Cold weather tips for car owners

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As families returned to school and work after the holidays, automobile experts were predicting a crush of calls for car problems related to the cold.

The Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Automobile Association (AAA) said it logged more than 44,000 calls for help in December.

That's a six-year high.

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Cold weather tips for car owners. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 5pm on January 2, 2018.

Experts say at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the freezing temperature for water, a car battery loses about 35 percent of its strength. At zero degrees Fahrenheit, the same battery loses 60 percent.

At Liberty Auto Shop at 300 Montgomery Avenue, owner Richard Wark showed off a pile of dead car batteries. All were collected in one week.

"A lot of times batteries won't show any wear and tear until you get this cold weather or any kind of hot, extreme weather," Wark said.

Just up the road on City Avenue, we came across Robert Freeman. He thinks his battery died while pumping gas.

"When I hopped out and came back the car was dead, so I had to ask my good Samaritan homie over here for a jump," Freeman said.

Lucky, Malik Barnes of Camden was there to lend the helping hand.

We asked Barnes if he knew Freeman, and he said, "No it's just cold and I couldn't see another person out here because it's freezing."

Another big problem with the cold is low tire pressure. Wark says once your tire pressure is low it'll stay low until it's fixed.

He also says you might notice electrical problems within your car, but there's not much that can be done about that.

"Electrical components just don't like this extreme weather. They don't work good in it," he said.

Finally, mechanics recommend making sure you have enough anti-freeze in your car, and allowing your vehicle to run for a few minutes to warm up the engine before you head out to your destination.

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