Car is Making Fast Clicking Noise and Won't Start - What Now?

If you car is making a fast clicking noise when you try to start it, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Chances are it’s a battery issue, and in this article, we're going to walk you through some of the common causes of battery failure, and advise you on how to proceed. We'll also discuss some of the other problems that could be the cause of your car making a fast clicking noise. If you have any questions, or live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and would like for us to take a look at your vehicle, contact Hansma Automotive today!

Car is Making Fast Clicking Noise and Won't Start - What Now?

This fast clicking sound usually means a dead battery.

The precise volts of a car battery can be checked using a voltmeter or multimeter, which can be purchased from a hardware store for around $15.

How To Check The Charge Of Your Battery

  1. Turn the car off.

  2. Remove the battery cover.

  3. Connect (or contact) the positive lead on the voltmeter/multimeter to the positive terminal on the battery. Connect the negative lead to the negative terminal.

  4. Observe voltmeter/multimeter (ensure multimeter is on correct setting). The reading should be between 12.4 and 12.7 volts. Anything less then 12.4 volts means your battery needs to be charged.

A battery can die for many reasons, but the common causes are:

  • Interior light left on

  • Headlights left on

  • Old battery that cannot hold a charge for long

  • Cold Weather (cold coupled with a battery in poor health will most likely mean a dead battery)

  • Device or accessory left charging in the DC power port of the vehicle overnight

  • Alternator not charging battery effectively

To deal with a dead battery, simply charge your battery or boost your car.

Watch this video if you’re not sure how:

How to Make Sure Your Battery is Charging

  1. Turn your car on, allowing it to idle. Do this in an open, outdoor space.

  2. Connect the positive and negative leads of the voltmeter/multimeter to the positive and negative terminals on the battery.

  3. Observe the reading. The battery should read 13.5+ volts, which means it is charging correctly. If the reading is less than 13.5 volts, the alternator is not working correctly, and your battery will be dead after a few trips (since it is not being charged).

If you’re unable to boost the battery to get it started, you likely need ti get it replaced.

When Do You Need To Replace Your Car Battery?

Most car batteries will last an average of 2-7 years in normal use. Batteries vary in quality, with the best ones generally having longer lives. Extremely cold weather makes it more difficult for the battery, as it slows down the chemical reactions taking place. 

Eventually, even the best ones wear out as all batteries lose their capacity over time. This means that the battery is less able to recover after each use and may go completely flat, leaving you unable to operate your vehicle. In some provinces, it is wise to obtain a battery blanket to keep your battery warmer on those long, cold Canadian winter nights.

A battery is not difficult to replace but many car owners choose to have a professional auto technician carry out this replacement.


A dead battery is common during cold weather. Begin charging the battery as soon as possible as permanent damage can occur it it’s left dead for an extended period of time.

What If It's Not My Battery?

While a bad battery is the most common issue that we come across when your car is making a fast clicking noise, there are some other possible issues that you may want to look into.

The Starter Solenoid

If you hear one loud click or no click rather than fast clicking noises when you start your car, you might have a problem with your starter solenoid, also known as the starter relay.

The starter solenoid is the part of your vehicle which switches a large electric current to the starter motor and sets the engine in motion. If your battery is fine but you're still having problems, you'll want to check the solenoid first.

Check out this great article, "Troubleshooting Solenoid and Electrical Car Problems" for some great advice on how to diagnose whether the solenoid is the problem.

Corroded or Loose Cables

Sometimes it's as simple as having some corroded or loose wires to take care of. If you notice that some of your battery terminal connections are corroded or worn down, you can test whether or not this is the issue by placing a screwdriver (with an insulated or wooden handle) between the connector and terminal post and twist it to keep it firmly in place.

If you try and start your vehicle now and it works then you'll know your battery is fine but your cables connections need to be replaced or tightened.


Still Having Problems? Trust Hansma Automotive!

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If you've checked your battery, solenoid, and connections, and they're all in working order but you're still having trouble with your vehicle, it might be time to bring your vehicle to a local mechanic for inspection.

As a Tech-Net professional auto repair facility, Hansma Automotive is committed to serving you, our customer, with professional auto service repair at a reasonable cost. We use quality auto parts, guaranteed coast to coast. We stand on sound business principles and uphold high ethical standards. Our goal is to make your automotive repair experience friendly and successful.

If you live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and would like to have us take a look at your vehicle, you can just head on over to our book an Appointment page.

“About 5 years ago my wife's Ford Fusion would not start in the garage, thinking it was just the battery I called CAA and their technician got the battery boosted. He said we needed a new battery.. I thought his price was reasonable but not sure the battery was Ford approved. I called Kitchener Ford and said I needed a battery replacement . They had no service gaps that day and told me to call Hansma Automotive.. I spoke with the owner and he said bring the car right over as they do the battery install while I waited. Peter and Adrian and the team have serviced both our cars over the past 5 years.. Fair pricing. .clear communication..excellent dedication to making the cars road worthy and safe.. 30 years in business makes me a believer that they will have another 30 successful years in helping their clients.” – John Whitby

Read more customer reviews here.

Posted on February 28, 2014 .