Why is my car clicking when I try to start it? 5 Causes of Car Clicking When Trying To Start? & How to Fix it
What could be more irritating than jumping into your car in the morning when you are in a hurry – turning the key and just hearing a clicking sound?
This problem is quite common and easy to resolve. However, it is important to understand the problem and know where to start.
Here are the main reasons that your car won't start. Also, there will be a guide to how to repair it. Let’s take a quick look at the most common causes first.
A dead or depleted car battery is the most likely reason your car won't start. You may also experience a problem with the wiring or faulty starter. In most cases, it’s enough to charge the car battery to fix the issue.
This is a detailed listing of common causes your engine to click when you try to start it.
There are 5 Reasons Your Car Does Not Start
1. Low battery voltage
This problem can be caused by low voltage of the battery. In 90% of cases this problem is caused by the car clicking when it tries to start.
This could either be caused by an electric component drawing power from the car's shut-off or because you have forgotten to turn the parking lights off at night.
A bad car battery could be the cause, especially in cold countries. The battery requires a lot more power in order to start the engine in winter.
To fix this issue very fast, you can jump-start your car from another car’s car battery. However, this will not solve the problem long-term.
You can test your car's battery condition with a battery tester. If the battery is damaged, replace it.
While your vehicle is being shut down, it is a good idea to check for components that draw power. This should be done by a qualified technician if your knowledge and equipment are not available.
2. Starter motor failure/mistake
Failing starter motors are the next most frequent problem. A solenoid is inside the starter motor. This gets pulled out at the same time you turn it. If the solenoid gets stuck or doesn’t function properly, you can hear a click from your engine without the engine turning over.
You may also experience it due to other parts being damaged within the starter.
You can test this by connecting external power to your starter solenoid and seeing if it responds. For this to work, you will need electrical car knowledge.
Find out more about diagnosing here: Car Starter is not Engaging.
3. Battery terminal corrosion or looseness
Loose battery terminals on the car battery are another common problem when it comes to a car that clicks but won’t turn over.
It is possible that someone did not tighten the connections during your last car repair. As a result, the contact between terminals and connectors gets worse.
The car starter turns the engine over and requires power from the battery. If the contact is damaged, the clicking sound can be heard.
This is because sparks can be seen around the terminal during cranking. Also, after cranking up the engine for a few minutes, your hand can be felt on the terminal. If it is warm – there is probably a bad connection there. You should be careful though as they may also glow hot.
4. Ground Strap problem
A large ground cable runs from your car's engine to the body. It grounds all engine components.
Bad ground cables between the engine and body, or between car batteries and body, will limit power and make it difficult to start the engine.
It is quite common and something to look into. To resolve the issue, you can attach an external jumper cable to the battery terminal and connect the engine.
5. Broken Power Cable
Failure of the power cable connecting to the starter can cause insufficient power to be transmitted to the starter, causing the car's engine not to turn.
This problem is not as common as the other things mentioned here, but absolutely an idea to check for if you can’t find any other issues.
Check the connections at the starter/car battery. Make sure that they are properly tightened. Once you've been cranking, take a look at them. Make sure that they aren't too hot. Warm ones indicate a poor connection and need to be repaired.
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