The 13-day extreme cold spell that ended Friday raised demand for auto parts and service calls as temperatures dropped.
Auto dealers and auto repair services in the area received numerous calls for help. The most common problem they all reported dealing with was a dead battery.
Barry Allen of Webster Auto Service in Marion said he was called out to jump start vehicles. He tried to bring them to the shop for battery replacement whenever possible.
“It was cold out there,” he said.
Customers sometimes brought in vehicles that indicated low tire pressure. Cold temperatures compressed the air in tires, requiring the need for more air.
Allen dealt with a few incidents in which vehicle heaters were not working properly. The shop flushed out the heater core and replaced thermostats.
In addition to replacing dead batteries, Midway Motors mechanics received multiple calls about fuel gelling in diesel trucks. They tried to jump-start the trucks, replace batteries, and bring them inside to warm up.
Allen said it is a good idea to let vehicles warm up when the weather is very cold. He said engines and transmissions benefit from a warm-up.
Auto supply stores saw a boost in business.
“We sold way more than average of diesel fuel additive and batteries,” Mike Regnier of Marion Auto Supply said. “Our suppliers did a good job of keeping items in stock.”
Hillsboro Hardware sold out of space heaters, heat lamps, and plumbing parts. Store manager Ginny Pohlmann said farm pet waterers and water tank heaters were in demand.
“Pretty much anything related to heating and plumbing was in demand,” she said.
A supply truck was delayed by the weather, preventing the store from getting more of the needed items, she said.
Jamie Hatton of Hatton Hardware in Peabody said they were busier than usual during the cold weather.
“We sold furnace filters, plumbing supplies, heat tape, and small electric heaters,” he said.
The store ran out of heat tape and sold out of propane.
Marion’s 56 Express Tire & Service reported selling a lot of propane for space heaters.