Car Making Clicking Noise When Off – How to Troubleshoot?

The clicking sound that occurs when a car is turned off is a common issue for car owners. This noise can be frustrating and may signal a deeper issue. You must troubleshoot and fix it. But how do I troubleshoot the problem of the Car Making Clicking Noise When Off?

You should check for possible causes and fix the problem once you find it. You may need to check for a battery problem, an alternator problem, a starter problem, a faulty solenoid and ignition switch. Car Making Clicking Noise When Off

If you are experiencing a clicking noise when your car is off, stay with me to learn how to diagnose and fix the issue. Let’s get started.

Reasons for Clicking Noise in a Car When Off

Car Making Clicking Noise When Off

Several factors can cause your car to make a clicking noise when it is off. If you experience that, you must consider the reasons below. Here I have listed the few most commonly reported causes by car owners or mechanics.

  • Dead battery
  • Alternator issues
  • Starter problems
  • Faulty solenoid
  • Ignition switch issues

Car Making Clicking Noise When Off- How to Fix [ Problems & Solution Guide]

Problem 1- Dead Battery

A dead battery can cause a clicking noise in your car when turned off. You must check the battery to get rid of the problem. Fortunately, this problem can be fixed by following a few simple steps.



  • Firstly, use a multimeter to check the battery’s voltage. If the reading is less than 12.6 volts, the battery is low and may need to be charged.
  • If you recharge the battery, but it cannot hold the charge, you need a replacement. I recommend the ACDelco Gold 48AGM battery. It is an excellent battery that works great with all car brands.
  • Next, turn off all electrical components in your car and disconnect the negative cable from the battery terminal. Then, remove the old battery and install the new one.
  • Finally, reconnect the negative cable and start the engine to ensure the new battery works correctly.

Problem2- Alternator Issue

You may hear a clicking sound due to an issue with the alternator. A faulty alternator may keep the battery connected, which may produce sound even if the car is off. It is good to check for an alternator issue to fix the problem.


  • Check the battery voltage using a multimeter.  I recommend Klein Tools MM600 Multimeter. It is compatible with AC and DC voltages and easy to operate.
  • A low reading could indicate a problem with the alternator. If the reading is okay, go for the next step.
  • Then, check the alternator belt for signs of wear or damage.
  • If the belt appears fine, start the engine and check the voltage across the battery terminals. If it is below 12 volts, the alternator is likely faulty.
  • Replace the alternator if necessary.
  • Reinstall the belt and test the voltage again to ensure the issue has been resolved.

Problem 3- Starter Problems

Your car may produce a clicking sound if you have a problem with the alternator. A faulty starter relay can make the starter function wrong. It may be stuck in the closed position. It can cause the starter motor to continue to receive power, leading to the clicking sound.


  • Locate the starter relay under the hood of your car.
  • Try tapping on the relay with a wrench or screwdriver handle to see if it starts.
  • If tapping the relay works, it is likely a problem with the relay itself.
  • Replace the relay with a new one from an auto parts store.
  • If tapping the relay does not work, your starter motor is faulty. Replace the starter motor. It is good to choose the recommended motor for your vehicle model. I recommend the Quicksilver 808011A05 Starter Motor. It is compatible with many vehicles and performs excellently.

Problem 4- Faulty Solenoid

A faulty solenoid can cause a clicking noise when the car is off because it is attempting to engage the starter motor. The solenoid connects and disconnects the starter motor from the battery. A faulty solenoid can cause it to repeatedly try to engage the starter motor, resulting in a clicking sound.


  • Identify the location of the solenoid and remove it from the system.
  • Use a multimeter to test the resistance of the solenoid coil. If the reading is out of range, replace the coil.
  • Check the solenoid plunger for any signs of damage or wear. Replace it if necessary.
  • Clean the solenoid housing and plunger to remove any debris or corrosion.
  • Reassemble and test the solenoid using a voltage meter to ensure it works correctly.

Problem 5- Ignition Switch Problem

A faulty ignition switch may be the culprit because it may not correctly disengage the electrical components of the car’s system.

It can cause a continuous flow of electricity to certain parts, resulting in a clicking noise from relays or other electrical components. So, check for the faulty ignition switch to remove the problem.


  • Disconnect the car battery to prevent electrical shock and damage.
  • Remove the steering column cover to access the ignition switch.
  • To test and identify whether it is defective, use a multimeter to check the continuity.
  • If the ignition switch has a fault, replace it with a new one compatible with your car’s make and model.
  • Reassemble the steering column cover and reconnect the car battery.
  • Test the ignition switch by turning the key and ensuring the clicking sound is gone.

How long Can I drive my car with a clicking noise?

How long Can I drive my car with a clicking noise?

It is not safe to continue driving your car with a clicking noise. Clicking noises can indicate a serious problem with your vehicle’s engine or suspension.

Ignoring the issue could lead to more significant and costly repairs. It is best to check for possible causes and identify the problem to prevent a serious issue.

Why does a car engine make a ‘dripping sound’ when you turn it off?

The dripping sound you hear when you turn off your car’s engine is most likely caused by hot metal parts cooling down and contracting.

As these parts cool, fluids such as oil or coolant may be forced out of the engine and drip onto the hot components. It may create the dripping sound you hear. It is a normal and harmless process.

But if you hear an excessive or unusual dripping sound, it may indicate a leak or other issue requiring immediate fixation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for a car to make a ticking noise when turned off?

No, it is not normal for a car to make a ticking noise when turned off. This sound may indicate a problem with the engine or other components, such as the cooling system or electrical system. It is recommended to have it checked and identify the cause to fix the problem.

What does it mean if your car won’t start, but makes a ticking noise?

If your car won’t start but makes a ticking noise, it is likely that the battery is dead or low on charge. A ticking sound indicates that the starter solenoid is engaged, but there is not enough power to turn the engine. It could be caused by a faulty battery, alternator, or starter motor.

How much is to fix a ticking engine?

The cost to fix a ticking sound from your car’s engine depends on the underlying cause of the issue. It could range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Why is clicking noise in the dashboard when the car is on? The clicking sound in the car’s dashboard when “ON” could be due to a variety of reasons. Some common causes can be a faulty relay, a failing HVAC actuator, a failing blend door actuator, or a malfunctioning speedometer cable. A mechanic should be consulted for diagnosis and repair.