2000 dodge neon power issue

Good day, ladies and gents,
my fiance' has a 2000 dodge neon and has given us quite a unique problem today. I took her car to work and after my day was done, I
hopped in and the car wouldn't start. Thankfully, a guy who works in my building suggested we jumper cable the car battery and that got the car started and I made it back home. However, after about 3 hours of non-use, I tried starting the car again and it kinda struggled to start. It also _almost_ didn't start is what I should say.
What happened the first time: When I got in the car, I could here the starter ticking, but the car didn't start at all. I thought it might have been the battery, so I turned on my headlights to check if they were dimming and they did not.
If I have to check the battery, is there a universal method of checking something like the water level?
If it's the alternator, would the starter still be trying to click over?
Thank you all for any help with me on this!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If the terminals are clean and tight and there is nothing left on inside the vehicle and this is possibly the original battery replace it.
If you had a charging problem you would have mentioned the check engine lite that would have been on.
You load tested the battery by turning on the lites and they were dim
Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

OOps! You misread that bit! <g> Here it is, again:

I have seen a battery check OK with that quick load test, and still be bad.
Original starter?? If so, it may be time for a new one. First, is cable from battery to the starter OK ? Also, try tapping on the starter while someone is turning the key.
Did it sound really good, when it was jumped off, or was the cranking speed still kind of slow?
I guess if it was me, and an original battery, I would still be having someone (auto parts store?) check it first, before I got the starter.
--
Jim in NC


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greetings Everyone!
Thank you all for the responses.
Yes, the light was bright and when it started with a jumper, it didn't even struggle at all, it started right up. Sounded really good, as if nothing was wrong.
Well, tonight, I borrowed a car (chrylser concord) and tried to jump the neon because it hasn't started all day. Now, when I hook it up to the concord, the car doesn't even light up the LCD's or anything, it's as if it's completely dead. When we remove the jumper cables, the lights come on, but after awhile of checking and placing the jumper cables on, the lights began to fade in the neon. I know I didn't cross the charges or anything, the neon would just would not even turn any power on with the jumper cables on.
Does the 2000 neon have a security feature because I had to push the car out of one side of the parking lot to the other side because I couldn't park next to it before. We made sure the car wasn't in gear or anything silly like that when we tried to jump.
Thank you all for your kind responses, they are truly appreciated.
Morgans wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't remember if you ever said how old the battery is. Well?
Take the battery out, and take it to an auto parts place, if you can not get the car running. They can check to see if it will take a charge, and test how well it will pull a large load. My money is on a shorted battery, due to age.
If the car can get to the auto parts place, most can tell you if the charging system is working correctly. Auto Zone is usually a good one.
--
Jim in NC


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ok when you say they didnt dim, I could take that as they never came on or they were on and didnt loose any brightness.
If the Lites stayed bright while you were cranking you would have to check the starter solonoid and battery feed to the starter.
If the lites did loose brightness when cranking start with checking the cables to battery for a good connection

If it is an alternator or charging problem the check engine lite would have turned on and set a code

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Did you have someone try to start the car while you watched the headlights. Usually they would dim while trying to start if the battery were low.
Use a volt meter to test the charging system. Measure the battery with engine not running. Should measure 12vdc. Start the engine (jump if you have to) then measure again. Should read about 14vdc. If it still reads 12 or lower then the charge system is not doing its job.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

you keep going on and on about what is going on but not one time have you taken the terminals off the battery to clean them. That's where you need to start.
Glenn Beasley Chrysler Tech
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.