2006 VW GTI 220k mi. 1yo battery. Starts and runs fine after jumping, but once I turn the car off it will not start again. No lights come on the dashboard, wont even click on attempt to start.

Is this a possible alternator/battery cable issue? Please provide suggestions on how to test

Thank you in advance.

PS am not a car guru but figured this was the best place to get a solid answer.

  • 2
    What is the open-circuit voltage of the battery, as measured by a multimeter? Although you are not a car guru, you should be able to use a multimeter if you are able to jump start the car.
    – juhist
    Apr 19, 2019 at 10:22
  • First things first. Test the battery.
    – mike65535
    Apr 19, 2019 at 13:02
  • I tested the battery and its 12.7 volts with the car not running. The car won't start so I can't test it with it running Apr 19, 2019 at 14:11
  • 1
    Ok, it's probably not the battery then. Could it be the cabling? Or ignition lock? Do the headlights work? Does the radio work? Do the electric door locks work? If the battery is fine, the car should be able to start without a working alternator and run for quite some amount of time, so I can say it's not the alternator.
    – juhist
    Apr 20, 2019 at 10:41
  • Get a battery load test as well. Simple voltage isn’t a perfect indicator. Your car battery could have all the power of two dead 9v batteries wired in series. Enough to display 12.7v but not enough to start the vehicle.
    – zipzit
    Apr 22, 2019 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


The problem is between your battery posts and wherever you attach your jumper cables. Bad, loose, or dirty, oxidized connection.


voltage is not the end-all on whether or not a battery is dead when it's not under load. Have someone turn the key while you are checking the battery voltage. I bet you see it drop to 3 volts. Replace the battery if it's more than, say, four years old. Even if that doesn't fix the problem, you were probably getting close to needing one anyway.

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