When trying to figure out the culprit of why you have a new battery but the car won’t start without a jump, there are a few key causes as to why this could occur. If you realize that your car is not starting but you just got a new battery, this can leave you panic-stricken. What is the cause of the undrivable vehicle? What do you do now?
Causes for car not starting without a jump
If you think you have got everything figured out, and the main component of your car is taken care of – the battery – then you have to look into other causes for the car not being able to start without a jump. Before you immediately panic, think of the three main things that can cause this situation – faulty alternator, starter, or battery.
The car battery
Although you may have a new battery, but car won’t start without a jump, the battery can sometimes be installed already dead or experience a very short lifespan due to internal issues. A car battery should typically last a few years, between 4-5 years. However, sometimes the metal parts of the battery corrode and reduce the ability to hold a charge.
If the metal parts corrode and the battery can't stay charged for a long time, your battery will not provide the power to the starter and electrical system as it should.
If you are wondering what signs to look out for in a dead battery that can cause the “new battery but car won’t start without a jump” situation, then check out these top two symptoms. First, there might be an audible whining sound or clunking sound when you try to turn the key in the ignition or start the car.
The other main symptom of a damaged car battery is the car will not start again once you turn it off and turn it on again. If this happens, the alternator is functioning properly and prevents the battery from being jumped.
If you wonder why you have a new battery, but the car won’t start without a jump, then the alternator could be the main source of the problem. If your battery is working well and functioning at a high level, the battery will lose its charge due to the alternator failing to keep the battery charged while functioning.
Make sure you keep an eye and ear out for the most common symptoms and signs of an alternator failure.
The most common sign there is a problem with your charging system is an icon on your dashboard, usually the symbol of a battery. The word “CHARGE” might also appear. Typically, this warning light comes on when you turn the ignition and then disappears when the engine is started. If it remains illuminated, then this means your car has a new battery but the car won't start without a jump.
Dim Headlight Brightness
Another bad alternator symptom is the dash lights and headlights will get lower when your car is idling but become brighter when you rev your engine. This means that you could have a weak alternator or a damaged connection. You could also have a loose drive belt, which would result in a lack of power and cause your car to have the new battery, but car won't start without a jump problem.
Reduced Engine Cranking
When the alternator is damaged, the car’s engine will slowly crank. To figure out the cause of the slow cranking, you need to check the ignition system before making a decision. The inability to crank might also be paired with loud noises due to a worn-out drive belt, causing your car to have a new battery, but car won't start without a jump.
Your car starter is the mechanism in charge of starting and turning over the engine. The battery and the starter work together, with the electricity for the battery controlling the starter to turn on the engine. If your starter has failed and is causing your “new battery, but car won’t start without a jump” condition, you will notice the following symptoms.
The first sign of a damaged or failing starter is that there is an audible clicking sound when you turn the key. The second sign is that the car won’t start, but the dashboard lights work and turn on, alerting you to other vehicle problems. The last sign is that your car or truck’s jumping does not start the engine or make the car start.
Car Won’t Start Symptoms
Your car might not start for various reasons – however if you just got a new battery, but your car still won’t start without a jump, this could be due to other causes, like a faulty alternator or damaged starter that we mentioned earlier. Let’s check out the most common car won’t start symptoms and what you can do to troubleshoot these problems.
The car is silent when you turn the key
If this is the case, check the new battery terminal cable connections to see if there are any loose wiring connections or damage between a connector and the terminal post. If it starts when you turn on the engine, you might need to check the new battery cables.
The car makes a clicking noise and won’t start
If you realize that you have a new battery, but your car won’t start without a jump, this could be due to an improper battery installed in your car. In rare circumstances, mechanics would install a dead battery in your car during a replacement and cause your car to make a clicking noise and not be able to start.
Car cranks but won’t start
If you hear noises, but your car still won’t start, then you need to check the fuel supply to your engine by analyzing the fuel filter, the fuel lines, and the fuel injector to ensure they are all working properly. If they are all in good condition, check the spark plugs and see if they send the necessary electrical sparks and timing to your ignition to spur the internal combustion.
Engine starts but dies very quickly.
If you use a car that has a carburetor, then check to see the choke and see if it is closing and opening at the right intervals. If you have fuel injection, you can’t make this diagnosis on your own and will have to bring your car to a mechanic to see why you have a new battery, but car won’t start without a jump.
Car won’t start on rainy days
If your car’s problem of having a new battery but car won’t start without a jump only occurs in certain weather conditions, this could be due to excess dampness inside the vehicle. Have you or a mechanic check the distributor cap inside for any wetness or dampness, checking to see if the moisture has harmed the internal components. If this is the case, try to get rid of the dampness by evaporating it inside the cap using an aerosol can of a solvent.
How to Jump-Start a Car
If you realize that your car has a new battery, but car won’t start without a jump, it is time to see if your car can run properly after being turned on. If your battery has died, using jumper cables to power your vehicle can get it back on the road and driving safely. Ensure that the battery you are using and the one you are charging has as much voltage as your own, so there are no safety issues.
Get your jumper cables ready
The first step is to get all of your equipment and gear ready. You might want to buy a set of jumper cables to keep in the trunk of your vehicle in case anything happens unexpectedly. If you do not have any jumper cables, you might need to borrow some or visit your local mechanic to prevent having a “new battery, but car won’t start without a jump” situation.
Place cars in Park or Neutral Position
Once the cars are sitting still, both vehicles are placed in the Park or Neutral position and turn off the ignition in both cars. This ensures the cars do not move and that they will not roll away and harm anyone or anything around you.
Attach a red clip to the POS terminal of your battery
The positive terminal of your battery will either be marked by “POS” or the “+” sign and will be bigger than the negative terminal. This will make it easier to find and can help you find out why you have a new battery, but the car won’t start without a jump.
Attach the red clip to the positive terminal on the other car
You need a connection to send the power and the voltage between the two vehicles. Without attaching a red clip to each car, the power would only be flowing in one direction and not jump-start anything. By connecting a red clip to both positive terminals, the positive electricity will flow between both vehicles to properly jump the car’s engine that is not working.
Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on the other battery
The black clips and the negative terminal will be easy to tell by their color and by the “NEG” or the “-” icon on the terminal, indicating that it is the negative terminal and not the positive one. This can help you diagnose why you have a new battery, but car won’t start without a jump.
Attach the final black clip to a metal surface on your car away from the battery
This black clip just needs to be attached to an unpainted metal surface on your car that is away from the battery and will not get in the way of the other connections. Ensure that the surface is unpainted and that it is something that does not have other wires attached to it, as one of the metal struts that can hold your hood open.
Start the working car and let the engine run
This allows the engine to warm up and provide the necessary power to the new car that is struggling to perform at the necessary level.
As you can see, having a new battery but car won’t start without a jump is a common situation that can arise from the alternator’s problems. You will be able to notice these prevalent problems by the engine not being able to start, rough idling, the car not starting on rainy or cold days, and the car making clicking noises while you try to rev the engine.