Q: Car won't start. Got a new battery. Still won't start. Lights came on once I turned ignition everything died out.

asked by on January 14, 2017

Would it be the starter or alternator?

My car has 140000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A dead alternator will not prevent the engine from starting. As long as the car battery is FULLY charged and not defective, the battery alone provides all of the power required for ignition and starting. However, a dead alternator will, of course, not re-charge a battery and the battery will slowly die once you run a car with a dead alternator. Consequently, once the car is running normally, be sure that the charging output is tested by a certified mechanic. "New" batteries sold by stores are not necessarily fully charged so you "could" have a discharged battery. Before doing any further diagnostics, have the battery fully charged. Be sure any engine immobilizer system (security system) is not activated, thus preventing the car from starting. Broadly, if the immobilizer is off, and the battery is fully charged, either the starter motor/solenoid assembly is faulty or the electrical circuit supplying the motor has a fault. That circuit begins at the battery and includes grounds, wiring (some of which is very heavy cabling), fuses, relays, the ignition switch and terminations. Basically, with the key held in the "start" position, the starter is either getting power or it isn’t. With the key in the "start" position, if the starter motor is getting power but it doesn’t work, the starter is condemned and replaced. On the other hand, with the key in the "start" position, if there is no power to the starter, then the circuit is traced until the fault in the circuit is found. In addition to a faulty ignition switch, faults can include high resistances, due to corrosion, wire strand breaks, or loose terminals, which can only be diagnosed using a voltage drop test. If you desire that a certified mechanic resolve this, please simply request a no start diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get the problem diagnosed and repaired for you. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

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

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

Ignition, Starter, or something else?

Hi there. I understand how frustrating things like this can be. Base on what you've described, the year, and mileage of the vehicle it sounds like your battery has gone weak or failed internally. A good battery test with a...

Timing belt issue - 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT

Hi there - you don't mention if you replaced the timing belt as preventative maintenance (a good thing!) or if the timing belt failed, requiring replacement (a bad thing). If it is the latter, you may have valve damage that...

What would happen if the AC compressor bearings disintegrated while driving 65 mph?

If the compressor bearing fails the bearing race will spin on the front of the compressor and ruin the compressor assembly case. You would need to replace the entire compressor assembly to fix the issue. If pulley seizes it will...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford F-250
When When it comes to large, heavy-duty pickup trucks, the 2012 Ford F-250 only has two competitors – the Chevrolet Silverado HD and the Dodge Ram 2500/3500. Though the F-250 doesn’t outperform the Ram in the towing department, it certainly...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2011 Ford Ranger
The The 2011 Ford Ranger offers affordable pricing with excellent styling. It is a compact pickup that is both inexpensive to operate and own. The vehicle is capable of going off-road while still being able to tow 1,600 to 3,100...
Top 10 Best-Selling Cars of 2016
Ford F-series pickup trucks, Toyota Camry, and Honda Civic are some of the best-selling cars of 2016 and all deliver on reliability and efficiency.