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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

AAA Mid-Atlantic: Bitter Cold Killed Car Batteries Monday; Highest 2019 AAA Roadside Assistance Volume 

The auto club sees highest 2019 single-day roadside assistance call volume in Philadelphia 5-county area on Monday, January 21; over 2,400 calls, 1,100 calls for dead car batteries.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, (Tuesday, January 22, 2019)AAA, the premier roadside assistance provider for more than 100 years, says the season’s first single-digit temperature drop and wind chills sent emergency roadside assistance calls soaring Monday.

On Monday, the auto club saw requests for emergency roadside service climb to the highest level so far in 2019 – AAA Mid-Atlantic’s emergency roadside assistance volume topped 2,400 calls in the Philadelphia 5-county area and topped last year’s Martin Luther King Day call volume by 12 percent.  The auto club responded to more than 1,100 battery-related calls, also the highest volume for battery calls in 2019 and up nearly 70 percent from the same day last year.

Always there for motorists, the auto club has been working around the clock to help motorists whose car batteries were not strong enough to withstand the extended record-breaking cold that has blanketed the Mid-Atlantic.

“Our fleet and contractors within the Mid-Atlantic region have been working tirelessly to rescue stranded motorists throughout the weekend, especially yesterday as the extreme cold temperatures proved damaging so many car batteries” said Jana Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Even as requests for assistance soared, our priority is always to get our members back on the road or to safety as quickly as possible.” 

AAA Mid-Atlantic Emergency Roadside Assistance Volume – Philadelphia 5-County Area

Monday, January 21, 2019 (year-over-year comparison)






Jan. 21, 2019


69% higher
than 2018 MLK Day battery call volume





12% higher
than 2018 MLK Day total call volume

Jan. 15, 2018










Battery-related assistance calls jump with periods of extreme cold. According to AAA’s Automotive Research Center, at 0°F, a car’s battery loses about 60 percent of its strength and at 32°F it loses 35 percent.  During cold temperatures starting an engine can take up to twice as much current as needed under normal conditions.  While three to five years is a typical life span, various internal and environmental conditions impact a battery’s long term health.  Periodic inspection, testing, and cleaning are suggested and monitoring the use of accessories and electronic devices when your car is not running can help maximize its longevity.

“With continued bitter cold expected again today, drivers should make sure their vehicles are prepared with proper levels of antifreeze, a strong battery, and plenty of windshield washer fluid,” noted Tidwell.  “Also keep an emergency kit in the trunk should you run into any problems during your commute. Careful preparation is the key to weathering the wrath of Old Man Winter.”

AAA Car Care, Insurance and Travel Centers throughout the Philadelphia-area offer FREE car battery checks.  Motorists can see firsthand whether their car battery is strong enough to withstand the bitter cold.

AAA Car Care Center Locations:

  • WARMINSTER – 602 York Road (Bucks County)
  • DOWNINGTOWN – 105 Quarry Road (Chester County)
  • WEST CHESTER – 707 E. Gay Street (Chester County)
  • CLIFTON HEIGHTS – 5233 West Baltimore Road (Delaware County)
  • WAYNE – 849 Lancaster Avenue (Delaware County)
  • WILLOW GROVE – 2506 W. Moreland Road (Montgomery County)
  • SOUTH PHILADELPHIA – 1601 South Columbus Boulevard (Philadelphia County)

Warning signs that you are at risk for a battery related breakdown include the following include: hearing a grinding or clicking sound when you turn on the ignition, your vehicle cranks slowly when attempting to start, your headlights dim when idling but brighten when the engine is revved or your battery is more than three (3) years old.

Cold temperatures wreak havoc on car batteries, sending AAA roadside assistance calls soaring.  With AAA Mobile Battery Service, whether you are stranded at roadside or stuck in your driveway, AAA Battery Service Technicians deliver and install your new battery on-the-spot.  Dead Car Battery? Get a FREE instant quote by visiting OR Call Mobile Battery Service Today at 1-800-AAA-HELP.

AAA’s priority is always to get members back on the road or to safety as quickly as possible, but not every situation is an emergency.  Online scheduling for AAA Mobile Battery Service is now available in select markets by visiting, so you can schedule service at a time that is most convenient to have AAA deliver and install a new car battery for you.


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit

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