Local News

Cold keep calls coming for towing companies

Posted January 7

Thomas Stritzel is like a doctor on call. After all, his vehicle does have a sign that reads, "Emergency Services."

As a battery department supervisor for East Coast Towing, which handles AAA customers, Stritzel makes a lot of calls when it's cold. With temperatures below freezing across the region on Tuesday, Stritzel was on the road for about 12 hours.

He estimated his company worked more than 100 calls in Wake County, which is nearly triple the usual number.

Terry Munroe was just one of many customers who needed a new battery Tuesday for his car.

“The battery died,” Munroe said. “We’ve had some issues with it the last few months or so, and I think the cold just put it in its final grave.”

Stritzel says cold weather and batteries that haven't had proper maintenance are not a good mix.

“Cold weather, what it does is it makes your engine oil thicker, which makes your engines start harder,” he said. “It doesn’t turn over as well.”

Helen Coman also figured the battery was the culprit when her car wouldn’t start Tuesday.

“Well, Tom’s going to tell us here in a few minutes,” she said, waiting for Stritzel to test the battery. “I think he’s had this experience all day long.”

It took a little work to start the car, but the doctor had bad news for Coman. The test showed the battery life was down to nearly nothing.

“We never know what the day is going to be like,” Stritzel said, heading off to see the next patient.
 

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