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2003 VW Beetle--jumpstarted battery, then it wouldn't start again

We were given (!) a car for our new teenage driver. It’s been sitting in the garage for about 4 months, and it wouldn’t start. We had AAA jumpstart it, and he told us to run it for 45 minutes. We did so, then turned it off, and… nothing. Won’t start again. Any ideas? Thank you!

Basics…get a new battery and go from there.


Yeah get a new battery first, then check to make sure the alternator is working. I had a car sitting with a new battery and the battery was so shot after a year it wouldn’t take a charge enough to start the car. Cars like to be driven not just sit idle.

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Thank you. I should have known that by this late age. We’ll try a new

If the battery is not very old I would recharge it. A battery charger will normally recharge the battery in 4 to 8 hours. Idling the engine is a waste of time, charging voltage is too low, could take 20 hours.

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Hmm. OK here’s another incredibly dumb question: is there a way for me to
find out how old the battery is? There are 2 degrees of separation between
us and the original owner of the car, who passed away, and we don’t have
repair/maintenance records. Thanks again.

Most aftermarket batteries have a small round sticker on the side of the battery with the month/year on it. Sometimes as a letter/number like D/15, that would be April, 2015. There is a similar date code pressed into the case on all batteries.

Seriously, have the battery and alternator checked. You don’t need a teenager getting stranded in heavy traffic or in an area that might not be safe.

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Yes have the battery and charging system tested but don’t try to drive the car with a discharged battery, recharge or replace.

Great, thanks. I’ll check that when I get home.

Absolutely! We are already nervous about her driving–in fact, I’m going to
have her drive mine (which she learned on) and I’ll drive the VW, once it’s
operational again, until we’re sure of it. And even then, she won’t drive
it alone until after we ride with her several times, just so she’s
comfortable with it. Thank you! I’m so glad I found this forum.

Yup, I agree with everyone else, have the battery AND charging system tested. Replace as needed.[

Naw. I feel quite certain that you know many things from your career that I at my late age don’t. We all have different bodies of knowledge. That’s why the whole thing works so well! :grin: