Q: Hard starting and clicking noise

asked by on October 17, 2016

when I frist trying to start it,it will take about 3-5 tries to start it, It sounds like a clicking noise,not like a grinding noise like the starter.Battery,starter alt., all is new,for the exception of the alt., brought it back in 2005,and never been replaced since.Took it to have it checked,starer,battery alt.and they are ALL tested good.With that said,what else could be wrong?

My car has 222200 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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The clicking noise is an indication of either a bad or discharged battery or a bad connection in the starting circuit. There are two circuits in every starting system: the primary circuit that is energized by the key, and the secondary circuit that consists of the battery, starter and battery cables.

Locating the bad connection is the trick. Keep in mind what looks like a good connection does not mean it is a good connection. Electricity operates on the quantum level and that is why we have test lights, multimeters, and load testers for the diagnosis of electrical components.

To begin, you will want to make sure the small wire at the starter is getting a full twelve volts when you turn the key. If it is not, you have a problem in the primary starting circuit. This includes the ignition switch theft deterrent relay, gear selector switch, and fuses. If any of these have high resistance - a bad connection - twelve volts will not reach the starter solenoid allowing it to engage the secondary starting circuit and the starter.

Most of the time I use a jumper wire to connect the starter solenoid directly to the battery. By doing this, I can see if the secondary starting circuit is working and, if it is, I have a good indicator that there is a problem with one of the components in the primary circuit.

If the secondary circuit is the issue, the most accurate method for locating it is by doing a voltage drop test. This test is done with a multimeter and is not well understood by most, mechanics included. The testable connections are the positive and negative cable connections at the battery posts, the main positive cable connection at the starter, and the ground connection at the body from the battery. Sometimes the connection from the starter to the block is a problem. This usually is precluded by other repairs, though, so I don’t think it is relevant to your situation.

If you should require more assistance, I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, perform an inspection to determine exactly why your car is not starting.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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