CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)– AAA Southern New England reports that the most common cause for a car to break down in the winter is a weak or dead battery.

That battery can be weakened by about 35% when it is about 32 degrees outside. When the temperatures get closer to zero, AAA says your car’s battery loses about 60% of its strength.

To add to that, if the battery is older, it’s more likely to die when the temperatures dip to below zero. Extreme cold can also thicken engine oil; forcing the battery to work harder when you start the car up.

If you notice your car is starting up slower than usual, or your interior lights are dim or flickering, it could be time to have your battery checked.

If you’re dealing with a dead battery, you can try using jumper cables to get it started, but be sure to do so safely. Your car’s owner’s manual should have instructions on that.

AAA recommends that you should check the battery connections are tight and that there is no corrosion on the battery. They say you can remove that corrosion with an old toothbrush and a mixture of baking soda and water.

You may, however, need to go to service station or auto parts store and have the battery and charging system tested.

You can also call for a professional towing company to come help re-charge your battery.