Frigid temps boost wrecker business - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Frigid temps boost wrecker business

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January 4, 2008

Albany -- The freezing temperatures in South Georgia the last three days have been miserable for people, and their cars.

Wrecker service companies and auto repair shops have seen their business skyrocket, as the cold weather causes many cars and trucks to freeze up and break down.

 Another car that would not start because of the cold weather is towed to an auto shop. For wrecker drivers, the freezing temperatures have meant a lot of overtime. Wrecker Driver John Galbert said "late nights, early mornings."

 Temperatures in the 20's for three straight nights have made many South Georgia vehicles break down, and kept the wrecker services hopping. Galbert said "it's been pretty steady. We have been running anywhere from 40 to 60 to 70 calls a day."

And that is just one of the wrecker services in Albany. South Georgians don't usually winterize their cars, and the auto repair shops getting these cars to fix, say that could cost thousands of dollars.  Albany Radiator Manager Jason Inmon said "blow the tanks off your radiator, freeze your radiator, and freeze your motor up. And that's expensive to repair? You would have to get a whole new motor."  

Galbert said "got jelled up batteries, cold starts, people's anti freeze in their radiator is not right. Just causing a lot of problems in their vehicles."

 And it's not just cars, diesel big rigs are also freezing up in this cold snap. Big truck experts told us today that these rigs may be more susceptible to the cold.  Quality Wrecker Service Driver Tommy Coulter said "we've have some with dead batteries, frozen brakes, just having a lot of trouble when it's cold like this."

 The forecast is for warmer temperatures, but the wrecker drivers say they know they will stay busy for several more days towing in broken down cars.  Galbert said "you are also going to have a lot of people who are postponing having anything done because of the cold. Which will keep us busy."

The average cost for a tow is from $60 to $130. Repair shop owners say it only costs about $50 to winterize your car once a year, and it could save you a lot of headaches.

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