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Car Won’t Start One Click Noise – What You Need To Know!

What Should I Do If My Car Stops While Driving

When looking at why you may be experiencing a “car won’t start one lcick noise” condition in your vehicle, there are many causes that could lead to this issue getting worse over time. By analyzing how your car is supposed to run and evaluating the parts that are most susceptible to issues, you can keep your car running at a healthy level for a long period of time!

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You should look into the battery health, alternator function, battery power, wire connections, oil levels, engine performance, and terminal corrosion to determine if this is the possible reason as to why you have a “car won’t start one click noise” in your vehicle. 

Causes of Car Won’t Start One Click Noise


  • Dead Battery 


If your battery is dead, then you will be experiencing a “car won’t start one click noise” while turning the ignition to start your vehicle. This could be due to a malfunctioning alternator or a low battery charge. Check your battery output voltage with a simple diagnostic tool – the voltmeter. 


If your battery reads less than 12.45 voltage, you need to get your damaged battery checked by a technician to prevent the “car won’t start one click noise” condition. 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 depending on the severity of the issue. 


  • Damaged Alternator


What does it mean if you still experience the “car won’t start one click noise” condition? 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, with the only solution being to fix or replace the alternator.

Alternator Replacement Price 

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 pricier, ranging from about $500-$1,000, including the labor to install.


  • Slow Parasitic Power Drain



If your “car won’t start one click noise” situation does not get better over time, but you have determined the battery is functioning correctly, the problem could be a parasitic power drain. A battery drain is when there is an abnormal discharge of power after shutting off the engine. 


This slow and steady drain of battery and electrical power can be caused by a short circuit or an electrical device that remains on even while in the ‘off’ position. You should try to jumpstart your vehicle and bring it to a mechanic where a knowledgeable technician can diagnose the problem and figure out a solution for the “car won’t start one click noise”.


  • Damaged Wire


The “car won’t start one click noise” 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 are not allowing the car to start, creating a slow cranking or making a single click, you need to fix this issue to safely continue driving. 

  1. Damaged Starter Motor

The starter utilizes a trigger mechanism that can turn on the vehicle – if this part becomes damaged, it can result in the “car won’t start one click noise.” The triggering mechanism is a crucial part of 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 time the ignition, but a damaged signal will throw off the entire engine system. 

Symptoms of a Bad Starter

There are many warning signs that can indicate a bad starter, damaged starter motor, or overall faulty starting system that can lead to the “car won’t start one click noise” condition. The most obvious symptom is that you experience a single click when you turn the key or push the button.


If you can jump start your car using the necessary step-by-step process, then immediately drive to the nearest mechanic or auto body shop to get the problem diagnosed and fixed quickly. Don’t drive any father or any unnecessary places, as this could be a dangerous situation and your car could break down while in mid-drive. 


Although starters can usually last between 30,000 and 200,000 miles, your car could be on the low range of the spectrum if you are experiencing the “car won’t start one click noise” situation and your starter is not working correctly. Make sure you keep an eye on your vehicle and the driving style to ensure a longer-lasting starter. 


  • Broken Starter Solenoid


The starter solenoid is an electromagnet responsible for turning on the starter motor of an internal combustion engine. Most modern cars use the starter solenoid to move the starter pinion into a position of engagement with the engine’s ring gear. If the starter solenoid is not working correctly, you will experience the “car won’t start one click noise.”


  • Terminal Corrosion


Check the battery under the hood and ensure that the terminals don’t have any contaminants or buildup on them. Also, check for any rust accumulation on the battery terminals. If there is any type of dirt and debris on the battery terminals, you will need to clean your terminals to restore the power supply and prevent the “car won’t start one click noise.”


  • Locked-Up Engine


Another reason for the “car won’t start one click noise” is due to a locked up engine. An engine can seize if your car’s internal components get locked up, 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 be able to turn on the bearings. 


  • Insufficient Amount of Oil


An insufficient amount of oil might happen if there is a problem stopping the oil from circulating, or if you run out of oil in your engine. The lack of oil will cause engine components to rub and cause friction. This creates heat, and in extreme cases, the heat can cause parts to weld together in inappropriate places in your car. The welding of parts leads to the “car won’t start one click noise” condition. 


  • Stuck Ignition Switch


If you have a “car won’t start one click noise” condition, this can be due to a failing ignition switch. This can occur if the ignition switch might continuously be in the “on” position, which can consistently give power to the fuel pump and the ignition system, overloading the sensor and preventing the car from starting consistently. 


The ignition switch stuck can go hand in hand with the car having starter problems. If the ignition cylinder has broken down over time, you might notice that the ignition switch will not work normally. If the ignition cylinder breaks, this might prevent the vehicle from starting when you turn the ignition key. 


  • Damaged Fuses or Ignition Switch


The last reason why you are experiencing the “car won’t start one click noise” is due to faulty fuses or ignition switches. If the battery and the alternator are working in good condition and operating correctly, the next step you need to do is to check for a damaged fuse or a faulty ignition switch.


Check your car’s manual to find the fuse box to see if the fuse or metal wire is damaged. If the plastic wire is damaged or disconnected, a broken fuse might prevent power from getting to the starter relay, causing the car to not start and just click, even with a new battery.


However, if you determine that the fuse is working correctly and is not damaged, the real issue here is the ignition switch causing the “car won’t start one click noise” situation. The ignition switch is the part inside of the electrical switch that turns the car and engine over. Let’s see the most common signs of a damaged ignition switch.


When figuring out why you have a “car won’t start one click noise” condition, this can be due to various reasons in your vehicle – some serious and some not as serious. However, regardless of the severity, you need to fix this issue before it gets any worse! 


By keeping an eye on your starter system, terminal health, battery power, alternator performance, engine health, oil levels, and fuse/ignition switch connections, you can make sure that your car is running at a high level for a longer period of time. Ensure you monitor and analyze your car’s performance to determine if you are experiencing, or will soon experience, a “car won’t start one click noise” situation that can be a detriment to your car.


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