Why Is My Car Making Clicking Noise Without Key?

Why is your car making clicking noise without key? An automobile has its own way of telling us that problems are happening inside it. Emitting sounds is one of those unique methods.

Thus, if you hear repetitive sounds, there are some faulty parts inside your car. Keep reading to know what you need to repair to regain your perfect electric motor.

Types Of Clicking Sounds When The Key Is Removed

Car Making Clicking Noise Without Key

Ticking Or Tapping Noises 

After riding a long journey, you can detect strange sounds like ticking or tapping from under the hood. The sound may not be too loud, but you can still notice it.

The intervals between the sounds can be short at the beginning; however, they increase over time and cease after several minutes.

Relay-Like Sound From Under The Hood

This is another strange noise from the same location when the ignition key is removed. At first, you can think the culprit behind it is the relay opening and closing.

Usually, it all boils down to the fuse and relay box on the side of the engine bay.

Why Is My Car Making Clicking Noise Without Key?

The main reasons behind a car making clicking noise without key are corroded or low batteries, defective alternators, faulty bearings, and heat-up engine.

In other cases, the damaging electrical component like a bad sensor or alarm are to blame for the car battery clicking when off.

1. Ticking Or Tapping Sound Under The Hood

This usually comes from the warmed-up car engine. Inside it, the metals heat up and cool down. When the engine heats up, the metals expand at different rates depending on the substance.

While they cool down, they also contract at different rates. These two processes produce ticking or tapping sounds.

2. Clicking Sound From The Car Exhaust

After constantly working for a long while, some clicking noises from under the exhaust system can be heard.

Like the tapping noises, they are not loud noises but still noticeable. In this case, the metals that have expanded and cooled down are the reasons.

3. Relay-Like Sounds From Under The Hood

This problem happens when you activate and then deactivate the switch right after. Some causes that can result in this annoyance are:

  • A faulty sensor in the machine
  • A bad alarm due to a faulty alarm sensor or a bad alarm wiring
  • Malfunctioning relay or corrosion on the battery terminals in the relay box or the car fuse
  • Bad wearings in the blower. If the fan is still working, it will keep running even after the engine stops operating. Once there’s no sound from the engine, the noise of the deteriorating bearings becomes even more noticeable.
  • Short of battery voltage. Sometimes, the relay will constantly click to keep the relay contacts open or close when you have a weak battery.

That being said, where you can spot problems are the alarm installation and the car fuse box.

When you see nothing strange in these places, continue to check the causes of noise after the engine is turned off. Identifying the culprit of the sounds is a good start to solving the issue.

Is It Dangerous If My Car Is Making Clicking Noises?

The severity of the problems depends on the types of sound and how audible it is. The first case is the gentle clicks from under the car hood.

You won’t have to worry about this. The noises will stop after several minutes, which is normal.

When the clicks come from the exhaust system, two situations will happen. If they are small and unnoticeable, your car is doing fine.

However, it’s a sign of problems when they get on your nerves with their volume. In this case, you should check the car exhaust system.

For extra measure, seeking help from a qualified auto mechanic is recommended. They’ll point out problems quicker with more accuracy.

Supposing you’re stuck with a relay click, your car batteries are flatter daily from the current draw.

Many people have experienced these unfortunate results as they’re left with a battery drain after relay clicks.

Tips On Dealing With Those Clicking Sounds

Replicating the rapid clicking sound is a good way to identify it precisely. Besides, you should pay attention to the conditions of the electric motor when the issue happens and the sound sources.

You’re in a difficult case if you can’t reproduce the click consistently. Those random sounds are not easy to deal with; even professional service teams have a hard time when it comes to them.

When the sound gets too complicated to replicate, we’ve got a tip for you. You can use your phone to record it. Let the repair technician hear the audio recording and help you with your machine.

How To Stop Those Annoying Sounds?

Low Battery

Make sure the battery cables are clean and in good contact with the battery posts. Checking that the electrical current is sufficient is also very important.

As mentioned above, lack of battery current is one of the main problems leading to car battery making clicking noise.

After fully charging battery power, the next step is to wait and observe the issue’s recurrence.

Bad Relay

If the culprit is the malfunctioned relay in the car fuse or the relay box, open it and cope with the noises.

Don’t forget to unplug the box before inspecting it. Then, you should check if there are any corroded positive terminals or negative terminals.

If there is, the corrosion is hindering the contact of the relay. Cleaning and removing the corrosion will improve the bad connection and stop the clicking.

Similarly, after repairing the relay, you should check for the repeat of the clicking.

Faulty Car Alarm

When the key is removed, the car alarm can also cause a relay-like sound. First, check whether there are any warning signs in the alarm status. The alarm connectors should be in firm contact with each other.

You’ll know when the alarm functions well through the OK sign on display or the green led status. Should there be issues, the alarm will be temporarily disconnected.

If it’s too difficult to handle the noisy electrical motor, just call the service team for help.

Faulty Bearings Of The Blower Fan

When the bearings in the blower fan are worsening and affecting the machine’s normal operation, you should place them with something better.

Seek Help

Finally, these people play an important role in dealing with the sounds. They are the support team, the licensed mechanic, or an online forum where you can ask about a specific car.

Getting help from them will give you several prominent advantages. They have many years of auto repair experience.

Thus, instead of spending hours on Google searching for the answer, a few minutes with a professional mechanic will eliminate your problems.

Plus, if you can find a good online forum, the answer will come to you free of charge.


What Does A Clicking Noise Mean When Starting A Car?

Rapid Clicking Noise

Let’s say the noises repeat rapidly when the ignition key (or the control module) is on. You will likely have a bad battery or alternator.

As the faulty starter engine doesn’t have enough electrical energy to crank the machine, the attempts to do so from the system resemble clicking sounds.

Try several ways below to deal with clicking sound while starting car.

  • Jump start the engine. In case the machine operates and dies, the problem lies in the faulty alternator. If it can run, put it on a trickle charge for energy recovery.

From then on, should the electric motor work fine, your mission is completed. However, follow the next step when the issues continue to disturb you.

  • Examine the wiring and other engine components. Make sure that they’re where they should be and function well.
  • If the battery clicks when starting, check the battery cable connections. Suppose there is a loose connection; tighten it. The same goes for corrosion. Clean any stain and corroded spot, and you’re good to go.

Single Click

A single click, or what sounds like a light knock, is a sign of a faulty starter motor or a bad starter relay.

Check out the problems causing a starter to burn out to know what’s happening and troubleshoot them.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix When My Car Makes Clicking Sound?

Should a car start clicking sound, the price to fix your electric motor may vary depending on the problems.

If the culprit is the dead battery, you will need to spend $150 to stop the battery dead clicking sound. Regarding the defective alternator, about $350 will solve the issue.

When it comes to a bad starter solenoid, you’ll need to spend more, from $400 to $600.


How To Stop Those Annoying Sounds?

The issue of a car making clicking noise without key has ruined many people’s enjoyable driving experience.

However, not every click sound is a sign of a problem. With our article, you’ll learn what are the problematic sounds and how to eliminate them.

Thanks for reading!

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