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Q: Why doesn't my car start up?

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I changed the battery with a new one and it started right up but only lasted for a week and continue to do the same. All my interior lights work including the radio but when I turn the key in the ignition it has no crank and the car does not start up. Can it be my starter or my alternator?

My car has 129000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi, thanks for writing in. It can be either...

Hi, thanks for writing in. It can be either. If the alternator is not charging properly, it can cause even a new battery to drain down. usually when we say "dead battery", it's not so "dead" that there isn't enough power to turn lights or the radio on, but there isn't enough power to crank the engine over. That takes much more power than the lights or radio do. Also, the starter can be a problem as well. If the battery is fully charged and it does not crank, try to tap the starter lightly with a hammer while a friend is turning the key. If it starts, then the starter probably has a "dead spot" in the windings. If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

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