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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine making chirping sound

Belts chirping or squeaking in annoying but usually not too serious. I've seen brand new belts chirp because of the ink that's on the belt for the part number and barcode. However, it could also be a bearing in a...

Q: XM satellite radio doesn't display full lines

Hello. It sounds like the display screen is malfunctioning and this is causing the problem you are having. The only way to fix this problem is to replace the radio unit it its entirety. The radio unit can be very...

Q: Car misfires

Misfires are common and can be caused by things like bad spark plugs, spark plug wires, coils, bad injectors, or low compression. When the ECM detects a misfire, a code is usually set. A qualified mechanic, such as one from...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
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...