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.

A: The smoking from the cables may very well h...

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?
Recommended services
Get a Quote

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: My A/C only blows cold on recirculate

Hello. You will always get colder air when on recirculate. When taking in the outside air the A/C system will be able to drop the temperature coming in by about 20 to 30 degrees. This means if the outside air...

Q: My truck cut off the other day while driving. Battery is new and good, check relay and its good. When I turn the key it won't move?

Have the battery tested professionally if you have not already done so. A battery can show 12 volts while the car is off, but drop to a low voltage while trying to start the vehicle which is a sign the...

Q: How do I turn on the Turn Signals?

Using Turn Signals is very important when driving your truck. The Turn Signals indicate your intentions to other drivers. To turn the Turn Signals on. Push the Turn Signal lever down to turn on the Left Turn Signal. Push...

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 Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...