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Starter clicks once, engine won't turn over

I have a 2000 Chevy S10 (4-cylinder, rear wheel drive, the most basic model). A few months ago, the truck wouldn’t start. The starter clicked a single time when I turned the key, and the lights on the radio came on, but nothing else happened. Several hours later, I attempted to start the truck again, and it started just fine. I disconnected the battery and found some corrosion on the positive connection (not that bad), and I assumed it was because of a bad connection. I cleaned it and haven’t had any problems since…until last night. The truck once again wouldn’t start at a gas station. One click from the starter but nothing else happened. I cleaned out the battery connection again, and the positive terminal was again slightly corroded, but it wasn’t that bad. The truck started after I cleaned out the connection and it got me home, but wouldn’t start again after I shut it off. Any ideas why this is happening? Can a bad battery cause repeated corrosion or possibly be the problem? I’m hoping it’s just the battery, but I don’t want to get a new one until I’m sure…

I think your problem is the solenoid on the starter. The solenoid does two things, it engages the teeth from the starter into the flywheel, and sends voltage to the starter motor through a heavy-duty relay contacts once the teeth are fully engaged. The click should be the solenoid activating, but may not be engaging the teeth all the way, or the contacts may be damaged, and not sending voltage to the starter.

You could replace just the solenoid, but, for an 11 year old truck, it may be best to replace the entire starter.

I second B-K’s advise…After properly cleaning BOTH battery terminals and having the battery load tested, I would replace the entire starter…

Battery is dead

or it could be the starter :slight_smile:

Sounds like the Solenoid to me also…

With the issue you seem to have had, it sounds like a bad starter solenoid. This can be an intermittant problem where it just sticks. It’ll cause that click and nothing else will happen. It’s a typical problem and you can usually even buy a new solenoid to put on your starter. Takes a little extra time, but the solenoid is typically much less than a new starter.