AAA: Service call volume up this weekend due to extreme cold

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With record-low temperatures this weekend, it really should be no surprise that AAA was bombarded with service calls.

Lows reached -9 on Sunday morning and -1 on Monday morning – making for many vehicles that didn’t want to move.

“Yesterday and this morning, these were the kinds of days that really put stress on cars, especially cars that haven’t been well-maintained,” John Paul of AAA said Monday.

“When the temperature drops to about 30 degrees, you lose about one-third of the battery capacity,” Paul said. “When it drops to zero, you lose about half the battery capacity.”

According to AAA, weak batteries were a big issue over the weekend.

Paul said he didn’t have any specific statistics on the amount of service calls AAA received, but he said the company has been super busy.

“We’re doing between three and four times our normal volume,” Paul said. “So literally, thousands and thousands of calls.”

According to Paul, AAA does plan ahead and hires about 100 employees before the weather gets cold so they can help out on busy days.

AAA Tips: Get Your Car Cold Weather Ready
AAA Tips: Get Your Car Cold Weather Ready

“This is the kind of weather we live for,” he said.

If your battery is three to four years old, it could be nearing the end of its life. If you needed to jump start your car in the cold this weekend, that could be a sign it’s time for a new battery.

“A jump start fixes the symptoms of the car, but it doesn’t fix the problem,” Paul said. “Bad battery, bad connection, a bad starter in the car.”

Another thing to keep your eye on during the winter: your tires – because they can lose pressure in cold weather.

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