24 August 2011




Joanna Newton, Automotive Services, AAA Public Relations, (813) 787-6886 cell, (813) 289-5859 office, JNewton@AAASouth.com

Jay Bolster, Sr. Manager, AAA Battery Service Operations, (321) 436-3068 cell  

Jessica Brady, manager, AAA Public Relations,
office: (813) 288-7294; cell: (813) 532-5327, JBrady@AAASouth.com 



Calls for assistance with dead batteries increased 12 percent from 2009 to 2010

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 24, 2011) — In the past decade, AAA’s requests for battery assistance spiked from 4,000 calls a year to more than 400,000. Throughout the Labor Day weekend in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, the call volume for AAA Service Technicians to provide jump starts and battery replacements to stranded motorists increased 12 percent from 2009 to 2010 and almost 40 percent from 2008 to 2009.

“We want motorists to be prepared if their battery fails this Labor Day weekend. It’s a busy holiday for motorists and extremely hot—the heat alone can have a negative impact on battery life,” said Jay Bolster, sr. manager, AAA Battery Service Operations. “Traditionally, car batteries last an average of 37 to 40 months in a hot climate, but now the average life of a battery can be as little as two years because of the massive amount of power required by the average ‘modern’ car and driver.”

The power needs of a modern-day vehicle drain the same 12-volt battery drivers have relied on since 1960. Car batteries used to charge items such as cell phones, iPods, and navigation systems are more likely to need to be charged and replaced sooner than one might expect. Cars also draw extra energy to power fans, security and diagnostic systems, and engine management tools, even when the car is not being driven.

In 2009, AAA Service Technicians responded to more than 6,900 calls from motorists with battery issues throughout the Labor Day weekend versus more than 7,800 motorists by Labor Day 2010.

“The basic car battery has not changed in more than 30 years, but cars have,” said Bolster. “Make sure you know how to change the battery in your own vehicle and take your time with it because it isn’t always as easy to get at your car battery in today’s modern cars.”

Drivers may get an early warning when their car battery is about to die. Motorists may notice their car will start slower than usual, interior lights may start to dim or flicker and after market equipment may not function properly. This is the time to test the battery to see if it needs to be charged or replaced to prevent being stranded. Motorists will know if the battery has failed because the car will make a series of rapid clicks and will not start.

  • How to Properly Jump Start Your Car Battery:
  • See your owner’s manual for detailed information on how to care for your vehicle
  • Always wear safety glasses when jump starting a battery in case of an explosion
  • Check for visible signs of failure
    • Corroded connections
    • Loose connections
  • Attach positive cable to the dead battery and then the negative connection to the metal frame of the car to avoid sparks at the battery, causing an unsafe condition. (too much power going into the negative battery)
  • Attach positive cable and negative cable last to the live battery
  • Always double check connections to make sure you have correct polarity to avoid damage to the car’s electrical system
  • If in doubt, you can always use your AAA Membership and call on AAA’s service technicians to assist you with your car battery

AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, with 78 branch offices serving 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.