives do handle better in ice and snow, but they do not have flawless traction, and skids can occur unexpectedly. Don't let the better feel and handling of a front-wheel drive car cause you to drive faster than you should.

Did you know? - The braking technique you use depends on the type of braking system your vehicle has. With an anti-lock brake system (ABS), you should never pump the brakes. The ABS is designed to stop the wheels from locking in an emergency. The best thing to do is apply steady and constant pressure. Do not take your foot off the brake pedal until the vehicle has stopped. As the ABS engages, you may feel the brake pedal pulsating. This is normal and is caused by the system applying and releasing the necessary pressure to the brakes.

With a traditional braking system, the most efficient technique to use is threshold braking. This method, in addtion to either de-clutching if you have a manual shift transmission, or shifting to neutral if you have an automatic transmission, will allow you to slow down gradually and aviod locking the wheels. This will help reduce your stopping distance and help keep the vehicle under control. You should keep your heel rested on the floor and gradually apply firm, steady pressure to the brake pedal with your toes without locking the wheels and causing them to stop turning. In the event you do lock the wheels, release brake pedal pressure until the wheels begin revolving again, then immediately reapply a bit less pedal pressure to maintain braking action.

Optionally, with a traditional braking system, you can pump your brakes very quickly while turning the steering wheel. By pumping, you are maintaining control of your vehicle. When you pump your brakes neither too quickly nor too slowly, you will, in essence, achieve the same effect as if you had ABS.

CAA is the federation of 11 CAA automobile clubs across Canada, serving over 4.4 million Members through 140 offices and affiliations in 95 countries. CAA provides a wide range of Member services and works to improve travelling and motoring conditions. CAA (Maritimes) serves CAA Members across Atlantic Canada from six branch locations in Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Halifax, Dartmouth and Charlottetown.

Featured CAA Member Story

Nothing But Praise

I have nothing but praise for Tim Moore, the gentleman who was sent in response to my Roadside Assistance call. He was very pleasant to deal with. It was a Saturday evening when I called to request assistance with a tire that was losing pressure. He inflated the tire and examined it for the possible source of the problem. When I expressed concern to him about not being able to get an appointment at a garage to have the tire checked before a trip I needed to make to Fredericton Monday morning, he went above and beyond by offering to return as his first call of the day and ensure I had adequate pressure for the trip. True to his word, he was in my driveway inflating my tire at just after 7:00 a.m. Monday morning, without me even making a call. He was about to drive off before I could even thank him, but I did manage to get his attention as he was about to pull away so that I could say “Thank you”. He also recommended a CAA approved garage (Brian Pellerin’s Auto Pro) that he promised would treat me fairly and provide good service, which they did. I'm so grateful to him for recommending this garage, as I felt very comfortable dealing with them and wouldn’t hesitate to go back to them in the future. When I mentioned his name to them, they said that they hear lots of great things about him from other CAA Members also, and that he is a real asset to CAA. Please tell Tim that Mary Lou says “Thank You” (and tell him the source of the problem was a nail embedded in the tire!).  
Although I didn’t have as much interaction with Angela, the agent who took my call that Saturday night, she was very nice to deal with also.
My membership paid for itself with this positive experience!

Thank You Again for the Terrific Service

I just wanted to thank Guilda and Isabelle (from the Moncton Member Service Centre) for the time and effort they spent on getting a reservation situation resolved the week of June 12. I'm very grateful they were there when I needed help. The new hotel, The Margate, was terrific and was actually closer to the concert I was attending than the original one would have been. 


Thank you again for the terrific service, I can't really say it enough! 


Kevin & Sharon 

2 Days In A Row

I had never used CAA since I became a Member in 2016 and this past weekend I had to use it 2 days in a row. I was simply amazed at the good service. Unbelievable. Tow truck drivers were really professional, courteous, and helpful. Everything was good about the whole experience. I can't say enough good stuff about the whole experience.

We're very happy campers... I mean Members!

I was at the parking garage at the Halifax Airport. My wife came back from a trip to Europe. She arrived, surprisingly, 10 minutes early, so we thought to get home early too. We had to travel 220 km to Bear River, N.S. The suitcases were loaded...ready to take off...but the old Mercedes didn't start. After many attempts to start it we gave up and called CAA. They came within 20 minutes, pulled us out off the Airport garage to the next gas station. Within 5 minutes a flatbed truck showed up, pulled the car on it and drove us home to Bear River. The driver was a very safe and friendly driver, he knew his stuff. So I have to say that the CAA service was 100 % perfect. On time, professional people, good job. We're very happy campers... I mean Members!

A Wonderful Experience

I just wanted to tell you about the wonderful experience I had today with CAA Roadside Assistance. I was in Fredericton for work and locked my keys in my car. I panicked because I had to be back in Saint John to pick up my children from daycare and just didn't have time for this. I called CAA at 3:25pm and the lady said someone would be there within the hour. Within 5 min my saving grace Tovey arrived and had my doors open in no time. I was on the road by 3:40pm. I couldn't have asked for better service . Tovey was so very nice and friendly. I'm sure people are quick to complain, so I wanted to take the time to let you know that my first experience with CAA Roadside Assistance was extremely positive and Tovey represented your company in such a great way. THANK YOU!

I am very pleased to be a CAA Member!

My wish today is to let CAA know how much I appreciated their response to a battery problem I experienced last week and how pleased I was that employee Roger appeared to give me a boost.  In fact, Roger had to return a second time.  He was knowledgeable, pleasant, efficient and helped turn what could have been a very ill timed car difficulty into a moment far less difficult.  I have complimented Roger's assistance to many of my friends.  I am very pleased to be a CAA Member and even moreso that Roger was there to help me out.

One of the "A's" in CAA MUST stand for "angels"!

Well, it's been a little over a week since we've returned from the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida trip that you planned for us.

I had to email you to tell you how incredibly grateful I am to you for your care, patience and professionalism.

The boys and my aunt Mary Lynn and I had the time of our lives in Florida. The Caribbean Beach resort? Absolutely amazing. The Dining plan? So worth it! It was with heavy hearts that we took off our Magic Bands at the airport for the return trip!

All I can think about is getting on a plane and going right back!

Again, thank you so very much - one of the "A's" in CAA MUST stand for "angels"!

Thank you so much to CAA and Rick!!

On March 17th, we were driving to the Saint John Regional Hospital as my mother was scheduled for surgery.  On the way there, we hit a huge pothole and noticed when we got to the hospital parking lot that the front left tire looked flat.  With no time to spare, we rushed into the hospital and resolved to look at the tire later.

We called CAA later in the day and Rick from Loyalist City Towing showed up promptly.   It turns out that the tire wasn't flat, it was just very low on air (as were the others).  Rick filled up all 4 tires and advised us to get them looked at (which we have).

His prompt, professional and cheerful service, on a brutally cold March day, was amazing!  Worrying about having a flat tire was the last thing we needed that day.

Thank you so much to CAA and Rick!!

Random Act of Kindness

I would like to report a random act of kindness that one of your drivers, Rick, performed for me. This man is incredible. He noticed that I had a flat tire in a parking lot in Uptown Saint John, he pumped it up and left me a note on the back of an envelope under my windshield.  I didn’t come out of work until 7pm that night and I thought “ugh, there’s some crummy flyer” and here was this wonderful, wonderful message telling me that I should get my tire checked (which I’ve done).  I guess maybe I should join CAA! I’m showing this to everybody. I am so, so impressed and thankful for what Rick did!

A Friendly Voice in a Stressful Situation

I have purchased my CAA Membership for years for that "just in case" senario.  Well, this year I am so glad I kept up my Membership. This past winter I have had flat tires twice. The most scary one was at 9:00pm at night, on a dark road in winter and a very cold night. I called for roadside assistance and the agent was a friendly voice in a stressful situation. Even trying to describe where I was located was a challenge but he walked me through it. It was a cold night -15 with the wind chill and I was so happy when I saw the repair flatbed pull up behind my vehicle and put the emergency lights on. I had not seen another car in a long time and he was a light in a dark night. The truck driver had to get the spare under the car and all the while he was extremely friendly and calmed my nerves and made a stressful situation bearable. He left me with a smile and a bit of welcome advice, "remember, we are here when you need us". That night CAA was where and when I needed them and I will continue to be a loyal customer.  Keep up the great work!