I bought a new battery and my car worked at first, but now it won’t even start?

I have a 2 year old, used, 2006 Dodge Stratus. It's been through country roads and back roads and hit a few bumps in the road. It lost its battery cover (cover on front left wheel) and we tried another battery. I just bought a new battery, the third one, and it worked for one day. It is cold and my car is weathered but there should be no problem with the battery. It has plenty of oil, and a quarter tank of gas, fluids are all filled up. No noise is made when trying to start.

My car has 127000 miles.
My car's transmission is unknown to me.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
This may be a sign of a failing voltage regulator or failing alternator. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the battery while the engine turns the alternator. The voltage regulator is a unit that regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator and maintaining a certain amperage while the engine runs. When the alternator is not working properly, this may result in the battery quickly losing charge and the car losing all power as you have described. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and repair your charging system.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

If it`s a relatively new battery that hasn`t been used for days or weeks, it might have just lost all its charge and just needs recharging. Alternatively, a blown fuse could stop the car from starting. Fuses can become brittle and worn with age, and cranking a cold engine may blow them.
Common problems with alternators include a dead battery, warning lights on the dashboard, electrical problems, belt issues, and noisy alternators. If you suspect a problem with your alternator, it`s essential to get it checked out as soon as possible.
The modern charging system consists of the alternator, battery, wiring and electronic control unit (ECU). Older cars may have a regulator, but in newer cars, that is now part of the car`s computer. The alternator creates electrical power to run accessories and recharge the battery.
If you`ve replaced your battery but the engine still won`t start, it could actually be an engine problem. A seized engine won`t turn over, and that often resembles a bad starter or dead battery. If you suspect that your problem stems from an engine issue, it could take hours to diagnose and repair.
In most cases, a set of sticking or worn alternator brushes, a broken field control wire, corroded battery cables or a bad connection at the alternator or battery will cause an intermittent low-state-of-charge problem.
As ever, successfully diagnosing charging system problems begins by inspecting the battery – because if the battery isn`t within manufacturer specifications the rest of the charging system cannot be reliably tested (which can be a challenge when a vehicle is towed to the shop with a dead or drained battery).
Poor ground connections are an often-overlooked cause of low charging output and alternator failure.
The most common reasons for charging system problems: Loose battery or alternator connections. Corroded or damaged battery or alternator connections. A faulty battery.
These systems are controlled by the vehicle Engine Control Unit (ECU). As the vehicle demands more load the ECU sends a signal to the alternator requesting it to start charging. The alternator has to cope with varying electrical loads and adjust its charge rate accordingly.
The new battery does not have to be configured for the most current car models. Banner conclusion: No registration required; a check of the electrical functions after changing the battery is recommended.
You have a new alternator, so if your battery is bad, it won`t hold the charge from the alternator. The problem could still be a defective alternator or improper installation. A fuse could also be the cause. If you still have power (headlights still work) the problem is in the fuel or ignition system.
But when someone mentions the “alternator fuse”, they`re generally referring to the primary, high-amperage fuse (or fusible link) between the alternator and the battery. Like any fuse, the primary alternator fuse acts as a circuit protection device.
Common culprits include a faulty motherboard, damaged charging circuits, and malfunctioning battery sensors. Your particular make and model of laptop will likely have its own unique issues, and a seasoned tech support operator will have seen all of them.
Whenever this light goes on, it means that the vehicle is running solely on battery power. If the problem continues and your charging system fails, the battery won`t be able to recharge and it will soon run down, leaving you with a dead battery.
Get a good-quality voltmeter or multimeter and test your battery`s state of charge. The voltmeter should read around 12.6 volts with the engine off and 14-15 volts when the engine is running. If voltage is below 13.5, there`s a good chance the alternator is not keeping up with your battery`s charging needs.
Some of the things to look for are no-starting and trouble starting, dimming lights and problems with stereo system output. If your car starts but stalls when you`re underway, your battery is probably not being recharged due to a faulty alternator.
Troubleshoot your cable, charger, outlet & case

Check that your charger and cable work. Try them with another device. Check that the cable is securely connected to the charger and to your phone. Check that there`s nothing in the port of your phone, like dust or lint.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My car will not start Intermittently. I purchased a new battery 2 weeks ago and yesterday the car wouldn’t start. Got a jump and
ANSWER : The issue you are having is probably due to an intermittent fault in the starter motor itself or a deficiency in the starter electrical circuit, for example a large voltage drop due to a poor ground or a high resistance connection. These issues can be readily diagnosed and resolved on a mobile basis if you request a hard starting diagnostic. If you request that diagnostic, the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you promptly. Based on Toyota’s Factory Service Manual, the battery should not be disconnected if the vehicle engine is running. The battery acts as a large resistive voltage sink and consequently taking the battery out of the circuit, while the alternator is still running, can create a voltage spike on the car’s electrical system which is not good for voltage sensitive components such as the engine computer. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

I bought a new battery and my car worked at first, but now it won’t even start?
ANSWER : This may be a sign of a failing voltage regulator or failing alternator. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the battery while the engine turns the alternator. The voltage regulator is a unit that regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator and maintaining a certain amperage while the engine runs. When the alternator is not working properly, this may result in the battery quickly losing charge and the car losing all power as you have described. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and repair your charging system.

Water was spilled in the trunk which soaked the car battery. Car won’t start now. Does water destroy a car battery?
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in about the concern with the BMW 320i. If the battery was submerged in water then it’s completely possible for the battery to short out and die. Your friend will need to have the battery replaced. Also be sure to get all of the water out of the trunk. Have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, help you guys out if you need assistance with replacing the battery. Good luck.

New battery & fuel pump. Hours later car starts and shuts down 3X in a row. Finally it starts, 48 hours later, won’t start at all
ANSWER : Checking all the fuses was a good move. I would also want to put a scan tool on it and check for diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) as well as seeing the data that the computer is seeing.

A fuel pressure test would be a good idea to verify correct pressure and so that you’d be able to eliminate that possibility. It should be 58psi on your Magnum.

I also recommend getting your battery tested (I know, it’s new, have it tested anyway) and be sure it’s charged to at least 75%. And yes, loose battery cable connections can result in electrical problems.

If you need some assistance with this, consider enlisting a certified mechanic who can perform the checks I’ve mentioned and diagnose your starting issue firsthand. The mechanic can then perform the necessary repairs once the problem has been isolated. Good luck.

Car won’t start with new battery
ANSWER : This may be related to many different possibilities, some of which may be related to a lack of spark and some of which may be related to a fuel delivery problem or a combination of both. For example, if the ignition coils, crankshaft position sensor, spark plugs, spark plug wires or ignition module are faulty, this may cause the motor to not produce the spark needed to ignite the fuel in the motor.

In the case of a fuel delivery problem, this may be related to low fuel pressure, faulty or dirty fuel injectors, a faulty or dirty idle air control valve (this relays information about air intake to the computer which makes fuel adjustments), or potentially a faulty fuel pressure regulator or fuel pump. Fuel delivery problems will typically not allow the proper amount of fuel to be delivered to the cylinders which results in a lean fuel condition which can cause backfiring or simply cause the motor not to start as a result of fuel starvation. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your no start problem.

New battery, car still wont start even with jumper cables.
ANSWER : If the battery is new and fully charged, and you turn the key to the "start" position and you hear nothing that means that either the starter circuit supplying the starter motor (ignition switch, wiring, relay, fuse, etc.) has a defect or the starter motor/solenoid itself is faulty. The way the two possibilities are distinguished is simply to check for power to the starter motor. If power is being supplied to the starter, and yet the starter motor is not working, then it is condemned and replaced.. If power is not being supplied to the starter motor when the key is in the "start" position, then the reason why has to be determined. In the case of no power, wiring faults could be an issue inasmuch as corrosion on starter circuit terminals or circuit connections could reduce the current available to the starter motor enough that the starter just won’t work adequately especially in cold weather when the demand on the motor is the greatest. Basically, you have to perform voltage drop tests along the entire circuit to ensure the circuit itself is in good condition. To resolve this issue, the recommended service is a no start diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will quickly let you know of the root cause of the problem.

New battery, car still won’t start. Single click sounds, like a dead battery
ANSWER : It sounds like you may have a faulty starter solenoid. If you hear a clicking sound when turning the key, it is likely that your starter solenoid may be faulty. The starter solenoid is located on the starter and has internal electrical contacts that transmit electricity to the starter. As electricity is supplied to the starter a small gear comes out and engages the flywheel to spin the engine over as you turn the key. 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 recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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.