QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) --Have you ever tried to start your car and the engine wouldn't turn? This cold snap is causing car trouble for people across the tri-states, and mechanics say the most common problem is a dead battery.
Mechanics say when temperatures drop down to zero degrees or below the cold weather can drain 80 percent of your batteries charge.
And within the past few days, they've seen a number of people stranded because of dead batteries.
"It was very very cold, it had raining freezing rain and snow and I don't have a garage, my car sits outside and I went out and it just wouldn't turn over," said Marquite Hickerson.
Hickerson remembers when her battery died a few years ago.
Mechanics at Cane's Automotive in Quincy say in the last 48 hours, they have towed dozens of cars that won't start during this first cold snap of the season.
"When it gets this cold cars are harder to start and you only have one chance sometimes when it gets down to single digits or below, and if it doesn't start the first try sometimes it won't start at all, it might flood or something like that," Mike Cane, with Cane's Automotive in Quincy.
So how do you know if you're having battery trouble or if it's something else?
"If it doesn't crank at all that means your battery is dead, that's the physical action of the engine cranking, but if it cranks well and doesn't start then it could be something else fuel delivery maybe, spark plugs, something like that," said Cane.
To avoid car trouble, mechanics say you should get a new battery every 5 years.
Most batteries are marked with the year they were installed.
Hickerson says she was lucky she was just in her driveway when her battery died and not stranded somewhere.
"I think if you were out on the highway and you had stopped and you couldn't get your car started back and it was a bitter cold day it would have been a real inconvenience," said Hickerson.
Depending on the size of your car, mechanics say a new battery can cost anywhere from 50 to 200 dollars for a hybrid car, a new battery could cost a couple thousand.
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