WATCH: Business soars at Fargo car battery shops as temperatures plummet
Auto shops and battery stores are reaping the benefits of bitter winter weather.
FARGO — You don't need a thermometer to know it's freezing cold outside. Just listen to cars trying to start, and you'll hear the whiny song of frozen batteries.
It may be bad for the ears, but at Interstate All Battery Center in Fargo, it's good for business — even before the worst of the cold is expected to hit.
"It's really starting to pick up a lot," said general manager Josh Flemmer. "People are really trying to get their battery checked and switched out before we get this cold weather the next couple of days."
At zero degrees, a battery can lose as much as 60 percent of its strength, while a car can take up to twice as much electrical current to start.
"When it gets super cold, everyone's in the same boat," Flemmer said. "When cars don't start we get busy."
Besides jumper cables, drivers might also want to consider a jump pack, which can start a dead battery in a pinch without taking up much space.
"If your car's parked in a garage and it's hard to get to, sometimes it's nice to have that portable power," said Flemmer.
Making sure your battery is prepared before the temperature drops well below zero could end up saving you a lot of money.
"Get it checked out so you're not caught paying extra money for a tow truck, or looking for a buddy to jump-start your vehicle," Flemmer said.
The cold hasn't just been good for battery sales. Auto shops tend to be busier as well.
Matt's Automotive Service Center in Fargo said it sees more cars for no-starts and heating problems when there are cold snaps.
A service adviser with the auto shop said winter is the busiest season of all, especially with more fender benders happening.
Below-zero temperatures also encourage some to splurge on remote car-starters when they normally wouldn't.
"You don't think about wanting an AstroStart in July," said Jessica Koller, a service adviser for Matt's Automotive. "You think about it in January when it's cold, so this is a very busy time of year."