AAA warns more dead batteries

Published 9:50 pm Friday, August 27, 2010

A recent news release from AAA indicates they expect increased volume of service calls due to dead batteries over Labor Day weekend.

In the past decade, AAA’s requests for battery assistance spiked from 4,000 a year to more than 400,000. Throughout the Labor Day weekend in Georgia, the call volume for AAA to provide jump starts and battery replacements to stranded motorists increased 40 percent from 2008 to 2009.

“We want motorists to be prepared if their battery fails this Labor Day weekend. It’s a busy holiday for motorists and extremely hot—the heat alone can drain a battery,” said Jay bolster, senior manager, AAA Battery Service Operations. “Traditionally, car batteries last an average of 37 months in a hot climate, but now the average life of a battery can be as little as two years because of the massive amount of power required by the average modern car and driver.”

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The power needs of a modern-day vehicle drain the same 12 volt battery drivers have relied on since 1960. Car batteries used to charge items such as cell phones, iPods, and navigation systems are more likely to need to be charged and replaced sooner than one might expect. Cars also draw extra energy to power fans, security and diagnostic systems, and engine management tools even when the car is not being driven.

Drivers may get an early warning when their car battery is about to die. Motorists may notice their car will start slower than usual, interior lights may start to dim or flicker and after market equipment may not function properly. This is the time to test the battery to see if it needs to be charged or replaced to prevent being stranded. Motorists will know if the battery has failed because the car will make a series of rapid clicks and will not start.