DENVER, Nov. 30-According to AAA Colorado, roadside assistance requests dramatically increased when temperatures dropped during this latest winter blast in Colorado. As usual, the organization was busy coming to the aid of members during the snow portion of the storm. However, their roadside assistance was even busier once the extreme cold temperatures arrived after the snow.
“Two days of extreme cold temperatures takes a huge toll on batteries, and also has a negative effect on tire pressure. As a result, our roadside assistance has been busier helping people with dead batteries and flat tires, than pulling cars out of the snow,” said David MacDonald, AAA Colorado roadside assistance manager. “Two days of starts in extreme cold weather will often zap the last of the energy in many older batteries. It was evident when the extreme cold air arrived in Colorado as our roadside assistance calls increased 40% Thursday compared to Wednesday.”
AAA hopes this latest storm serves as a reminder to motorists to prepare their cars for the next storm by having their cars inspected and winterized by a qualified mechanic such as a AAA approved auto mechanic. Following is a checklist from AAA Colorado:
Check the tires — They should always be inflated to their specified poundage and have enough tread to handle all road conditions. To check tire tread, look for “wear bars” that periodically run across the hollow of each tread. If the tread has been worn down to the same height as the wear bar, it’s time for new tires.
Check the battery —Cold weather is hard on batteries. At a comparatively mild 32 degrees, a battery is 35 percent weaker than at warmer temperatures. At zero degrees, a car’s battery loses approximately 60 percent of its strength. A battery load test performed by a qualified technician will determine a battery’s strength for winter starts.
Check the windshield wipers, fluid and defroster — Driving with a wet, snow- or ice-covered windshield invites a crash. Make sure wipers and the defroster are in good working order. Verify that windshield washer fluid reservoirs are filled with no-freeze washer fluid.
Check the engine coolant system — Mix the cooling system antifreeze with an equal portion of water for maximum protection. Have a repair facility check the level of protection with a hydrometer. “Allow yourself extra time during extreme cold weather to visually inspect and start your vehicle before your commute,” says MacDonald. “Inspecting and starting a vehicle extra early gives motorists added time to call for assistance if there is a dead battery or a flat tire.
AAA also recommends motorists allow extra time to get to their destination during inclement weather to help prevent commuters from driving faster then conditions allow on icy and snowy roads.
For more auto care tips and to find a AAA approved auto repair facility in your area, go to www.aaa.com.
AAA Colorado reaches one in four households in the state and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its nearly 49 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services, as well as member-exclusive savings.
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