Cold ruins batteries, tires and diesel fuel

CREATED Jan 8, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 8, 2014

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WEST MILWAUKEE - It's out with the old and in with the new at Remy Battery.

"I stopped for a minute before I got here.  It almost didn't start back up," Shirley Aspinal of Milwaukee said, standing next to her car.
 
Many batteries did not survive this week's sub-zero weather.
 
"We came very close to breaking a single day sales record," said Remy Battery president Michael Moeller.  "It's probably been about 20 years since we've had that high of volume."
 
Batteries Plus Bulbs stores in Wisconsin sold three times the number of car and truck batteries in the first week of 2014 compared to the same week last year.  The Hartland-based company's West Allis location sold nearly four times the number of automotive batteries.
 
Richlonn's Tire & Service Centers were overwhelmed on Monday and Tuesday.  
 
"The biggest problem is flat tires," said Richlonn manager Tim Korth.  "We had a lot of flat tires, just because the cold actually makes the air go out of the tire."
 
At Amato Ford in Mukwonago, mechanics serviced dozens of pickup trucks.  The frigid temperatures turned diesel fuel into an engine-crippling mucous.
 
Some repair shops got so busy, they actually turned customers away.