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Car wont start, clicking rapidly when attempting to crank

New battery, new (used) starter, parked on a slight downhill slope for less than 5 mins came back and car will not crank. All lights work fine, need help diagnosing this issue. Miss driving my gti. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Car was running strong with no signs of issues then just suddenly wont crank. No corrosion at battery terminals, was told by a friend it was timing problem but hoping it is something else. So i came here.

Rapid clicking when attempting to start an engine usually points to a poor connection at the battery.


Positive and negative terminals are clean like new ones and tight…

Then replace the used starter with a remanufactured starter.


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Just replaced starter 2 days ago, exact same results. Yes i did purchase a used starter tho. What are the odds that my previous starter and the new but used starter were both bad… Any way 2 test the one currently on the motor? I really need 2 pinpoint the cause of this no crank. Im open for suggestions.

Battery cables have two ends.


Will def go check other ends after this hurricane passes, dont remember checking those. That would be wayy less of a headache than a timing issue.

The used starter may have sat long enough that the contacts are corroded.

Or that starter may have been junk all along.


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True, i will purchase a new one and try again. Because you and tester have made a valid point about my new used starter. I cant completely disrule the starter since i got it used…

Just because it looks clean doesn’t mean there is a good electrical path. Have you removed them and cleaned them, or is this only a visual inspection? You have several good ideas in this thread already. Let us know what you find and stay safe in the.mean time!

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I have disconnected and reconnected alot here recently since the random no start issue. But they were impressive 2 the eye, i actually have not cleaned them in any way. I just instantly out-ruled them as a suspect. Good point tho, will def be trying this out as well tmrw.

Use a meter (analog dial type is best for this) to measure the voltage at both of the electrical terminals connected to the starter (thin wire and thick wire), terminal to starter case. You’ll likely need a helper unless you make up some long test leads. During attempted cranking they should both measure at least 10.5 volts. Do they?

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Could also be corrosion inside a cable.


i have a multimeter and will try this in the morning as well along with the other ideas listed above, im up for trying anything that would be of less hassle than a timing chain. thanks for the input, will get back with u about the readings tmrw

Remember that it might crank at any time, so take appropriate safety precautions. Make sure trans is in neutral, car is fully secure on jack-stands, etc. When I do this I put the front of the car on jack-stands, then connect up some long test leads from the starter to the meter. That allows me to put the meter next to the driver’s seat so I can watch it while I turn the key to “start”. Best of luck.

If you’re interested in my starter motor replacement history, I’ve had to replace my Corolla’s 3 times over the years. The first time I used a Toyota rebuilt unit I bought at a dealership, and it worked fine. The next time I used an aftermarket rebuilt, and it didn’t work right out of the box. I gave up and took the old one (the Toyota dealership one) to a place that rebuilt the solenoid contacts for me. That worked fine also. The third time I decided the first aftermarket unit was a fluke so I bought another aftermarket unit, and again it failed right out of the box … lol … I exchanged it for a name brand aftermarket unit (Denso) and it has been working fine.

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its a 2010, IT WAS sitting for 2 years un-garaged and un-driven tho… but is there a way to check inside a cable?? and would that just instantly pop up as an issue without any prior hesitation or warning signs?? all i did was park, get out, came back to car about 3 mins later and BOOM it hasnt cranked since. thanks for the input, not sure how 2 check this tho…

The voltage measurement test above will ID that.

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its got the DSG transmission, not a stick shift unfortunately. and how exactly did u make these leads ?? because longer leads would def come in handy but i dont want 2 get a false reading because i extended the leads with a different guage wire than the actual leads, or is that of no concern?? and i wished it would up and crank at any time lol ive been impatiently waiting for that moment.

The wire gauge for test leads isn’t critical b/c there is very little current that flows in the meter circuit. I think I used 18 gauge, mostly b/c I had some 4 wire bundle 18 gauge on hand. If you don’t know how to make test leads, might be a good idea to have a shop do the measurements for you. Then if you want to fix the problem yourself your can reports the numbers back here for further advice.

i can get the readings as soon as this storm passes and daylight shows its face. its parked outside and ungaraged or i would just get them now but the weather is annoying tonight and although im impatient about my car i also know water and electricity dont mix well so i will just wait this one out til morning lol.