Car has battery power but makes clicking sound when starting

A car that has battery power and still makes clicking sounds when starting is a common problem among car owners. This problem can be frustrating and cause unnecessary anxiety, especially if you are in a hurry. The clicking sound you hear when you turn the key could be a sign of different problems depending on the type of car you drive. However, the most common cause of this problem is a low charge in the battery or a faulty starter.

In this article, we will explore the various reasons why your car makes clicking sounds when starting and what you can do to fix the problem. Whether you drive an electric or gas-powered car, this article will provide you with valuable information to help you troubleshoot the issue and get back on the road safely and quickly.

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So, if you hear your car making clicking sounds when you turn the key, do not panic. Read on to find out what may be wrong with your car and how you can fix the issue or prevent it from happening again in the future.

Causes of Clicking Sound When Starting Car with Battery Power

Dead Battery

Dead Battery

A common cause of clicking sound when starting a car is a dead battery. If the battery is old or not properly maintained, it may not be able to supply enough power to start the engine. In this case, you may hear a clicking sound when you turn the key in the ignition, but the engine won’t start.

Solution: You can try jump-starting the car using another vehicle with a fully charged battery. If the car starts, it may mean that your battery needs to be replaced. If the car doesn’t start even after jump-starting, the problem may lie with the starter or other components.

Starter Motor Issues

Starter Motor Issues

If the battery is fine, but you still hear a clicking sound when you turn the key, it could be a problem with the starter motor. The starter motor is responsible for turning the engine over when you start the car. If it’s not working properly, the engine won’t start.

Solution: A mechanic can test the starter motor to see if it’s working properly. If it needs to be replaced, they will do so. It’s important to have a qualified mechanic diagnose and fix this issue to avoid further damage to the car.

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Loose or Corroded Connections

If the battery and starter motor are both fine, it could be a problem with loose or corroded connections. Over time, the connections between the battery, starter motor, and other components can become loose or corroded, which can prevent the car from starting.

Solution: You can try cleaning the battery terminals and connections to see if that solves the problem. If not, a mechanic can diagnose and fix the issue by repairing or replacing any damaged or corroded connections.



While there are other possible causes of a clicking sound when starting a car with battery power, these are some of the most common issues. If you’re experiencing this problem, it’s important to have a professional diagnose and fix the issue to prevent further damage to your car and ensure your safety on the road.

Dead Battery

Dead Battery

Causes of Dead Battery

Causes of Dead Battery

A dead battery is one of the most common causes of clicking sound when trying to start your car. There are several reasons why a battery might become dead:

  • Old battery – Over time, a battery’s capacity to hold a charge decreases
  • Electrical Issues – A faulty alternator or faulty battery can prevent the battery from charging properly
  • Parasitic Drain – A small electrical issue can drain the battery overnight

Signs of Dead Battery

Before your car battery completely dies, it may show some signs of trouble. A few signs that your battery may be dying are:

  • Slow cranking – You may notice your engine cranks more slowly than usual
  • Dash Lights – The lights on your dashboard will flicker or dim
  • Hello – The horn sound weak
  • Strange noises – You may hear clicking sound when trying to start
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Prevention and Maintenance

Prevention and Maintenance

To prevent a dead battery from happening, proper maintenance of your car battery is important. Some best practices to maintain your car battery are:

  • Regular inspection – Inspect your battery for damages regularly
  • Cleanliness – Clean the battery terminals, cables, and connectors regularly to prevent corrosion
  • Battery replacement – Replace your battery every 3 to 5 years, depending on the warranty and lifespan of the battery
Problem Cause Solution
Old Battery Decreased capacity to hold a charge Replace battery every 3 to 5 years
Electrical Issues Faulty alternator or battery, preventing proper charging Repair or replace faulty component
Parasitic Drain Small electrical issue that drains battery overnight Identify and fix the electrical issue

Bad Starter Motor


A starter motor is responsible for cranking the engine and enabling the vehicle to start. If it fails, the car won’t start. In this case, when the key is turned to the start position, the car may make a clicking sound, but the engine won’t turn over.


  • Wear and tear over time
  • Electrical issues such as a bad solenoid or corroded connections
  • Excessive heat, which can damage the starter motor
  • Damage from incorrect installation or handling


  • Clicking sound when turning the key
  • Slow cranking or no cranking at all
  • Intermittent starting issues
  • Dashboard lights come on but engine does not turn over

Diagnosis and Repair

Diagnosis and Repair

The starter motor can be tested with a voltmeter to check for proper voltage. If the starter motor is faulty, it will need to be replaced. It’s important to have a qualified mechanic diagnose and repair the issue to avoid causing further damage to the vehicle.

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Pros Cons
– Repairable with replacement parts – Can be expensive to replace
– Common issue with straightforward diagnosis – Can cause further damage if not addressed promptly
– Replacement starters can be high quality and long-lasting – May require additional labor to install


If your car is making a clicking sound but not starting, a bad starter motor may be the culprit. Have it diagnosed and repaired by a qualified technician to ensure your vehicle is running smoothly and safely.


Why is my car making a clicking sound when I try to start it even though the battery seems to have power?

The clicking sound you hear when attempting to start your car is likely due to a weak battery or a faulty starter. Even if your battery has enough power to run electronics, such as headlights and interior lights, it may not have enough power to turn over the engine. You may need to have your battery tested to ensure it is holding a charge and replace it if necessary. Alternatively, it may be a problem with the starter, which also requires a certain voltage to function properly.

Can a bad alternator cause a clicking noise when trying to start the car?

Technically, a bad alternator does not directly cause a clicking noise when trying to start a car. An alternator’s job is to maintain the battery’s charge while the engine is running. However, if the alternator is faulty, it can cause the battery to drain quickly, leading to starting issues. This draining can happen gradually until your car has completely dead batteries, but it usually occurs over some days.

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How can I determine if my battery is the problem?

The first thing you should do is check the battery terminals and connections to ensure they are clean and tight. If these are good, use a multimeter or voltmeter to check the battery’s charge. A fully charged battery should read around 12.6 volts. If it reads lower than that, it may be the source of the problem. Remember, even if you detect the right voltage, the battery could still be weak.

What can I do if the battery is not the problem?

If you’ve determined that the battery is not the issue, then the starter may be the culprit. Check the starter motor solenoid and connections to ensure everything is tight, clean, and functioning properly. If there is still an issue, you may need to get the starter replaced.

What causes a starter to go bad?

Starters can go bad for a variety of reasons. Standard wear and tear can cause the starter to wear out over time. It can also be due to problems with the flywheel, which is located in the transmission and interacts with the starter to turn the engine. Additionally, it can be caused by electrical issues, such as a malfunctioning alternator or bad wiring. Not replacing a battery in time can also cause the starter to go bad.

Can a bad ignition switch cause a clicking sound?

Yes, a bad ignition switch can cause a clicking sound when attempting to start your car. This can occur when the switch fails to connect properly with the starter. If you suspect this is the issue, it is advisable to have your ignition switch inspected and replaced if necessary.

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What is the cost for a replacement starter?

The cost of a replacement starter can vary depending on the make and model of your car, as well as the location of the garage. On average, expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $600 for parts and labor for replacement of the starter. Your mechanic will be able to give you a more definite estimate.


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Ethan Reed

As a male driver, I have experienced the frustration of my car having battery power but making a clicking sound when trying to start it. I have always known that it could be due to a dead battery or a faulty starter, but reading this article has shed some light on other possible causes such as a dirty starter or loose connections. It’s helpful to have a better understanding of these issues so that I can troubleshoot and potentially fix the problem myself or have a better understanding when I take it to a mechanic. Overall, this article has provided useful information and tips for resolving the issue of a car starting with only a clicking sound.

Aiden Wilson

As a male reader, I have experienced this issue before and it can be really frustrating. The clicking sound is usually an indication of a dead starter motor and it occurs when there isn’t enough power to start the engine. Although the battery might have enough power to turn on the lights and other electronic components, it might not have enough power to turn the engine over. In most cases, a jump start might work but it’s only a temporary solution. It’s advisable to take the car to a mechanic to run a diagnostic test and find out what exactly is causing the issue. Replacing the starter motor might be necessary and it’s better to do it sooner than later to prevent any further complications.

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Noah Stone

I recently encountered this issue with my car where it had battery power but made a clicking sound when trying to start it. I was confused as this had never happened before, and I had made sure to turn off all lights and music before exiting the car. After some research, I found out that this could be due to a few reasons such as a faulty starter solenoid or a clogged fuel filter. I ended up taking my car to a mechanic who fixed the issue by replacing the starter solenoid. It was an expensive fix, but my car is now running smoothly without any problems. It’s important to address any unusual noises or occurrences with your car as soon as possible to avoid any further damage or costly repairs.

Oliver Lawson

I had a similar issue with my car recently and it turned out to be a problem with the starter. Even though the battery had enough power, I could hear a clicking sound when trying to start the car. After getting the starter replaced, the car started without any issue. It’s important to keep your car’s electrical system in check and get it serviced regularly to avoid any unforeseen problems. In this case, I’m glad it was an easy fix, but if ignored, it could have led to a bigger issue.

Liam Mitchell

Well, as a car enthusiast, it’s disappointing to hear that a fully charged battery can still lead to a clicking sound when starting a car. This issue can be caused by a few things, but the most common culprits are typically a faulty starter or a weak connection between the battery and the starter. In some cases, it could also be a problem with the alternator, which may not be charging the battery properly. Regardless of the root cause, it’s essential to take the car to a trusted mechanic to diagnose and solve the issue, as continuing to start the vehicle in this condition can cause further damage and leave you stranded. In the meantime, you may be able to get the engine to start by jumpstarting the vehicle, but this is only a temporary fix and not a long-term solution. So, don’t hesitate to take your car in for a checkup if you’re experiencing this issue – it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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