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Buick Won’t Start – What Is Causing This Problem In My Car?

Buick Enclave Engine Replacement Cost

Car owners need to find out the main reasons why their Buick won’t start. By finding out the reasons why your Buick clicks when trying to start, the problem parts that are causing the inability to start, issues with the Buick Enclave and Lacrosse not starting, and why your Buck won’t start after fueling can help give owners an idea of what repairs are necessary for their vehicle.

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Buick Won’t Start Just Clicks

The main reasons why your Buick won’t start is typically due to a battery or a starter problem. This is when the engine cannot respond to the components that are supposed to give it power. The engine cranking includes a series of events that must be performed in the same order to fuel the engine properly. 


Issues with one of these devices or a damaged part can throw off the correct sequence of events. Here are some symptoms that show why your Buick won’t start just clicks. 

  • Fast Clicking When Trying to Start Your Buick

If there is a really fast clicking noise when you begin turning the ignition key, then low voltage or a high resistance is the issue. These issues have to deal with the electrical system, indicating an issue with the car battery. 


A fully charged battery should read at least 12.65 volts. A reading of 12.45 volts is about 75% charge and will be good to last your car a while longer. Anything less than 12.45 volts means that your battery is low – aka, low voltage. High resistance causes the battery to heat up and the voltage to drop under the load, negatively affecting the battery. 

The Cause: Dead Battery

If your battery is dead, then you will be experiencing a rapid-fire clicking while turning the ignition to start your car. This could be due to a malfunctioning or faulty alternator or a low battery charge. 

  • Check your battery output voltage with a simple tool, the voltmeter. If your battery reads less than 12, or 12.45 voltage, then you need to get your damaged battery checked by a technician. 
  • Your battery could not be transmitting power due to electrolyte levels as a second reason – the solution for this issue is to recharge your electrolytes. You need to decide if you want to repair or replace the battery to fix the ‘Buick won’t start’ problem. 
  • Slow Clicking While Turning the Key

What does it mean if you still hear the clicking while turning the ignition key? Well, unfortunately, this could mean a damaged alternator. The car won’t be able to start if the alternator can’t provide enough voltage output necessary. The only solution to why your Buick won’t start is to fix or replace the alternator.

  • The average price to replace an alternator with a remanufactured part is approximately $400. A remanufactured alternator on a domestic car ranges from $300-$500, including the parts and labor/time required to install it. 
  • A new alternator’s price can be a lot higher, ranging from about $500-$1,000, including the labor to install to fix the ‘Buick won’t start’ problem. 
  • Clicking But Battery Is Running Perfectly

If your car doesn’t stop clicking, but you have determined that your battery is running smoothly and properly, the problem could actually be the parasitic drain. 

The Cause: Parasitic Drain

A parasitic battery drain is when there is an abnormal discharge of power after shutting off the engine. This can be caused by a short circuit or a malfunctioning electrical device that remains working even when it should be in the off position. 

  • You should try to jumpstart your vehicle to bring it to a garage, where a knowledgeable technician can diagnose the problem and figure out a solution for the clicking noise and why your Buick won’t start. 
  • Rapid Clicking and Battery Is Working Well

If your car is still making a rapid clicking noise while you turn the ignition and the battery is working well, the real problem could be the terminals’ corrosion. The clicking sound could happen when the starter motor isn’t receiving enough power due to corroded battery terminals. 

The Cause: Terminal Corrosion

Check the battery under the hood and ensure that the terminals don’t have a green or blue deposit buildup on them. Also, check for any rust buildup on the battery terminals. 

  • If there is any type of buildup, you will need to clean your terminals to restore the power supply to prevent the clicking sounds from your car and fix why your Buick won’t start. There are certain corrosion and rust inhibitors you can buy to prevent the development in your car. 

The Cause: Frayed Wire Ends

The clicking sound could also be due to a frayed wire or loose battery cable ends. Loose battery ends can interfere with the connection, preventing the vehicle from starting. 

  • If the corroded or loose battery terminals prevent the car from starting or making a rapid clicking, you need to find the answer to this issue to fix why your Buick won’t start. 
  • Dead Starter Motor 

There are various issues with the starter within a car that could lead to a high resistance – and therefore, the car cannot start and make a clicking noise. 

The Cause: Faulty Triggering Mechanism

The first thing to check for is a dead starter motor, which is the result of a damaged or faulty triggering mechanism. 

  • The triggering mechanism is within the vehicle’s engine management system. Most ignition triggers operate as a magnetic sensor. When the mechanism is triggered, it sends a signal to the ignition module to properly time the ignition. An incorrect trigger signal to the computer will throw off the entire engine system and means your Buick won’t start. 
    • If the trigger mechanism is faulty, it won’t send the proper signals to trip the starter motor to begin working. 

The Cause: Loose Connection

If the trigger mechanism isn’t the issue, a loose starter connection could cause starter problems. Fixing the motor will require you to seek a technician’s help, but you can also repair the loose connection with some D-I-Y methods. Find the faulty wiring circuit and check it with a voltmeter before getting started.

  • Single Click When Starting the Car

If your car is just providing a single click when trying to start the car instead of a rapid-fire clicking, this could be due to the high-current contacts inside the starter portion of your vehicle. A faulty or improperly-working solenoid can lead to the same clicking symptom by interfering with the ignition circuit.

The Cause: Faulty Solenoid

The starter solenoid is an electromagnet responsible for engaging the starter motor of an internal combustion engine. The function is to actuate the contactor, which is the relay designed for a large electric current. If the starter solenoid is not working correctly, your Buick won’t start. 

  • Replacing the starter assembly will cost you an average of around $344-$562. The labor costs an average of $128-$163, while the parts will cost you $216-$399. The total for a new car starter is around $180, and $130 for labor costs. 
  • Buick Won’t Start and Just Clicks

The Cause: Seized Engine

Another reason your car won’t start, and there is a clicking noise, is a locked-up or damaged engine. 

  • An engine can seize if your car’s internal components get locked and the crankshaft isn’t able to turn on the bearings. If the pistons, rod bearings, or piston rings overheat and become fused, the crankshaft won’t turn on the bearings. 
    • The most common cause of a seized engine is an insufficient amount of oil. 
    • An engine can also lock up due to a lack of use. If you haven’t used your car in a long time, rust can build up from disuse, causing the piston rings to become stuck. 
    • Sometimes your engine can become locked due to hydro locking. If water enters the combustion chamber, the water doesn’t compress in the same way air does, making it virtually impossible for the piston to start the engine. In this case, your Buick won’t start.  

Buick won’t Start After Fueling

You may find your Buick won’t start after refueling at a station. In this case, your car has been vapor locked. An engine can lock due to being vapor locked. With a vapor-locked engine, the engine won’t start at all. This is less common than the other engine seizure since it mainly occurs in low-pressure fuel systems in older models of cars.

  • This problem mainly occurs when the gas within the fuel lines heats up and becomes a gas instead of a liquid. This prevents the engine from receiving fuel. Vapor-locked engines can occur due to extreme heat, due to the car being left outside in the sun for a long time, or the fuel temperature rising too quickly. Unfortunately, the cost to replace a fuel pump is $1,500.
  • You can try to solve this problem by starting the engine manually with a breaker bar and a wrench. If your engine is frozen, try switching the car on and giving the engine sufficient time to warm up gradually without pushing it too hard. 

Buick Enclave Won’t Start

Unfortunately, the Buick Enclave has a whole host of transmission concerns, with the 2008 Buick Enclave rated the worst model due to the transmission failure. Along with the transmission damage, the steering system, engine, interior accessories, windows, body, and paint have caused car owners of the 2008 Buick Enclave. 

  • The main concerns for the 2008 model are engine failure which can cause the Buick Enclave won’t start problem.
  • In addition, the check engine light turns on, there is reduced power while driving, the engine continues running after the ignition switch is turned off, there is a delay while accelerating, and oil goes into the air intake filter. 
    • Any of these issues are severe enough to mean the Buick won’t start while trying to operate your vehicle. 


Fixing the premature engine failure is a hefty repair, with the typical Buck engine repair cost coming in at around $7,060 for this severe problem. The most common solution is to replace the engine at around 111,000 miles, with owners stating that the low oil pressure light comes on the dashboard, the Buick won’t start, and the head gasket blows during use.

Buick Lacrosse Won’t Start

The Buick Lacrosse’s main concerns focus on the model years 2008, 2010, and 2011 years, with the 2010 Buick Lacrosse having the highest number of complaints. Although this year has the highest prevalence of issues, the 2006 Lacrosse has a severe issue of the headlights failing in dim conditions.

  • The 2010 Buick Lacrosse has areas of concern regarding the engine, interior accessories, transmission, and cooling system. 
      • The engine problems focus on the engine stalling while driving, trouble starting, a loss of engine power, and the ‘Buick won’t start’ condition. 
      • The most common solution to fixing the engine stalling frequently while driving is to disconnect the negative battery terminal or bring your car to a mechanic so they can estimate the total Buick engine repair cost. 
  • The 2011 Buick Lacrosse had concerns regarding the engine, interior accessories, exterior accessories, and steering. 
    • The engine issues focus on the engine light, engine failure, engine power reduction, and the engine stalling while driving. 
    • The typical repair cost comes to around $6,580 to change the spark plugs, clean the fuel system, replace the engine, or replace the battery at around 27,000 miles to find the cause of why the Buick won’t start. 

Buick Won’t Start At All

If you find your Buick won’t start at all, you need to determine what to do next. If your car won't start and you know you have an expensive repair or replacement ahead of you in terms of spending your own money, sometimes this can be worth more than your Buck is worth. The best option you have is to sell your car in the current condition to get the most bang for your buck.


Another option is to bring your car to a reputable used car business, like CashCarsBuyer. We can help give you fast cash in hand for your broken-down and used car. Sell the non-metal parts, and then bring your vehicle in for a great quote and same-day selling for added convenience! 

The Bottom Line

Figuring out why your Buick won’t start is crucial to keeping your car running at a high-performance level for a long period of time! 

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