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Q: Car won't charge

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My car won't charge, and I have a brand new battery. The battery and brake lights were on when the car was in Drive. The engine ran, but the pedal would not drive.

A: Hello! Since you have replaced the battery,...

Hello! Since you have replaced the battery, we will put that to the side, but we cannot ignore it. A failed charging system puts a large load on a battery and can damage a new one, so I suggest having the battery tested; many facilities offer a free check.

Are the Battery or Brake lights illuminated? If the Battery light is illuminated, this generally points toward a faulted charging system component, which could be the alternator or just a fuse. If the Brake light is illuminated red, the brake fluid level could be low, or the parking brake may have been left engaged; I will lean more toward the parking brake because of your note, "the engine ran, but the pedal would not drive". A low brake fluid level can come from a lack of brake system maintenance, or a leak in the system. Brake fluid leaks are generally accompanied by a low or soft brake pedal.

I suggest that you consult an experienced mechanic, like the ones we have here at YourMechanic, for a thorough inspection of the electrical system that recharges your vehicle’s battery.

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