CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- AAA Carolinas says more motorists are waking up to car troubles as temperatures continue to dip below freezing overnight.

We received 45 percent more calls yesterday related to battery trouble compared with the past four Mondays, said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. The drop in temperatures and winter conditions makes this a very busy time for road service.

AAA Carolinas says they expect demand for jump-starts to increase as temperatures remain in the 30s for the next several days. Batteries have to work harder to crank cars during cold weather, according to AAA.

The automotive group says technicians responded to 1,226 calls in the Carolinas on Monday, with most calls coming from urban areas like Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Columbia and Greenville.

AAA recommends the following precautions during periods of extreme cold:

  • Take the time to have your battery s charge and cold cranking amps checked.
  • Check your batteries connections for corrosion. When starting your car in the morning, turn on electricity first and wait 30 seconds for the battery to warm up before starting.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid freezing gas lines.
  • Thinner grades of oil are better for colder weather, opt for 5W-30 over 10W-30.
  • Check tire pressure every one to two weeks as low temperatures can reduce tire pressure and will limit control on slick roads.
  • Never use wiper blades to clear ice or frost as this damages the blades. Use a scraper or can de-icer. Make sure all windows are clear for best visibility.
  • Never warm up your car in a closed garage, carbon monoxide poisoning is possible. It is also illegal to warm up your car parked on public streets in some counties, when the driver is not in the car.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car. Make sure it includes a mobile phone, car charger, blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, drinking water, a small shovel, a sack of sand or cat litter for traction, windshield scraper, battery booster cables, emergency reflectors, and non-perishable snacks.
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