You are in a hurry to get to work in the morning and you are all ready to leave asap thinking your car will make you reach on time. If you turn on the ignition, it won’t start. All you hear is a clicking noise.
Every one of us has been there! You try multiple times and the car doesn’t start yet. Relatable? We bet all of you have experienced this.
What is the reason behind this? Why does this actually happen? Is it the battery or is it something else? We are here to answer your questions and will help you find out the possible reasons so you can resolve them easily.
Let’s dive in and find out!
There are two primary conditions for a car to not start:
Crank-no-start condition – when the engine cranks normally but doesn’t start. Usually, this indicates an air/fuel delivery problem, spark delivery problem, or a lack of compression.
No-crank-no-start condition – this means the engine doesn’t turn over at all. This indicates a starting circuit problem.
You can usually jump-start the car. It works most of the time. What you do need to do when it jumpstarts, is to take it to the nearest mechanic.
ARE YOU HEARING RAPID CLICKS?
Let us first find out what makes the clicking noise before we jump into what causes it. When you turn on the ignition, the starter motor starts its function and the crankshaft is rotated through the starting ring gear.
During this process, if you hear a clicking noise, it means that the starter motor is not getting sufficient power and the continuous attempts is what makes the clicking sound.
5 Causes of Car Clicking When Trying To Start
1- Battery Drained
Well, we know this is your first guess and you might be right. But when does this happen? It happens when you leave your headlights on or interior lights on all night forgetting to turn them off before locking your car.
You can fix this issue easily with a pair of jumper cables and connect it to the positive terminal of the other car that has a good battery.
2- Loose or Corroded Battery Terminals or Cables
Sometimes it might be nothing but a loose connection that cuts off the electrical contact. It is a common scenario that happens because of the road vibrations. They just need to be tightened and you are good to go!
Another possible scenario is corrosion. This is also a common one and can be fixed easily. The terminals start corroding and get accumulated. Disconnect the cables and clean off the dirt, it will restore the connection.
3- Dead Battery
If the battery has been used for 3 to 6 years, it needs replacement. This depends on where you live and how you are driving. You can get your battery tested at any nearest battery/mechanic shop. Most places will test batteries for free and let you know if it needs a replacement.
4- Alternator issues
When the alternator is faulty, it fails to generate power to recharge the battery, which in turn leads to a clicking sound. The alternator replenishes the battery that is drained out from activating the starter motor. You cannot self-test the alternator, you need to get it tested by a technician.
Are you hearing a single click?
5- It could possibly be the starter Motor
If the headlights, stereo, and other accessories work, it is most likely that the battery is charged but if you hear a single click when you try to turn on the car, it is most likely an issue with the starter motor or the solenoid.
The solenoid is the switch that engages the starter motor so it turns the flywheel and starts the engine. It is better to get this checked with a technician than to do it yourselves because they will be able to diagnose it better.
If you feel it is none of the above reasons, you should check if the engine is seized. How do you do this? You need to put a breaker bar on the crankshaft pulley bolt, then try to turn the engine over by hand. An engine that won’t budge is seized and has major internal mechanical problems.
What to do if it is none of the above reasons?
In most cases, you can identify what the cause is and try to fix it yourself. As mentioned earlier, in most cases the car can be jump-started with the help of jumper cables and another car with a good battery.
If taken care of immediately after identifying the problem, it could save your car from further damage and save you money.
Regardless of the problem, if you decide to check and fix it yourself, be cautious when dealing with electricity.
The best advice would be to consult a technician and get the problem fixed to avoid misadventures.
Still have questions? We got you!
FAQs:1- What is the approximate cost of battery replacement?
A lead battery might cost you around $100 and an AGM-type battery around $300.
It might cost anywhere between $80- $100 to get it rebuilt. A brand new one will cost around $250-$1000.3- How much does it cost to replace a starter?
It ranges from $200 - $1000 depending on your car.