coronavirus hotspots interior start stop button 04 Photography: Christian Lantry

When you try to start the car engine, all you hear is a quick click. You may utter “Darn” (or another four-letter word) and immediately think there is a problem with the battery.

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You may be correct. That terrible click can usually be traced back to the battery, and the solution can be as simple as starting up quickly or tightening the cable. Just One However, a click sound may indicate that the fault is on the starter motor (more on this later).

If you hear a quick click, look for the following:

1. The battery is exhausted

First of all, did you turn on the headlights or interior lights or other things that consume battery power while sleeping? If so, a set of jumper cables and another car with a good battery should allow you to get up and running in a short time.

2. Cables, connections and corrosion

Second, check the cable clamp connected to the battery. They may loosen due to road vibrations and no longer make good electrical contact, so they need to be tightened. If the corrosion on the terminals increases, disconnecting the cable and cleaning the dirt may restore a good connection.

3. Bad battery

Then there is the battery itself, which may not charge. The battery life is less than three years to more than six years, depending on your place of residence and driving conditions. Most parts stores will test the battery for free to tell you if you need it.

4. Generator problems

If all the above conditions have been resolved, another is that the electrical energy generated by the generator cannot charge the battery. Starting the starter consumes most of the battery’s power, and the alternator should replenish this power, so if your battery can be charged and tested properly, you need to recharge between two starts. The alternator should be tested by a technician to determine whether it is operating normally.

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5. Starting

If the battery seems to be fully charged (front lights, stereo and other accessories work properly), but only a click is heard, the problem may be with the starter or solenoid. The solenoid is a switch that engages the starter motor, so it turns the flywheel and starts the engine. Unless you are a skilled automatic maintenance personnel, this is the technician should diagnose.

When the reason for failure to start is not obvious, it is best to consult a professional rather than guess which parts need to be replaced. This can lead to costly disasters.

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