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Clicking Car
Posted December 19, 2008 at 06:37:06 AM by Bean
Stef went to South Carolina this week to visit her cousin, Ben. On her way back yesterday, she stopped for gas and was unable to start her car to complete the trip home. She called to tell me and ask what to do.

She said that when she tried to start the car, it just clicked. I had packed a full toolkit, spare battery, jumpers, etc, into her trunk before she left, so I told her to try and get a jump. Fortunately, there were a couple guys willing to help out a stranded woman, and they tried to jump the car. Unfortunately, the same clicking sound is all that happened. Next they tried to change out the battery for the spare I sent along. After doing that, even the clicks were gone. They tried cleaning the posts... nothing. Out of ideas.

So my Dad and I drove to Shelbyville, KY (only about an hour away). We picked Stef up from the neighboring Waffle House and got to work. We tried the same things... jumping, swapping batteries, trying different jumpers, cleaning the posts and terminals... nothing! We had some serious sparks from the source battery and truck, but the jump did nothing. Now is the part where you guess what the problem was.

Turns out, the main ground wire that connects the ground post to the body of the car had come undone from the ground terminal contraption, which had plenty of other wires running to it (accessories?) making it look like it WAS connected. It was probably loose when the car wouldn't start the first time, then came completely undone when the good samaritans changed batteries. It took my dad saying "those wires look awfully small to ground the whole car" and me probing for the missing ground wire to get things back on track. Once reconnected, the car started and we drove home.

The End.

Thanks, Dad!
6 comments
Brad (December 19, 2008 at 07:55:31 AM):
I would have already had the starter replaced before I figured that out. Nice job.
m1 (December 19, 2008 at 11:09:44 AM):
I was guessing starter as well.
bigD (December 19, 2008 at 12:43:09 PM):
Initial clicking would have dis-indicated the starter, no?

Regarding shelbyville, you BIGTIM missed an opportunity to visit Ken-Tex bbq, which is BANG, and only like a mile off the interstate

Brad (December 19, 2008 at 02:12:47 PM):
Yeah. Until the clicking was no more.
TP (December 24, 2008 at 11:38:09 AM):
I might have said it was the starter solenoid.
ss (December 31, 2008 at 02:13:55 PM):
i would have known exactly what it was, because i'm studly like that.

jk, i would have guessed starter and/or solenoid asswheel. my next guess would have been wiring harness, since i've had to replace part of one before
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