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Cold Snap Causes Havoc On Transit And Cars | Weather

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Cold Snap Causes Havoc On Transit And Cars

FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA) -- AAA emergency road side assistance call volume is up 21% Wednesday over its normal volume.

It attributes the rise in calls because of the cold snap this week.

Meteorologist Howard Bernstein's says Monday we reached a high of 49 degrees in the Metro and by Wednesday we were in the teens and in some parts, the single digits.

The cold snap can really wreak havoc on our transit system and our cars.

Your car may have run perfectly the night before. Your battery may be fine. Your tire pressure is right. But overnight, and in the morning, it could be a whole different situation.

Aaron Dennis is a AAA mechanic and ironically both of his batteries in his diesel truck died.

"I had to start my own car. Both batteries were dead and they're only two years old. I've been working on everyone else's cars, that's my excuse, that's all I've got."

The cold snap not only catches the best off guard, but even our transit system fell victim to the sudden cold.

Metro's sensors discovered cracks on the tracks causing trains to come to a standstill on the red and yellow lines during the morning rush.

Cracks showed up on the NY-Long Island transit system.

Amtrak had to delay service from here to New York because of a power problem.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says the emergency call volume is up, attributing it to the coldest day this season.

Jeff Boone of the AAA Care Center in Fairfax says, "When we went from 50 degrees earlier this week to the teens, every car out there has lost pressure in their tires."

Mechanics have also seen a rise in calls on newer model cars that have automatic tire sensors.

The cold snap can cause false alarms in those sensors.

Boone says these automatic sensors can get moisture in them and fail permanently, causing the sensor light to go off which indicates low pressure in your tires when the pressure may be okay.

He says sometimes if you drive a while, the moisture is eliminated and the light goes off. Boone says still you want to check your tire pressure with a manual tire gauge to make sure of your tire pressure.

 Boone says with the temperature dropping and fluctuating you can lose 20% of your battery charge.

Written By: Surae Chinn



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