Will a jump start do it or do I need a new battery or something else?

Yesterday when parallel parking my car I put it into park and jumped out to check my park job. Wanting to adjust a little I jumped back in the car and out of pure habit turned the key when the car was already on but in park. The car immediately died. I tried to turn it back on and nothing. About 1-2 minutes later while inspecting things I realized that the power locks worked and I could turn on the dome light. I then tried to start the car and it died completely again. I went back to it this morning after letting it sit over night and it is completely dead, when I put the key in and turn absolutely nothing happens, power locks don’t work, dome light won’t come on…

Some other background. About a month ago I came to my car after a could days and saw that I had left the dome light on. The car started but I have felt since that something was a little off, just this feeling that the battery was drained because it would just sound reluctant to start. Maybe that is nothing and not related, but I figured it is worth mentioning.

So given the nature of what happened when it died and that no lights, nothing, comes on when I try to start it what are we thinking I will need to do to fix it? I know nothing about cars, but I want to have some sort of educated guess on what I might need before I get in it with mechanics, etc.

Thanks a lot!


Sounds like you need this looked at by a good mechanic - very odd symptoms.

Battery could be the problem. Sounding weak before your no-start incident points that way. I would get it jump started and go to a place like Advance Auto Parts. They test batteries and charging systems for free and can isolate battery vs alternator. If you need a battery, they install it for free.

How old is the battery? If it is 5 yrs old or more, I would go ahead and plan on a battery replacement. At this point, it is hard to know whether you need to new battery or a good overnight charge on it. Not sure why the car would die when you erroneously tried to restart. That’s the wild card at this point, and may require more than what I outlined above.

After you drained the battery a month ago, did you charge it up with a real battery charger or just drive it? The battery may not have recovered from this incident.

How old is the battery? Probably time for a new one.