By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The cold weather is crippling car batteries and leaving motorists in sub-freezing temperatures.

On New Year’s Day, AAA mid-Atlantic says they received more than 1,000 calls for battery service.

“At 32 degrees you lose about 35 percent of your battery life, and about 0 degrees you lose about 60 percent of your battery life,” said Dan Cave with AAA.

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He says dimming lights, and slow cranking when your turning the key, are signs you should get your battery looked at sooner than later.

“If you haven’t had you battery replaced in three years, you may want to start thinking about it, or have it tested more often,” he said.

Cave says believe it or not, those jumper cables that you leave in the back of your car in case of an emergency may do more damage than good. He recommends using a jumper box instead.

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“A lot of time newer vehicles like 17’s and 18’s don’t like to be jump started,” he said. “They really want you to battery correctly. There is an issue that if you mess up the cables, you’re going to damage the PCN or the computer of the car.”

AAA says they offer free battery checks for members and non-members, as they look to keep drivers on the road and out of the cold.