car not starting [Archive] - Forum


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02-07-2009, 03:42 PM
I know it probably can't be diagnosed without seeing the car, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Drove the car (2001 Grand Am GT) for a while today with no problems, then parked it for an hour. Came back out and it would not start, turn over, nothing. Wouldn't even light up the interior lights. Wouldn't jump start at all. It tried to turn over, but there just wasn't enough power to start it. With jumper cables on the interior lights would come on though, but still no start.
Battery is 1.5 years old, never had a starting problem. Nothing was left on that would've drained the battery.
So, did the battery shoot craps or is the alternator dead and that's why the battery is drained so low? Any way to test without taking it someplace? The car is sitting in my driveway completely dead and won't move.

02-07-2009, 03:44 PM
Sounds like the battery is a dud to me.... had it happen before with a 4 month old battery. Sometimes they just go bad. You'll most likely have to take it in to get it tested, unless you have another car that uses the same battery around that you could swap the batteries with.

gagt Mechanic
02-07-2009, 09:02 PM
if it wont jump start either, you have a bad connection, or blown fuse. you can try taking apart you battery terminals, they can get corrosion inside of them. clean them with a battery cleaner, or ive heard that baking soda and water works, put it back together and try it again. if no go, try hooking the + jumper cable to the power cable on the back side of the alt and grond to the eng, if this works you may need new battery cable ends or battery cables.

02-08-2009, 07:09 PM
Try cleaning the battery terminals, i had the same problem with the same car 3 weeks ago, i had to clean them

02-08-2009, 07:37 PM
if you have access to another working battery, try changing them out and see what happens, for this any battery that will hook up should work for the test(though if its from a smaller motor, you MAY still need a jump).... while your at it, check to see if the terminals are corroded, which will look like rust, white stuff, or anything else that doesn't look like plain metal.... and the baking soda and water works, add about a tablespoon to a cup of water and use it to clean along with a wire brush... make sure to rinse well and put some anti-corrosion stuff on afterword if its corroded.... also, sometimes jumper cables can be a hassle to get a good connection with, i usually have to fiddle with them and watch for a noticable drain happening on the jumper cars system

if that works, and the car starts, its probably the battery. but to be sure, either take it to autozone for a free test, or hook up a voltmeter and it should read around 14.1 volts while running; give or take a few decimal points, if not, its probably the alternator... again, a free test at an autozone or similar store can easily and quickly check for both problems(bat/alt)....