Car won’t start clicking sound – This is how you fix it

Car wont start clicking sounds

Won’t your car start while making clicking sounds? Then this is the article for you. I just had this problem with my car as well and I finally made a routine on how to troubleshoot the car if this happened. Follow along and will show you step by step what you have to do if this happens.

When you are hearing clicking sounds while trying to start your car there is not one clear answer to the problem. There can be several different components that can be damaged or set up wrong.

To start the engine you need a thrust from the flywheel, which is controlled by the starter motor. All these components are powered by the battery which is why this is the first part we will check, but again when the car won’t and start clicking there could be different results or ways to fix the problem.

Car won’t start and makes clicking sound: How to Solve

Most likely it could be the battery or the starter when you hear clicking sounds when you are trying to start the engine. There are a series of components into play when you are starting the motor and if only one of these components is out of order you won’t be able to start the engine.

Step 1. Check the battery

The most common problem when the clicking problem arises is the battery. As I mentioned earlier the battery is the most important component when you are trying to start a car since its powers the starter motor and the flywheel.

battery acid or corrosion, can lead to clicking sounds when you are trying to start the car

Check if there is any corrosion or acid built up around the poles of the battery, and clean if there is.

If you dont know how that looks like then take a look at the picture above, the corrosion is the blue texture you can see on the left pole. If you have something similar on your battery then this can be a reason that your car won’t start, the only thing you need to do here is to clean it off, pretty simple.

Use some baking soda mixed with 32 ounces of hot water, mix it up and pour it over the connectors. I like to use a toothbrush afterward as well to remove all the corrosion. Make sure to use gloves and glasses when you do this. You dont want the baking soda in your eyes or hands and not the battery acid either. When you are done cleaning it use WD-40 to prevent rust or corrosion in the future.

Check connectors – You also need to check if the battery terminals are loose / the wires that go to the poles. If these are loose, you need to tighten them. This is a very common solution so dont skip this step. Here is a picture of the two bolts you should tighten.

Battery connectors, tighten these. Common problem when your car makes clicking noises.

If neither of these last steps solved your problem, then dont panic, there is always a solution. Here are a few additional points you should check.

Check if the battery is dead or damaged

If the corrosion or tightening of the bolts didn’t work then there could be a chance that your battery has died or malfunctioned.

What you need to do to check if this happens is to use a multimeter to check the levels of the battery. If you dont have you can just purchase one here or go to your local store.

Multimeter to test a car battery

When you have your multimeter ready turn the knob to 20 volts or at least to something over 15 volts. Then simply put the read cable on to the positive pole on your battery and the black cable on to the negative pole of your battery. When you do that a number should appear on your multimeter, this number should be about 12,6 volts.

If the number is far from 12,6 your battery is bad and needs to be replaced, if it is about 12,6 we can continue on to do further testing. Just because the battery has the right voltage doesn’t mean it works as it should. That is why we need to do a few more test to fix the problem you got.

Another problem could be that there not enough cranking amps in the battery (CCA). This is a measurement which shows how much voltage the battery can deliver, and you need voltage to start the car.

So what we do to test this is to keep the cables you just placed in the same position, but this time you want to start the car while you or someone else looks at the multi-meter. While starting the car, the multi-meter number should not drop below 10 volts. If it does its an indication that your battery is bad if it falls below 5 volts, it means your battery is completely dead and needs to be replaced.

Testing voltage on the car battery with a multimeter. Troubleshooting the car

2. Check the starter

If your battery still doesn’t work we need to check the start. For most people, the battery will be the problem and previous should resolve your problem. So make sure to check those points first. Also, you can check if the clutch is working and your car stands in park. Just try the simpler solutions first.

The starter is positioned under the car and be hard to do as an everyday driver, that is why I have a neat trick for you that you can use to check the starter without even touching it. Just follow along and dont overcomplicate things and you should be done in no time! This will be the last step we will do if this doesn’t give us an answer you will have to go to a mechanic to look at it.

Ok, the first thing you need to before testing the starter is to put your car in neutral, this is very important.

power distribution center on a car

Now access this box, inside you will find fuses and relays. Open the top cover and you should see a map that shows all the relays and fuses on the inner side of the top cover.

Try to find where it says starting relay on the cover and locate it on the power distribution center.

Under the cover of the power distribution center on the car
Locate the relay center.

Dont be confused by all the things you see here, the only thing you need to find is the starting relay. I will put a picture below for you to see what you should look for.

Picture of the starting relay you should locate on the power distribution center.

So this is the starting relay.

Now when you have pulled out the starting relay you should find yourself a jumper wire, like these. You will only need one. On the previous picture, you can see a diagram that shows the number of each pin on the starting relay.

Locate pin numbers 30 and 87, these are usually diagonal of each other. Now look on the power distribution center and find the holes where pin 30 and 87 were previously and plug the jumper wire into these two wholes, now your car should start. If it doesn’t you know your starter doesn’t work, so what you could do is to use a hammer and use it to knock on the starter motor, don’t ruin it, but just give it a few knocks, this can solve the issue in some cases. If this doesn’t work and you are not an experienced mechanic I would advise you to seek help from one.


I hope this article helped you to solve your issue if it did please leave a comment on what your problem was so others can see. If you didn’t then let me know that as well. I am always looking to improve my content to help more people, sharing your experience will help outers in your situation. Thanks for reading.

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