Why Car Lights Come on But Wont Start & Why car clicks but wont turn over

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Why your car lights come on but wont start.  Cars always choose the worst time to break down. If your car refuses to start but the light keeps turning on, several factors might be responsible for that.

 Anyways, whether the light is coming on or not, you should avoid turning the key for a long time as it might destroy the starter engine.

This post is going to explain the reasons why your car won’t start but some other parts like dash light, radio, headlights, and other electronics are indicating that there is power.

Why Car Lights Come On But Wont Start & Why Car Clicks But Wont Turn Over

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Car won’t start but lights come on no clicking noise


Just because some electrical components are generating power does not mean the car is in good condition. When a battery is on a low charge, it can run electronic devices like lights because they use little amperage. To start an engine, on the other hand, requires up to 300 amps of power at once. A battery on a low charge cannot generate such. You can try to jump-start it with another battery and see if it starts. Once you try that and the problem persists, it might be another thing entirely.

Some of the things that could kill your battery are;

  • The headlight was left on for too long
  • A wire is loose in the car
  • The battery has used up its lifespan
  • Your vehicle water component has evaporated


After you have attempted to fix the battery but the problem persists, then check whether a fuse is blown or not. If you do not know where it is, then pick your car’s manual to discover it. Once you have located it, open it up and inspect it for a wire. If the wire inside the casing is burnt or damaged, then that is the problem, power isn’t getting to the starter.

Damaged Ignition Switch

If nothing is wrong with the fuse, the third thing to check again is the switch. So many people mistake the ignition switch to be the mechanical part where they insert the key but it is the electrical one which operates the mechanical part. Only a professional can diagnose this fault and also repair it. However, to be sure it is the switch, take notice of your dashboard and panel, move the key ignition to the second position and if it doesn’t bring up light, then the ignition switch is faulty.


When your starter motor is faulty, it sometimes makes a clicking noise. If you hear a clicking sound after turning the ignition key, then it is possible that the vehicle’s starter is broken. In other scenarios, there would be no clicking sound and the starter just gets damaged. Some of the other symptoms of a broken starter are when smoke coming out of the engine or seeing oil under the engine. You might need to get a mechanic for a complete diagnosis.

Car clicks but won’t turn over

Single Click

If your car has refused to turn over but you keep hearing a single click, then you might have a faulty starter on your hand. Any problem that is related to the starter or starter relay is usually identified when the engine makes a very loud clicking sound. Once you turn on the car, it will refuse to start but just starts clicking.

If you try to jump-start the car, it may work but there is no guarantee. The one guaranteed choice is if you get a new starter. In addition, even if you jumpstart your vehicle and it starts, you still need to fix the starter or else the clicking sound will be back. If it doesn’t jump-start, then you need to get it towed and fixed.

Rapid Clicks

If your car won’t turn over but you keep hearing rapid clicking, then the problem might be from the battery or alternator.

It may be that your battery is dead or the alternator which is responsible for changing the battery is faulty. The source of the rapid clicking will be from the starter not having enough power. So, it turns on and then off making that clicking noise. If you try to jumpstart it, then it might start working but not permanently. You will need a professional to look at it and repair whatever damage there might be. It might be that you will have to change the battery or alternator.

Car won’t start just clicks but battery is good

If you are certain your battery is in good working condition but your car isn’t turning over, then the problem must be from the ignition switch. To be certain your car is in good condition, you need to turn on your headlights. The battery is in charge of the headlights and dashboard. So, if the headlight comes on while the car doesn’t turn over, then you have a faulty ignition switch.

Another probability is that you have a damaged starter. A starter is a device that is connected to the battery. It is responsible for putting the engine in motion as the ignition switch comes on. So, if it is damaged, the engine will not come on when you turn the key in the ignition. You will also hear a clicking noise or lots of noises as you are trying to start the car. Your vehicle’s starter might be broke or very weak.

Car won’t start but battery works

If your battery is in a perfect condition but your car won’t start, the following reasons may be responsible:


It might sound somehow but the truth is some people drive without remembering to fuel their cars. You should start here first. Check if you have enough fuel in the car.

Clogged Fuel Filter

In every car’s manual, there is always an instruction on how often you need to wait to change the filter. When your filter is blocked or clogged, then fuel will have hassles getting to the engine. In addition, if you are the type that usually runs out of fuel before refuelling, then your filter will be worse.


Before a car starts, it needs a spark from the fuel. As a driver, you might not be able to check for your cars spark yourself. It is advisable you take it to the mechanic who will then do that for you.

Car won’t start but lights work

If your car won’t work but the light is working perfectly, then consider checking the battery, fusible links, fuse, and starter. These electrical devices need little power like 20 to 30 amps to work while the engine needs very high power. So, it is possible that your vehicle’s battery is down, you need to get it fixed.

Conclusion on Why Car Lights Come on but Wont Start

This article has talked about many things that could be wrong if your car is not turning on. I hope it is of help to you. However, always make sure your car goes to the mechanic for a full diagnosis. Do not manage any condition so that you don’t cause more damage.

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