Q: Is my alternator bad or my cables?

asked by on October 18, 2016

The car will not keep a charge and will not start. I have replaced the battery and the starter. If I connect my battery charger to it, the lights come on , but no start. Once I take the charger off, nothing in the car works, not even the lights.

My car has 19500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. If the vehicle is only working when the charger is installed then there is high resistance in the vehicles electrical system. Most of the time it is caused by a bad positive battery cable. I usually do a voltage drop test of the positive and negative battery cables to make sure that they are fine. If they are then I test the resistance going to the fuse box as high resistance in that circuit will cause this also. If you are planning on having this no electrical power problem checked, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose and repair this.

Was this answer helpful?
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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

I have a 2008 nissan armada the battery is brand new when i turn the ignition its not catching theres a clicking sound i try a few

The problem may be in the ignition starter relay or in the starter solenoid. You need to see where the clicking is coming from. If the noise is coming from the starter relay in the fuse box then replace the...

When car starts, it shudders before shutting off

A clogged fuel filter can cause stalling issues on a vehicle. The clogged fuel filter makes the fuel pump work harder to deliver fuel to the engine and can overheat the fuel pump. The fuel level sending unit is in...

I have a 2005 ford escape that has this "Shudder" when i accelerate. I've heard of the product Dr. Tranny Instant Shudder Fixx

Generally, if this is not related to a faulty solenoid or other mechanical issue, this type of fix works well. Often times, the additives available on he market (including Dr. Tranny Instant Shudder Fixx) include cleaning agents that help to...

Related articles

What Is Key-Off Battery Drain?
Many Many things in your car continue to work even after your vehicle is turned off – radio presets, security alarms, emissions computers and clocks are just a few. They continue to draw power from your car battery, and the...
The Most and Least Expensive Cars to Maintain
Luxury cars, such as BMWs, are the most expensive and Toyotas are the most cost efficient. Driving style also affects car maintenance costs.
What Is a Voltage Drop Test?
Here’s Here’s the problem – your engine is cranking slowly, or maybe not cranking at all, but the battery and starter are both working just fine. Or your alternator is charging normally, but it’s not keeping your battery charged. Obviously,...