Car batteries and the cold - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Car batteries and the cold

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HIXSON, TN (WRCB) -

Red Bank resident Wayne Perkins was up early Monday, ready for work. However, there was just one problem. "Got out to the car, tried to start it up, nothing," says Perkins.

He admits his battery wasn't prepared for freezing temps. "Yeah, it was in its death rows," Perkins says.

At many auto shops around town car batteries were the top selling items. "We've seen a lot of people had slow starts or no start this morning," says mechanic, Bo Ray.

Mechanics say Perkins may be among a growing number of drivers come Tuesday morning when temperatures are expected to dip to around 7 degrees.

"When this cold weather comes, the batteries that are minimal are not going to start," mechanic, Chuck Miller says.

"It affects the plates and the chemicals in the battery itself and weakens everything. Plus it takes more energy to start a cold engine," Ray says.

Carrying jumper cables is a good idea in cold weather. Also, have an auto service like AAA or a tow company's phone number on hand.

Besides your battery mechanics say your coolant is also affected by the extreme cold. They say your coolant should be clean and kept at negative 37.

Experts advise to keep a canister of de-icer inside your home. That way if your vehicle doors freeze shut your de-icer will be somewhere warm and not trapped inside your frozen vehicle.  

Taking steps to make sure your vehicle is cold weather ready can be the difference between getting to work on time or spending your day at an auto shop or store, like Perkins.

"When I got a ride back home this afternoon from work a friend of mine jumped me off and I came straight down here," Perkins says.

A full tank of gas can help prevent water vapor from freezing inside your fuel line.

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