• AAA: Freezing cold temps leads to increase in dead car batteries


    PITTSBURGH - Officials with AAA said they’ve been busier than usual over the past few days dealing with dead car batteries because of the extremely cold temperatures.

    Channel 11’s Brittny McGraw went out with Bill Hodges, a AAA technician, as he helped drivers.

    “Calls have been triple what they’ve been,” Hodges said.

    According to Hodges, most of the calls he’s received recently have been for dead car batteries.

    “As long as your car starts, no one ever thinks about it, so no one gets them checked. Then, they start getting a little bit older,” Hodges said.

    Hodges said extremely cold temperatures, which we’ve been experiencing the past few days, can ruin a car battery quickly.

    “We’re going to go ahead and replace his battery. Luckily, I have another terminal end for him,” Hodges said while answering a call Wednesday.

    Hodges said the cold weather slows down the chemical reaction within the battery, and that affects its ability to work properly. He said the age of the battery can also be an issue.

    “After you get 3 to 5 years, they start wearing down and not holding up the way they should,” Hodges said.

    A simple recommendation Hodges has is to check if the battery posts and terminals are dirty or corroded, because that can affect its life.

    “It can actually take power away from it, and doesn’t let it get full power. Then it will eat away at the terminal ends like that,” Hodges said.

    He said it’s also a good idea to have batteries tested as part of regular yearly maintenance.

    “You can call AAA, and we’ll come out and check them,” Hodges said. “We come out and check batteries, and even most of your local garages can check them for you.”

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