Why Car can Fail to jumpstart and only Clicks (+What to Do)

Usually, for the most part, you’re almost sure that the car (with a drained battery) will start as long as it’s properly connected to another car with a good battery for a jump.

In some cases, you may not be so lucky. Instead of the engine cranking and starting successfully, all you hear is a clicking sound.

What causes this and how then do you get your car to start?

This post explains why the car may just be clicking when attempting to jump it instead of starting.

Reasons Why the Car Fails to Jumpstart (Just Clicks)

If the car fails to jumpstart and only clicks it may be because of the following reasons:

#1. The Jumper cables may be loosely connected and not gripping the battery posts firmly enough.

Make sure the jumper cables clamps firmly grip both the battery posts of the drained battery and the car with the good battery.

If need be, twist them so that they “bite” into the battery posts to make good contact.

This is necessary for sufficient current to flow from the battery to the starter.

Inspect and confirm that the jumper cable clamps are not holding onto corroded battery posts or terminals. Remove any corrosion and try to jumpstart again.

#2. Cables connecting to the battery terminals may be damaged. The cable insulation may appear in good condition yet the strands underneath are heavily corroded which restricts the flow of current that the car starter requires to turn over the engine.

Replace any corroded or damaged battery terminals and cables. Check if the car is now able to start.

#3. Inspect and confirm that the cable connections to the starter are firm and in good condition. Pay particular attention to the starter ground connection (it’s usually braided) which can be corroded affecting its ability to receive the required power to start the car engine.

Replace any corroded battery or starter cable connections with new cables of the recommended gauge. Check if the car is now able to start.

#4. The starter is faulty. A faulty starter may also be the reason the car fails to start and clicking is all you hear.

This can be caused by worn starter brushes that are not able to make good solid contact with the commutator for the car to start.

In some cases, tapping the starter with a rubber hammer can get the car starter to successfully turn the car engine. It could also be that you need a new starter. Always contact a qualified auto mechanic.

What Does it mean when the Car fails to Jumpstart?

The clicking you hear is probably the starter solenoid activating and locking the pinion gear with the ring gear but then failing to rotate the ring gear to crank and start the car engine. This may be caused by the limited flow of power available to the starter.

Closing Thoughts

If the car only clicks even when being jumpstarted, it is usually caused by a lack of enough power for the starter to turn the engine over and get the car started.

This can happen if the jumper cables are not firmly connected, the starter is faulty, or loosely connected to the battery.

It could also be that the starter cables are faulty just to mention a few of the possible causes.

Always contact a qualified auto mechanic.

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