Why did my car not start until I turned on my headlights?

If I turn the key when starting my car… all I hear is a click.

But… if I turn on my headlights… it will go ahead and start and then if I stop and start the car again, I don’t have to turn on my headlights to start it.

I will be taking in into the shop at some point to have this checked out… but I am always afraid of being taken advantage of and being sold more “fixes” than I need.

Any thoughts on this problem would be appreciated.

I would guess that you have corroded battery terminals. When you turn on the headlights, a small amount of current flows and warms up the connection. This allows the starter to then draw the current it needs to crank the engine. This is a repair you could do yourself. Remove the terminal connections–negative terminal first. You should spend a couple of dollars on a terminal puller so that you don’t damage the battery. Spend another couple of dollars on a terminal brush. This is a stiff wire brush. One part goes over the post and you rotate it back and forth to clean the post. The other end goes through the cable end and you rotate this to ream out the cable end. Reconnect the battery–postive cable first and negative cable last. If you really want to spend some money, buy a tube of anti-corrosion paste for a couple more dollars to prevent this from happening again. You will still have enough change from a $10 bill to buy a coke.

Thank you so much! I will take my $10 down to the auto store and get busy. Thanks also for the explanation of what might actually be happening.