Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: It will not turn over and start

asked by on

Recently brought used, the car was running the battery check light was on, and I left it running while I ran inside to get something..when I came out it had died, and now it won't start

My car has 109000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Because you left the car running but it died anyways, this tells me that this is not the battery at fault. The most likely culprit is the alternator. Many people are not aware, but testing an alternator is really easy. While the car is running, disconnect the negative terminal to the battery. If the car stays running, the alternator is fine. That being said, I have had the battery light come on when an alternator belt breaks. Verify you have a belt. If you do, see if you can jump start the vehicle. If it jump starts and runs, test the alternator with the method I just outlined. I suspect the vehicle will die when you do this test.

As a last resort to testing on you own, remove the battery and the alternator and have them both tested individually by a local expert. If you need help with this, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting problem and perform the proper repairs.

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: Car wont start

This may be a variety of possible issues ranging from a weak battery to a bad starter relay or burnt fuses. This is not likely related to the fluids as they generally do not have anything to do with the...

Q: Cost to replace engine power relay

I would first confirm the diagnosis before talking about the cost. Did they explain in some detail what the fault is? Did they show you test outputs or any tangible proof? They should be able to show you a print...

Q: Car jerks when shifting higher

Hello, This may be a sign of low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car's computer activates a...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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.