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AAA: Emergency Road Service (ERS) Call Volume Doubles Due to Cold Snap


AURORA, Ill., Feb. 11, 2008 -- Preparing now for frigid weather conditions will help keep your vehicle on the road, advises AAA Chicago. Today AAA Chicago has averaged 250 calls per hour for emergency road service, well above normal levels for this time of year, which is about 100 calls per hour. AAA is giving priority to callers stranded on freeways or in traffic, where they are facing hazards.

  Motorists can help keep their vehicles on the road by doing the following:
  -- Check your battery strength. Faulty batteries cause more car starting
     problems than any other factor. At 0 degrees, a good battery has 35
     percent less starting power.
  -- Park your car in the garage. If you have no garage, put a tarp over the
     hood or park protected from prevailing winds. To keep doors from
     freezing shut, place a plastic trash bag between the door and the
  -- Keep the fuel tank at least half-full to avoid fuel-line freeze-up.
  -- To avoid frozen door locks, buy a lubricant available in most auto
     supply stores. If your lock freezes, heat your key with a pocket
     lighter but remember to wear gloves or hold the key with pliers. Or,
     fill a plastic jug with hot water. Hold it against the door panel or
     lock area. Do not throw hot water on the car. It may freeze and run the
     risk of cracking glass.
  -- If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle. It provides excellent
     shelter from the cold and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you.
     If you can start your engine, run it only enough to keep warm. Make
     sure the exhaust pipe is snow-free. Keep emergency supplies in the car,
     such as a cell phone, boots, hats, gloves, blankets, a "coffee can
     heater," flashlight and reflective triangle.

AAA Chicago reminds motorists to give tow truck operators and other emergency responders a "brake." They're there to help you. Drive with care when a tow truck's there.

AAA Chicago has represented roadway interests for motorists and pedestrians and serves as a leading advocate for various traffic safety and travel-related issues for more than a century.

For more information on any aspect of AAA Chicago's breadth of service including AAA's home, auto and life insurance products; travel-related services, AAA's Show Your Card & Save program; and/or any AAA membership service including emergency roadside assistance, please visit our Web site at or call us toll-free at 1-866-YOUR-AAA (968-7222).