The frigid temperatures can cause cars to break down.
Towson, Md. (KM) Winter weather is here, and that’s keeping AAA’s Emergency Roadside Assistance crews busy with stranded motorists. “Certainly, the cold temperatures can wreck havoc on vehicles,” says spokeswoman Christine Delise.
She says a lot of the breakdowns are due to battery and tire problems, as well as lockouts.
The National Weather Service says this region is expected to see temperatures at around 23-degrees on Thursday, with wind speeds at 18 to 24-miles per hour, gusting to 40-miles per hour. On Friday, the temperatures are predicted to be 26-degrees, but the winds will not be as strong, according to the Weather Service.
Delise says if your car’s battery is three years or older, you should take it to a mechanic and have it checked out. It may need to be replaced.
There are also some signs to be aware of which indicates your battery is nearing the end of its useful life. “If your vehicle cranks slowly when you to try to start it; you hear a grinding, clicking or buzzing or sound when you turn on the ignition; your headlights dim when you’re idling, but they brighten when you rev the engine,” she says.
The other big problem for auto breakdowns is tires, such as flats and blowouts. Delise says cold weather can impact tire pressure. “For every ten degrees the temperature drops, your tires can lose a pound of pressure. So tire pressure should be checked at least monthly,” she says.
AAA says if you break down, make sure you’ve stocked an emergency kit in your vehicle. It should include a mobile phone and charger; a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; water; extra snacks and food; battery booster cables; and emergency flares and reflectors.
The auto club says in 2014, it responded to more than 29-million calls for road assistance nationwide. That number increased to 32-million in 2015.
By Kevin McManus