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: My ignition is jammed and my key won't turn

Hi there. What you're describing is commonly associated with a broken ignition lock cylinder. The ignition lock assembly is a tumbler and key mechanism that is used to trigger power supply to auxiliary components and engage the starter motor to...

Q: Water leaking in the trunk

Hello. I Suspect that the leak may be caused by a fault in the sunroof drainage system. The rear sunroof drains are located in the rear corners of the trunk. The drainage lines may become clogged up or may even...

Q: Car overheating after only a few blocks

If the engine is overheating, then the coolant level should be checked. The system may be low or may have an air bubble trapped in the system. Please note that the cooling system should never be opened or checked while...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...