Replaced Battery Car Won't Start


So, You Replaced Your Battery and Your Car Won’t Start – What Can You Do?

If you replace your car battery and the vehicle still won’t start, there are a number of different things that might have gone wrong. First, it’s possible that you either failed to connect the battery properly, or that you didn’t connect the right battery unit. It’s possible that the battery you connected is not compatible with your car’s system, and it isn’t powerful enough to deliver enough current to turn the engine over. Also, it’s possible that everything about the battery might be fine, but some key systems could have been damaged or disabled, which could lead to some serious “side effects” for the entire vehicle. Learn which battery is right for your vehicle.

Did You Replace the Battery Correctly?

If the replaced battery car won’t start, the first thing to check is whether you replaced the battery correctly. Are the cable clamps tight? Are the cables themselves in good shape? Inspect the condition of the negative cable all the way down to the starter. Alternatively, it’s also important to check whether the new battery is compatible with the system. Remember that it takes a lot more current to turn over a big V8 in a pickup truck than it does a little 4-cylinder in a subcompact. Check your owner’s manual for the size and type specifications of the required battery, including information regarding cranking amps and the exact position of the positive and negative terminals. Also, make sure the terminals were connected correctly, and that the cables or terminals aren’t overly affected by corrosion. Finally, retrace your steps to make sure you connected the terminals in the correct order, and that you haven’t skipped any of the steps in the battery replacement process.

Advance Auto Parts stores offer free battery testing and installation*.

Checking Your New Car Battery

One of the most important things to try is to measure your battery’s output voltage. That way you’ll know if the battery is faulty, or the problem is with one of the other systems. You will need a basic multimeter for the job, and you have to first make sure to properly disconnect the battery, so that you can get an accurate reading. A load test might also be recommended, during which the electronic system should be started, and the battery’s output should be measured while it runs. Advance offers this service for free*. 

Evaluating Your Car’s Key Systems for Possible Failure

There are many other possible problems that could lead to the fact that, after you’ve replaced the battery, the car won’t start. One or more of several key systems might not run properly, or there could be a serious malfunction with the electrical system. Other potential culprits might include a defective fuel injector, faulty spark plugs, a bad starter, starter relay or solenoid, a defective fuel pump, a problem with the timing belt or a clogged fuel filter. The problem could even be in the ignition switch on the steering column. Even though many of these elements have nothing to do with the battery, coincidences do happen and can sometimes lead to you suspecting that the new battery might be at fault, when in fact something completely different could have happened. 

Other Car Battery Replacement Options

If you’ve established that your new car battery is faulty or incompatible, there are several things you can do to improve on the situation. First of all, even the cheapest car battery should have at least a 1-year warranty which will likely cover instances where it simply stops functioning without any apparent reason. So your investment will be covered in this case. Incompatibility issues are more difficult to deal with, since they point to the fact that you basically bought the wrong battery. If you’re thinking “Replaced battery, car won’t start,” and you know the problem is an incompatible car battery, you have to get informed about the type of battery you need to use by checking a size chart that has the required information. Or, simply enter your vehicle information on the website and we'll let you know what your battery options are. 

Learn more about the benefits of buying a DieHard car battery from Advance.  

DieHard Battery Finder.
Last updated February 23, 2022