Why My Car Tries to Start When I Connect the Battery

March 15, 2024

A car tries to start when you connect the battery is often caused by one of the following five issues: a bad battery, bad wiring, a faulty starter motor, a faulty ignition switch or corroded battery terminals. Read on to learn how to diagnose and fix these problems.

A Dead Battery

The most common reason your car makes a clicking noise when you try to turn it on is because the battery is dead. Standard car batteries typically only last three to five years, and if yours is approaching the end of its life, it'll need replacement soon. Fortunately, jumper cables and a friendly stranger are usually enough to get you back on the road quickly. If you're unsure whether your battery is good or not, most auto parts stores will test it for free and can usually install a new one right on the spot.


A car battery provides electrical power to all of the vehicle's electrical components, including the radio and windshield wipers. If a wire is disconnected from a battery terminal, it can cause a vehicle to make a clicking sound when trying to start. You can check your wiring by disconnecting a wire from the battery and hooking up a voltmeter to the terminal where you disconnected it. If you're able to see 12V on the voltmeter, your wire is connected properly and the solenoid is fine. If not, you may have a broken wire or a bad solenoid.


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