Repair shops seeing influx of cars as drivers dig out

ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) -The winter storm is still sidelining drivers two days after it passed.  Technicians scrambled to service a long line of cars streaming into local repair shops.

Appointments for weather-related repairs are completely booked at the Dobbs Tire & Auto on Chippewa Street and Hampton Boulevard in South St. Louis.  But Dobbs’ Roger Hammond said technicians were working to take care of any walk-in customers quickly.

“We’re seeing a lot of impacts, bumping into curbs slipping and sliding,” he explained.  “A lot of preventative maintenance, usually batteries are a big thing when temperatures are this low, conditions of coolant, antifreeze leaks, heater operation.  Obviously, windshield wipers are a big concern as well.”

Hammond said you should look for symptoms your commute is in trouble.

A white, powdery substance on your battery means the leads are breaking down.  Electricity cannot get from the battery to the car.  It also indicates the battery may be leaking.  So, the battery may need to be replaced.

Steering problems could mean you need more power-steering fluid.  Ask your technician to check the other fluids in the car.

Screaming sounds from under the hood could mean a belt is worn out, and could break.  Have your technicians check your hoses, as well.

If you are not getting heat inside the car, that could mean you are low on antifreeze.  The car’s engine could overheat and shutdown.  That repair could cost thousands.  Have the antifreeze level checked.

Just after Sunday’s storm left the area, Phil Linck of AAA of Missouri said technicians could only answer emergency calls on Monday.  That meant, if a car was not blocking traffic or in some other unsafe place customers would have to wait for several hours for help.

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