Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Electrical problems, now car won't start.

asked by on

The battery light stays illuminated. While driving the airbag light came on, the speedometer stopped working, the turn signals quit working, and the engine and other electrical components started to cut in and out. Made it home and the car won't start at all. Had no problem with the car prior to this happening.

A: Consider yourself lucky that you made it ho...

Consider yourself lucky that you made it home! Most stories like this end on the back of a tow truck, after a few hours waiting on the side of the road. Now, the good news is the symptoms you describe are textbook signs of a failed alternator. When an alternator fails, the car’s battery is left to handle all the electrical loads, which quickly depletes available energy. First, non-essential systems shutdown (airbag, air conditioning, etc) and eventually, there isn’t enough power left to keep the engine running. It may be a good idea to contact a technician who can verify the alternator has failed, replace it as necessary, and test the battery to make sure it will be able to be recharged. This way, you aren’t stuck again the next time you shut the car off. In the span of a couple of hours, your Sable should be back to normal again.

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: Loss of gears and propulsion.

Hi there. The issue could be the interlock solenoid in the steering column causing the shifter to not move once its in the park position. If the solenoid is working, then check the cable on the shifter to see if...

Q: Possible electrical issue in a 2004 Honda Pilot

It appears that you are having multiple and intermittent issues with your Honda Pilot. Following the dealer's recommendations of replacing the gear shifter cable will likely only solve one of your concerns. The issues you describe with your alarm...

Q: I have a 2001 Jetta Volkswagen and I want to start it one day the car will turn on but won't start what could the problem be ?

Hello. Does the engine attempt to fire up and start at all? If not the starter is not working, or is not receiving enough power. The starter can be removed and bench tested, however these tests can be false. They...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...