Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car lost acceleration, now it will not start.

asked by on

Two night ago I was driving and my car began to lose power. It was still running but when I pressed on the gas the car would not accelerate. The check engine and parking break lights would flash when I pressed on the gas and when I turned on my 4 way hazard lights. I turned the car off and tried to restart it, nothing happened. The key would turn, and lights would come on but nothing else. I parked the car and bought a new battery. Installed the battery and my car drove fine. Drove about 20 miles that night and then again the following morning. Yesterday afternoon I left my house and was about 5 miles down the road when I heard a grinding sound and my car began to lose power again, the same way it had the night before. I was able to jump start it and get it home where it's now parked until I understand what is wrong. The key will turn and lights come on but all I hear is one solid click. Alternator was replaced in May, battery 2 days ago, AC compressor and belts in August.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. When dealing with an issue like this...

Hello. When dealing with an issue like this, there are so many components that can effect stalling and starting that we need to start with the basics. Once of which is to simply make sure the battery is charged. If its not then the alternator is not working and your attention needs to lie there. If the battery has 10 volts or more, then you need to take a look at the wiring between the battery and the starter. Make sure all of these connections are clean, dry, and tight. If the starting system and battery were working correctly, you would at least have the vehicle attempt to crank over. The click you hear is an indication that the starter is not receiving or using the power supply it needs to crank the engine. Double check the starter, battery, grounds, all wiring related, and the connections. If the issue is not resolved after that you will want to turn your attention to the engine.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Doesn't sound like it wants to start

Prior to performing diagnostics be sure you have a fully charged battery that passes a load test. Then, confirm that the engine immobilizer system (security system) is not activated thus preventing the car from starting. Basically, if a fully charged...

Q: Wheel Bearings

This may be a sign of failing or worn out wheel bearings. A wheel bearing will usually fail due to pitting or small damage on the surface of the rollers or the bearing race. Both the surface of the rollers...

Q: When starting noise from engine

The rattle is coming from the camshaft sprocket on one or both cams. To get rid of the noise the cam sprocket would need to be replaced. These are part of the variable valve timing system and this is only...

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...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...