By November 7, 2007 1 Comments Read More →

Battery or Alternator Problem?

Dear sir:
I have a Nissan with about 180,000 miles on it. I recently had to replace the battery and the alternator because both went out. Now, my car starts but every time I turn it off, it is like the battery completely shuts off as well.

For instance, when I open my door no dome light comes on, my anti-theft light doesn’t blink or ding, nothing. It is like the battery is completely dead although when I start the engine, it starts. Also, if I turn the key to the on position, nothing comes on, but everything comes on when the car is running.

When the car does start, it is like everything resets itself as well, like the clock will be set at 12:00. What is wrong with my car?
Thank you.

Howdy Stephanie,

This could be an ignition switch problem inside the car…..BUT since you just had the battery and the alternator replaced I would suspect a problem with the installation first before I started condemning other components.

I would start at the battery and make sure the battery cables are tight and clean…you might just have a loose connection at the battery. Then follow the battery cables from the battery as far as you can go and make sure everything is plugged in and tight.

Do the same for the alternator, making sure the connections are tight.

This might be easier to do with someone sitting in the car with the key ON and you pull and tug on the battery connections and cables. If the lights and accessories come on inside as you are pulling on the cables under the hood….you have a loose connection under the hood.

CAUTION. Do not touch the battery with a ring on your finger or have anything metal touching the battery.


Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • I would agree. It does not sound like an alternator problem though because the alternator does not play a role when your engines is off. It seems the alternator is charging the battery when its on, otherwise you battery would be entirely dead by now.