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.

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

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: Seat heater not working.

Having an inoperative heated seat is not out of the ordinary. Most times the heater grid in the seat goes bad. Generally this happens over time just due to the fact that getting in and out of the seat flexes...

Q: Engine tick and check engine light.

Hello, thanks for writing in. It is possible that you have a fuel injection issue, but that is not that common on this vehicle. Most of the time when this occurs with a ticking noise also it is due to...

Q: Car seems like it is slower to start when engine is warm

Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle may be having issues with the electrical connections to the starter or battery. There are several different ways to go about testing for this. The first thing to do is inspect all...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...