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Frigid weather sets record for AAA service calls

Frigid weather sets record for AAA service calls

Cold temperatures prompt dead batteries, flat tires, lockouts
Frigid weather sets record for AAA service calls
Photographer: Shutterstock

January's bitter cold temperatures have stopped many cars and trucks in their tracks.

Eric Stigberg, manager of marketing and public and government affairs for AAA Northway in Schenectady, said his office handled 2,000 requests for emergency service Tuesday — the most he could ever remember in a single day.

"On a typical day, we'll do about 350," Stigberg said.

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The calls were forwarded to 80 auto garages. Stigberg said the office also has a 15-vehicle fleet that hits the road to help get motorists moving again.

"The majority of calls were for dead batteries," Stigberg said. "The cold can wreak havoc on a battery, especially when it's in the three- to five-year range; that's when they start to falter."

Flat tires took second place for service calls.

"Tires that aren't in tip-top shape, they can certainly lose a lot of their tire pressure (in frigid temperatures)," Stigberg said.

The third most-received call was not for mechanical problems, but human error.

"It was folks warming up their cars and closing their doors with the keys inside — with the door locked," Stigberg said.

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