Q: Car died, and gauge needles moving crazy

asked by on

I have a 2003 pt cruiser. I went to start it today and it was dead. Had no issues before. I got a jump, but right away my car sounded funny, and all my gauge needles were jumping up and down, and my inside light was blinking on and off. I tried to back up, but my engine sounded heavy and sounded like it was kicking back. I parked and tried to start my car again, but it was dead.

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Robin. Thanks for contacting us today. What you are describing is common with an electrical short (in regards to the gauges going ’wacky’ like you’ve described). The hard to start problem and rough idle issues are probably caused by an ignition system failure, causing a misfire (which is likely why the engine sounds heavy). There are multiple possibilities here, so it’s probably best to have a professional mechanic come to your location and try to isolate the source of your problem through an onsite inspection.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car died, and gauge needles moving crazy

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Vehicle stalls at idle, on highway all speeds, stop lights. Will restart most times.

Hello. You likely have a faulty transmission control module or engine control module. The no communication code has been experienced by many technicians, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Challenger owners alike. The cause of a lost communication code on your particular...

Q: How much to install a turbo and tune to my 2012 Acura TSX? I'll supply a 500$ eBay turbo kit and hoping for like less than 10psi

Hello. This is a system that needs to be installed by a shop that specializes in this. A failure to do so can cause some serious failures in the engine and in the new parts that you purchased.

Q: When it's hot outside, the car will overheat after driving a long distance. It doesn't do it in cold weather.

Hi there. When coolant gets hot, it expands. Which is why the overflow reservoir exists. If the vehicle tends to overheat during the hot summer season, it may be contributed to the air conditioning system. Anytime you turn the AC...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.