Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car will not start when I turn the key, it just makes a clicking sound. What is wrong?

asked by on

All of my lights come on, my windows roll up an down and I still have power, but when I go to start my car it just makes a clicking sound and will not start what is it?

My car has 192000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A starter like any other mechanical and electrical part is subject to failing sometimes for no apparent reason. However, sometimes this is misdiagnosed as well and often times mistaken for something much more simple like a fuse, relay, or starter solenoid.

The starter relay is a small unit usually in the fuse box that directs power to the starter from the battery. When this fails, it may cause a clicking sound and will not allow the starter to engage the flywheel when you turn the key.

There is also a starter solenoid on the starter that has internal electrical contacts that transmit electricity to the starter.

To avoid any unnecessary repairs, I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose your starting issue to get you back on the road.

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!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • My car will not start when I turn the key, it just makes a clicking sound. What is wrong?

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: Car doesn't start, possibly the starter.

I would suggest that you enlist the help of a mechanic with the test equipment to check your starting system for faults. It is possible that the starter could be bad if your battery is good. The mechanic will have...

Q: Transmission Leak from TV cable? (Kick down cable)

Hello. The first thing I would do is check the transmission fluid properly. With the engine running and the vehicle in park, check the transmission dipstick to see where the fluid level is out. If you overfilled the transmission and...

Q: jerking while driving

Hi there. This jerking can occur for a number of reasons. I would first start by checking to see if the check engine light is coming on. If it is then I would scan the computer for codes. Any codes...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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...