Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car won't start after returning from winter break.

asked by on

From about October 2016 to now, my car has had pretty bad battery problems. Just the usual stuff, car won't turn over roughly 2-3 times a week if I haven't used it that much. Used to be dome lights would stay on, and removed the fuse that led to the dome lights and problems mostly stopped, but it also took out the radio and it was a pain to keep taking it out and back in whenever I used the car. But, the dome lights and radio eventually stopped staying on in the car for whatever reason, but the battery problems persisted. Eventually went to a mechanic for help before winter break, but he said there was no issue with the battery or the alternator. Although confused, I said OK, and left for winter break. Upon returning about a month later, car doesn't turn over and barely has a whimper. Just barely clicks. There was some pretty major cold while I was gone, could that be it? Should I jump it once and see if it returns to normal? Or do I have a solenoid issue or something more serious?

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

I would first recommend having the vehicle jump started or the battery recharged. Once it is running you may need to run it for an hour to fully recharge the battery back up if it will take charge. If after that it will not start the vehicle or the next morning is dead again then you may need to replace the battery. If the vehicle sat for over 2 months the body control module staying energized will kill the battery. You should have it checked.

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: Power window on driver side goes down when car placed in reverse or drive without touching power window buttons.

Hi there. The only thing that would cause this is an electrical short, caused perhaps by an exposed wire in the power window module, which is located in the center console of your Ford Explorer. The best advice we could...

Q: Hard to turn steering wheel when on park.

Hey there. There is a check valve in the power steering pump that quite often sticks after a rebuild. Since these are "restoration" components, they tend to sit on shelves longer than present-day parts. Tap lightly on the power steering...

Q: Coolant leaking even after replacing everything

Try checking the thermostat housing as well as the water pump shaft area. These are two additional places that have seals (water pump shaft) and gaskets (thermostat housing) that are prone to leak, especially under pressure. You may want to...

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...
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...