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.

A: Because you left the car running but it die...

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Clutch Unresponsive

I'm assuming that when you mean the gears are changing properly, you are referring to the gear shifter will go into each gear when the motor is off. Otherwise, if you can get the car in each gear while it...

Q: My car starts sometimes and other times it cranks over like normal but won't start.

First check on your vehicle service records to see if the maintenance is up to date. If you can smell fuel at the back of the car while the car will not start then you may have an issue with...

Q: Loss of power to driver's side door, plus grinding sound from front left of car.

Looks like we have two separate issues happening to your Volkswagen Jetta. With such limited information it is difficult to determine where exactly the grinding could be coming from in your Jetta. The questions I would first ask are if...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...