Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car won't start, I think it's the battery but I'm not sure.

asked by on

Last night I tried to start my car but it wouldn't turnover. I assumed it was the battery so I called a friend for a jumpstart. He accidentally switched the red and the black cables when he put them on my battery and his car died, so we called another friend and he put it on correctly but the car still wouldn't start. It makes a series of clicking noises when you try to start it and the radio and the inside lights flicker but they don't stay on. We checked the relay and it was fine, and we don't think there's anything wrong with the starter because it makes a series of clicking noises when you try to start it. Does that mean I just have to replace the battery?

My car has 60000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The clicking noise you hear is either a sign of a battery that is too weak to turn the motor over or a starter solenoid that is faulty. The starter solenoid is located on the starter and has internal electrical contacts that transmit electricity to the starter. When this fails, it may cause a clicking sound and will not allow the starter to engage the flywheel when you turn the key. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose your starter.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: It happened a few time and a message will come up saying shift to P I don't know what that means.

Hello. Shift to P would indicate that the vehicle is reminding you to shift into Park. This indicator should not be going off when the vehicle is in motion but only when the vehicle is stopped. If the shifter park...

Q: Need a new pan, lug, gasket.

Hello. It is never recommended to drill a new hole in your oil pan although many have done it. The best recommendation if your oil drain plug is stripped out is to replace the oil pan. It is an extreme...

Q: Might have blew the engine

If the vehicle is not starting, the most likely cause is the battery. If the engine itself has stopped working it will require diagnosis to confirm which component is malfunctioning. A qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, will be...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...