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Q: My car doesn't start up right away. Could it be the spark plugs?

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I know it is not the battery because I got that checked and was told it is just fine. Sometimes the car starts right away and sometimes it doesn't. It just makes a rapid clicking noise when I turn the key. I'm hoping it is just the spark plugs as that's the most inexpensive fix.

My car has 89000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. Your starting issues may not be rela...

Hello. Your starting issues may not be related to the spark plugs at all. A rapid clicking noise is usually a sign of a bad starter. This noise is produced by the pinon gear attempting to be pushed out and meshed with the ring gear. If the starter was working correctly the engine would be attempting to start and you would notice the cranking over of the engine. Starters can fail in a multitude of ways including electronically or mechanically. If the starter has bound up, it may take several tries to unbind the starter and get the starter to engage correctly. You have pull the starter and have it tested. However, these bench tests do not load test the starter to make sure it can push over the engine. They also do not test the way the gears align when its installed on the vehicle. You may want to replace the starter, or have a technician look at the vehicle.

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