Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Dead Car

asked by on

So about a week and a half ago my car battery died. Today a friend volunteered to have it jumped. After a few seconds with both our cars connected she gave me the signal to turn my ignition on. Instead of my car restarting, my friends car started smoking. We immediately turned my car off. She said she might have put the cables on wrong. Now nothing is turning on at all. Is it time to replace my battery? My car has only died once before (About 3 months ago) in the 5 years I've had it and the guy that jumped it that one time told me I needed a new battery. I took it straight to the dealer after and all my battery tests came back fine. I also just took it a couple weeks ago to get 70k service maintenance and was not told of any problems.

My car has 68000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The smoking from the cables may very well have been caused by having the cables hooked up backwards. You may want to have your charging system diagnosed by a professional from YourMechanic to be sure your alternator and battery are in good working order.

There is also a unit called voltage regulator which monitors the voltage supply from the alternator to the battery to ensure the proper charge. When this is not working properly, this can cause the battery to lack the sufficient charging needed by the alternator.

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: Multiple issues

Hi There, The shift solenoid is one of the components that the transmission uses to effectuate the shifting of your transmission. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required,...

Q: REPLACE ALTENATOR

If the alternator has been bench tested and the test shows that even one of the diodes has failed, the alternator must be replaced. A failed or leaking diode can cause the battery to discharge when the car engine is...

Q: Battery dying and both alternator and battery passed for good when inspected

If the battery passes a load test and charging system output has been measured and is within specifications, the only reason a battery will discharge is if the car sits for a long period of time (batteries will self-discharge even...

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...
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...