Severe cold takes toll on cars, install shops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Severe cold takes toll on cars, install shops

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The crazy-cold weather has drivers repairing their cars -- and upgrading them, too.

At the Jim Lind Service station in Waterloo, they spent most of Tuesday installing fresh car batteries. Lind said they get a rush anytime there's a big temperature drop, which brings hidden problems to the surface.

"Older batteries are always suspect, but newer batteries fail too," he said. "The underlying common denominator is cold weather."

Mother nature has not been gentle in recent days. Lind says to keep your car safe, avoid short trips, which can drain a battery. He said idling the engine draws a lot of power as well.

"So when you're putzing around, the battery doesn't get rejuvenated, kind of like just letting your car idle, you're taking more than you're putting back in," he said.

Lind also said if your car was built in the last 20 years, the engine doesn't need more than 2-3 minutes to warm up before driving. Any longer than that, he said, waste fuel and wears on the engine.

"It hurts your spark plugs, catalytic converter, it just creates more problems," Lind said.

But, some will still choose to pre-heat the cars. Among them: Tim Weber. Weber owns CVSi Motorsports, and has been busy installing remote starters.

"So our business picked up right away," he said. "We don't really need snow, just frost on the windshield. People don't want to be cold."

He said they usually see an uptick in business as temps drop.

"It's good for us," Weber said. "We don't like the cold weather any more than anyone else, but that's business for you."

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