Q: Q: Car clicking and not starting

asked by on

I can hear the car clicking, but it won't start. I jumpstarted the car and disconnected the battery in an attempt to reboot the system, and it still won't start.

Low voltage is one of the main causes for a starter solenoid to click continuously without turning the engine over. An electromagnet pulls the contacts together in the solenoid. As soon as contact is made and the starter motor is engaged, the extra load from the starter motor reduces the voltage enough to release the solenoid and the process repeats, rapidly. If your battery has a sight glass on top, there will be a green ball visible indicating a full charge. If it doesn’t, it’s worth your time to remove the battery, and have it checked and/or charged by a local garage or parts store. Check both connections on the battery for corrosion. Remove it if you’d like to be thorough. Negative off first, on last. Make sure the ignition is off, key removed any time you mess with the battery. Check the connection by grasping the cable, and trying to rotate it clockwise. If you can move it, it’s not tight enough, the bolt might be bottomed out too early, or cross-threaded. If this does not remedy the problem, the cables going to the starter, or the ground cable going to the engine are most likely at fault. To sum up if your battery is over 3 years old, I would just replace the battery and go from there. Bad batteries can drain themselves internally. They can show good voltage (12.6) under light load, but fall way below 10 under heavy load. It should not drop below 10 under starting conditions by the way. If a new or known good battery doesn’t resolve this, a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, would be able to help diagnose your car’s clicking noise.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Q: Car clicking and not starting

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What side is my starter on a 2006 nissan pathfinder

Hello, thank you for writing in. The starter is tucked up behind the oil pan towards the right side of the vehicle. The right side is also known as the passenger side of the vehicle. There should be two mounting...

Q: My car is still running after turning it off.

Hi there. The noise that you are hearing is commonly known as 'Dieseling'. When this happens, check the ignition switch alignment and see that the switch is turned completely off. If the switch is turned off, then while the engine...

Q: Replaced alternator but still not sending power to the battery.

Hello. If your engine is able to crank all the time and will not just start, the issue is not in the battery or the alternator. A good battery charge is required in order to even get the starter to...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.