car has no power at all even with jumper cables

Car Has No Power at All Even with Jumper Cables?

Having a car that won’t start can be a frustrating experience, especially when you attempt to jump-start it using cables but still encounter a complete lack of power. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of a car having no power even with jumper cables, and provide troubleshooting steps to address this issue effectively.

Possible Causes of a Car Having No Power with Jumper Cables

When a car fails to start despite using jumper cables, several potential factors may be contributing to the power loss. Understanding these causes can help pinpoint the underlying problem. Here are some common reasons:

Insufficient Power in Jumper Cables

Jumper cables themselves can be a limiting factor in providing enough power to start a car. If the cables are of poor quality or have a low gauge, they may not be capable of carrying sufficient current to jump-start the vehicle.

Poor Connection between Jumper Cables and Battery Terminals

One of the most common issues when jump-starting a car is a poor connection between the jumper cables and the battery terminals. Corrosion, dirt, or loose connections can impede the flow of electricity, resulting in a lack of power transfer.

Defective Battery

A battery that is completely dead or has a defective cell may not accept a charge even with jumper cables. If the battery cannot be rejuvenated, the power supplied through the jump start will be insufficient to start the vehicle.

Faulty Alternator

The alternator plays a crucial role in maintaining the battery’s charge while the engine is running. If the alternator is defective or not generating enough power, the battery may not receive adequate charging even with a jump start, causing the car to have no power.

Malfunctioning Starter Motor

The starter motor is responsible for initiating the engine’s cranking process. When the starter motor fails, it prevents the engine from starting, regardless of the jump-start attempt. A clicking sound when turning the key can indicate a faulty starter motor.

Issues with Ignition Switch or Wiring

Faulty ignition switches or wiring problems can disrupt the power flow to essential components, resulting in a car having no power. If the ignition switch fails to provide the necessary power to the engine and electrical accessories, the vehicle may not start even with jumper cables.

Troubleshooting Steps

To address the issue of a car having no power even with jumper cables, follow these troubleshooting steps:

Ensure Proper Connection of Jumper Cables

Check that the jumper cables are securely connected to both the positive and negative battery terminals of both vehicles. Ensure the clamps have a firm grip on the terminals to facilitate optimal power transfer.

Check Jumper Cables for Damage or Insufficient Gauge

Inspect the jumper cables for any signs of damage or fraying. Additionally, consider the gauge of the cables, as thinner cables may not provide enough current for larger engines. If the cables are damaged or too thin, it is advisable to use a different set of cables or a portable jump starter.

Verify Battery Health and Charge Level

Assess the condition of the car battery by checking for signs of corrosion on the terminals. Clean any corrosion using a mixture of baking soda and water. Additionally, test the battery’s voltage and capacity using a multimeter or seek professional assistance at an auto parts store or repair shop.

Test Alternator Functionality

If the battery appears to be in good condition, it is essential to evaluate the alternator’s performance. An alternator that is not functioning properly may fail to recharge the battery, resulting in a persistent power loss. Have the alternator tested by a professional to determine its health.

Examine Starter Motor for Problems

Listen for any clicking sounds when attempting to start the car with jumper cables. Clicking noises often indicate a faulty starter motor. If this is the case, the starter motor may need to be replaced or repaired by a qualified technician.

Inspect Ignition Switch and Wiring

If all other components check out, consider the possibility of a malfunctioning ignition switch or wiring issues. Inspect the ignition switch and associated wiring for any signs of damage or loose connections. If necessary, consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and address these issues.

Additional Considerations

While troubleshooting a car that has no power even with jumper cables, it is important to keep the following points in mind:

Safety Precautions When Dealing with Electrical Systems

When working with car batteries and electrical systems, always prioritize safety. Wear appropriate protective gear, ensure the engines of both vehicles are turned off, and follow proper jump-starting procedures to prevent accidents or injuries.

Seeking Professional Assistance if Troubleshooting Steps Fail

If the troubleshooting steps do not resolve the power loss issue, it is advisable to seek professional help from a trusted auto repair shop. Experienced mechanics can perform more in-depth diagnostics and repairs to address complex electrical problems.

Exploring Other Possible Causes for Power Loss

While the focus of this article has been on jumper cables and related components, it is important to consider that there may be other underlying causes for a car having no power. Factors such as fuel delivery issues, sensor malfunctions, or complex electrical system failures could also contribute to the problem.


Experiencing a complete lack of power in a car, even with jumper cables, can be a frustrating situation. By understanding the potential causes and following the appropriate troubleshooting steps, you can increase the likelihood of resolving the issue. However, it is crucial to prioritize safety and seek professional assistance if needed to ensure a thorough diagnosis and appropriate repairs.


Yes, old or damaged jumper cables can impede the flow of electricity, resulting in insufficient power transfer during a jump-start. It is important to use reliable and properly functioning jumper cables for effective power transfer.

Testing the battery’s voltage and capacity using a multimeter can help assess its health. If the battery appears to be in good condition, having the alternator tested by a professional will provide insight into its functionality.

If the starter motor is determined to be faulty, it may need to be repaired or replaced by a qualified technician. Consult with an experienced mechanic to assess the best course of action.

Symptoms of a faulty ignition switch or wiring problems can include difficulty starting the car, intermittent power loss, or unusual electrical behavior. If you suspect these issues, it is advisable to have a professional mechanic inspect and diagnose the ignition switch and wiring.

If the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article do not resolve the power loss issue, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from a trusted auto repair shop. Experienced mechanics have the expertise and diagnostic tools to address complex electrical problems effectively.

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