Q: Only cranks and starts sometimes. When it doesn't start, I hear a click coming from relay box. I don't think click is coming from starter

asked by on

About 2 months ago is when I first had the problem. Went to start an nothing but one quiet click. Now becoming more frequent. At first if I turned the key over a few times in succession it would fire up, now it won't. One time it wouldn't start I smacked the steering column and it fired, next time it wouldn't start I tried hitting the column again, but didn't work, so tapped the starter and it fired. Need help determining if it's the starter, ignition switch or neutral safety switch.

My car has 98000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. I believe the starter solenoid is where the "clicking" originates - essentially a giant relay for the starter motor. The contacts do "burn" over time, conducting less and less current each time. Replacing the starter assembly is the cure.

Poor battery cable connections are another source of the "poor starting blues", but cheaper and easier to check. If you have good clean battery connections, and the battery is in good shape, I would recommend having a Starter Replacement Service. A certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your location to perform this repair if you would like a mechanic to come to you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Only cranks and starts sometimes. When it doesn't start, I hear a click coming from relay box. I don't think click is coming from starter

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: I have a 1998 mercury mountaineer. ,I just have the water pump replace and now it want start.The lights come on and it turn over b

Unless electrical connections were removed and not re-connected during the water pump replacement, that repair would not cause the present no start. If the starter motor is turning the engine over rapidly, at sufficient RPM, but the engine does not...

Q: My passenger side window doesn't work. Put in a new regulator that wasn't the problem. The window doesn't go up or down from the

Hi there. It's possible that an electrical relay is damaged or you have a shorted electrical wire or faulty ground wire that is causing this issue with your motor. It's also possible that a mechanical arm inside the passenger side...

Q: Battery went flat causing alarm to sound and won't stop after changing battery

The most common methods to deal with this situation are to put the key in each door and lock and unlock to reset the alarm. You may need to do this in the trunk or hatch lid as well. The...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...