Starter Solenoid Clicks But Starter Does Not Crank Engine

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Why won’t my car start? It’s a question that casts a wide net but essentially comes down to one big fish of a problem: components meant to provide power to your car are not clicking on all cylinders.

Usually, owners will pin the blame on either the battery or the starter, assuming one of the two (or both) is dead. But there’s another part that some people may overlook and could very well be the source of the problem—the starter solenoid.

The starter solenoid is a device that uses electrical current to jog the starter, making it a crucial part in setting the engine in motion. It is similar to the transistor, only it depends on an electromagnetic solenoid rather than a semiconductor to carry out its function.

Now, as far as clicking on all cylinders goes, there’s a different kind of clicking that’s associated with the starter solenoid, one that rings quite literally.

This is where the “car won’t start, makes clicking noise” scenario comes in. The starter solenoid makes a clicking sound once it engages; however, when the clicking continues rapidly, this means the power it’s getting from the battery is not sufficient, which then explains why the engine doesn’t crank when this happens. Power insufficiency can be caused by corroded connections in the battery cable, damaged positive battery cable (the red one), or the overall low-power condition of the car battery.

If the starter solenoid doesn’t click, then the reason why your car won’t turn over but has power might be due to the solenoid itself malfunctioning.

So, how to test a starter solenoid? Aside from carefully listening for that click of reassurance after turning the key in the ignition, you can also test if the solenoid is working by shorting the big post on it using insulated pliers. If the engine cranks upon switching on the ignition, then you can rest assured your solenoid is working. Otherwise, it may be time to get a replacement.

If you need a top-quality replacement for your broken starter solenoid, has got you covered. We have discounted deals for replacement solenoids now up on our online shop. You can check your many options all coming from trusted brands here.

Now, if the answer you find for the question “why is my car not starting” has nothing to do with your starter solenoid and instead exposes a battery that is no longer capable of powering your ride (usually, already three to four years old), you need not worry as can also help you.

We have choice car batteries in our selection that can replace your old one. You can check your options here.

Moreover, we’ve also just updated our catalog with new replacement car battery cables, so if sturdy cables are what you need, we have them here for you, too.

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Staff Writers

In the Garage with is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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