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.
TIF Plan Will Help Developers Build New Waterfront Hotel
A new hotel near Bayfront Park is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Duluth Economic Development Authority unanimously approved a Tax Increment Financing plan for the Pier B project.
Klobuchar Tours Chisholm Call Center That Is Adding Jobs
Dozens of new jobs will soon be coming to the Iron Range. The Delta Airlines Call Center is expanding in Chisholm and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar toured the facility Wednesday.
Groomers Busy Getting Lutsen Slopes Ready for Two More Weekends
While most ski slopes are closed for the season, Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort is still open for business. For the first time ever, they plan to be open into May. All their groomers are out moving all the spring snow to get the slopes ready for the next two weekends.
Little Falls Homeowner: 2 Teens Shot Were 'Vermin,' not Human
Sixty-five-year-old Byron Smith of Little Falls is on trial for first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. Smith claims he feared for his life and shot them in self-defense when they broke into his house on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
Walker Signs Bill Cracking Down on Synthetics in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Wednesday a measure designed to help crack down on the sale of synthetic drugs in the state.