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Nissan Frontier clicking sound when trying to start

October 15th, 2011 · No Comments

I replaced the battery today after the car was making that clicking sound. The problem is that the sound is getting louder now!!! and it will not start. What do you think? Starter or alternator?

- Check the cable ends… make sure they are tight on the battery posts and clean. If there is any corrosion clean it with a wire brush and baking soda dissolved in warm water. Make sure not to ground the positive terminal to any other piece of metal under the hood. If they are ok then check the connections at the starter. If those are ok then you may have a bad starter. It IS possible that your brand new battery is bad as well. I work at Sears Auto Center and have seen brand new batteries bad off the shelf. Doubt it is the alternator. Bad alternators usually cause the car to stall in the middle of the road, not prevent it from starting.

- If all you hear when you turn the key is a clicking sound and the car doesn’t start, it usually means the battery is dead …er, maybe not dead, but doesn’t have enough current to start the car.

The starter pulls a lot of current, more than anything else on your car. More than everything else (electrical) in your car combined – more than all lights and accessories on.

The clicking sound you hear it the starter relay. The starter uses so much current that it needs a big fat cable, and this cable needs to be as short as possible. Instead of running a big fat cable to your ignition switch (which would also have to be very big), they use a relay. The relay has an electromagnet in it that turns on a switch. When you turn the key to start, it turns on the relay which turns on the starter motor.

One of the biggest mistakes made when replacing a car battery is to assume that it’s dead without checking it out further. Oftentimes the problem is in the alternator or something else in the charging circuit. You usually find this out after replacing the battery, and it fails within a day or two.

Your mechanic can check it out easily and quickly. You may have bad connections at the battery or at the starter. If the battery is good, he will check out your charging circuit. Something as simple as a loose alternator belt can cause the battery to not charge properly.

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