Is it my battery or alternator or starter?

OK, yesterday morning, after not driving my truck for 3 days, I go to start it, and all I get is a ‘click’.

I do it several times and it’ll start.

My dad is a mechanic, but he’s 1000 miles away and he said it could be any of those problems.

Is there anything I could check for to make sure it’s something specific?

11 Answers

  • Before spending any money attempting to fix what might not be broken, just read this.

    If you initially hear a clicking sound, that’s your starter trying to turn over the engine without receiving enough power from the battery.

    It doesn’t matter if your battery is brand new; if the terminals are dirty inside it won’t transfer enough power to start the engine. It will allow the dash lights and radio to work, but not enough power to start the engine.

    Remove your terminals and look inside them. More often than not, you’ll see a dark build up inside them. The dark build up is oxidation which can block most of the current flow to your starter.

    Some also assume that since their interior lights work, that their battery is not the problem, it isn’t, the terminals are the problem.

    It takes just a fraction of the energy to run lights as it does to start an engine.

    Here’s the fix:

    Clean all mating surfaces of your battery cables inside and out. Clean the terminals inside by either using a battery brush (you can get one at any parts store for a couple bucks) or a pocket knife.

    First brush off the outer surfaces, remove the terminals and clean the inner surfaces until they’re bright and shiny. Now clean the battery posts the same.

    (For side mount terminals, brush the exposed surfaces, remove the terminals (negative first) then clean the surfaces that mate to the battery.

    All surfaces should be bright and shiny. Reattach cables, tighten them and start your car.

    Note: You may need to re charge your battery if it’s run down.

    See links:

  • Battery Or Starter

  • Honestly sounds like a starter issue to me, I would try to jump the starter solenoid with a screwdriver though the next time it happens, its scary to do at first because sparks fly everywhere but it should start up the car right away. …if the car starts up right away I would say it is the starter or starter solenoid.

    Although you do say that after several attempts the car will start up, it would not hurt you to take the battery to autozone first or somewhere that can test the battery for you… that is usually the simplest way to do it…. I have bought a new battery and the car worked for an hour and started doing the click again. In my case it was a bad starter and solenoid.

    I hate car problems, good luck with yours.

  • https://shorturl.im/aw3Ep

    It most certainly can be the starter. The fact that he tapped on it and it started definitely means the starter is bad. The reason you have to get a jump to start it, is cause the starter windings internat to the starter are drawing HIGH amperage and it needs a second battery to kick it over. It is not uncommon when a starter to go bad that it does this.

  • Take the battery to a shop that will bench test it and charge it for you (if it’s still good.) Put it or a fresh battery back in the car and try to start it. If it starts take the car to a mechanic and have him test the alternator. If it doesn’t start it’s probably the starter.

  • This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Is it my battery or alternator or starter?

    OK, yesterday morning, after not driving my truck for 3 days, I go to start it, and all I get is a ‘click’.

    I do it several times and it’ll start.

    My dad is a mechanic, but he’s 1000 miles away and he said it could be any of those problems.

    Is there anything I could check for to…

  • Jump start the car.

    Can’t? not the battery. maybe the starter.

    Can. Starts but dies after taking the jumper cables away, maybe the alternator.

    Runs. Drive it around for at least 15 mins and see if you can start the car the next morning.

    Can’t start the next day. Battery in dead.

  • Have someone jump start your car if it starts and drives for about 5 minutes and shuts offs its your alternator dont listen to eilenne if you do thts your whole wiring system will get messed up

  • When u turn it on disconnect the battery if is the alternator the car would shut off defenetly not ur starter

  • I vote starter..

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