Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why won't it start with a low battery and a good jump start connection?

asked by on

The engine was a little sluggish to turn over one evening and the next morning it would not engage the starter. I was at a motel so I thought I would get a jump start and drive to an auto parts store to get a new battery. It still would not engage the starter with a jump and 14 volts measured at the battery. I kick started the starter with a screw driver with the ignition on and it would turn over well and run until I removed the screw driver. I eventually got a ride and bought a new battery and installed it. It started up immediately with the new battery. Why did the car do this to me and is there a way to force it the start on a jump?

My car has 185000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. Your battery may not have had enough cold cranking amps (CCA). The volts may be correct but if it doesn’t have enough CCA, it will not start for you.

Batteries that specify cold cranking amps are generally referred to as starting batteries. This specification is the measure of a battery ability to supply a lot of power for a short period of time.

To answer your question, once a battery has lost the CCA, there is no way you can make it start, even by jumping it. Often times people don’t have jumper cables large enough to jump a vehicle without letting it sit for a while. You make look for larger cables because this could help you better next time.

If you would like help servicing your battery, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to do the service for you.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Why won't it start with a low battery and a good jump start connection?

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 won't start.

The performance of the battery and charging system must be checked. There may be a problem with the alternator recharging the battery especially if the vehicle required a jump-start after a new battery. Hire one of our expert technicians to...

Q: probkems with automatic climate control

Hello there, there are a few common faults that can cause the AC to malfunction like this. The most common cause of this fault is a failed outside temperature sensor, wiring issue, or a failed temperature control module. Due to...

Q: Installed new battery but car won't start - 2005 Honda Civic

Your symptoms could be caused by several components. At first, it sounds like the starter is cranking, but isn't powerful enough to turn over the engine. This could be due to a bad electrical connection or faulty starter. Replacing the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...