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Tow truck operators work round the clock responding to collisions, dead battery calls

AAA Colorado: Dead batteries top list of calls
Posted at 11:11 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 01:11:49-05

DENVER -- It's been a long 48 hours for metro area tow truck drivers.

Joshua Martell of Reaper Towing said he worked past midnight Monday night and got up before 7 a.m. Tuesday to respond to requests for service.

He said ice was the big problem Monday night, and that most of the calls were requests to tow cars damaged in collisions, or to retrieve cars that slid off the highway.

He said by Tuesday morning, the problem had switched from ice to single digit temperatures.

"On Tuesday, most of our calls were to tow cars "that had conked out," he said.

Martell said a car in Lakewood over-heated and the owner wanted it towed to a garage in Golden.

When asked how a car could overheat in freezing cold weather, Martell replied, "The water pump gave out."

Without a functioning water pump, coolant can't circulate in a running engine, which can then overheat..

He added that cold weather makes minor car problems much bigger.

"Your engine block can freeze, if you don't have enough coolant inside," he said.  "Moisture in the gas line can cause a problem.  You should always have at least a half a tank of gas in your car when it get's this cold.

Dead batteries

AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley told Denver7 that dead batteries were a big problem Tuesday morning.

"That's our number one call, when the weather is this cold," he said. "People park when they get home at night, and when they wake up and try to start their car, they find it just doesn't have that cranking power."

McKinley said as bad as the problem is, it's preventable.

He said your car gives you clues when the battery is getting weak.

"You might have an issue with cranking, or you might notice at night that when you step on the gas, the headlights get brighter," he said.  "Those are clues that the battery  is getting weak."

McKinley said if your battery is three years old, you might want to start thinking about how it will perform in cold weather.

Martell said if you wait until the battery gives out in cold weather, you might end up having to wait a long time for a tow truck.