My son has a 2014 Dodge Dart SXT with a little over 113,000 miles.

One day last week the car wouldn't start. No check engine light or codes. Battery was purchased 3 months ago. Had it towed to a very reputable local garage.

They ran tests. Said the battery and alternator were fine. Couldn't find any problem. My son picked the car up on a Thursday and it started fine.

The car ran fine and started fine the next three days. No problem. Tonight, Sunday, he starts it up, turns it off to go back in the house, tries to start it again, and nothing. No dome light, no dashboard lights. Nothing.

I go to jump the car. As soon as I hook up the negative jumper cable to his battery's negative post, his dome light comes on. I had not hooked it to my car's battery yet. Took the cable off the post and the dome light went off.

Completely hooked up jumper cables, started my car and let run for about 10 minutes. Unhooked cables and tried to start his car and nothing. Put cables back on, tried to start his car, and it started right up.

We let his car run about 5 minutes after taking the cables off. Lights worked, everything seemed fine. Turned his car off, lights stayed on. He tried starting his car and the lights died and it wouldn't start.

The only other thing to add is that the car is a push button start. Maybe a week before it first died, we had the opposite problem and it wouldn't shut off. The shifter was in park and the emergency brake was engaged, but a message on the dash screen would say it wasn't in park. After shifting into and out of park several times this stopped. It hasn't happened again, but now we're having the starting problem.

Also, I did notice some corrosion on the positive post, which I thought was odd for a 3 month old battery.


1 Answer 1


There is a bad connection at the battery. By connecting the jump cable, you are disturbing the connection and making it connect better.

Remove both connectors from the battery and clean all the contacting surfaces either with a wire brush or sand paper to remove any oxidisation. Clean the battery post and the connector.

Check that the the wires that go into the battery connectors look like they are firmly connected and not loose.

Reconnect the battery connectors to the battery and make sure that they have a tight fit.

Does the engine now start?

If after cleaning you still have problems, then there could be a bad connection between one of the wires and the battery post connector. You could try crimping these wires more to see if that helps.

There is a slim chance that there is a broken connection to the battery post inside the battery. Adding the jumper cables could have twisted the battery post slightly and improved the connection, so if you are still having problems, see if adding a bit of force to the battery post improves things.

While the dome light is not working, you could use a 12v bulb and a length of wire to probe different locations to see where the break is. Start by probing directly on the battery terminals - does the bulb illuminate? Then probe on the battery connectors. Probe one battery terminal and the other connector, etc...


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