Created: 01/02/2014 5:32 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The subzero temperatures have been unbearable for Northlanders and their vehicles. Repair shops are working overtime getting them running through the deep freeze.
Temperatures got above zero in areas of the Northland on Thursday, but that did not help anyone with a battery that was frozen solid.
For everyone else the engine turning over was music to their ears, but Wayne Packingham had a different issue.
“I went out one morning during one of these colder nights and my brake pedal was as solid as a rock. It wasn't moving or giving me any brake or anything,” Packingham said.
Those frigid failures have kept the mechanics busy at Allstar Service Center in Duluth according to Service Manager Gavin Aker.
“It has been pretty much constant customers coming in the door, phone calls and cars in the parking lot since the winter storm hit,” Aker said.
He said even his mechanics had some trouble with the cold.
“Battery problems, it's tough to avoid them at this point. I was saying earlier one of our own guy's vehicle wouldn't start this morning because of the cold," Aker said.
He recommends getting a new battery if you need it, but there is another trick to keep it turning over.
“Try and start your car at least once a day and let it run for 10 to 15 minutes in this cold weather so you don't get it sitting for two or three days. Because you sit that long in this kind of cold and you're not going to start,” Aker said.
Aker said coolant can turn to slush and ice as well and drivers should check for coolant rated to 40 degrees below zero.
The mechanics also said to check your tires. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops your tires can lose a pound of pressure or even lead to a flat tire.
“A lot of gas station outside air hoses aren't working right now because of the cold temperatures so don't be afraid to go into your local auto clinic and just ask them to check the tire pressure for you,” Aker said.
The mechanics also recommended running an extension cord out to vehicles with engine block heaters, but that is not an option for everyone.
Those tips should come in handy when temperatures drop again this weekend.
Federal Ruling Means No Killing Wolves Unless Endangering Human Life
A federal judge has overturned an Obama administration decision to remove the gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.
Another Round of Budget Cuts at UWS
UWS announced on Friday at an open forum that it will be eliminating academic programs and faculty positions to help to university save money. Four graduate programs and four undergraduate programs will be cut. The university is also severing ties with a music professor and a visual arts professor.
Lake Superior Zoo Reduces Seasonal Hours, Cuts Staff Position
While a task force takes time to consider possible changes to the financially struggling Lake Superior Zoo, there'll be a couple other adjustments in the mean time.
Bigfork Blaze Destroys Home, Injures Firefighter
Firefighters battled the blaze on the 300 block of Ottum Avenue for more than six hours, according to Susie Schmickle with the Bigfork Fire Department.
Prepackaged Caramel Apples Linked to 4 Deaths
Health officials are warning consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples after they were linked to five deaths, including two in Minnesota.