Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Ignition not working

asked by on

The car battery got discharged today. I used a jumper cable to fix it. After two hours, when I started it again, it looked like the battery was working, but the ignition would not working.

A: Hi, if you had to jump the car, the battery...

Hi, if you had to jump the car, the battery is likely going to be too low on power to get the engine started. The alternator can keep the battery supplied while the car is running, but as soon as the engine is shut off the battery begins discharging. This discharge will be very fast if the battery is old, so if the battery has never been replaced, it most likely can't hold a charge anymore.

Batteries typically need to be changed every 5 years or so as that's right when they begin failing. Keep in mind that the battery may have enough power to light up the dash lights, but not enough to get the engine started. If you have a voltmeter, you can check the battery by touching the 2 leads to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. You want the voltage to be as close to 12 volts as possible, anything below about 9.6v and there won't be enough power. One of our certified technicians here at YourMechanic would be able to help you inspect the battery and help diagnose why your car is having trouble staring.

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: Security system won't let car start

I strongly suggest allowing a technician to inspect the vehicle's electrical system as it may simply be wire out of place or a blown fuse causing the vehicle not to start. When immobilizer systems become problematic usually immobilizer components themselves...

Q: Bad fuse or defective key lock causing ignition problems.

Hello, it sounds like you have already had the battery tested and it tested good. The next thing that needs to be checked is to see if the starter is turning the motor over. If it is then you need...

Q: How do I unbuckle a seat belt?

To unbuckle a seat belt, simply press the Release button until the latch unbuckles, then remove the belt and allow it to retract fully.

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...
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.