Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I was driving and my car started to slow down, and my gas pedal wouldn't work, and all the signs came on and the car light was flickering

asked by on

I would like to know what's wrong with my car because now it's completely dead. When I try to lock the door it doesn't lock. I've tried to jump the car but it doesn't last long. The check engine light was on but was told my gas tank needed to be checked so that couldn't be the reason. The battery and brake lights came on but those were changed and done. Then the ABS light came on so not I'm sure what that means. When I drive the car it sounds like an airplane is taking off. So I jumped the car and it started but once I put the shift to drive in 5 seconds, the car dies.

My car has 174035 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi, thanks for writing in. It sounds like y...

Hi, thanks for writing in. It sounds like your battery has crashed. When the system voltage drops below a certain point, the electronics go haywire. The alternator is supposed to maintain the battery voltage at around 14 volts, and I'm guessing that your's is not working. When the alternator stops charging, the car can continue to run on stored energy in the battery for a few hours, until the voltage falls below about 10 volts, then all those crazy things start happening.

It's hard to say without hearing it, but the "airplane" noise may be coming from your failed alternator. I don't recommend running out and buying a new alternator right away, the battery needs to be fully charged or replaced so that you can have a proper tests performed.

Charging or installing a battery, or even jumping one off, is a risky business on a modern car. Connecting the cables incorrectly for even a moment can do a lot of expensive damage to the various modules in your car.

I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home or office to confirm a diagnosis on the issue and make or suggest the necessary repairs or replacements.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car turns over from starter, but not from ignition

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air. If the starter will turn over when jumped directly, then power is not getting to the starter. The wiring diagram I have for this vehicle is horrible, probably...

Q: Car is vibrating and making a clicking noise; should I replace the CV joints?

If you are hearing a clicking noise, this may very well be related to the CV joints. Generally, when it gets to this point, the CV joint has already completely failed and will need to be replaced. In severe cases,...

Q: Passenger's side window not working

Hi. This issue is usually caused by a switch on the door. It can be the individual window switch or the master driver side switch. I would have a mechanic visually inspect the window to come up with the proper...

Related articles

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...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.