We know you must be thinking that there is something seriously wrong with your car if your car is completely dead, but the battery is good. Just because various internal components and systems seem to be at least partially working in your vehicle doesn’t mean that you have the root cause of the issue figured out.
Since there are numerous systems within the car that all work together to make it run, the transmission, engine, and other issues could be completely separate from why the car is completely dead, but the battery is good.
Causes of Why Car is Completely Dead
Let’s check out the top reasons for what it means when your car is completely dead, but the battery is good.
Fuses and Fusible Links
If the battery is in decent shape and the power is not dead, then you might want to check for a blown fuse or a fusible link. Make sure you check your car’s manual to find the location of the fuse box and then see if the fuse or metal wire is damaged. If the metal wire in the plastic is damaged or disconnected completely, then a blown fuse might prevent power from getting to the starter relay.
If you determine the fuse is in good shape, then the real problem is the car’s ignition switch and it is not working correctly. The ignition in your vehicle is the electrical switch inside that your key touches when the mechanical part is inserted into the ignition. In some situations, the ignition switch might only give some components power, causing the car to be completely dead, but the battery is still good.
When wondering why your car is completely dead, but the battery is good, you need to keep an eye and ear out for the signs of a failing ignition switch or bad ignition.
Failing Ignition Switch Signs
One sign is that the car can stall while driving, meaning that the ignition might cut off power to the fuel systems. The second sign of a failing ignition switch is that the ignition switch might constantly be in the “on” position, consistently giving power to the fuel pump and the ignition system when in the cranking position and overloading the sensor. In addition, if it fails in the “on” position, it can cut off power.
Furthermore, another sign of a failed ignition switch is problems with turning on the accessories in your car. When you insert the key and turn it into the on position, the accessories might not power on. If this is the case, then you will have ignition problems, fuse issues, and wiring issues that can cause your car to be completely dead, but the battery is still good.
Diagnosing a Failing Ignition Switch
Diagnosing and remedying a broken ignition switch is, unfortunately, a bit more complicated than checking for a broken fuse. However, if the instrument panel and dashboard lights do not turn on when the key ignition is moved, then the problem is most likely with the ignition switch. The ignition switch might not seem like a big deal, but it can cause your car to be completely dead and prevent you from driving your vehicle.
When looking at why your car is completely dead, but the battery is good, the main cause of your car troubles could be that the starter is not working correctly. The starter in your car cranks your engine in order to turn on your car. The entire system of the starter consists of the motor, the solenoid, and the flywheel.
In order to start your car, you need a high current. This provides your engine with enough power to start the car properly. Whenever your car will not start and the battery is charged, the starter motor is usually the culprit of the issues. While you are determining why your car is completely dead, but the battery is good, the starter is oftentimes the reason.
Faulty Starter Signs
There are a few signs that show the common starting problems. First, the starter can crank but the car will not start. This is usually due to battery failure, which is due to something being left on and causing the battery to drain. The failure of the car to start could also be due to poor connections, damaged battery terminals, or a bad or dead battery. Sometimes, this could even be due to the starter, with the control terminal becoming corroded.
Another sign that there are starter problems is that you have to jiggle the key to start the car. This shows you have a bad ignition switch and the solenoid is not being activated. In addition, the car might start when it is in neutral, but not when it is in park position. If you are analyzing why your car is completely dead, but the battery is good, starter issues are one of the main reasons as to your vehicle problems.
Faulty Starter Replacement
If you find that your car starter is the issue as to why your car is completely dead, but your battery is good, then you might need to replace the starter in your vehicle. This can be done by a mechanic if you are not certain about what to do, but if you have the tools and knowledge, then you can save some money by doing this replacement yourself.
Check the Battery
Although you have determined at this point that your car is completely dead, but the battery is good, sometimes you can have a faulty battery without realizing it. If you have just had a battery repair or replacement, then the issues you are experiencing could be due to an improper installation of a battery or a dead battery that was installed in a car by a mechanic.
You can test to see if the battery is running on too little power by using a hydrometer test or a load test. If the battery tests low when you use a hydrometer to test the charge, or if it does not pass a load test, then this means the battery needs to be charged to run the engine correctly. If it can gain a charge from another battery and the vehicle can start after getting a jump, then the issue is fixed.
This means that your car’s issue is completely dead, but the battery is good can no longer continue in your car. However, if it doesn’t start, a blown fuse might be the problem, a broken ignition switch, or a bad starter.
For some, if the battery is dead and not working properly, you will need to get a replacement or repair the battery. Sometimes, you need to decide if it is better to repair or replace the battery depending on the value of your car and how much you're willing to spend, along with the cause of the car being completely dead and the battery being seemingly in good condition.
Signs Your Car is Completely Dead
Engine Cranks But Car Doesn’t Start
If your engine cranks or turns over when you put the key in the ignition the most likely culprit is actually a dead battery. Although you have done the tests and determined the battery is not the reason for your car being completely dead, most of the time, the battery is the cause of the issue if the engine is able to crank.
However, there are some circumstances where the alternator could be the root cause. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to narrow down why your car is completely dead, but the battery is good.
No Cranking and No Lights
If your engine doesn't crank, you can’t start your car, and there are no lights, then your battery may or may not be at fault for the car completely dead, but the battery is good. As you know, the battery is in charge of powering all electrical accessories in your car if the alternator is not running.
However, if you realize that your car battery is working well, then the culprit could actually be a combination problem with the alternator. If the car does not crank or turn over, but the headlights turn on, this could be due to an alternator issue, mechanical problem, or engine deterioration. If this is the case, your battery might not be the reason behind your car completely dead, but the battery is good.
Frequent Car Jump-Starting
If you always have your jumper cables out to start your car due to the inability to start on a consistent basis, this is a sure sign that something is wrong with your vehicle. In this case, you might have finally had enough when your car is completely dead, but. Still, the battery is good – this indicates something is very wrong with the alternator, starter, fuel pump, or electrical components.
When trying to figure out why your car is completely dead, but the battery is good, you need to know the most common signs and symptoms of this problem in your vehicle. Realizing these signs prevents the issue from getting any worse and can increase the longevity of the car’s internal components, keeping you and your passengers safe for a long time.