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Clicking sound mystery 2005 Cavalier

So just for some background info: My 2-door 2005 Cavalier, with around 100,000 miles, is in general poor shape. The electronics have been shot for about a year now - the gas gauge, speedometer, temp gauge and RPM gauge are all disabled, one of my windows won’t roll up, and the air conditioner is broken.

However, a new problem has arisen. When I start my car or even just the battery, a rapid clicking sound starts. it sounds like its coming from the passanger side behind the glove compartment area. I assume it has something to do with a battery. The weird thing is when it clicks and when it doesn’t: i haven’t had my a/c on since october (it’s now august) because i knew it didn’t work. since then, my 3 knobs have been in the same exact position (they look similar to this Knob 1, pressure: off. Knob 2, cold/hot: all the way to cold. Knob 3, which vent/s: turned all the way left, to a little picture of a car with a circulating arrow going around inside of it.

After getting frustrated with the noise and trying to determine its source, i played around with some of those knobs. and i found that when i change the last knob to any other vent setting, the clicking noise stops. Only on that one particular setting does it ever happen. And this is the only thing that i’ve found that changes the situation.

So my questions are: Is this a battery problem? Why does it stop when I change the vent setting? and Is it imperative that I get it repaired right now?


The Cavalier has an electric motor to move the door for recirculate/outside vent. Usually these systems run the motor until the Body Control Module sees the door in the desired position. If the motor drive gear box is stripped you will get a clicking as the drive gear tries to move the door. However, the door never reaches its commanded position so the motor continues to run. When you select the knob postion that commands the door to move to its present position, the motor does not run and you get no noise.

Therefore, if you don’t need outside air or recirculate, you can leave the knob where it makes no sound.

And never again buy a low-end Chevy…

Thanks a million…you’re the best! Definitely put me at ease for the time being.

UGH. lesson learned. trust me :frowning:

And never again buy a low-end Chevy…

He-he. Why not? This thing sounds like it’s been on a ventilator for some time now and it is still drivable. At 100k with this much dysfunction, it had to be both abused and neglected. It’s averaged 20k/year. I’d say that it was in use so much that someone couldn’t take the time to tend to it properly.

The AC would annoy me, but given the electrical/electronic issues (which might have been a more justifiable expense earlier), it could actually be intact and just unable to work.

The complaint list appears to be devoid of any major drive train issues. This I would expect with so many miles compressed into so few years.

Better luck with your next ride!!