The 13-day extreme cold spell that ended Friday increased demand for auto parts and service calls as temperatures plummeted.
Car dealerships and auto repair services in the region received numerous calls for help. The most common problem that everyone reported was a dead battery.
Barry Allen of Webster Auto Service in Marion said he had been asked to start vehicles. He tried to take her to the store for a battery change whenever possible.
“It was cold out there,” he said.
Customers sometimes brought vehicles that indicated low tire pressure. Cold temperatures compressed the air in the tires and required more air.
Allen covered a few incidents where vehicle heaters were not working properly. The workshop flushed out the heater core and replaced the thermostats.
In addition to replacing dead batteries, Midway Motors mechanics received multiple calls about fuel gelling in diesel trucks. They tried to start the trucks, replace the batteries, and bring them inside to warm up.
Allen said it was a good idea to let vehicles warm up in very cold weather. He said engines and transmissions benefit from a warm up.
The auto accessory stores saw a boom.
“We sold diesel fuel additive and batteries well above average,” said Mike Regnier of Marion Auto Supply. “Our suppliers have done a good job keeping items in stock.”
Hillsboro Hardware has run out of space heaters, heat lamps, and plumbing items. Branch manager Ginny Pohlmann said that pet irrigation and water tank heating are in demand.
“Pretty much everything that has to do with heating and plumbing was asked,” she said.
A supply truck was delayed by the weather, preventing the store from getting more of the items it needed, she said.
Jamie Hatton of Hatton Hardware in Peabody said they were busier than usual in cold weather.
“We sold oven filters, plumbing accessories, heating tape, and small electric heaters,” he said.
The store ran out of heat tape and the propane was sold out.
Marion’s 56 Express Tire & Service reported selling a lot of propane for space heaters.