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My car wont start.  I checked the battery and was only showing around 5 volts. I charged it overnight and it was still showing 5 volts. I took out the battery and had it tested, it was bad.  I put in a new battery and the car still won't start.  The battery light and service engine light are on and the dash lights won't go out when the battery is connected. With all that the car won't even turn over. I could use some help if you have any ideas!  Thanks.


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  • 2 weeks later...


From what you describe, I'm stumped. I'm a backyard mechanic who's been in the backyard a lot of years, and I've only come across a somewhat similar situation a time or two, and even I turned the issue over to a good independent mechanic.

That said, there are some things I would check out before I had it towed to the mechanic.

Check your battery cable connections to the starter solenoid and the body ground for corrosion, and make sure they are tight. Pull the fuse box cover under the hood and check that the fuse for the starter and the ignition (there may be 2 or 3) are actually good. Pull them out, check them, and then reinsert them. Sometimes that cleans up their blades and allows a good contact. Then find the starter relay in the same fuse box and swap it for another relay in the fuse box of the same colour and number written on it.( There will be several electrical systems that all use the same numbered/coloured relay.)

Check the wiring harnesses in the engine compartment for burned insulation (indicating a short). There may be a fuseable link that's gone bad (I won't go into describing that here, as it'll take a while.)

You may just have a bad charging system (alternator) that isn't charging the system (weird things happen with lights when they don't get the proper voltage), or as I eluded to earlier ... you may have a mouse that's gotten into your wiring, thought that it tasted yummy, and has chewed through several wires, shorted some out and is causing mayhem. I have been there to the tune of $860 when a mouse got under the fuse box of one of my vehicles, chewed 14 wires, and was responsible for almost 5 hours of diagnostics to find what was causing all of the electrical systems to not talk to each other.  Good Luck!

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