Q: Car died, and gauge needles moving crazy

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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.

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