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Flat tires? Dead battery? What these extreme temperatures are doing to your car

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GLENDALE (WITI) -- A Wind Chill Advisory was in effect through noon on Thursday, February 19th, and another advisory was issued for all of southeastern Wisconsin through 10:00 a.m. Friday. Wind chills are expected to drop to -20. The bitterly cold temperatures take a toll on our vehicles, and some were dealing with tow trucks Thursday.

It was a common occurrence Thursday morning, February 19th: Cars being transported instead of transporting. Dick Stops was one of those who had car trouble Thursday.

"I had an appointment with the doctor this afternoon. The door opened up and the battery just went click, so I called Ford Roadside Service and they actually got me here in half-an-hour," said Stops.

The same thing happened to him on January 15th. The battery was recharged. This time, he got a brand new one.

C.J. Lieber of Leader Towing and Transport got a rude awakening. He tows vehicles, and guess what? At 4:30 a.m. he initially couldn't start two of his tow trucks!

"Going out with 12 below this morning with the wind blowing and it's a big open area, there's really no protection. And you kinda open the hood, and climb under the hood and do whatever you got to do to get 'em running," said Lieber.

Lieber says diesel fuel played a role in his trucks' problems. But for most gasoline powered cars, it's the battery.

Dave Hoffman, with Heiser Ford Lincoln says they keep plenty of batteries in stock during the winter season.

"Vehicles pretty much run the same all the time, start the same all the time until we get temperatures like we have today and then you start to notice batteries that are just on the edge of failing, end up failing in this kind of weather," said Hoffman.

As for Stops, he's not irritated by the inconvenience.

"It's kind of something you have to get used to if you want a car in Milwaukee," said Stops.

Besides the battery issues, Hoffman says cars that haven't received regular maintenance may not fare well in the cold weather. Lieber says some of the calls he's been getting deal with flat tires, which is common in extreme temperatures. He says it's important you check your tires for proper inflation.

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