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: Anti security light is on not blinking and car won't start

The anti-theft system is engaged. You will need to have the system scanned to see why the system is active. You can try to using a different key to see if it'll work. Also, try to open the passenger door...

Q: My car wouldn't start one day but started fine the next.

For this vehicle, the wiring harness connections on each and every module may have what is called "fretting corrosion", which will cause intermittent loss of connection in the module. A certified mechanic will have to go through each and every...

Q: Rear transmission seal leaking

This is a common problem with your vehicle. It is just a matter of replacing in order to fix your transmission fluid leak. I would have one of the mechanics at YourMechanic assist you with this repair. They will be...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.