Cold Weather Causes Problems for Drivers

A technician changed out a battery in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts, in Mishawaka, Monday. (WSBT/Ted Land / January 21, 2013)

If your car is not in good shape you're likely to have a rough couple of days.

Freezing weather only makes engine problems worse and unfortunately many drivers don't realize it until they need to get somewhere.

Gary Brooks picked a bad day to forget to turn off his headlights.

“I ran in the store for a few minutes and when I came back out it wasn't working,” he said while changing his car battery in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts in Mishawaka, Monday.

He's one of dozens of people who had to make an unplanned visit to an auto parts store.

“The bad weather like this right now asks a lot from the battery to start the motor, so if you have a pretty weak battery, all you're hearing is a few turnovers, and then all of a sudden, clicking,” said Phil Kolliopoulos, a manager at Advance Auto Parts.

By mid-afternoon he’d sold 18 batteries.

Windshield wipers were also selling well, because a lot of drivers don't wait to defrost their windshields, and end up stripping the rubber off the blades.

“Usually right after work it just really gets busy in here,” said Kolliopoulos.

Tow truck drivers were having a good day, and so were the guys you call when you lock your keys in your car.

“People just want to get out of the cold as quick as possible,” said Nehemiah Felders, who works for Quick Response Road Service, “they're thinking let me get into another warm place, and they're locking their keys in their car.”

We're sensing a theme here -- impatience in such cold weather can set you back a few hours and in some cases hundreds of dollars.

“I can't wait until spring,” said Paul Matthews, who just bought a new battery at Advance Auto Parts.