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Car won't start, it got worse after jumping it?

Last night I went out to start my 2004 ford taurus. The car has been well maintained and was my every day driver until September, but has very rarely been driven since then. Went out to the car, remote entry worked, cleaned out the glove box and a bunch of other stuff, lights all working, went to start it and it’s just clicking, dome light, radio and heater all working. Decide I need a jump, get my husband to come help, put the car in neutral and push it out of its parking spot in order to jump it, put it in park, hook up cables, try to start it again and now nothing works… no more radio, power locks or anything else. The battery is just under two years old. I feel like I’m missing something here. Fuses look okay, no corosion on battery. Let husbands truck run for like 5 minutes, still couldn’t start it or do anything else. What is the deal? Why did it get worse after the jumper cables? Can I avoid a tow?

Are you sure he hooked up the jumper cables correctly? It sounds like he reversed them.

If you let a two-year-old battery sit unused for a long time without charging it, it might age prematurely. Pull the battery out of the Taurus, and take it to where you bought it or to an auto parts store to have it tested. Most auto parts stores will test a battery for free.

If it checks out, have it charged before you reinstall it. If it doesn’t check out, replace it. If the warranty is still intact, you will likely get a discount on a replacement battery.


Another (remote) possibility is that the battery terminals are loose or corroded, either internally to the battery or the clamp that connects to the terminals. Then when you put on the jumper cables you caused the bad connection to break completely to an open connection.

edit: some checks with a voltmeter can help. What is the voltage directly at the battery terminals (not the clamps), then on the clamps, then on the starter (when you attempt to start)