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Daryl
Daryl, Shop Owner, Master Mechanic
Category: Saturn
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Experience:  28 years experience, Master Mechanic
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My car wont start. It make a clicking noise like a starter

Customer Question

My car won't start. It make a clicking noise like a starter solenoid...but here's the thing...It makes this noise with the key OFF, and when I turn the key off, the noise WENT AWAY! Also, I know the battery is dead, but something drained it, and I'm hesitant to just charge it and put it back on the road. It's about 1 1/2 year old. Just replace the belt tensioner a couple months ago.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
If the battery is low on charge the first thing to do is to get it charged and tested to see if the battery is good or not you really can not say it is good or bad without testing it, most auto parts stores will test these for free.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don't need to pay someone to tell me what I am already going to do...that's why I told you what I was planning so if you had other suggestions why the car would make this noise with the ignition off, and the noise goes away when you turn the key on...that's what I want to know about. I'm a 25 year aircraft mechanic..I don't need the basics...I need to know what's causing this noise, and what drained the battery to start with. It sounds like a solenoid clicking...that's the sound. except it made it with the key off. When I turn key on. noise goes away. (its totally gone now that the battery is dead, but something drained it while it was standing still)
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.

The clicking you are describing is caused by low voltage, if the relays do not have enough power they can not turn off or turn on properly. As for what is draining the battery anything electrical can do this as you know you need to start by being sure the battery is not the problem or you are just chasing your tail. If the battery end up being good you will need to check for a draw, I'm sure you know how to do this if you are a aircraft mechanic, when a specific circuit is determined to be the problem you will need to disconnect each thing on that circuit to see which one makes the draw go away and then repaired appropriately.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
so you think there is a chance that just filling the battery back and charging it (granted "IF" it is good...) may be the cause in iteself?
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
If the battery is good and test good with a load tester it is not likely the problem, then you probably have a draw on the system, but as stated earlier it could be any circuit in the vehicle.

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