Can A Bad Battery Cause A Crank But No Start?

A vehicle not starting can be frustrating for drivers. You might be wondering what are the reasons behind it. Can a bad alternator cause the issue? Is it the corroded connection cable? Can a bad battery cause a crank no start?

The answer is all of them is a possibility. A bad alternator, corroded connection cable, and a bad battery can cause a crank but no start.

In this post, I am going to give you in-depth information about whether or not a bad battery can crank, how do you know if it’s the battery or alternator when to replace your battery, etc.

How Do You Tell If It’s a Bad Battery or a Bad Alternator?

The starting motor receives a high voltage from the battery, which spins the engine and ignites the spark plug. The alternator takes over once the engine is running and recharges the battery, completing the cycle.

As you can see, a starter failure might be caused by either the alternator or the battery. So which one is it?

Signs of battery problem

When your engine won’t start, the vehicle battery is frequently the first thing to blame.

However, before you go out and fetch your jumper wires, be sure it’s the battery that’s causing the issue.

Following are the signs to look for:

1. Dim Dashboard Lights Or Headlights 

The vehicle’s battery powers all electrical equipment when the engine is turned off. Check your dashboard light symbols after starting the car.

Do they have a light?

Before you start the engine, this is a simple way to see if the car battery is charged. Turn your headlights on. Do they have a faint light or don’t turn on at all?

Dim dashboard lights or headlights are a sign of a poor battery. Nothing will light up with a dead battery.

2. Slow Start of the Engine or No Start

Grab the jumper wires and try a jump-start if your engine won’t turn over or takes much longer than normal.

It’s most likely a battery problem if your engine starts and keeps running but won’t start again later. It’s most likely a faulty alternator if your vehicle stalls right away.

3. Battery Corrosion

Corroded battery connections block electrical energy from reaching the automobile battery, preventing it from obtaining a full charge.

Corrosion that is severe may require expert assistance or perhaps a battery replacement. Also, look for rusted or dangling battery wires.

4. Old Battery

The average automobile battery lasts roughly 3-5 years. The older the battery gets, the less it can retain a charge. Corrosion from leaks accumulates in older, failing batteries, resulting in a loss of charging capacity.

5. Odd Smell

Sulfuric gases are released by a leaky lead-acid battery. This gives off a strange, rotten egg smell. Replace your automobile batteries as soon as possible if it is leaking.

6. A Wrapped Battery

Internal fluid and components expand under severe temperatures. This causes battery swelling. It’s time to replace your car batteries if it’s swollen, deformed, or distorted in any manner.

Signs of an Alternator Problem

If your battery appears to be in good condition, your starter problems might be due to alternator failure.

The following signs might indicate a bad alternator:

1. Cranking Troubles And Frequent Engine Stalls 

An alternator that isn’t working properly will have problems charging the battery. As a result, the car battery will be unable to start the vehicle.

If your car’s engine stalls nearly quickly after a jump start, the alternator is most likely to blame. An alternator failure might also be indicated by frequent engine stalls while driving.

If your engine won’t start but the headlights work, you may have a faulty starting motor beneath your hood.

2. Dimming or Overly Bright Headlights

Your headlights may dim or brighten unevenly, or even flicker. This indicates that the alternator in the car is having problems supplying constant power.

Revving the engine is one technique to check. If your headlights shine at a greater RPM yet fade as you let off of the pedal, your automobile alternator is most likely malfunctioning.

3. Dimming Interior Lights

When the engine is turned on, the interior illumination and dashboard lights drop progressively, indicating a failing alternator.

4. A Dead Battery

This is a little confusing because it appears to indicate a battery problem.

A dead car battery, on the other hand, might be a sign of vehicles torubles rather than the cause.

Remember that a defective alternator won’t charge the vehicle’s battery, thus your next crank effort will result in a dead battery.

5. Malfunctioning Electrical Accessories

Any electrical system with irregular alternator output is likely to be disrupted if your automobile alternator fails.

A damaged alternator can cause a variety of electrical issues, including weird sounds from your music, sluggish power windows, and erratic speedometers.

The majority of vehicle computers include a priority list for where power goes, which is normally done with safety in mind. As a result, if the alternator fails, the audio may lose power before the headlights.

6. Growling Or Squealing Noises

A car that is growling or squealing is never a good indication.

You may have an ailing alternator if the screaming becomes louder when the heating or sound system is turned on.

A misplaced alternator belt rubbing against the alternator pulley might be the source of these noises.

Turn on the AM radio to a low dial with no music and crank the motor to find out if the alternator is failing. An alternator failure might be indicated by a whining or hazy sound.

7. A Burning Smell

The stress and friction on the alternator belt are constant. Because it’s near the hot engine, it might emit a burning odor when it wears down.

A burned scent might also be caused by an overworked alternator or broken wiring. As the alternator pumps power through them, frayed wires produce electrical resistance and heat up.

8. The Dashboard Warning Lights Turn On

If your battery light is lighted, something is wrong with your charging mechanism. The Check Engine light on some vehicles may indicate this.

How Do You Know If Your Starter Is Bad?

The battery powers the starter, which is a little motor. It starts the engine in your vehicle. A starting relay transmits electricity between the battery and the starter motor.

You won’t be able to start your car without a properly functioning starting relay and motor, and you may require a tow.

Here are the signs of a bad starter:

  • Clicking noise when pushing the start button or turning the key
  • The dashboard light is on but the engine won’t start
  • The engine does not crank
  • Smoke coming from the vehicle
  • Starter soaked in oil

Can A Bad Battery Cause a Crank but No Start?

Can a bad battery cause a crank no start? Yes. Also, a bad battery can cause the engine to crank slowly. Additionally, the engine may crank a few times but the car may not start in other circumstances.

When a battery runs out of water, it’s possible that an internal spark may develop when it’s pushed for a lot of power to crank the engine, igniting the gasses inside the battery and causing it to explode.

Do You Need to Replace Your Battery?

After checking the alternator, starter, and battery, if it is the battery that is faulty, you will need to replace the battery.

A bad battery can be very dangerous. It can possibly lead to an explosion. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you replace the battery as soon as possible.

What Is the Estimated Cost of A Battery Replacement?

A battery replacement of a vehicle depends on some key factors such as its power, size, quality, manufacturer, location, and store.

It can cost anywhere from $45 to $300 regarding all the factors that go into determining the estimated cost.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How long does a car battery last?

The average battery in a car, truck or SUV lasts three to five years.

What can cause a crank but no start?

Lack of spark can cause a crank but no start.

Is it complicated to replace the car battery?

It is not as complicated as it seems to replace a car battery. However, if you have never done it, it’s better to take it to a professional.

Final Words

Hopefully, now you know whether or not can a bad battery cause a crank no start. Look for the signs to figure out if it’s the alternator, starter, or battery before you proceed to replace anything.

It is recommended that you take your vehicle to an expert for the diagnosis since it can be confusing.

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