Did you try to turn on your Chevy Tahoe one morning, and all you got was a clicking sound? Now, do you want to know what is causing it and what you can do about it? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
If all you get is a clicking sound when you try to start your Chevy Tahoe, then you have a power supply problem. Your starter motor is not getting any power to start your engine.
Learn more about the different causes of this problem and the possible solutions in the succeeding sections. Read on!
How does the startup system in your Tahoe work?
Let’s take a brief look at how your engine starts the combustion process to better understand the issue.
Whenever you start your car, a large amount of electrical energy goes to the starter motor. The starter motor will then turn to spin your crankshaft. The crankshaft pulls some of your engine’s pistons downward as it spins.
The downward movement of the pistons creates a vacuum inside the engine. This vacuum sucks in air and fuel into the cylinders. Once the mixture of fuel and air makes it inside the cylinders, the sparkplugs will ignite the mix and start your engine.
How does a bad battery prevent the engine from starting and causing a clicking sound?
When you try to start your Chevy Tahoe and hear a rapid clicking sound, then your car’s battery doesn’t have enough energy to start the engine.
Going back to the section above about how the engine starts, the starter motor needs a large amount of electrical energy to work. The turning-over sound that you hear when you start your engine and before the engine starts is the starter motor spinning. If all you hear is a rapid clicking sound when you start your Tahoe, then the starter motor is not spinning.
Although the rapid clicking sound can be a problem with any component of the electrical system that is involved in the delivery of power to the starter motor, the part that is often the cause of this problem is the car battery. So, it makes sense to start there.
The clicking sound that you hear is coming from the starter motor that is trying to start itself but doesn’t get enough electrical energy to stay on and do its job. The rapid clicking is from the rapid turning on and off of the starter that is trying to stay on.
How to start a car with a battery issue?
If you have another car with a working car battery, you can jumpstart your Chevy Tahoe to get it running temporarily. Alternatively, if you have a car battery booster pack, you can use it to jumpstart your Tahoe.
A battery booster is a portable battery pack that can transfer its charge to your car battery so that the car battery will be able to start your Tahoe. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions on how to jumpstart your car with a battery booster:
Jumpstarting A Car With A Battery Booster
- Place your car in “Park” gear if you have an automatic transmission. Place it on “Neutral” gear if it has a manual transmission.
- Engage the parking brakes.
- Make sure that everything inside your car that is using power (lights, radio, AC, etc.) is turned off.
- Open the hood of your car and locate the car battery. If your car battery has a cover, open or remove the cover.
- Plug the clamps into your battery booster. Some models mark the port for the clamps as the “12V Out.”
- Connect the red clamp to the positive terminal of your car battery.
- Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal. Some battery boosters would inform you if you connected the clamps to the wrong car battery terminal. They have indicator lights that will light up, indicating a wrong connection. Switch the clamps to the correct terminals, and the error light will go away.
- Turn on your battery booster. Some models have a power indicator that tells you that the battery booster is on. Some models also have a battery charge indicator that tells you how much power the power booster’s internal battery has left. Some models have an indicator that it is already working to boost the car battery.
- Wait for 20 to 30 seconds after the indicator light shows that it is boosting the car battery.
- Start your car. If your car doesn’t start, wait for another 30 seconds to give your battery more time to get more power from the battery booster. Keep doing this until your car battery gets enough power and your car starts. If your car doesn’t start, then the battery is not the problem. Some battery boosters have a mode that allows them to be used like a regular car battery for jumpstarting.
- Once your car starts, disconnect the battery booster.
How to address a battery problem?
If you had to jumpstart your Tahoe, then it could be time to bring it to a battery center. They can check your battery and replace it if necessary.
A faulty car battery can only get worse. Moreover, if you keep trying to start your Tahoe with a faulty car battery, you can end up damaging other components of the startup system.
How a faulty alternator can give you a rapid clicking sound?
If the people in the battery shop find out that your car battery is still ok, then the problem could be your alternator. An alternator is similar to the turbine that generates electricity in dams. However, instead of getting energy from the water current in dams, an alternator gets its power from the rotation of your car’s engine.
It is responsible for providing the majority of the electrical energy that your car needs while it is running. More importantly, it is responsible for charging your car battery. If your car battery lost its charge even while your Tahoe was running, then one explanation is that your alternator did not charge your battery.
Have a professional mechanic check your alternator. They should be able to determine if your alternator needs replacement or if problems in the wiring are preventing your alternator from charging your car battery.
Wiring Or Contact Issue
Battery terminals can get corroded and prevent electrical current from flowing through from the alternator to the battery. Thus, corroded terminals can prevent your alternator from charging the battery.
Check your battery terminals for corrosion. If you see corrosion on the battery terminals, disconnect the battery by disconnecting the black cable first, then the red cable. Clean the corroded terminals with sandpaper.
How to identify a problem with the starter motor?
If the clicking sound that you hear whenever you try to start your Tahoe is just single clicking and not a series of rapid clicks, then it is likely that the problem is your starter motor. A failing starter motor will no longer be able to crank your engine to start combustion.
Starter motors are designed to last for 100,000 miles. However, the average number of times that you start your car daily can affect the lifespan of the starter motor. The more times you start your Tahoe daily, the shorter the lifespan of your starter.
If the starter motor is failing because it is nearing the end of its lifetime, then the only thing that you can do is to replace it with a new one.
How to identify an engine failure in Chevy Tahoe?
There are rare cases where the engine of a Chevy Tahoe will seize and fail. This causes the engine to become unresponsive to the starter motor. Thus, instead of hearing the engine start or turn over, the only thing that you will hear is a clicking sound—which is the sound of the starter motor starting up and doing its job.
This is a complex issue that should be handled by a professional mechanic. The mechanic will determine if he can still repair the engine or if it needs replacement.
The Chevy Tahoe—like all vehicles with combustion engines—needs a healthy car battery to start up the combustion inside the engine. Start with the most common suspects in troubleshooting a no-start-with-clicking issue.
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