Local auto shops: Dead car batteries spike as temperatures drop

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Saturday morning’s 13-degree temperature took a lot of car batteries by surprise. It was bad news for car owners — good news for those who sell batteries.

Monday afternoon, Tony Tosca of Boardman’s Advance Auto Part Store demonstrated a battery testing — a job he’s performed 40 times since Friday.

“This past week it’s gotten so cold,” Tosca said. “Around this time of year, our battery sales triple. It’s insane.”

In the past week, Boardman’s Advance Auto Parts sold 100 batteries. It would sell 30 in a normal week.

It’s not unusual, though. There’s always a spike in battery sales when the weather turns cold.

“People’s batteries are starting to die just because the cold crank-on amps are wearing out on an older battery,” Jason Mays of Advance Auto Parts said. “But basically, a 3-4 year-old battery will start to wear out. And once the weather gets cold, it’s harder for the battery to turn it on.”

Flynn’s Tire and Auto Service in Boardman has seen a spike of battery sales the past few days as well.

“Probably 15 or 20 I would imagine,” said Bryon Kolat, who manages the Boardman Flynn’s. “A normal day, maybe one when it’s warm out.”

Kolat says when a car won’t start, it’s due to the battery nine times out of 10. It’s a problem the mechanics at Flynn’s do their best to prevent.

“We try to check everybody’s battery throughout the year as we service the cars — let them know beforehand,” Kolat said. “But a lot of people just wait to the last minute until it’s too late.”

Advance Auto Parts has a Battery Station — half of a wall filled with nothing but batteries. There are 100 different styles depending on what someone wants to pay.

“In our stores anywhere from $90 to $200,” Tosca said.

So for the next few months, if your car won’t start…

“With the cold weather, most of the time it turns out it’s just a dead battery,” Tosca said.

WKBN also talked with Utsinger’s Towing Service on Monday. Since it turned cold on Friday, they had to jump about 12 vehicles, where normally Utsinger’s would do two or three.