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Q: Won't Start

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Hello. My 2001 Chrysler 300M would not start this morning. It was driven as recently as Friday afternoon with no issues whatsoever. So it had been sitting for about 2.5 days when I tried starting it this morning. I live in Chicago and we got some snow over the weekend and it was parked outside. There was about 1/8 tank of gas in the car. When I tried starting it this morning, the engine made no sound and the lights would not turn on, but the power locks worked. I haven't had this car very long, but it did not make the "clicking" sound I've heard before when other cars have had dead batteries. Should I assume this is a dead battery or could sitting outside in the snow have caused some other issue?

My car has 240000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello! It sounds like you may have an issue relating to power getting from the battery to the starter. Since the power door locks do work, this suggests it is not an issue of battery connectivity, but perhaps power being directed to the starter specifically. A faulty starter relay can cause this kind of a problem. The starter relay directs power from the battery to the starter solenoid which then engages the starter when you turn the key. When this is not working properly, you may notice intermittent starting problems as you describe. Generally, when this does fail, it does so very randomly and usually without warning other than intermittent starting. The power from the battery will still power other accessories such as radio, horn, etc., but you may not have any power to the starter. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and replace your starter relay.

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