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Q: Can I find out if my battery is dead using a trickle charger? What if I try and jump the vehicle with the battery being fully charged.

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I'm terrified (don't laugh) of anything that conducts current. I'm a struggling, single mom and need to find out if my connections are bad or if the issue is the starter. I don't have a multi meter, ammeter, voltmeter, etc. I've looked all over the internet for instructions, but I'm still afraid to touch my battery. I can't afford to take it to a garage and have them charge me to "look" at it. I will overcome my fear but it seems like there are so many differing opinions on how or what I should do. I've asked a few male friends (that supposedly know things about cars), but apparently chivalry is dead and no one is willing to stop by for five minutes to help me. I have to call into work because I can't risk getting stuck an hour away from home. I tried the key click trick a few times and got it running. Then the next day it won't start again. I have a trickle charger. Will it tell me if the battery is good? What if I try jumping it but I'm unaware the battery if fully charged?

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. Put on a pair of gloves and check the terminals of the battery and see if they are loose or tight. If they are tight, then put the key in the ignition switch and turn on the power but do not start the engine. Turn on the head lights and toggle on and off the high beams. If the lights are very bright, then the battery has a good charge. If the lights are low and dim, then the battery needs a charge or replaced. If the lights are bright and the engine will not start, then there could be an issue with the starter or ignition switch. If you need further assistance with your engine not starting, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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