AAA answers cold calls from stuck drivers

PHILADELPHIA - January 7, 2014

In the Philadelphia five county area, 80 crews were brought in to deal with a record number of phone calls from auto club members whose cars would not go today.

AAA reports 1,100 calls by 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, more than 1,800 plus by this afternoon

Rob Redman of Sharon Hill was one of those callers.

"The cold zapped [my car]. Simple and plain," Redman said.

AAA's Chris Merrick and Anthony Carpenter were among those riding to the rescue.

In this single digit weather, there were many calls for dead batteries. Engines with thickened oil are tough to crank, while the cold robs a battery of much of its normal punch.

"When the temperature at about zero degrees, our research shows that the charging and starting power of a battery is reduced to about 60 percent," Rick Martin of AAA Mid-Atlantic said.

Besides dead batteries, extreme cold brings out other gremlins as well from flat tires to sticking relays to balky fuel injection systems.

The techs, many times, succeed in coaxing the reluctant machines to fire up.

But in other cases a tow to a shop will be needed.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.