How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask George H. Your Own Question

George H.
George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 15626
Experience:  ASE Master Tech 15+ Years
13574682
Type Your Saturn Question Here...
George H. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Car wont start..clicking sound, the dash lights go..Im thinking

Customer Question

Car won't start, but battery is brand new. It makes clicking sound, the dash lights go on, but it doesn't try to turn over. I'm thinking it's the starter, but need confirmation of likelihood. It has had starter issues in the past. Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  George H. replied 2 years ago.

Hello I will help you with your question,

 

Is the clicking sound coming from the starter?

 

Make sure the battery cable is not full of corrosion on the positive end near the battery and then if it is still clicking at the starter check the voltage at the starter while the key is in the crank position, if you have full battery voltage available to the large starter terminal and battery voltage at the small terminal but the starter is not turning the starter needs to be replaced.

 

Let me know if you can make these tests

 

Thank you

 

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, George. Yes, the clicking sound is coming from the starter. The battery is 2 days old, brand new, and the leads are corrosion free. My son-in-law is coming at 1pm EST to look at this but he is not a mechanic, nor am I. He HAS, though, replaced starters, so he may know what you are talking about. How will we know if, as you said, "I have full battery voltage available to the large starter terminal and battery voltage at the small terminal?" Sorry for my ignorance. Will I be able to ask more questions after 1pm before I "Accept Answer"?

 

THANKS!! Smile

Expert:  George H. replied 2 years ago.

If the cable is free of corrosion it does sound like the starter needs to be replaced but if your son-in-law can use a voltmeter to check at the starter for battery voltage just to be sure it is available to the starter then you can be sure changing the starter will solve your issue.

 

The starter is on the back of the engine so he will have to raise the vehicle fairly high to be able to get it changed. he should be able to make the checks while it is raised.

 

Let me know if you need further guidance once he gets there and you can accept at any time, this question is always open for you to post to once you login to the Just Answer site. Once you make a post I am notified and I will respond as soon as I see your post.

 

I am here all day so let me know how I can help

 

Thank you

 

 

George H., ASE Certified Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 15626
Experience: ASE Master Tech 15+ Years
George H. and 3 other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He doesn't have a voltmeter, but we've had this same problem with this car before. Yeah, we learned how hard this particular model's starter is to get to (bummer, since I only have a jack & LIMITED funds). He seems to want to believe it's the alternator, but I do not think so, since it's acting EXACTLY as it has acted in the past and we've gone through this 2x before. George, can you at least eliminate the alternator as the likely problem?
Expert:  George H. replied 2 years ago.

If you can measure the battery (voltmeter is about $10) and see if it is above 12.3 volts you can rule out the alternator. Of course if it ran you could measure the battery voltage while running to see if it is at least 12.9 volts then you know the alternator is working.

 

 

An interesting fact to know about this system is that the charging wire from the alternator runs to the large post on the starter to connect with the battery cable so if that wire is burned or disconnected it will not charge the battery

 

 

If you only have a jack be careful and support the vehicle, replacing a starter is not worth getting hurt over.

 

Let me know how I can help

 

Thanks

 

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, George. Thanks for your help. My son-in-law wanted to come, take my battery out & take it to AutoZone to test it, but it sounds like the purchase of a voltmeter would serve a dual purpose, so worth the $10. Thanks for the add'l info on the charging wire! :-) I'll let him know all this info when he gets here & follow-up with you, if need be. Appreciate your help!
Expert:  George H. replied 2 years ago.

Ok, I think you need a cheap voltmeter so check the voltage of the battery, if it is at 12.3 or 12.6 there is nothing wrong with it and the voltage is not getting to the starter.

 

Let me know how I can help

 

Thank you

 

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, George! In the end, my son-in-law listened to ME, lol....rarely happens. It WAS the starter and he has replaced it, with much back-breaking effort, as we only had a jack & the 2nd bolt was VERY hard to reach. Have a great evening! :-)
Expert:  George H. replied 2 years ago.

Glad you got it done, please let me know if I can be of help in the future

 

Thanks for using JA!!

 

 

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • 15yearsaturnguy

    Saturn master tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    1671
    25 years automotive experience, 15 years with Saturn
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/bassplayer360/2011-7-23_14023_mikeheadshot.64x64.jpg 15yearsaturnguy's Avatar

    15yearsaturnguy

    Saturn master tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    1671
    25 years automotive experience, 15 years with Saturn
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/joecamel90/2008-11-13_03615_head_shot.jpg George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    650
    ASE Master Tech 15+ Years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PE/peterpete190/2012-2-24_1274_20120215135406.64x64.jpg Pete's Avatar

    Pete

    Saturn Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    531
    15 years Saturn Technician experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drivefast1971/2012-1-12_172422_0009051tQKh.64x64.jpg Ron Z.'s Avatar

    Ron Z.

    - Saturn Tech -

    Satisfied Customers:

    391
    18+yrs experience. State Inspector and Saturn Diagnostics
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/testedtuff/2009-09-26_170108_pictures.jpg John's Avatar

    John

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    375
    Master ASE technician,Master GM technician,40 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Rocket2005/2009-09-13_133703_jack.jpg cartech's Avatar

    cartech

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    305
    25 year master tech and shop owner
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MO/molurch/2012-6-6_214526_500.64x64.png Don 'Mo Lurch''s Avatar

    Don 'Mo Lurch'

    Saturn Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    270
    GM, Chevrolet Cert., Heavy Line Mech, Race Shop Owner, Mobile Electronics.