Belfast Telegraph

Weather see huge rise in breakdowns

The wintry weather has led to a spate of mechanical problems for drivers, according to motoring groups.

The AA said its patrols attended just under 4,000 breakdowns last week from motorists stranded in bitterly cold conditions - a 30% increase on the previous week. Callouts in ice-entrenched Dublin alone accounted for three quarters of total breakdown calls.

It said last Monday was the busiest day for AA patrols, with a breakdown call out every 30 seconds during rush hour.

Noel Keogh, head of AA Rescue, said severe night-time temperatures during the week led to a slew of battery-related breakdowns and numerous cases of blown ignition fuses, flooded engines, frozen rear brakes, frozen or broken windscreen wipers, frozen locks and cars stuck in the snow.

"When temperatures plummet below freezing, most batteries will only function at about 50% of their normal power," he said.

"If you have a weak battery chances are it'll pack up on you altogether when it's freezing out."

Elsewhere eircom confirmed there were more than 4,900 reported faults on its network, with both broadband and telephone services impacted.

"Close to 700 eircom field technicians continue to work nationwide to reach customers without service," said a spokesman.

"The areas with the highest fault levels are north Dublin city and county, as well as counties Wicklow, Carlow, Wexford, Laois and Meath."

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