Q: How do you know if you have a bad battery or a bad alternator if your car won't crank all the way up

asked by on

When cracking my car all lights come on inside the dash but my engine wouldn't come on after awhile I began trying to get a jump I did this about three times nothing would happen so I let my car sit and tried again but this time my lights wouldn't come on at all! I again tried getting a boost but my car wouldn't crank I than moved around the negative post and my car lights will come on than quickly turn off help please!?
My car has an automatic transmission.

The lights in your car will take a lot less power to operate than the starter to turn over the engine. You should take off the battery connections and clean them with baking soda and water, then reinstall and tighten them. If it was the connections then you may be able to start the car now if the battery is good. After the car is running then look at the gauges to see if all are normal.

If your car is still unable to start after doing this, contact a certified mechanic who can ensure that your battery is operating as it should.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How do you know if you have a bad battery or a bad alternator if your car won't crank all the way up

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 car has trouble staying running when i take my foot off the accelerator, especially when starting when it's cold.

Hi Bryson. Thanks for contacting us tonight. On the fuel system of your Buick LeSabre, there is a component called the cold start injector or cold start valve. This helps to mix the air/fuel ratio to assist your vehicle start...

Q: Car ignition issues

Hi there: The ticking issue sometimes occurs when it's cold and is due to low oil pressure or low oil levels upon initial start-up. It's possible that the problems starting your car is due to a fuel system issue, either...

Q: Why won't my car start after it was ran out of oil and got hot 2009 Chevrolet Impala

Hi there. If the engine was ran this low on oil then it may have seized. This is assuming that it is not cranking. From your explanation I am assuming that it is not cranking since you mentioned the battery....

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...
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...