Q: Car starts but acts like it doesn't want to

asked by on

Car will start but takes a minute. When I does start it runs sluggish and almost dies while driving. Battery, ABS, and air bag light are all on while car is started. Gas gauge does not work.

My car has 80000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. This sounds like a faulty alternator. Use a multi-meter to test the alternator’s output voltage. Good alternators test in the range of 13.8-14.2 volts and make sure to use the 20 volt setting, or you could receive a false reading. You can pick up a multi-meter at your local parts store. If your alternator fails or this is not your issue, I would recommend enlisting the help of a qualified mechanic. Going too long on a bad alternator can damage a battery.

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 starts but acts like it doesn't want to

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: Vibration coming from wheel and brake pedal when I'm idle

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2005 Scion xA. You need to check the brake booster to see if it has a vacuum leak in the check valve or booster when you are pressing on the brakes. If...

Q: Q: Squealing noise

Hello. It sounds like your drive belt may need adjusting. Drive belts that are too loose can squeal, especially when the engine is cold. I suggest you have a trained professional, such as one from YourMechanic, adjust your belt to...

Q: Have a broken driver side rear main lift support shock, not the two regular left in the right lift supports. Can i replace that?

Hi there. If you are referring to the shock absorbers to the vehicle, then you can fix the brackets that support the shock to the vehicle without having a jack. If you are referring to the air bags that are...

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...
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...