Auto body shops booming in bitter cold

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH). — Karl Mauhs’s family-owned auto body shop, Hamden Auto Body, is humming, inside and out in the lot.

“In the past week alone, we’ve probably seen 20 cars with dead batteries,” Mauhs told News 8.

As frigid temperatures are in the forecast all week, he expects this is just the beginning of the winter rush.

With snow and icy conditions causing more accidents, and bitter cold draining car batteries, Mauhs says this is the season when business booms.Related Content: Tips on how to prevent cold-related illnesses

In the cold weather, Mauhs says there is a slower chemical reaction inside the car battery.

“In addition, the engine is much harder to turn over because the oil is thicker,” Mauhs added.

The shop is busy with cars needing repairs, including one hooked up to an external charger.

“There are two terminals which connect to the positive and negative,” Mauhs said. “It sits on here and charges about an hour or so.”

Next door at Auto Zone, there are empty spaces where batteries typically sit in stock. By noon Wednesday, a half dozen customers had already come in to buy new car batteries.

As of 9:50 p.m., AAA in Hartford reported 1,350 calls for emergencies on Tuesday alone. That number is only expected to rise as the mercury drops over the coming days.

Mauhs says there are some simple ways to check if it is time for a new battery.

“If the headlights are dim, if the car takes a lot longer to turn over or if you hear any clicking noises before the car actually turns on, are signs it could be time,” Mauhs added. “The best thing to do is get it checked out and tested once a year, and get it replaced if need be.”

As temperatures drop, so does tire pressure. Keep an eye out for your tires and make sure you have enough gas and windshield wiper fluid before heading on the road.

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