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.

A: Hi there. I understand how frustrating thin...

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?
Recommended services
Get a Quote

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: I need help locating my starter

Replacing the starter can be a bit of a tricky job as it is located usually down on the driver's side of the motor underneath the exhaust manifold on the side of the engine block. It is mounted very close...

Q: Act like it runs out of gas but it doesn't

It sounds like you're having a fuel pressure issue. If you have a fuel pressure gauge, connect it to the shrader valve on the fuel line under hood and check the readings. It should be over 10psi if it has...

Q: My car will crank but will not start.

Thanks for writing in about your 1994 Buick Roadmaster. There are many things that can cause a no start condition. You may want to have this thoroughly looked at in person by a professional before moving forward with any other...

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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.