Car won't start after I turned it on and off quickly

jeep
grand-cherokee

#1

I accidentally tried to crank my car up 2-3 quickly and it cranked up the 3rd time but then quickly died. Now it won’t start at all. There was a smell when it died but I don’t know how to describe it. It didn’t smell exactly like burning but could have been. The lights inside will come on when I don’t turn them on and the key isn’t in ignition. I turned them off on steering wheel and they stayed on. Also, the dashboard gauges will light up sometimes but other times they won’t. I tried to jump it off and nothing happened at all. Any ideas of what it could be?


#2

By “won’t start” do you mean it cranks and cranks but never catches and starts running? Or do you mean it won’t crank at all, none of that usual 'rrr rr rrr ’ sound?


#3

It won’t crank at all. No noise at all. Also, when I turn the inside lights on…if I press the brake or gas they go off.


#4

That sort of sounds like the battery connections at the posts may be too loose. Ask your shop to remove, clean, and reconnect them is probably the first step. I had that problem on my Corolla one time, it started fine for months, then one day after filling up with gas, nothing. And when I turned the key from on to start, no crank, and the dash lights would go dim. I discovered the battery connections were so loose I could turn them by hand. Tightening them up fixed the problem straightaway.


#5

You have a dead battery or completely bad battery or ground connections. Anyone with a voltmeter can tell which it is.


#6

Thank y’all I’ll check that out. Could turning it on and off quickly like that have killed the battery?


#7

Turning equipment on and off quickly can sometimes cause arc’ing across electrical contacts, depositing carbon and making them have a high resistance. I guess that could happen to the battery connections too. Battery too. But it usually happens to things like switches and relays. The on/off thing can cause voltage transients that sometimes damage electrical components like capacitors and diodes too, but given your symptoms that seems less likely.

Years ago I worked in a lab that had a computer that was unreliable when first turning it on, but it would work maybe 25% of the time. I got fed up with that, but complaints yielded no help, so I turned it on and off about 10 times very fast, then it wouldn’t work at all. That was my intention. b/c the guy who fixed the lab computer wouldn’t work on them until they completely failed. Things got sorted out fast after that, turned out to be a failed power supply capacitor :wink:


#8

Gotcha. Think I’ll tighten them in the morning and if that doesn’t work I may try a friend’s battery to see if that works. Saw something about swapping relays too so I may see if I’m able to do that. This car has always had electrical problems so I’m hoping nothing major happened. But with my luck it probably did.

And funny story. Glad to hear you got to the bottom of it haha.


#9

Tightening doesn’t remove corrosion that could be present. You should remove the clamps and clean the post and the inside of the clamp… Also do the same for the other end of the heavy battery cables. One should be bolted to the chassis, the other to the starter.