Dies after being jumped

My battery is not even a month old. I went to start it and it wouldnt. I got a jump and it ran for like 5 minutes and die again. When I turn it over the lights in the dash are on, but it just makes that clicking sound. I wonder if it’s the alternator, which is not even 2 years old yet.

maybe just corrosion on your battery connections or your battery wires under the insulation or loose connectons. try twisting your cables a bit and see if it will start. possibly you have a bad connection somewhere in that area.

I don t know what kind of car you have but it really sounds like your voltage regulator , by the symptoms you describe. if after removing and inspecting and cleanng batt cables and terminals, your prob is not solved, i would check that. some vehicles have a separate voltage reg. and some have the reg. as part of the alternator.

you can have lights and clicking and still not have enough current to turn your car over, because of a bad connection. try that first, its free. you can t always tell by looking if your batt. connections are bad. sometimes the corrosion is under the insulation at the ends of the cables. I know from experience that the lights will still work and it will still click if you are only getting partial current flow thru a bad connection

if your 1 month old batt. was a DIY install I would suspect that first

battery connections, ground and starter motor connections are a great start, there may be a fusible link, basically a piece of wire that acts like a fuse, ie burns out to protect electrical components, that is not allowing the alternator to charge the battery. A call to the auto parts store could be helpful to see if you have one.

I was called once last winter to come and Jump the daughter-in-law. I come to her work and jumped the car and let it run for 20 minutes to be sure the battery was charged enough. I figured that she had just left a light on. She called again at the end of her shift with a dead battery again.
I drove back and proceded to hook up the jumpers…when I noticed one terminal loose. I snugged it up and it started up fine.
I don’t know How I didn’t see it the first. So check the conections good and if they are corroded clean then up and tighten everything down.
THese can be easy to miss.


Clean battery connections.
Jump or start car.
Check alt voltage while motor is running.

If you jump start a vehicle with a fully discharged battery, and then remove the jumper cables and ask the alternator to recharge the discharged battery it can damage the alternator.

The alternator isn’t designed to recharge a discharged battery. It’s purpose is to maintain the charge on fully charged battery.


The alternator needs to be tested to determine if was damaged while trying to recharge a discharged battery.


“Clean battery connections.”

If the battery terminals are corroded, the headlights will dim when attempting to start.
If the headlights don’t dim, then you don’t have a bad connection at the terminals.

“Check alt voltage while motor is running.”

There are test meters on the market that record and hold the low and high voltages at the battery terminals. After attaching the leads to the terminals with engine off, the meters shows the engine-off battery voltage (should be about 12.6V for a wet battery). Then the technician jumps in the car, starts it, and runs it at 2000 rpm for about 15 seconds. He then turns off the engine and goes back to the meter, where there are two buttons: One button gives the cranking voltage, which should be above 9.6V. The other gives the alternator voltage at 2000 rpm. It should be above 13.3V and below 15.5V. (A voltage higher than 15.5V indicates a bad voltage regulator.)

The above voltage limits are printed on the back of my test meter, which is a Midtronic PBT200. The instrument also calculates CCA (Cold Cranking Amps by measuring the conductance of the battery, but that is a story for another post.

The alternator test should be completed by measuring its output current with a clamp-on ammeter.

Out of curiosity, I ran the voltages tests this morning on my 2005 Honda Accord and its three-year old AutoCraft Gold battery from Advance Auto. The results: engine-off battery voltage was 12.64V; cranking voltage was 10.74V; and alternator voltage at 2000 rpm was 14.43V.