When you get into your car and only hear clicking, it can be frustrating. A clicking starter can be an indication of a number of different problems with your vehicle. As a vehicle owner, it is beneficial for you to know how to try to figure out why your starter is clicking and your vehicle is not starting even if you take it to a mechanic to get it fixed.
You May Have a Dead Battery
When your vehicle's battery dies, you will hear a clicking noise when you attempt to turn over the vehicle. The clicking will be rapid and the vehicle will not respond to the key in the ignition. Often, you can jump your battery with jumper cables, but depending on how dead the battery is, you may need to replace the battery.
Before replacing the battery, check the reservoir for liquid. It is possible the battery's acid has dried up and adding water may kick-start the vehicle enough for you to get it to your local repair shop.
You May Have a Bad Starter
If replacing the battery does not fix the problem, it could be the starter. When your starter is bad, you will not be able to start your car. If you are receiving power to the vehicle, such as working headlights, radio or air conditioning, but it shuts off or flickers out, this is often a sign of a starter malfunction.
When the solenoids in the starter begin to go bad, you will notice a scraping sound and your vehicle will not start. Replacing the starter will fix the problem.
You May Have a Bad Alternator
When your alternator begins to go bad, you may hear a clicking sound when you try to start the vehicle. A bad alternator can cause your battery to die long before it reaches the end of its life span. This means if you haven't had the battery very long, it could be the alternator causing the problem. In addition to the clicking, you will notice an odd smell, warning lights on the dash, or electrical shorts throughout the vehicle, especially with the headlights or overhead lights.
If your vehicle is showing signs of trouble and you think you hear the starter clicking, it may not actually be the starter causing the problem. Clicking is a common sound heard when the battery, starter, or the alternator are having problems. Regardless of what part is causing the problem, take it to a mechanic immediately. Proactively addressing a malfunctioning starter, alternator, or battery will save you time, money, and frustration.
To learn more about car repair, contact a service shop like Dean's Automotive Service Center