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Car won't start and has No power, even with a new battery

I have a 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer I purchased a few weeks ago. I had been driving it with no problems at all. Then a couple of weeks ago I got in it and it wouldn’t start. I hadn’t driven it in a few days so I jumped the battery and it seemed fine. Then, got in it the next day and it wouldn’t start again.

Not knowing much about the battery (since it was a relatively new purchase) I decided it would be easiest to replace it. So, I did.

That seemed to work. Things seemed fine. I drove it on a small 2 hour trip with no problems with it starting.

Then, a few days later, I got in and it wouldn’t start again. Not only will it not start but it won’t even turn over. I don’t even get those clicking noises you get when you’ve accidentally left a light on and ran your battery down. The automatic windows won’t go up or down. The lights won’t come on. Basically, no power at all.

So, I tried jumping it off again but it is so dead it won’t jump off. I even left it connected and running for 20 minutes and still nothing.

I recall when I bought the car the guy saying he had replaced the light under the hood. When he popped the hood, the light came on but closed and reopened and the light didn’t come on. He wiggled it and nothing happened and he acted as if that was strange. So, I thought maybe there is a wiring problem. Or maybe a short in that light or something like that. A bad ground perhaps???

I did remove that light, thinking maybe it was the culprit. Maybe it has a short and is intermittently coming on, draining the battery. Who knows because now it won’t start at all so I can’t test that theory.

Another thing is we’ve had tons of rain here. I have no idea if that would have a thing to do with anything but I was thinking…electrical…short???

Anyway, those two things (the rain and the light) may have nothing to do with the problem. Just things I thought “could” be relevant.

If you could give me any advice, it would be much appreciated. Obviously, I have to take it to a garage. However, I’d love to get it running enough to drive it there instead of having a tow.

I’ll first say…I’m a girl. Not to suggest there aren’t females out there who know about cars…I just happen not be one of them. I know a little, that’s it.

Any suggestions?

Thanks all!!!

Check the battery cable connections at both ends. Even if the battery terminals are clean and tight, the other ends might be loose and dirty, in which case the current from the battery won’t get where it needs to go.

The cables themselves may be bad. They are 21 years old. Since you can’t even start it with a jump I’m thinking cables, not battery.

You should also have the alternator tested.

I will check that! I did think about those cables being old.

Thanks so much!!!

Remove the battery cables, and use a knife, file, or sandpaper to remove the corrosion from the inside of the battery cable terminal loops, and sand the battery posts shiny.
Charge the battery for 20 minuets. Get the charging system tested. There may, also, be a battery drain. Find a competent mechanic to check that.

It was the cables. I replaced the cables and it started. So far so good. Thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate it!