Battery/Starter


#1

I’ve had this 2011 Nissan Versa for a few weeks. Im a musician, on tour in Pittsburgh right now, and car has ran just fine. Until last night.
I pulled up to venue. Turned car off. Put on hazards. Unloaded (5 minutes). Came back out and car wouldnt start.
Ideas?


#2

PS - a jump last night did nothing.


#3

The battery may be so far gone that it absorbs all the current from the donor vehicle’s battery when you try a jump start. I’ve had this happen before. I pulled up to the gas pumps and shut off the engine as one should do. After filling the tank the engine wouldn’t begin to crank. We pushed the car away from the pumps and I called my road service. The car wouldn’t start with a jump. The road service towed the car to my house. This was on a Sunday afternoon, and the closest place open was WalMart. I drove over in our other vehicle, bought a battery and put it in. That solved the problem


#4

+1 to @Triedaq .

When you say wouldn’t start, was there no sound/no lights or - clicking or -starter spun but did not engage or - engine cranked but did not start?

No sound or clicking is usually a bad battery. Starter spinning but not engaging is usually a bad starter. Crank but no start is a whole lot of other issues.


#5

A bad starter is possible but not the most likely. A bad battery and/or a bad alternator are much more likely. You need to put a charger on the battery and see if it takes and holds a charge. There are tests to determine if a battery is good and same with the alternator. To test the battery it should be fully charged, then you put a load tester on the battery and see if it passes under loading conditions. To test the alternator you simply hook up a voltmeter and see if the alternator is putting out 14.0 volts when the motor is at about 2000 rpm.

A failed jump start is not conclusive. Some jumper cables are such poor quality they can’t deliver enough current. Jump starting even when successful means the alternator has to work harder to either recharge a good discharged battery or keep the car car running with a bad dead battery. If you blow out your alternator you are looking at $300 for a new one.

A battery can internally short out and die suddenly and the OP situation isn’t uncommon.


#6

Car is old enough to need a battery. Three most common causes of on noise, no start are-

Bad cable connections due to corrosin

Neutral safety (automatic) or clutch interlock switch

Bad Battery

If it gives a click when you try to start, the neutral safety switch and clutch interlock are ok.


#7

A 2011 Nissan was probably manufactured August/2010 Through July/2011.
Therefore, It is approximately 5 to almost 6 years old.

If the battery has never been replaced, and it’s original, then it’s very possible it has successfully run the course and needs to be replaced. It doesn’t owe you anything. Many batteries last 5 or 6 years, some more, some less.

If it’s the original then you are due for a battery, regardless of the problem, and the problem could just be the battery.

I would have no qualms about installing a new fresh battery at this point. This car “problem” may not be a problem, but rather a maintenance issue.

As part of maintaining my family’s fleet of vehicles, I replace perfectly functioning batteries, at home, in nice weather, on my own schedule, usually when they are 5 to 6 years old. It sure beats the alternative.
CSA


#8

Without answers to the questions raised by @SteveCBT and the others, from here in it’s all just speculation. How about some info, @mfa ?


#9

No engine noise. Just clicking.


#10

Battery. In our 2012 Acura, stopped for gas and wife had radio on (with the lights on too). Didn’t take long but battery was dead. Called tow truck for a jump start and went home and installed a new battery.


#11

I assume a new battery will fix the trouble and you may already be back on the road. It would be a good idea to clean the battery connections and put some sort of sealer on them to prevent corrosion. Poorly maintained battery connections are a very common source of car troubles and is such a simple thing to do. It may also be a good idea to have the charging system checked out to make sure that part of the system is in good shape. The battery and alternator depend on each other to operate well.


#12

Try removing & cleaning the battery connections. Sometimes you can just turn the battery connectors on their posts a few degrees to make it crank in an emergency. If you can do that however, they aren’t on tight enough.

I suspect there was some problem with the jump start attempt you tried last night. You weren’t getting a good connection in one of the cables, or like I say above the cable connection is ok but the connection to the battery post is bad. If you can’t clean the connectors for some reason, try another jump attempt. Let the battery charge from the other car for 10 minutes first. And when clamping the cables on, make sure one of the edges touch the top of the each battery post on your car.

Edit: Better than a jump start is to remove battery from car and charge it overnight using a battery charger.


#13

I agree with the above. but note that jump starting has the potential of causing serious damage to both cars if not done exactly correct. Even if the battery was OK, discharging it repeatedly will eventually cause it to die also.

What I would do is: first replace the battery, checking and cleaning all the contacts. Also check and clean the other end of the heavy cables going to the battery. Then get the alternator checked.