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Q: Car clicking and not starting

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While driving to work, the radio stopped working and the Battery Light came on. The night before, I heard a slight whining sound, which could have possibly been a belt. Upon arriving at work, I tried to restart my car, but it only made a slight clicking sound when the ignition was turned, and would not start up.

Your symptoms are very similar to those found in the situation of a failing alternator. The alternator is driven by the engine using the belt drive system. This component is responsible for keeping the battery charged during vehicle operation; failure is often indicated by a light on the dashboard with a battery symbol. Once the battery dies, there isn’t enough power to run the vehicle’s accessories, so most are shut down to preserve ignition and engine computer power. Have a trained mobile mechanic inspect your vehicle’s battery charging and starting systems to determine the cause of your car not starting.

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