My Car Won't Start & Clicking Sounds

by Gail Delaney

Walking out to your car when you are late for work only to discover that the car won't start is aggravating. You are expecting to hear the motor but all you get is a clicking sound. If your car won't start, but it makes a clicking sound, that could mean that the battery is dead or the terminals may have corroded.

Open the hood of your car. Most cars have a lever inside the cab that you pull before you can open the hood. Feel under the hood with your fingers for the lever. The lever is located just under the hood in the front middle section. Pull the lever toward you and push the hood up.

Put on safety glasses to protect your eyes.

Remove the black cable from the battery with a wrench. Only loosen the bolts, do not remove them.

Take a stiff wire brush to remove any corrosion on the cables and battery terminals. Be very careful when doing this so you don't flick any of the corrosive substances in your face. Use a small wire brush to clean inside the clamp. If you need extra power to remove the corrosion, use a mixture of baking soda and water. It should resemble a thick paste. Scrub the cable ends with some steel wool and your wire brush.

Remove the red terminal cable. This one is the positive side of the battery. Clean this cable as you did in step 3.

Reinstall the red cable first and then the black one. Try to start your car. If your car still won't start, but your engine still clicks, then you will need to charge the battery.

Hook up the battery charger, but do not plug it in yet. Place the black clamp onto the black battery terminal and then the red clamp onto the red battery terminal.

Set the meter to charge on 2 amps or trickle charge. If you are in a hurry, you can set it to a higher setting, but this is bad for your battery.

Plug in the battery charger. Allow it to charge according to the battery charger manufacturer's directions. Some chargers will indicate a fully charged battery with a green light.

Unplug the battery charger when your battery is fully charged. Remove the red clamp and then the black one, in that exact order. Close the hood and start your car.

Tip

  • check Check wires from the battery to the starter motor to make sure they're connected solidly before addressing the battery.

Warnings

  • close Remove all rings, watches and bracelets. If your battery throws a spark, you don't want the spark to hit the metal and cause a burn.
  • close Do not overcharge a battery or you will ruin damage the battery.
  • close If your battery won't hold a charge, then you need a new battery.
  • close If your car still won't start, you may need a mechanic to check it over for you.
  • close Battery acid is dangerous. If you notice that your battery is cracked or leaking, use gloves and replace it immediately.

Items you will need

About the Author

Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. She is the garden editor for BellaOnline, with years of gardening experience. Being the caretaker of her parents led her in the direction of medical issues, especially natural remedies.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com