I had the timing belt replaced on my 2005 Chrysler. I drove for a week, and it appears the battery died. I used jumper cables to start the car, but as soon as I took the cables off the engine died. Anyone know what could cause this?

  • Welcome to the site! Was the belt replaced as regular maintenance or did something happen to require the belt change? Were the accessory belts (alternator, AC, water pump) changed as well? Jun 13 '16 at 18:42
  • I had parked it for a yr. took in for regular maintenance had timing belt changed changed oil & filter water pump all other belts had already been changed before. did have new battery before parking it. I have been the only owner. kept everything maintained.
    – user19033
    Jun 13 '16 at 19:37

Since the car sat for a year, it is likely the battery is dead. If the battery terminals are corroded, they could also be preventing the alternator from charging the battery. I would try starting the car with a known good battery, and/or taking the dead battery to a parts store to be tested, as you may still be able to recharge and use it. Next time you park the car for an extended period of time, consider using a battery tender.

If the battery does not fix it, it is probably the alternator as you first suspected. Check all fuses and connections between the battery, alternator, and ground points. If there are no problems, take the alternator to the parts store to be tested. It is not unheard of for 'new' alternators to be bad as well, so if you need a new one, have it tested before installing.

  • 1
    You said "trickle charger" but posted for a "battery tender" ... two completely different things. Use the battery tender. A trickle charger is made to continue to provide charge for a battery even if it is completely charged, which means the battery can become overcharged. The tender will actually keep the battery conditioned and charged, observing the charge and not overcharging it. Agree with the answer overall, though. +1 Jun 13 '16 at 21:56
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    @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Thanks for the correction and explanation! I edited my answer accordingly. Jun 13 '16 at 22:14

In my experience batteries that are not regularly charged will be dead after about 3 months. A car battery after sitting idle for a year most likely not accept a charge. Time to replace the battery.

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