Clicking Noise When Starting Car but Radio Works

Clicking Noise Radio Works

Have you ever encountered a clicking noise when starting your car, but the radio works just as it should? This is a common issue for vehicle proprietors and is caused by various aspects.

As a rule of thumb, the clicking sound indicates that the car's starter is trying to engage but cannot. This can be due to a weak or exhausted battery, a faulty starter motor, or a malfunction with the electrical connections between the battery and the starter.

Although the radio may appear to function as intended, the battery may not be capable of powering the engine to start. It is essential to address this problem immediately to avoid being stranded or causing harm to the electrical system.

In this article, we will delve into the causes of clicking noise when you start a car but the radio works and what to do about it.

How Car Starter Works

Understanding how car starters work and why they sometimes fail to engage properly is crucial.

The starter motor is a critical component of your car's engine, responsible for cranking the engine and getting it started. To guarantee that your vehicle remains in optimal condition, comprehending how a car starter functions and why it might sometimes be unable to engage correctly is essential.

Through the power of an electric motor, the car starter spins the flywheel of the engine and sets it into motion.

After turning the key in the ignition, a small electric current goes to the starter motor, which engages a gear that meshes with the flywheel. Subsequently, the flywheel will rotate, thus beginning the engine.

Problems with the Car Starter

There are multiple explanations for why a car starter might not engage correctly. The battery may be weak or dead, paralyzing the starter motor's ability to acquire adequate electricity to turn the flywheel.

Potential causes could also include the following:

  • A faulty starter motor.
  • A damaged solenoid (controlling the electric current's flow toward the starter).
  • Electrical connections between the battery and the starter.

Clicking Noise When Starting Car But Radio Works

To diagnose issues with your car's starter motor, listen for the distinctive clicking sound when the starter tries to engage but fails.

If you hear this clicking noise, but the engine doesn't start, the starter motor is likely not receiving enough electricity or engaging the flywheel properly.

It's also important to remember that the clicking noise when starting your car may not always be related to the starter motor.

Other potential causes of clicking noises include problems with the alternator, the fuel system, or the ignition switch.

If you need clarification on what's causing the clicking noise, consult a qualified mechanic who can diagnose the issue and recommend the appropriate repairs.

How to Diagnose the Source of the Clicking Noise

Clicking noises can signify various issues in different types of machinery, ranging from cars to computers.

Accurately diagnosing the source of the clicking noise requires careful attention and a systematic approach.

1. Determine the location of the sound

Start by trying to locate where the clicking noise is coming from. Is it coming from the engine of your car?

Or is it coming from a specific part of your computer? Knowing the general area of the sound can help narrow down the potential causes.

2. Identify when the clicking occurs

Does the clicking noise occur when you start the car? Or does it happen when you accelerate or decelerate? Identifying when the clicking noise occurs can help you identify the underlying issue.

3. Check for loose connections

Loose connections can commonly cause clicking noises in many machines.

4. Inspect for damaged parts

Check for any signs of damage to parts that could be causing the clicking noise. Look for cracks or wear and tear that could affect the part's function.

5. Check the oil level

In the case of cars, low oil levels can cause clicking noises. Check the oil level and add some more if necessary.

6. Pay attention to warning lights

Many modern machines have warning lights that can help identify the underlying issue. Pay attention to any warning lights and seek professional help if necessary.

7. Use diagnostic tools

In some cases, diagnostic tools can help identify the source of the clicking noise. For example, a mechanic may use a diagnostic tool to identify the issue with a car engine.

That said, if your car is making the clicking sound when starting it, but it’s refusing to start, then your battery is probably dead without you knowing.

But what can make a battery suddenly go down? Well, let’s talk about that below!

Common Causes of Battery Problems in Cars

You may have to confront battery problems occasionally, and knowing the sources of these problems is critical in finding solutions. To fix this trouble, you must consider the possibilities behind the issue.

1. Old or worn-out battery

It tends to malfunction when it is old or worn out. Getting a new one should be the next logical step.

2. Lack of use

If a car is unused regularly, the battery can discharge and lose its charge over time. This is especially true if the vehicle is left unused for an extended period.

3. Extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures can also cause battery problems. The battery's ability to hold a charge can be affected in very hot or cold temperatures, which may not start the car.

4. Electrical system issues

A problem with the car's electrical system, such as a malfunctioning alternator or a faulty charging system, can also cause battery problems.

If the alternator is not charging the battery properly, it will eventually lose its charge and may not start the car.

5. Corroded battery terminals

Corrosion on the battery terminals can also cause battery problems. The corrosion can prevent the battery from adequately charging and even make the car not start.

6. Leaving lights on

Leaving the car's headlights or interior lights on can quickly drain the battery, especially if the vehicle is not running.

7. Accessories and devices

Accessories and devices such as a GPS, phone charger, or entertainment system can also drain the battery if left on for too long.

Now, if you find that the battery is the issue, what you can do to get going is to get another battery or get someone to help you jumpstart your car.

Let’s quickly talk about how to jumpstart a car in case you don't know how to go about it!

How to Jump-Start a Car With A Dead Battery

Jump-starting a car with a dead battery is a straightforward procedure you can do with the help of another vehicle or a portable jump-starter.

Follow the steps below to jump-start your car safely and effectively:


Park the two cars facing each other and ensure the two batteries are as close as possible. Ensure both vehicles are off and the emergency brakes are engaged.


Open the hood of both cars and locate the battery terminals. Identify each battery's positive (+) and negative (-) terminals.

They are labeled; if not, look for the positive terminal, which will be slightly larger than the negative one.


Connect the red jumper cable to the dead battery's positive (+) terminal.

Then connect the other end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal of the charged battery.


Connect the black jumper cable to the charged battery's negative (-) terminal.

Then connect the other end of the black jumper cable to an unpainted metal surface, such as a bolt or bracket, near the dead battery. This serves as a grounding point and prevents sparks near the battery.


Start the car with the charged battery and let it idle for a few minutes. This will help charge the dead battery.

Try to start the car with the dead battery. If it starts, let it run for a few minutes to allow the battery to charge further.


Once the car with the dead battery starts, remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that they were connected.

First, remove the black jumper cable from the grounded metal surface. Then remove the black jumper cable from the charged battery's negative (-) terminal.

Next, remove the red jumper cable from the charged battery's positive (+) terminal. Finally, remove the red jumper cable from the dead battery's positive (+) terminal.


Drive the car with the dead battery for at least 15-20 minutes to ensure that the battery is full. If the battery is still not charged, it may not start again.

How to Prevent Battery Problems And Other Common Car Issues

Regular maintenance and care of your car can avoid problems with the battery and other common issues.

1. Keep the battery clean and secure

Dirt and corrosion can build up on the battery terminals and prevent the battery from functioning correctly. Use a brush to clean the terminals and ensure they are tight and secure.

2. Check the battery regularly

Have a mechanic check your battery regularly, especially if it is over three years old. This will help detect any problems before they become serious.

3. Turn off all electrical accessories when the car is not in use

When the vehicle is turned off, leaving accessories such as the radio or headlights on when the car is off can drain the battery. Make sure all accessories are also off before you exit the vehicle.

4. Use the correct battery

Use the correct battery for your car's make and model. A faulty battery can cause problems such as a weak charge or even damage the car's electrical system.

5. Drive your car regularly

Leaving your car parked for extended periods can cause the battery to drain. Try to drive your car regularly, even if it is just for short trips.

6. Check and change the oil regularly

Oil helps lubricate the engine. Regular oil changes can help prevent engine damage and keep your car running smoothly.

7. Check the tire pressure

Proper pressure can help improve fuel efficiency and prevent premature wear on your tires. Check your tire pressure regularly and adjust it as needed.

8. Pay attention to warning lights

If a warning light comes on, don't ignore it. Check your owner's manual to see what the light means, and take your car to a mechanic if necessary.