Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car wont start/crank

asked by on

I was trying to.replace starter and forgot to ground the battery and started without it. The car turned on and then wont start again. Red light flashing on dash with abs, battery light as well. Most people said that it could be anti theft system. I have tried replacing starter relay.

My car has 125000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. What happened is that the power cables that are directly from the battery went to ground causing a mass surge through the vehicle’s fuse box. This causes the engine’s computer to think that the vehicle is being stolen and sets the anti theft system. Remove the battery cables, both the positive and negative and let the vehicle wait 30 minutes. While you are waiting 30 minutes, go into the vehicle and put the key in the ignition and turn on all accessories, like the lights, turn signal switch, brake light with stepping on the brakes, power windows, and anything that has a switch. Keep in mind there is no power, so all you are doing is draining the power from any resisters that will hold a charge. Once you are done, turn off all switches and hook up the battery, positive cable first then negative (ground) cable second. The anti theft system should be cleared and you should be able to start the vehicle. If you are unable to start the vehicle back up, then seek out a professional, as one from YourMechanic to assist you with your no start issue.

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: 2011 Dodge charger won't start, it goes on run but nothing only the ac is blasting but the screen for the radio is offl

It is possible that you could have an issue with your starter, alternator, or battery. I would recommend having your vehicle inspected by a qualified professional to determine which one of these items may be causing this issue. The battery...

Q: Coolant/Transmission and leak issues related?

The kicking in the back end that you are describing would be likely related to the transmission problems you have had, not the cooling system. Without additional information regarding the recent transmission problems, it would be tough for me to...

Q: Can I get my oil changed by another oil change location other than the dealer?

Absolutely. You do not need to go to the dealer for most services other than possibly some types of repairs to the computer or factory theft control devices for your vehicle. You could have your vehicle's oil changed elsewhere, change...

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...
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...
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...