A click is heard, lights flash, and engine shuts down

I have been having to jump-start my car before driving it. Once I am in traffic or in the middle of the street, the engine will shut off. I feel that the problem is not totally the battery being drained since I can jump-start it. When I’m driving there is a click and then the lights flash, and then nothing. The engine is dead. The car will not even turn over – nothing. Can you tell me what is causing this so I can get it back in good performance?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hello. The symptoms you are describing can be caused by a few different issues. The first thing I would check is to see if the battery is in good condition, properly charged, and able to pass a load test. I would then move on to checking the vehicle’s charging system. A faulty alternator can cause the exact symptoms that you are experiencing, and will eventually lead to the car stalling once the battery runs low enough. At that point, it may no longer have enough power to start the engine. A proper diagnosis by a certified technician from YourMechanic would be recommended in order to determine the exact reason for the stalling and no start conditions.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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It might be a battery or alternator problem.

A rapid clicking noise when trying to start your car could mean there`s something wrong within the electrical system. Perhaps your battery`s dead, or your alternator, which charges the battery, isn`t working correctly.

The Battery is Dead

A dead battery is one of the most common causes of a no start. A low or dead battery doesn`t have enough power to turn the starter motor and will result in a rapid, repeated clicking noise when you turn the key. Leaving your lights on overnight can quickly kill your battery.

Damaged CV joint: The most common cause of a clicking or popping sound from the wheels is a broken CV joint.
Clicking sounds are often relative to the starter relay and solenoid and might indicate the battery is low on volts. One loud click may indicate that the starter relay or starter motor may not be engaging with the engine. However, rapid clicking is a good indicator that the battery is low on volts.
It requires a good deal of energy to crank the car`s motor, and if a battery is not replenishing its power properly due to a faulty alternator, it will become drained and ineffective. You will hear a clicking noise while attempting to start the car, and the engine will have difficulty turning over.
it sounds like you may have a problem with the charging system not properly maintaining a charge on the battery. The clicking sound (usually very rapid) is a result of the battery not generating enough power to cause the starter motor to turn the engine over.
A clicking sound when you start your car could suggest a problem with your car`s electrical system. A rapid clicking sound might hint at a battery- or alternator-related issue. A single loud click might mean problems with your starter motor.
One of the most well-known reasons for clicking noise in the engine is related to low oil pressure. It can cause the engine`s moving parts to contact each other without proper lubrication.
There is a wide variety of possible causes for the clicking sound when driving your car. However, the most common of them all are faulty CV joints, loose wheel nuts, bad struts, loose drive belts, low engine oil, faulty battery, inadequately inflated tires, etc.
If you have a no-start condition where you suspect a bad battery, you could simply listen for the noise that comes from the engine on startup. A failing car battery usually would make a chattering or whirring noise which is not transient as opposed to a bad starter.
Probably, the most common symptom associated with a bad regulator is flickering, dimming, or pulsing lights. To be more specific, you may notice that the vehicle`s: Headlights fluctuate between bright and dim, without you doing anything. High beam isn`t working as expected.
If you ever hear growling or whining noises coming from under the hood, you could have alternator problems, which should be checked out by a professional ASAP. This growling or whining sound happens when the belt that turns the alternator`s pulley becomes misaligned or rubs against the side of the pulley.
A common noise from a failing alternator is a high-pitched whining or whirring sound. This noise is typically caused by worn-out bearings within the alternator. As the bearings wear down, they can produce a continuous or intermittent whining noise. However, you may hear clicking noises too.
One common reason why a car won`t jump start is because the battery is completely dead. If the battery is completely dead, it won`t have enough power to turn over the engine, even with a jump start. In this case, you`ll need to replace the battery to get your car running again.
Charge the battery and clean the terminals and cable connectors to ensure good contact. If your car does not start by jump-starting, you may have a problem with your starter, alternator, or another component of the electrical system.
If your car is making clicking sounds when driving, a likely culprit is low or dirty engine oil. Motor oil lubricates all of the components so that you can drive with ease. If you are running low on engine oil, the metal parts may start to tap and grind over time.
Immobiliser or security system

Sometimes, it`s your car`s own security system that stops the engine from starting – if the immobiliser fails to recognise your key, then your engine won`t start at all. This may be a flat battery in the key fob which weakens the signal from the fob to the system.

If your car is making clicking sounds when driving, a likely culprit is low or dirty engine oil. Motor oil lubricates all of the components so that you can drive with ease. If you are running low on engine oil, the metal parts may start to tap and grind over time.
Can you jump-start a car with a bad starter? Most of the time, NO, you can`t jumpstart a car with a bad starter unless you repair it. When the battery is dead, jumper wires or boosters are employed. You use a second battery to provide the necessary electricity to start the car.
Can you jump-start a car with a bad starter? Most of the time, NO, you can`t jumpstart a car with a bad starter unless you repair it. When the battery is dead, jumper wires or boosters are employed. You use a second battery to provide the necessary electricity to start the car.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My 2003 ford explorer wont start up just get click click click click click click click click
ANSWER : If the battery is weak and the voltage is dropping to below 9 volts you will get the clicking without the starter turning the motor. Have the battery voltage checked and if battery cannot hold a load then replace it and clean the battery terminals and recheck system to see if it starts.

Abs light, emergency brake light, steering wheel assist light, engine light, EPC light, traction control light
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle does utilize a lot of the same sensors for these systems. Are there any other codes that are coming up when this code appears? If so you will want to take these into consideration when processing the repair and making a diagnosis. The module may be bad, and replacing it should fix the problem. The lights should turn off once the main computer recognizes the new module and the sensors sync up. If you believe the sensors need to be cleaned you may do so. Do as minimal as possible to make sure you are not damaging the sensor or disrupting the wiring inside. A bad connection would make the lights stay on. With so many lights that are effected by the module being illuminated, the module is likely bad or does not have a connection. Check the connection first and then resort to replacing the unit. For more help with these electrical tests, contact our service department.

2012 equinox reduced power light engine light and traction light came on. Lost a lot of power got home and all light except engine
ANSWER : Your car has what is called a "safe mode" that will be engaged by the computer when it detects that something critical has gone wrong related to any of the major components in your engine chassis or power train. This may be related to a number of things, most of which should have been registered in the computer when the check engine light came on. I recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to inspect your check engine light and diagnose any codes registered by your vehicle’s computer.

A click is heard, lights flash, and engine shuts down
ANSWER : Hello. The symptoms you are describing can be caused by a few different issues. The first thing I would check is to see if the battery is in good condition, properly charged, and able to pass a load test. I would then move on to checking the vehicle’s charging system. A faulty alternator can cause the exact symptoms that you are experiencing, and will eventually lead to the car stalling once the battery runs low enough. At that point, it may no longer have enough power to start the engine. A proper diagnosis by a certified technician from YourMechanic would be recommended in order to determine the exact reason for the stalling and no start conditions.

The VSA (!) light is on, engine light flashing, and it feels like the motor or car is shaking.
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. The VSA (vehicle stability control) warning light is telling you there is an issue detected with the system. The vehicle should be driven as minimally as possible. The issue may be directly related to the VSA system, or it may be related to one of the input sensors. The easiest way to help determine the problem is to scan the vehicle for diagnostic codes. They will point you in the right direction. Your owner’s manual will also have more information about the system. For more diagnostic help, contact our service department.

Check engine light refuses to go off after engine replaced
ANSWER : Hello there, you have a long series of issues going on with your 2013 Hyundai Sonata. If you keep getting a repeating oil light on than there is likely a fault in that system.

Since this fault has lasted after the engine was replaced it could be a oil pressure sensor, wiring harness fault, ECU fault, oil pump, oil strainer clogged, or low oil pressure.

To diagnose this issue properly you need a complete vehicle inspection to start from square one and identify the root cause of all this.

My check engine light and traction control lights are on and the cruise control light is flashing on and off.
ANSWER : Hi There,
What you are describing is common for a vehicle with traction control when it has been activated in a situation as you have described. The cruise control is also controlled in some cases by the traction control system and may be flashing as a need to have it reset due to the traction control being activated under those circumstances. The traction control system monitors the steering stability of the vehicle and engages when loss of traction has been detected. This is done by the use of electronic sensors at each of the four wheels that communicate with the Power Train Control Module (PCM) regarding steering performance and stability in adverse weather conditions. The traction control system works by reducing engine speed and determining which wheel to apply brake pressure to in order to prevent the vehicle from sliding. The anti-lock braking system and the traction control system work together to maintain the stability of the vehicle. The computer uses this information received from electronic sensors regarding the rotational speed of each wheel, the horizontal motion of the vehicle, and the vertical motion of the vehicle to determine how to direct the traction control system or the anti-lock braking system to best control the vehicle when needed. In some cases, the traction control system may simply need to be reprogrammed. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to properly diagnose your traction control system.

ABS light on, ESP light on,Traction OFF light on, engine light on, rides perfectly OBDI reads only Front Right Wheel Speed Sensor
ANSWER : If a faulty component is still in place, the fault codes will return almost immediately after clearing them. ABS, ESP, and traction control systems all rely on input from wheel speed sensors to determine as the name implies, the speed of each wheel. When a wheel, or wheels are spinning faster than others due to wheel slip or the vehicle is sliding, the ABS and ESP systems can reduce throttle input as well as apply braking to an individual wheel or all of them if needed. With a wheel speed sensor fault code stored, these systems cannot determine the rate that all 4 wheels are spinning and sets a fault. That is why the abs/esp light is on. The system should be scanned by a certified technician and the wheel speed sensor replaced if found to be the cause. The warning lights will stay on and these systems will not function as designed until the fault is corrected. These lights do not come on to indicate a need for routine service. Rather they only come on when a component in the system is at fault.