Clicking Noise When Starting Car

When your car starts making noises that you aren’t used to, you can get a little bit concerned. A common noise that car owners can hear if something is wrong is a quiet clicking noise when starting car engines up. Let’s see what can cause these clicking noises and what the different clicks can mean. 

What If A Car Won't Start Due To A Clicking Noise?

There are numerous potential causes of a clicking noise that results in the inability to start your car. 

Dead Battery

A dead battery is the bane of most car owner’s existence as it can cause a whole range of issues for your car. Despite their larger size and capacity, something as simple as leaving a light on at night or forgetting to turn off the radio can drain your battery in no time. 

If your battery is drained, there is a very slim chance that your car will start. Since the battery is essential to everything from the starter to the a/c, you won’t be able to even start the car if your battery has been drained. 

Poor Connections

Sticking with the battery, an issue with the connections between your battery and the car will prevent you from being able to start the car. The connections between your car and its battery are what is responsible for getting the current needed to start the engine going. 

Connections directly from the battery are somewhat sensitive and can be knocked loose by intense vibrations and even old age. Additionally, bad weather or poor maintenance habits can cause the wires to get corroded and not perform well. Poor connections may allow your car to start occasionally, but they should be replaced to prevent unwanted clicking. 

Old Battery 

From the battery not being charged to its cables not being properly connected, the battery itself could be the source of your issues. Batteries have a lifetime of about 3-5 years and need to be replaced when they reach the end of their viable lifetime. 

Getting your battery inspected by a mechanic could reveal that your battery is very weak and needs to be replaced. Older batteries are not going to be able to provide the power the car needs to. Even so, something simple like attempting to start the vehicle can cause the clicking noise. 

Alternator Problems 

What many people don’t know is that the car battery is mostly only used for things like getting the car started. Once you are driving around and using electronics, your alternator takes over and supplies the necessary amount of power to the rest of the car.

However, a weaker battery may not be able to allow an alternator to do its job. In cases like this, you should have your alternator inspected to see if it needs repairs. If your alternator is not working, your battery will be stressed to the point where it may not even have the power to start the car. 

Starter Issues 

Something many people are not aware of is that vehicles have their own starter motors that are specially designed to get a car started. These small motors give the car the kickstart they need to get going and are essential to moving. If you notice that other electronic systems are working and your car simply isn’t starting, your starter could have issues.

Starter motors are a tricky thing to deal with and often need to be looked into by a mechanic to see what is causing them to not work properly.

Possible Scenarios When Attempting To Start The Car - And What A Specific Sound May Imply

Rapid Clicking

A rapid clicking noise can happen in your car when there is an issue trying to get the engine to start. In particular, this is what happens when the starter motor is failing to get the power amounts it needs to start the engine. 

If you are hearing a rapid clicking noise, your battery is likely not going to be part of the main issues. A rapid clicking issue either involves the starter motor not getting power or the alternator not providing the necessary power to the rest of the car. This rapid clicking won’t go away until your engine system is looked at and the electrical problem is diagnosed. 

Single Click

A single click is often harder to notice as the single noise may just seem like the car coming to life. In reality, a single click means that your car likely won’t be awake for some time. In most cases, a single clicking noise when starting car motors is a sign that the starter is not working properly.

The starter motor is a simple enough device, but it needs a certain amount of power to actually work well. A single click can either mean your starter motor is not getting the power it needs to start the motor or that it needs to be replaced. Sometimes the solution to this problem is very simple for a mechanic to resolve. 

Car Only Clicks But Doesn’t Start 

Hearing a click or no sound at all when going to try and turn on your car is something that can be caused by a multitude of options. To narrow down what may be causing this issue, look at other areas of the car to see if you can eliminate some possible issues. 

For example, if you turn the key and the radio and lights come on, the battery is likely not the source of this issue. Most issues involving a car not starting are simply the result of loose or corroded wires somewhere between the battery, the starter, and the alternator. These problems are easy enough to get treated as a mechanic can test the current traveling to each location to see where the wires aren’t working properly. 

No matter why your car is clicking and not starting, you can rest easy knowing that it is likely just a minor electrical issue. Reaching out to a mechanic with your specific symptoms will allow them to try and get to the bottom of your specific case.