Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: When I turn the key the lights come on fine, but sometimes it is hard to crank up. It makes a fast ticking noise

asked by on

Cars lights come on when key is turned, but it is sometimes hard to crank up.

My car has 2000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello, thanks for writing in. It sounds lik...

Hello, thanks for writing in. It sounds like either your battery voltage is low, or you have a corroded battery terminal, or both. Check the battery posts for corrosion, if you find a blob of blue green fuzzy stuff there, the terminals will have to be cleaned. Careful to not touch the battery with your bare hands, as you can get a bad chemical burn from that.

Cleaning the terminals may be all that you have to do to get back on the road. Weather it is or not, your next step should be to have the battery and charging system tested. often, by the time the terminals start to show serious corrosion, the battery is near the end of it’s useful life.

Finally, I notice that the mileage on your car is very low. Sometimes cars that are not used often, or are driven only very short distances, are not running long enough to recover the charge that is used when the car is started. For people who use their cars only rarely, it can be a good idea to install a battery tender, a small trickle charger that can be plugged in to maintain battery life while the car is out of use for long periods.

If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this hard-to-crank issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

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!

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: It is very hard to put my car into gears been told it needs to be adjusted

This may suggest the transmission synchros may be wearing out. Your transmission has small gear synchronizer rings that help to move the transmission in and out of the various gears. When these begin to wear out, you may notice it...

Q: Ticking noise

Hello there, a few different faults can cause the vehicle to have this ticking noise. The most common faults would include an issue with the flywheel, belt tensioner, alternator, water pump, or engine mechanical issue. I'd recommend getting some help...

Q: SUV stopped running won't start does turn over . Battery light flashes when attempting to start. Acts like starving for gas .

Hello, thank you for writing in. Because the vehicle is new to you, it is difficult to point yourself in a good direction, and we will have to start with the basics. Due to the fact the battery light is...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.