It always seems to happen when you're late or when the weather's nasty: You turn the car key and instead of the engine roaring to life, you hear only a clicking sound. What causes this? What does it mean for your car? At the very least, you might need to call roadside assistance. In the longer term, it could mean you need to schedule car repair. In most cases, the problem is simply a dead battery, but it could also mean you have a loose battery cable or a bad starter. Discount Towing & Recovery, the premier tow truck service in Mountain Home, AR, explains what could be causing this problem.
3 Causes of Clicking When You Turn Your Car Key
1. Dead Battery
If you hear only a rapid clicking sound when you turn the key, the most obvious culprit is a low or dead battery. An easy way to test your battery level is to turn on your headlights briefly. If they are not as bright as usual, it likely means the battery no longer has enough charge remaining to turn over the engine. You may have to buy a new battery in the next few days, or you'll have the same problem again. The good news is that your car doesn't yet need to be towed. A jump-start should get you back on the road. Call a friend with jumper cables, or, if nobody is available, contact roadside assistance.
2. Loose Cables
A loose and corroded battery cable can also cause ignition clicking. Over time, the bolts that tighten the cables to your battery terminals can loosen, and corrosion can form in the gaps. This prevents a solid electrical flow from the battery to the starter and can result in rapid clicking. Check under the hood for a loose battery connection. If the wire comes free easily, scrape any corrosion from the terminal and the connector wire and then retighten. Your car should start right up.
3. Bad Starter
If the headlights are strong and the battery cable is tight, you likely have a bad starter switch. A jump-start won't help, and you may need a tow to a nearby service center. However, it is not a complicated repair, and you should have your car back shortly.
If your car's engine doesn't turn over when you turn the key, contact Discount Towing & Recovery in Mountain Home, AR, for roadside assistance. They offer fast response times, reliable service, and affordable rates. You can depend on them for a jump-start, tire change, lockout service, fuel delivery, and, if necessary, towing to a location of your choice. Visit their website to submit a message, or call (870) 425-1775 to request service.