NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – These dangerously low temperatures can take a toll on your car. The American Automobile Association has taken thousands of service calls, and that means a lot of business for local towing companies.
“Always running around all over Connecticut,” said Paul Calandrelli from behind the wheel of his tow truck. With weather this cold, tow truck drivers like him are very busy. The chemical reaction that makes batteries work slows down in extreme temperatures. That means Columbus Towing in New Haven, where Calandrelli works, has to speed up.
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“I would say 20-25% busier because of the cold right now,” said Jennifer DiLauro. Her family has owned Columbus Auto Body and Towing since 1928. “Jump starts, lockouts, tows.”
The auto body business is also getting a lot of use, or at least the yard is. A lot of banged up cars are just sitting there because insurance claims are hard to file this time of year. Many insurance employees have this week off, so claims on a lot of cars will not be dealt with until next week. Snow and ice earlier this week sent plenty of cars into the shop with bent fenders and broken axles. It’s the usual winter stuff for a shop that’s been in business for 89 years.
“Yes, we prepare for this,” DiLauro said. “We have enough staff and the equipment’s up and running. You know, we do the best we can.”
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How can you make sure your car doesn’t end up needing someone like Paul? Well, if you are one of the people who has this week off, make sure you don’t neglect your car.
“I would say make sure you start up the car every day, even if you’re not going to be using it, at least start it up,” said DiLauro.
If you do find yourself stranded with a dead battery, don’t worry, Paul is happy to give you a hand.
“It’s a good feeling to help people, especially when they’re helpless, stuck on the side of the road,” Calendrelli said.
Of course, it’s a bad feeling to be stuck on the side of the road. Your mechanic can check your battery and either re-charge it or replace it. Do it now, and then you won’t need a tow truck.