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Is it my battery, starter, alternator or something else?

(2004 Nissan Maxima)
in Greenbelt, MD on September 11, 2011
On Saturday, I made several starts and stops and the last time I tried to start the car it was dead - no lights or anything. Eventually, the lights etc came back on line; however, the engine would not turn over. Each time I turned the ignition key I got a series of clicks but the car would not start. I finally got a jump and drove it home. Everything seemed fine while I was driving. When I got home I turned off the car and tried to re-start it and it wouldn't start again. I got the series of clicks again.
Displaying 2 answers & 2 comments
Popular Answer
of Greg Solow's Engine Room on September 11, 2011
Check that the battery connections are clean tight and secure. Have the battery charged and tested. Turn on the ignition switch to the on but not run position do you see an icon on the instrument panel representing a battery, if you do not see this battery icon the alternator is not seeing power to allow it to charge. Start the engine does the battery icon go out. A more complex but good diagnostic test is checking "voltage drop" on the battery ground and power cables. You can find a video on how to do a voltage drop test on Youtube. Put a volt meter across the battery terminals with the engine off, at rest the battery voltage should be 12.6 volts if the battery is fully charged. Now get a friend to start the car while you watch the voltmeter, the voltage reading across the battery should read approximately 14.6 volts if the alternator is charging correctly.
on September 12, 2011
Thanks Patrick. This was very helpful.

Take care.
on September 11, 2011
You either have a bad battery or alternator. if you continue to drive your car you will due damage to the vehicle. Mainly the PCM(computer).
on September 12, 2011
Thank you! This was very helpful.

Take care.
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