Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Ignition, Starter, or something else?

asked by on

The battery is just a year old and might have 4k miles on it, at the most. I've had the battery cables checked and tightened. I've read troubleshooting documents but I am a Social Worker, not a mechanic so I don't really have a clue.

Any guidance given would be greatly appreciated.

Regards, Jennifer

My car has 98000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. I understand how frustrating things like this can be. Base on what you’ve described, the year, and mileage of the vehicle it sounds like your battery has gone weak or failed internally. A good battery test with a digital battery tester will give you a reading of state of health, cold cranking amps, and level of charge. If the battery is simply weak from sitting, a good charge should bring everything back to life.

If the battery tests bad, then replacement is required. Batteries lose their charge slowly while sitting due to the "keep alive memory" in the vehicle’s electronics. Several companies offer what is called a "battery tender" that helps maintain the battery’s charge while sitting. Also, a parasitic draw will drain the battery; a circuit or component that is shorted and keeping something on when the vehicle is turned off. Testing for a parasitic draw involves the use of a digital volt/ohm meter. YourMechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with a no-start inspection and/or battery replacement as needed.

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: Starter is good but not turning over when using the key.

This may be an issue of a faulty starter relay or potentially a bad ground connection to the starter. The starter relay directs power from the battery to the starter solenoid which then engages the starter when you turn the...

Q: Car wouldn't move after repairs were done - 1992 Cadillac Fleetwood

Hi! This sounds like an unfortunate situation with you Cadillac. If it failed the emissions test for running rich (high CO), the ignition systems maintenance that was performed has no impact on reducing CO emissions. Running rich means excess fuel...

Q: Cant find brake fitting for 1/4 line going into rear rubber line with tee.

Your best bet would be to have a professional perform the service for you since you are having so much trouble. These are the brake lines so you really want them done right the first time and a warranty in...

Related articles

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...
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...