AAA responds to increase in car battery failures amid frigid temperatures

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — As temperatures continue to drop, Southern New Englanders are having car problems and they’re calling AAA to get a jump start.

With wind chills making temperatures feel below zero throughout the weekend, ABC 6 News tagged along with AAA battery technician Jacob Viveiros to get a first-hand look as he responded to an influx of calls for dead batteries due to the cold. Or as he calls it, their Super Bowl.

“It’s all hands-on deck,” Viveiros said. “We’re gonna be out there getting people to work and home.”

First, Viveiros speaks with the caller, and tries to determine if the battery died because of the cold, age, or any other reasons.

“The first thing we want to do when we get to the car, is pop the hood and make sure that nothing is on inside the vehicle,” Viveiros said.

After a few failed attempts at starting the caller’s car, Viveiros determined the likely cause was the customer didn’t have enough gas in her car, and the cold weather stopped the car from starting.

Then, after putting some gas in and running another test of the battery, the car finally turned on.

As we drove around with Viveiros for a few hours, he explained the importance of turning your car on in this frigid weather, even if you aren’t going anywhere.

He explained by starting the car, everything starts moving and the oil flowing.

When they’re answering the call, Viveiros said they’ll first check that the car is OK, then check the battery and run diagnostics, clean any corrosion on the battery, and run the test, which typically takes 1 to 2 minutes.

Then, after getting the result, they’ll either recharge or replace the battery.

“The best way we can take care of their car is we want to check that battery,” he said. “We want to see that battery is in good shape, we wanna run a diagnostics test and clean off any corrosion we see.”

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