People experiencing car trouble during the frigid temperatures

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 11:01 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - These frigid temperatures are causing issues with some vehicles. Just like we aren’t used to cold like this, most of our cars aren’t either.

“Vehicles do not like extreme temperatures -- hot or cold,” said Clay Ingram, public relations for AAA Alabama.

It’s safe to say it’s really cold right now and Ingram says AAA is receiving a high number of calls right now and they’re not the only ones. Mechanics’ phones are ringing off the hook too.

Long-Lewis of Alabaster service manager Edgar Barron says frozen doors, tire lights, and dead batteries are consuming a majority of their call volume.

“People’s tire lights are going on like crazy and that’s a very normal thing,” said Barron. “As cold air condenses inside the tire, it drops the pressure inside your tire so it’s going to turn your tire light on. You probably just need a couple pounds -- anywhere from 3 to 5 to 7 pounds of air and you should be fine.”

“Batteries is probably the number one issue,” said Ingram. “The cold just kills a lot of batteries, especially if they’re older batteries because most batteries only last three years or so anyways.”

That issue could leave you stranded somewhere. To jump-start the car, all you need is a set of jumper cables and a Good Samaritan with a working vehicle.

“The other thing would be washer fluid,” explained Barron. “We’re having a lot of people’s washer fluid bottles totally busted open cause they’re just filling them with water. If you fill your washer bottle with water, course it’s going to freeze up and break the plastic bottles that they come in.”

Barron says that’s why it’s imperative to add the solvent or washer fluid to the bottle too.

“We’ve had several calls today saying ‘my door’s frozen shut. I can’t open it,’” added Barron. “There’s two options. If you have an auto-start, go ahead and start your car and let the car warm up by itself from the inside out and that’ll help with the doors. Other thing is pouring warm water on your door handles.”

Keeping an emergency kit in your car is a good idea too, just in case you become stranded in these freezing temperatures. Make sure to have water, granola bars, a blanket, and an external charger to keep your phone battery alive while you’re stuck so you can call for help.

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