The recent frigid temperatures across Connecticut have created car issues for thousands of drivers.
“We’ve seen a huge spike in call volume," said AAA spokesman Aaron Kupec. "Since the beginning of winter, we have received more than 62,000 calls for emergency service in Greater Hartford and eastern Connecticut.”
According to AAA, more than 18,000 calls have been for battery problems, 6,000 for flat tire repairs and 5,800 lockouts.
The cold snap is keeping auto body shops busy as well.
"With these cold temperatures, it’s not only cars, it’s trucks, it’s buses," said Anthony Aniello, owner of the International Auto Service Center in West Hartford. "It’s the whole entire industry. It’s equipment."
Aniello added that his tow truck business has been going nonstop nearly every day.
He said the cold weather fluctuation in Connecticut contributes to battery and engine issues. According to Aniello, a simple winter inspection or tune up won't take more than an hour at most mechanics.
“Make sure that your coolant is at the proper ratio so that your engine won’t freeze or the component parts, brakes and your defrost," he said. "A quick little half hour, hour inspection will alleviate down time, stress and being stranded in that beautiful cold weather during rush hour.”
Kupec recommends drivers check their batteries for any warning signs that could lead to a non-start or a dead battery altogether.
“Some battery warning signs include a grinding or a clicking. If your lights get dim and then get brighter when you rev the engine, and also obvious signs of damage on the battery like cracking or bulging, you want to get that checked out,” he advised.