I have a 2001 Nissan Sentra. Monday morning, I drove the car and when I got home I forgot to turn the lights off. It sat all day like that then Monday evening I realized that I had run the battery dead and I got a jump, but my car won't run now. It will idle but when I give it gas it cuts out and dies. Can someone help me and tell me what is wrong or what I can do?

  • So as soon as you give the car gas it stalls? or does it stall when you release the pedal?
    – Ben
    May 5, 2017 at 20:38

6 Answers 6


You've depleted your battery beyond the point at which the car can recharge it on its own. You most likely have done damage to the battery, but it may be recoverable.

Before running out to buy a new battery, the first thing you need to do is see if the battery will take a charge. Take it out of the car and put it on a car charger. You'll want to put it on the slow cycle, which will most likely be a 2A rate. This will take a few hours to accomplish. See if it will take a charge and get anywhere near about 12.5vdc when completed. If you can get it to recharge, you shouldn't need a new battery. Even if it doesn't get up to that charge, it still may be useable for the time being.

If the battery still doesn't want to take a charge even after a slow roll with the charger, then you'll need to look at replacement.

  • 1
    We have tried a different battery and the car still won't run, I am at a loss because the car ran great before I ran the battery dead. May 5, 2017 at 18:41
  • 1
    @CrystalHicksAdkins - When you turn the key, what happens? Does the engine turn over (crank) but not start? Or does it do absolutely nothing? You said it will start from a jump start, but won't stay running. Are you sure the other battery you put in is good? May 5, 2017 at 20:49

Since you ran the battery down the better assumption is that it is still good. Often the terminals have minor corrosion that functions as a diode preventing charging. Clean the terminals and connectors down to shiny metal when working in this area. TomO


It's very possible that the dead battery cleared you ECUs Idle system. It has to "relearn" what it's doing.

Try starting the car and letting it idle for 10-15 minutes without touching the gas peddle. after 10-15 give it a little gas and see if it will take some drive. It'll be a little odd for a bit, by if that is the problem it's just a matter of the computer relearning everything.


If it starts from a jump then the other battery you tested it with was either dead, undercharged, or wasn't getting a good connection. If the car jumping you leaves their engine running and the cables hooked up to yours for a couple minutes I think you'll probably be able to rev the motor up and see that this is simply a battery issue. You might be able to get enough juice to keep it running that way but could sputter out in low rpms, and will very likely not be able to start it after your next stop. like has already been stated I would recommend grabbing a $10 trickle charger from Walmart or an auto store and charging it for 5-8 hours.


If the battery is a few years old I would change it. Also check and see how many volts are going to battery while running with ac on and the radio. If under 13.5 then it is time to get alternator as well. Alternator should be between 13.5 to 14.5 for most vehicles.


You have to buy a new Battery. It seems like the Battery is really dead and can´t get up itself.

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