Q: My car's electronic things work (lights, radio, dome light, etc.) but car won't turn over, it only makes clicking sound?

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So, could this mean I need a new battery as the original one is still in the car, or could it be the starter? Or could it be something else? It starts to turn over, but then just makes a ticking sound like a second hand on a watch.

I don't want to take it to a dealer or mechanic and get "taken" so I'd like to go in with some idea of what the issue might be. I hooked the car up to an "external battery charging kit" but I'm thinking that might not have enough juice for a totally dead battery - if that's what it is. This happened after a REALLY cold (2 degrees) night in Colorado. It worked fine the day before.

My car has 69000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

If the battery is 6 years old and it’s 2 degrees out, you need a new battery to start your car. Even if it turns out that you need a starter, as well (you could), you still need a new battery because batteries only last about 5-7 years. Don’t waste your time charging what you have. Buy a new battery, the more CCA (cold cranking amps) the better. Upon installing it, make sure the terminal connections are absolutely pristine and mechanically secure and you should be good to go. Be SURE that the store fully charges the battery before you leave the premises, otherwise you will be back where you started and/or you will needlessly load your alternator as it tries to fully charge the battery. Also, check date-code on battery before buying. If date code is more than 6 months old, do not buy it as you would essentially be buying a used battery. Be careful installing the battery and be wary of short circuiting the terminals (keep metal tools far away). After installation, check the output of the charging system with a voltmeter to ensure that the charging system will be properly taking care of your new battery as you go forward. if you desire, YourMechanic will dispatch a certified Mechanic to your locale to handle the battery replacement for you from start to finish. Simply request battery replacement.

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