Saturday’s snow was cleared from most (if not all) roads in northern Delaware, but frigid temperatures caused big headaches for many drivers trying to get to work.
There was a near epidemic of dead car batteries in Delaware this morning thanks to the bitter cold temperatures. AAA Mid-Atlantic responded to nearly 200 calls for service Monday morning. Out of those 184 calls, crews found 70 dead batteries. Since Friday, AAA responded to 685 calls where crews found 213 dead batteries.
“The effects of extreme cold temperatures on a car can be cumulative, as evidenced by our member calls for assistance throughout the weekend and into Monday morning,” said AAA’s Ken Grant. “AAA urges motorists to use this weekend’s winter weather event and frigid cold as a warning to make sure their vehicles are ready to handle the rest of what winter is sure to bring us.”
As temperatures fall, car batteries lose strength. At zero degrees, a battery can lose about 60 percent of its energy, according to the car club. That loss of power is magnified because car engines need about twice as much power to start when the temperature hits the zero mark. Even at 32 degrees, a battery is weakened by about 35 percent.
AAA recommends drivers get their battery tested after it reaches three years of age, and every year after that. The car club’s care centers offer free battery checks for members and non-members alike. AAA members are able to take advantage of the club’s mobile battery testing service.