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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.

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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