Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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.

A: Low voltage is one of the main causes for a...

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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: Steering wheel shakes at speed over 80 mph, after tire replacement

There are several options you could try to test this issue. One option would be to have your tires checked for a possible manufacturer defect. This would be something like a slipped belt that would cause a bump in your...

Q: I have a 2007 Chevy Impala...battery saver active mode

Hi There, This can be caused by a loose battery cable which is often times the problem. Try checking to be sure they are connected properly. Also, there is a sensor that has 3 small wires running to it that...

Q: Suspension swap - 2005 Cadillac Escalade

Hello - yes, it is possible, and indeed a common modification, to swap out the air ride suspension on this model for conventional suspension. In fact, several auto suspension suppliers make conversion kits to do just this. As you have...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...