There are multiple reasons why a car won’t start. They can generally be categorized into no-crank, no-start, or start-stall issues. If the engine doesn’t even turn over when you turn the key, chances are it’s a bad battery or a dead starter. If the engine cranks just fine but never starts running, it could be a problem with getting fuel or spark. When an engine does start but then stalls, then it’s a little less straightforward.
This Civic Hybrid was towed in with a start-stall problem. It was brought over from a car repair chain that couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Their technician said that the engine was getting fuel. The first thing that I found when I went out to try to start it was that the battery was dead. I hooked up a jump box and it cranked normally and started up, but then stalled after a couple seconds.
After pushing the car inside, the first thing to do was charge the battery and see if it was any good. When I hooked up my battery charger, it wouldn’t let me start charging because it didn’t think it was even hooked up to anything. I pulled out my multimeter and found that the battery, which should have 12.6 volts, only measured 0.05 volts. That is the most dead I’ve ever seen a battery. I threw in another battery just to test with, and the car now started up and ran just fine. The car must have thought that there was no battery or that it couldn’t charge what was installed, so it would just shut off. It didn’t matter that this was a hybrid, and it amazes me that whoever looked at the car at the repair chain didn’t realize that the dead battery could’ve been part of the problem.
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