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Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
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Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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2003 Chevy Suburban: cranking..I turn the key, I hear quick clicking

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2003 Chevy Suburban not cranking. When I turn the key, I hear quick clicking and then hear nothing. Vehicle does not start. I place battery cables on positive and negative terminal, and car will start right up. The clock is reset to 12:00, but stations are not erased. Took battery to AutoZone and it tests out "fine" according to technician. This has been happening intermittenly for three years.

This week it is happening everyday. What could it be?

Please include the year,make,model,sub-model,engine,2wd,4wd,flex,gas,diesel. Please click accept when done, thanks and come back often.


The quick clicking sounds like the starter solenoid keeps throwing out, then there is not enough amperage to turn the flywheel and crank the engine so the solenoid retracts the gear. As soon as it retracts it throws out again right away cause the solenoid is still got power to it, the constant throwing out of the gear by the solenoid and re-tracking due to not enough amps is what is most likely causing the clicking sound.

Most of the time this is caused by either a weak battery or sometimes a loose connection. Now, if the battery checked out good then that only leaves a bad connection. The connections include the battery terminals, starter terminals and also the ground strap and also the starter wiring itself provide a ground as well as the mating surface between the starter and engine block. So, if you have charged the battery and checked all connections and the starter bolts are tight, then the starter itself may have a short circuit.

Also, sometimes the disc inside the solenoid after arcing for sometime goes bad, you could check that and if bad, remove it and flip it over and use that side of the disc now. Also, I believe you can turn one or both of the copper bolts around 180 degrees, too.

If you want to check the starter yourself for a short just follow this rebuild procedure.

Click here.

Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 6642
Experience: ASE Certified Master Technician
Mike S. and 3 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) the problem hasn't happened again, yet. So I'm waiting to try out your suggestions. All cables/posts are clean and all cable/wiring connections are tight. So I don't really know if any of your suggestions are correct for our intermittent (and frustrating) problem.


Again, thank you for your answer -- I'll go ahead and "accept your answer" eventhough we have not had an opportunity to go through your checklist.



Ok, you have some things to check the next time it acts up. It may be the starter and/or the disc on the solenoid. If and when it acts up again just let me know. Thanks.

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