What to Do When Your Battery Doesn't Work

If your engine is not turning over and your car will not start, you could have a dead battery. Here are a few steps to help you check and change a battery.

AutoZone is America's #1 Battery Destination and carries a variety of batteries to fit your needs.

What to Do When Your Car Battery is Not Working

1. Wait.

Wait a couple of minutes and try to turn over the engine again. If you flooded the engine by turning it too much, it could start after a short rest. Your car battery will probably still need maintenance, though.

Jumper cables connected to the posts of a Duralast battery inside of a car

2. Jump start your car

Jumpstart your battery with another vehicle and drive to AutoZone or a local repair shop. AutoZone offers free testing for batteries, alternators and starters to help you identify the problem.

bad battery or alternator

3. Get the battery tested

AutoZone has free testing for batteries and alternators to help you identify your electrical problem. If you can get to AutoZone, we can help you identify the problem and recommend a part for the most likely repair.

4. Have the car towed

If a jump start won’t work, have the car towed to an automotive repair shop. The technicians there will exchange your car battery for a working one.

5. Change the battery

If you’ve run the vehicle, done the tests and identified the battery as the issue, simply change it out. AutoZone has batteries on hand to help get you back on the road. Replacing most batteries is relatively simple and can be done with just a few tools and basic safety precautions. Some batteries are placed in the wheel well of the vehicle, in which case replacement is more intricate.

Car batteries have posts that connect to the vehicle. These posts can be on either the top or side of the battery. Check out one of the guides below depending on which your vehicle uses:

Whether its for your battery or anything else, you can get the parts you need at your local AutoZone Store. If the job is too big for you, seek out one of our Preferred Shops to help you do the job.

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

FREE Loan-A-Tool® program requires returnable deposit. Please note that the tool that you receive after placing an online order may be in a used but operable condition due to the nature of the Loan-A-Tool® program.

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