Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car is not starting and new battery didn't work

asked by on

I usually handle car maintenance but I am working out of the country right now, so my wife has to do it instead. Our car has never given us any problems. My wife thinks that she left something on in the car one night cause when she came back out, it was dead. She tried to jump start it, but it didn't work. I thought maybe she had it hooked up wrong, so we did a video chat and I walked her through it.

The car did nothing when not hooked up; no lights on the dash, nothing. The dash does not light up when they key is inserted. When she jumped it with her car and let it charge for a while, she could get the instrument panel to light up, but when she tried to crank, it was just a soft clicking sound. When she took the jumper cables off, it went right back to being dead. She took the battery from the car to Auto Zone and they said it was fully charged. So, she picked up a new battery and installed it, and it still didn't work. We did discover that if she hooks up her car positive to positive and negative to negative, she gets nothing. But, if she grounds the negative lead to the engine block she can get the lights and dash to come on.

A: Hello. It sounds like the battery fuse may ...

Hello. It sounds like the battery fuse may have blown out. The battery fuse is a high amp fuse that can range from 80-amps to 120-amps, and is bolted to the fuse box. It also sounds like there may be a short to ground from the battery or starter. My suggestion would be to have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, come to your home or place of business to inspect your battery and charging system.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Why do I constantly need to replace the brake rotors and brake pads?

Hi there. That's a really good question. What reason were you given that the rotors need replacing? What symptoms are you experiencing? If you have a brake vibration, the rotors should have enough thickness after a year, unless you drive...

Q: Unmute radio, it does not have amute button on steering wheel

No sound can be caused by a couple of issues. The radio unit may be shorted internally. If it is internally amplified, the amplifier circuit may be shorted. The radio may still power up, have an active display and even...

Q: Battery drains overnight - 1990 Cadillac Allante

This problem can be diagnosed by connecting an ammeter to the positive (red) battery cable, observe the current drain (likely less than 1 amp). Then, one at a time, remove each fuse, check to see if the current drain has...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...