Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car making pat pat sound when starting

asked by on

My car usually starts easily and every time. Now, when I try, the starter makes a pat pat noise, and the engine will not start. The battery is charged.

It is possible for the starter itself to be going out. Starters are small but strong electromagnetic motors, meaning they work off of magnets that get energized when you turn the key on. If a magnet starts to fail, the starter will not be able to turn the cars engine. This is probably the sound you hear. This problem is not very complicated to diagnose with a starting system test. The test looks at amperage draw from the starter. The test also looks at the battery, terminals and cables as this can mimic a bad starter under the right conditions. Get help from a qualified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to properly diagnose your car’s starting issue.

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: Knocking/ticking sound when engine idles

The only way to diagnose a knocking noise is to hear it to see if the noise is in the top or bottom of the engine. If from the bottom, then a piston, rod, or crankshaft problem is present. If...

Q: Hard to shift into gear.

Hi there. The clutch may be worn out causing the disks to slip and not disengage the transmission from the engine. Also, the slave cylinder could not be fully moving all the way causing the clutch to not fully disengage....

Q: After installing a new battery, now my car just clicks when starting it.

When installing a new battery, it is not uncommon for various dash lights to come on as the system is reset as a result of the new power source being installed. The problem starting may suggest a faulty starter solenoid....

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...