CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — As you’re keeping up to date with this weekend’s forecast, AAA is encouraging drivers to make sure their cars are prepared to handle the freezing temperatures.

“Maybe this cold snap is going to remind you that you have to do something on your vehicle,” said Dan Fisher, Dispatch Manager for AAA Western & Central New York. “Check your tires, your tread that snow is coming back, check the tire pressure.”

As the temperatures keep climbing down Friday and Saturday, Fisher says AAA is expecting it to be a busy weekend due to cars not starting from the cold.

“A lot of overtime, a lot of crews being called in,” Fisher said. “Making sure that we’re able to meet that demand, which we expect to be very high.”

Fisher says, on an average winter day, the calls for help from AAA customers are roughly 26% percent. He says, with these low temperatures, they’re expecting that number to jump drastically.

Fisher says they will have up to 50 crews on call this weekend, and they have the capacity to have even more if needed as they expect a lot of dead battery calls.

“It might be you’re hearing a cranking sound lately, the car doesn’t turn on right away, or maybe the lights seem dim — these are all signs that your car battery is going,” said Elizabeth Carey, Director of Public Relations, AAA Western & Central New York.

According to Carey, if your car’s battery is more than three to five years old, it may be time to get a new one.

“When you might find out it’s completely dead, that’s where AAA comes in,” Carey said.

If you go to start your car and it doesn’t start, Carey recommends using jumper cables or having a friend or neighbor help you jump the battery. You can also use the AAA mobile app to request service and workers can come out and assist you.

AAA also recommends checking your tire pressure, making sure your windshield wiper fluid is filled and keeping an emergency kit in your car. They also say ensuring your windshield wiper fluid is rated to work in below-zero temperatures will make it useful in the cold while you’re on the road.

“As the temperature drops, that black ice can come out of nowhere, and we really just can’t see it so slow down,” Fisher said when it comes to driving this weekend. “Just leave more time for where you’re going, it’s just a fact of life in our winter here, sometimes it takes us 20 minutes when it should take us 10.”

For more information on how to prepare your call for the deep freeze, visit AAA’s website here. To find out more information on their roadside assistance program, visit here.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.