Q: Trying to start the car yields only loud clicks but the battery and starter are good

asked by on

At first the car would click a few times and then start. Then it wouldn't start at all. I had the starter tested and it was fine. I tried jumping it without success. I put a brand new battery in it and still got the clicks. I put the old battery back in it and it started several times in succession. Then it went back to the clicking. It seems that if I can maneuver the key in a particular manner, it stands a better chance of starting.

My car has 220000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Bench testing a starter motor, unloaded, can sometimes be unreliable. This is because there is usually a Bendix drive in a starter motor which if failed will be undetectable because the starter motor will still spin and draw normal current- but if once you load the motor, that is involve the Bendix drive, the unit simply will not work, particularly if you have a weak battery. At any rate, that advice mostly applies with relatively "old" starters which may not be the circumstance you face. A certified mechanic would diagnosis your fault by doing a circuit trace and in particular measure the voltage drop from point to point in the circuit. Obviously, there is either an open in the circuit (in a starting circuit, could be a failed contact or relay or a high enough resistance somewhere in the circuit that the resulting voltage drop makes it impossible for a relatively high current motor to run. It could be as simple as a failed solenoid or high resistance ground. If you’d like, YourMechanic would be happy to make a mobile visit and diagnose your car’s inability to start issue for you rapidly.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Trying to start the car yields only loud clicks but the battery and starter are good

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: 2004 saab 9-3 linear . glass mirror plate fell off of the passenger side

To request an exact repair quote please click on "Get a Quote" at YourMechanic's door mirror replacement service page. If you desire to attempt the repair yourself, and your existing mirror is not re-usable (that is the glass cannot be...

Q: What would it cost to have the timing chain replaced on a 2002 Saab 93 SE

Hi there. In order to receive a price estimate for one of our mobile mechanics to come to your location and complete a timing chain replacement job on your Saab, we need to get a little more data from you....

Q: Recently purchased a used Mazda 3. It sometimes doesn't start and not battery. Believe its the switch / contact in the shifting

There is a neutral start switch and other interlocks that could be at fault. On some Mazda's with this problem a reported fix involves the plastic shifter cable which can seize to the stud on the switch due to rust...

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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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...