Starting my car

I was deployed to Afghanistan from December to june. It was only started once during that time. when I hooked up the jumper cables from a running car to mine, I try and start the car and all I hear is a continuous clicking sound. is that an alternator, starter or spark plug problem?

Sounds like the starter solenoid, or a bad battery. I bet if you put a fresh battery in it it will start. Did you try to let the other car run a bit with the jumper cables attatched to your car, It may just need to charge a bit.

yes I let it run a bit, but I can always let it run a little longer…just don’t want to get another battery if that’s not the problem but if it is or a combo of the battery and the solenoid then okai…just looking for helpful answers or comments :smiley: thanks for that tip though rick

Try taking off the battery terminals off and cleaning them and the bat posts.

okai I will try that :smiley:

I think the battery is OK, but needs to be brought up to a full charge. If you have an AC outlet within reach with an extension cord, hook up a charger and bring the battery up to a full charge. Then try to start the car. The click is the solenoid. The battery has enough juice to trip the solenoid, but not enough juice to actually run the starter. The clicking is the solenoid trying to engage the starter.

Seconding @UncleTurbo … the battery needs to be fully charged with a car battery charger before trying anything else. Jumping a totally dead battery is next to impossible as you can’t get low enough contact resistance to handle that much current in the jumper cables.

It takes quite a while to fully charge a completely dead battery. Here’s how to tell how long. The typical car battery is about rated at 600 cold cranking amps. A rule of thumb is that the amp-hour rating is 1/20th of the CCA, so for a 600 CCA battery, the amp hour capcacity is 30 amp-hours. S that means if you you charge at a 2 amp rate (best rate to preserve the battery), it will take 15 hours minimum to fully charge the battery. Suggest to let it charge for a full 24 hours for good measure.

If it still doesn’t crank, then time to take it to one of those big box parts stores that can do a load test on your battery.

Here’s an idea . . .

Hook the starter cable up DIRECTLY to the starter solenoid and the engine ground strap and give it another go

You are describing what is most commonly a starter problem. If you have jumper cables on the battery, or it is now fully charged, and the terminals are clean and tight, and the negative battery cable body ground is good, try this. Have someone hold the key in the start position. when you hear it click, tap on the starter a few times with something like your lug wrench. This is a commonly used, good diagnostic procedure. You don’t say what Honda you drive, some starters are buried underneath the intake manifold, making it hard to get to. On higher mileage cars, the brushes are worn down, tapping on the starter helps them make contact. This works on alternators, too, when the battery light comes on. Also, if it doesn’t work, it could still be a failed starter.
And thank you for your service, to keep us all safe.

I’d just add that tapping on the starter is not a bad idea, but I suggest a broom stick or a wooden dowel. You tap it with the end, not swing at it like a baseball bat.

thanks everyone but problem solved! ran a test on the battery at the store and it was only holding 1 out of the 12 volts soooo thanks George and uncle turbo for the battery advice. bought a new one and she is perfecto!

Glad you got you car back on the road. It’s so frustrating when the car doesn’t work.