My car won’t jump start, just clicks. What’s broken?

My car wouldn’t start this afternoon. My wife tried using her car to jump me, but it didn’t seem to work. The lights are coming on, but the car won’t jump start. It just clicks. Does this mean it’s broken? What can I do to fix it?

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Answer provided by
Matt Terzi
Answered on Aug 02, 2022
We’re sorry to hear you’re going through this with your car. And we sadly don’t have good news for you, either. If your car won’t jump start and just clicks, you’re going to have to go straight to the mechanic.
If your lights and the radio are working, it means the battery has a charge, and that also rules out a number of potential electrical issues. The fact that you’re also hearing clicking noises means it’s very likely your issue lies with the starter.
Have you ever seen an old-timey movie or a cartoon where someone starts the car up by cranking a big handle in the front of it? That’s essentially what your car’s starter does. The starter gets the engine’s mechanical bits cranked up and running so the engine can then run under its own steam.
Unfortunately, you could pay anywhere from $300 to $1,500 to replace your starter, including parts and labor. In many cars this is a labor-intensive process, and the part itself isn’t cheap.
We know this isn’t the news you were hoping to hear. But if it’s any small consolation, we can at least help you save hundreds of dollars per year or more on your car insurance.
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