If you just installed a new car battery and you’re wondering why your car is still suffering from performance issues, then you need to look into the function of a car battery, the signs of a bad alternator that can cause your car to not start, and the symptoms associated with a “car won’t start” condition.
What is a car battery?
When it comes to the functioning of your car, the car battery is one of the most important components. The last thing any driver wants is to be left stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery. The battery is the power of your vehicle – without it, you wouldn’t be able to drive anywhere.
The car battery provides electricity to power the electrical components within your vehicle. Without the battery power from the car’s internal battery, no electrical component will work,
Leaving you without lights, radio, and power windows.
The chemical reaction occurs in the battery system, transforming the chemical energy into electrical energy to deliver voltage to the starter. In addition, the battery stabilizes the voltage to keep your engine running consistently and constantly. Without the battery, the car would not have the energy required to start and maintain the power to run your vehicle.
When looking at why your car won’t start after new battery installed, it is important to keep in mind the varying functions that each component has in your vehicle.
What is an Alternator?
When trying to troubleshoot why your car won't start after new battery installed, the alternator will often be the culprit if you are positive the battery is in working condition.
The alternator generates electrical power and plays a huge part in the vehicle’s charging system. When the engine is running, the alternator must maintain the correct level of charge in the battery and supply electric power to the vehicle’s systems. The alternator is connected to the engine and controlled by a drive belt, directly connecting to the engine’s functions.
An alternator usually does not require any maintenance. In some cars, it can last for as long as a decade without any repairs or maintenance. However, if the alternator does fail, the car can still run for a limited time on just battery power. Unfortunately, once the alternator stops charging, you will find that your car won’t start after a new battery has been installed.
Signs of a Bad Alternator
There are common signs and symptoms to diagnose what part of the charging system or alternator is faulty. Troubleshooting these signs can help you determine why your car won’t start after the new battery is installed.
Dashboard Battery Light
The most common sign and noticeable symptom there is a problem with your vehicle’s charging system is a battery-shaped dashboard light. Typically, this warning light comes on when you turn the ignition and then turns off when the engine is started. If it remains illuminated, then there is an issue with your alternator charging system.
The charging system light doesn’t necessarily mean you have a failed alternator, but it does mean there’s an issue with your vehicle’s charging system. However, your mechanic will be able to determine if this has to do with your car won’t start after new battery is installed condition.
Alternator Voltage Leak
The alternator plays a vital role in converting currents from the alternator into a direct current. Over time, the electricity within the alternator can run out, causing dimming lights. We recommend using a voltmeter to ensure there are no leakages and prevent having a “car won’t start after new battery is installed” situation in your vehicle.
If you hear loud noises when your alternator is running, then the belt or pulley is usually the problem. The belt could be misaligned with the pulley, causing excess friction, grinding, and overheating. If the noise continues after replacing the belt, then you need to replace the alternator to prevent a “car won’t start after new battery is installed” condition.
Fuses and Ignition Switch
Another reason as to why your car might not start after having a new battery installed is due to faulty fuses and ignition switches. If the battery and the alternator are working correctly, then you might want to check for a blown fuse or a faulty ignition switch.Check your car’s manual to find the fuse box’s location to see if the fuse or metal wire is damaged. If the plastic wire in the plastic is damaged or disconnected, a damaged fuse might prevent power from getting to the starter relay, causing the car to not start.
If you determine the fuse is in working order, the real problem is the car’s ignition switch. The ignition switch is the electrical switch inside that your key touches when the mechanical part is inserted into the ignition. In some situations, the ignition switch only provides power to the electrical components and avoids the engine starter, causing a “car won’t start after new battery installed” condition.
Let’s see the most common damaged or failed ignition switch signs.
Car Stalls While Driving
One sign is that the car can stall while driving, meaning that the ignition might cut off power.
Ignition Switch is Stuck
The second sign of a failing ignition switch is that the ignition switch might constantly be in the “on” position, which can consistently give power to the fuel pump and the ignition system, which can overload the sensor.
Accessories Will Not Turn On
In addition, 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.
Knowing the signs of a broken ignition switch can help you figure out why your car won’t start after a new battery is installed. Unfortunately, diagnosing a broken ignition switch is a bit more complicated than checking for a broken fuse. However, the good way to check is if the instrument panel and dashboard lights do not turn on when the key ignition is moved, the problem is most likely with the ignition switch.
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 wont start, the lack of performance could be due to other reasons, like a faulty alternator. Let’s see the most common car won’t start symptoms and how you can troubleshoot why you are experiencing a “car won’t start after new battery is installed” condition.
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. If the vehicle starts when you turn on the engine, you might need to check the cables on the new battery.
Clicking noise, but won’t start
If you realize that you have a new battery but your car won’t start, this could be due to an improper battery installation. In rare circumstances, mechanics might have installed a dead battery in your car during a replacement and caused your car to make a clicking noise.
Cranking noise, but won’t start
If you hear noises but your car still won’t start, you need to check the fuel supply to your engine. You can diagnose this problem by analyzing the fuel filter, the fuel lines, and the fuel injector. If they are all in good condition, check the spark plugs and see if they are sending electrical sparks and correct timing to your ignition.
How To Determine if it is Bad Battery or Alternator
When figuring out what exactly is causing the “car won’t start after new battery is installed” situation in your vehicle you need to rule out the signs of a bad car battery. Despite just getting a new one, sometimes a mechanic can instal a dead battery or a faulty part, causing issues in your vehicle. To rule this out as the reason behind your car’s performance issues, you need to perform two steps to ensure the alternator is really at fault.
Check the battery
The first step in determining where the problem is coming from is to check the battery. If you live in cold weather, the battery is susceptible to dying and not starting in freezing temperatures. Check the battery gauge on the dashboard to make sure this is the reason why your car is not starting after installing a new battery.
After this, check the connections, like the electrical components and the brake lights, and clean any corrosion to see if that has caused a contaminated battery. If the battery doesn’t start, check the battery with a voltmeter to determine the reading. If the reading is not at the correct level, you might be looking at a faulty battery as the reason why you are having the “car won’t start after new battery installed” situation.
Check the alternator
If you find that the battery is working correctly, the next step is to test the alternator. You can do this by running your car and unplugging the positive connection of the battery. If your car stops, you have a problem with the alternator. In this situation, the alternator will be at fault for why you are experiencing the “car won’t start after new battery installed” condition.
If you are trying to figure out why the car won’t start after new battery installed, there are certain symptoms of a failing battery and dying car to look out for! By checking your battery performance level and ensuring your alternator is functioning well, you can keep your car working at a high-performing level for a long period of time.