Bad battery, lights come up on the dash, won’t start

I drive a 2009 Nissan Altima. Just after 40,000 miles the electrical system began to act funny. The low battery light and other lights signaling issues with electrical components lit up at random times, but always shut themselves off before I really got concerned. It went fine for some time but then, recently, at only 44,000 miles the car will not start at all. What is the problem? I have a good battery and the cables are well maintained and clean! What can I do to fix this problem?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
You may be experiencing an issue with the Electronic Steering Control Lock. This part most commonly causes the vehicle to not start but can also cause some unique electrical issues. It sounds like you have checked the common issues like battery connections; well done. Sometimes the most basic of issues can wreak havoc on your car’s electrical system. That being said, I would recommend having your car analyzed by one of our mechanics to make sure the alternator is recharging the battery, and also to check for stored codes in the different control modules. Because the issue only acts up intermittently, it would be helpful to note exactly which lights are coming on, so that no details are missed.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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If your Nissan Altima battery warning light comes on while driving, be sure to turn off your accessories, so the battery doesn`t drain further. The warning light usually means that the alternator isn`t working perfectly meaning you are operating solely on battery power.
The most common reasons a Nissan Altima won`t start are a dead battery, an alternator problem, or failed starter. Search our network of RepairPal Certified shops near you to speak with a technician about your issue.
Perhaps your battery`s dead, or your alternator, which charges the battery, isn`t working correctly. If the source of the clicking is electrical, the starter (a small motor energized by the battery that gets the engine running) doesn`t have enough juice to stay powered.
One of the most common causes for a Nissan not starting is due to an issue with the battery. The first thing to do is make sure all of the connections are on tight, as this can sometimes cause problems with starting.
Your battery light, also called the dashboard battery indicator, is designed to let you know about an issue with your vehicle`s battery or charging system. It could indicate that your battery is damaged or worn out, or that the charging system is malfunctioning in some way.
A dashboard battery light basically means there`s a battery charging problem. Your car isn`t getting enough voltage from the car battery to operate properly. It needs more “juice!”
If you don`t hear clicking when you start the engine, the problem may be a dead battery. If you hear clicking, but the engine doesn`t crank, the starter might not be getting enough electricity. Using your owner`s manual and a voltmeter, you should be able to test functionality.
Usually a rapid clicking noise is a good indication that your starter motor isn`t getting enough electrical current to engage – basically your solenoid is trying to engage but can`t make the connection.
If your vehicle won`t start but you hear a rapid clicking sound when you turn the key then you may have a problem with your battery or alternator.
This indicates that the alternator is not working properly. The most common cause of this problem is an alternator failure. Alternators are responsible for charging batteries in cars and other vehicles, and when they fail they can cause all sorts of problems with your vehicle`s electrical system.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Car won’t start. The check engine light, battery light, and oil change light are coming on. I tried jumping the car and nothing happened. Why won’t my car start?
ANSWER : Hi and thanks for contacting Your Mechanic. If sometimes your vehicle will start with the new alternator and sometimes it won’t, then there is a loose connection in your charging system. Check all of the wires to the alternator and to the battery. Make sure that the battery cables are clean and tight. Make sure that the wires to the starter are clean and tight. A loose ground to the ignition system will cause the vehicle to not crank over. Check all of the ground wires from the battery to the starter. Make sure that they are clean and tight. If you need further assistance troubleshooting your no start situation, then seek out a technician, such as one from Your Mechanic, that can assist you.

Battery light came on went and bought a new battery battery light comes on about 1 minute after starting car.
ANSWER : The alternator on this vehicle is computer controlled and if the alternator is not communicating to the computer then it may default to a set charging rate that will show up as good when testing using standard methods. The computer and charging system needs to be tested using a scanner that is compatible that can check and test charging rates. You most likely do have a bad alternator on the car.

Vehicle won’t start, once it’s jump started it only stays running until you turn it off, then it work start again without jumping.
ANSWER : Hi there. There could be two problems here. It is possible that your battery is bad and will not take a charge from your alternator while driving. In that case every time you shut your car off you will not have enough juice to start it again. Inspect your battery – it should have at least 12.5 to 13 volts to start your car, if it doesn’t you will need to replace the battery. The second problem could be that your alternator is bad and not charging your battery, in this case you will need to replace your alternator. Both the battery and the alternator can be tested in your car. If you would like to have the car checked for you, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting problem and proceed with repairs.

Battery light coming and and assisted steering fault on dash and abs amber light
ANSWER : Hi there. It sounds like you have a failed alternator. The alternator is used to maintain the battery charge and provide electrical support to the electrical system. Its output can vary depending on the electrical load placed on the system; ac, blower motor, headlights, etc. Have the alternator tested at idle and under load to determine if the voltage/amps are not within specifications; replace as necessary. Also have the battery tested with a digital battery tester that provides current voltage, cold cranking amps, and state of health. Replace the battery if needed. If the battery tests ok, then recharge the battery before starting the car with the new alternator. Not having a fully charged battery can present an undue load on the new alternator’s internal voltage regulator and shorten the life of the new alternator. I suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several technicians available that can assist you with an electrical problems inspection.

2005 Chrysler 300C changed battery and alternator. Car started, ran, and then battery light came on. Shut car off and wouldn’t start.
ANSWER : Hi. There is a couple of things that could be wrong here. The battery or alternator that was just installed could be defective. Theses parts need to be tested for proper operation. There also could be a fuse, fusible link, or wiring for the battery or charging system that is blown or broken causing the battery light to come on.

The codes that you have will cause the car to shut down, run rough, or not start at all. The crankshaft sensor and camshaft sensor should be replaced. I suggest having a certified technician from YourMechanic come diagnose the charging system and check engine codes to help you proceed with correct repairs.

Battery light goes on when I start car then turns off, if I rev engine light comes back until rpms go down. Abs goes comes on/off
ANSWER : Batteries can die due to faults in the charging system so ideally a suspected "faulty" battery should be load tested before a decision is made to condemn it. The only exception to this rule is if the battery is already clearly "old" (greater than 5 years) but even then once you put a new battery in, as a replacement for a "dead" battery, you have to comprehensively check out the charging system. Diagnostic Trouble Code P0460 will result in disruption of the dashboard fuel gauge’s ability to accurately report your tank’s fuel levels. The fuel gauge readings may be erratic, or read somewhere off scale. Vehicles equipped with a low fuel warning light feature may also suffer from erratic low fuel warnings in the event of a code P0460. Unless the P0460 code has been reported alongside other trouble code, all of the vehicle’s essential systems should otherwise function normally. I would recommend that you request a check engine light diagnostic to first resolve the fault causing the P0460 code to set. The check gas cap light warning light could be due a faulty gas cap and/or small leaks in the EVAP system.

I have Chrysler 300c. Battery light came on, changed battery and alternator but power still getting drained and battery light still comes on.
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. This may be a sign of a failing starter relay. The starter relay is a small unit near the starter that directs power to the starter from the battery. When this fails, it may cause a clicking sound and will not allow the starter to engage the flywheel when you turn the key. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose your starting issue to determine the solution to get you back on the road.

Fuel pump engages. Batery good, alternator good volts, jump start helps when wont start. Temp does not matter. Intermittent?
ANSWER : Hello. Thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may only start when jump starting. The first and most common is a build up of resistance that is causing you to need a boost of voltage to get the engine started. This may be due to poor battery cables, a bad ground connection, a poor starter solenoid, and a couple of other issues. The first thing you want to do is perform a visual inspection of the starting system. Make sure there is no corrosion build up in the battery cables. You can also check the resistance across these wires and make sure you have a solid connection between components. You then want to make sure the starter solenoid is doing its job. It is responsible for taking the small amount of electricity sent by the ignition and turning it into a huge electrical charge that is strong enough to push over the engine with the help of some gear ratios in its favor. Do some more testing, and stick to the basics before assuming its something seriously complicated.