▶️ Cold, snow, ice and slush take a toll on cars and drivers

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The weather is taking a toll on cars and drivers. From dead batteries to fender benders, auto parts stores and body shops are bursting with people trying to keep their cars on the road.

Central Oregon Daily reporter Colby Enebrad’s windshield wipers literally fell apart during the recent cold snap. He decided to fix them himself and joined hundreds of others in auto parts stores seeking to replace things that broke in the recent harsh weather.

“Dead batteries are the number one reason why people call AAA during a cold snap,” said Marie Dodds, AAA Oregon-Idaho. “Most people aren’t aware batteries have a pretty short life span. Only about three years. Sometimes you can eke five years out of them. That battery might turn over just fine if it’s 36 degrees, but then you get down below freezing, especially for longer than a day or two, and that battery won’t turn over.”

RELATED: Bend utility teams spring into action with heavy snow melt on roads

RELATED: Portland ice storm: 3 dead, baby injured after power line falls on car

Tow truck companies are busy responding to stranded vehicles and fender benders. At least a dozen new customers showed up the past week at Central Oregon Auto Body in Bend with bent fenders, crushed quarter panels, dented hoods and smashed tailgates. 

“It’s all kinds,” said Justin Pohll, senior estimator at Central Oregon Auto Body. “Lots of curbs eating tires and wheels. Lots of bumper jobs. Stopping distances is what gets everyone. You just skid right into the back of somebody when you are not paying attention.”

If your car needs body work, know that it is a multi-step process getting an estimate, approval from your insurance company, obtaining parts and then having the work performed. Body work turnaround time ranges from a few weeks to a few months.

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