: dead car

Johnny Kaka
07-15-13, 11:18 PM
My car is now dead at startup. There is a short somewhere. For brief shots, the car has full power, but dies right as I start it. It may turn over once or twice. I don't think the battery's dead, it is only a year old. I've seen batteries die that quick. But the car seems to have full power until I start it. Then it dies completely. No power at the dash, nothing.

I am lost when it comes to troubleshooting electronics. Could it be a battery? Bad ground? shot wire? Wiggling wires doesn't seem to work at all. It is just very random. Sometimes there's power, and sometimes not.

07-16-13, 12:23 AM
Does it start more on colder days? I'm thinking a bad ground wire at the battery. Maybe run a second ground wire to the block. You can test a battery with a volt meter.

07-16-13, 12:40 AM
Sure sounds like a dead battery. Test the battery. Should be about 12.78V. Charge it completely. Disconnect, clean (use water and baking soda) the battery terminals, use dilectric grease, and reassemble. Is it turning over fast or slow? Are you out of gas?

07-16-13, 04:01 AM
The battery probably has a dead cell. When one of the cells goes bad, the battery can have enough of a charge (volts) to power the interior of the car, but not enough power (amperage) to start the engine.

You should be able to jump start the engine, and it will run off the alternator. If you can get it started that way, then you know there aren't any issues with the starter and ignition system, which might be preventing the engine from starting.

Johnny Kaka
07-16-13, 09:14 AM
definitely not out of gas. Right now it is dead and doesn't turn over at all. But when it does, it turns over without effort. Usually I get lights at the dash, everything looks normal, then I turn it over and it just quits. It doesn't even get to turning over now. Just quits, and then no power at the dash at all. Sometimes, if I disco the ground and reconnect, I get power again, but the same, it dies at start and no power. Right now, it's completely dead. No power at all.

07-16-13, 10:02 AM
Sounds like dirty battery terminals.

cadillac kevin
07-16-13, 11:18 AM
I'd say dirty or loose connection at the battery

07-16-13, 02:22 PM
Ditto on the bad battery connections. Sometimes wiggling isn't enough. I'd clean them off.
It isn't a bad idea to pick up a voltmeter. If you check the voltage across the battery (not the wires, but the actually battery terminal itself and see ~12.6 V, and when you try to start it, if the voltage doesn't drop very much, it's a bad connection. You can confirm this by then taking the volt meter and measuring the voltage from battery wire to battery wire and trying to start it again. If the Voltage plummets to near nothing, that indicates the bad connection.

07-16-13, 07:31 PM
I dont think its at the battery, I think its where the ground wire connects to the engine...or the cable from the alt to battery is loose on the alt...or the positive wire at the disribution box. Is the alt working?

07-16-13, 10:00 PM
We won't know anything until he tells us the volts on the battery.