two weeks ago, my car (a 1996 toyota tercel) was having problem starting. it was coughing to a start once every three or four tries. this was the first time my car had never started in the 12 years i’ve had it. i took it to a mechanic and he said that i needed a new starter and a new battery. my battery, in truth, was pretty old - 7 years. so, he replaced my starter and battery. now, two weeks exactly later, i tried to start my car and it won’t start. it does click when i turn the key, but that’s about it. my radio, lights, and horn are all working in strong condition, so it seems that the new battery should be fine. what is wrong this time? do you think the mechanic missed something the first time? or is this a new problem? thanks, in advance, for any help!
It could be the starter, or it could be nothing more than a poor connection of a battery cable (remember every cable has at least two ends.)
Frankly I would have replaced the battery as it needed it and then seen what happened, now you know the battery is likely good, (it could be bad but I doubt it) but you don’t know if the old starter was bad nor if the new one is good.
I would check with the mechanic, but remember if he now goes after something new, things just get more complicated.
In addition to what Mr. Meehan stated, I will add that your alternator could be bad. A bad alternator can give even a new battery an insufficient charge so that the battery is now very weak. (A weak battery will enable you to play the radio, sound the horn, and turn on lights, but be too weak to turn the starter motor, which takes MUCH more power.)
Incidentally, the alternator could have been damaged by having to keep that old battery charged as that battery was becoming progressively weaker. There is little to be saved by keeping a battery more than 5 years, and, in fact, keeping a battery too long can wind up being more expensive in the long run when it damages the alternator!
thank you. i will take both advice into consideration. in the past two months, it seems like something is going wrong or needs replacing every few weeks. i’m wondering when i should cut my losses on this car (though i love it so very much).
thanks again for the help!