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Toyota RAV4 Won’t Start [But Makes Clicking Noise]—What To Do?

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Were you about to go out one morning, but your Toyota RAV4 wouldn’t start? So, now you’re wondering what to do? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

The clicking noise when you try to start your Toyota RAV4 is generated by the starter motor. A bad car battery is the most common cause of the starter motor failing to function properly. The best thing to do for this kind of issue is to bring your Toyota RAV4 to a local auto shop and get the battery checked. They will replace your battery right away if it needs replacement.

However, if your car battery is fairly new, your Toyota RAV4 might have a different problem that needs to be addressed. Read the sections below to know more about the other possible reasons that could be causing your problem. Read on!

Toyota RAV4 Adventure on a seascape background, Toyota RAV4 Won't Start [But Makes Clicking Noise]—What To Do?

Why is my Toyota RAV4 not turning on?

Toyota RAV4

Your Toyota RAV4 needs electrical energy to start the engine. Any problem with the electrical supply or any problem with delivering the electrical energy to the starter motor will cause a problem with starting your Toyota RAV4.

Here is a closer look at the possible causes of this problem.

Weak or Dead Battery 

A weak or dead 12V car battery is the most common culprit when the engine won’t start or cranks very slowly.

A signal is sent to your car’s battery whenever you turn the key in the ignition or push the button to turn on the engine. The battery will then convert chemical energy into electrical energy and deliver it to the starter to crank the engine of your Toyota RAV4.

How to test your car battery?

The voltage of your battery represents the amount of charge or electrical potential that it holds. Your car battery is fully charged at 12.6 volts or higher.

Your car battery’s voltage drops as its remaining energy drops. It is considered charged at 12.4 volts or higher and discharged at 12.39 volts or less. If you get anything lower than 12 volts, then you need to replace your car battery right away.

You can check your car battery with a multimeter by following the steps below:

  1. Stop the engine of your Toyota RAV4.
  2. Set the multimeter to DC voltage.
  3. Connect the red lead from the multimeter to the positive side of your battery.
  4. Connect the black lead from the multimeter to the negative side of your battery.
  5. Check the display of your multimeter and refer to the values that we provided above.

How to jump start Toyota RAV4?

If you’ve determined that the car battery is what’s causing your problems, then you will need to jump start your Toyota RAV4.

The NOCO Boost Plus GB40, 1000 Amp, 12-Volt UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter Box, car battery booster pack, and portable power bank charger is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.

Follow the steps below to jumpstart your Toyota RAV4:

  1. Connect a healthy battery from a donor car or a battery booster using jump start cables. These cables normally have alligator connectors on each end to make it easy to connect from donor to dead batteries.
  2. Connect one end of the red cable to the positive terminal of your car battery.
  3. Connect the opposite end of the red cable to the positive terminal of the donor battery or the battery booster.
  4. Connect one end of the black cable on the negative terminal of the donor battery or battery booster.
  5. Connect the opposite end of the black cable to any bare metal on your Toyota RAV4.
  6. Start the donor vehicle.
  7. Start your Toyota RAV4.
  8. Disconnect the end of the black cable connected to bare metal on your Toyota RAV4.
  9. Disconnect the opposite end of the black cable connected to the donor battery's negative terminal.
  10. Disconnect the end of the red cable from the positive terminal of the donor car battery.
  11. Disconnect the opposite end of the red cable from the positive terminal of your car battery.

The Energizer Jumper Cables for jump starting dead or weak batteries (with carrying bag included) is available on Amazon. Check it out through this link.

Can corroded battery terminals cause car to not start? 

Coroded car battery

Corrosion on the terminals of your car battery reduces conductivity. A reduced conductivity results in a reduced flow of electrical current. This means that your engine will not be able to get enough electrical energy from the car battery because of the limited electrical current.

To find out if this is causing the startup problems in your Toyota RAV4, you will need to open the engine bay and inspect your battery terminals. Lift the rubber covers on your battery terminals to inspect them for corrosion.

If you see any cracks or damage on the terminals, you will need to replace your battery right away.

Follow the steps below to remove corrosion from the terminals of your car battery:

  1. Disconnect the battery contacts of the black cable from the negative terminal or negative pole. Use an insulated pair of pliers or wear insulated gloves to loosen the terminal if it is too tight. Don’t let any part of the pliers touch your body.
  2. Disconnect the red terminal from the positive terminal or the positive pole. You can now safely clean the battery once it has been disconnected from your Toyota RAV4’s electrical circuit.
  3. Clean off any greenish or white deposits on the terminals with a coarse brush.
  4. Reconnect the terminals after cleaning.

Can a weak key fob cause car not to start?

This section will apply only to Toyota RAV4 models with a push start/stop button.

The battery on your Toyota RAV4’s key fob provides power to the transmitter. This transmitter controls the locks on the door—whether to lock or unlock them. You will need to manually lock the doors if your key fob battery is weak or dead.

The battery on your key fob will not affect whether you can start your Toyota RAV4 or not. The key fob uses a passive transponder that doesn’t need its own power source.

How to start your Toyota RAV4 with a dead key fob battery?

Place your key fob as close as possible to the start/stop button and try to start your Toyota RAV4. Your start button should still pick up the passive transponder and allow you to start it up even though the battery is dead on your key fob.

How does a starter motor start the engine?

Modern car start stop button

A starter or a starter motor is a small engine that starts the movement of your main engine. Once the main engine has started, the starter engine shuts down. A part of the electrical energy from the car battery during ignition goes to the starter motor.

How to tell if you have a bad starter motor?

A common sign of a bad starter motor is a clicking sound when you start your Toyota RAV4. This clicking sound is the noise that a bad starter motor makes when it tries to rotate, but it can’t. However, a compromised electrical supply can prevent your starter from working properly too.

If you have already inspected and tested your car battery and have ruled out the possibility of having a bad car battery, then the problem could be the starter motor.

A starter can last around 100,000 to 150,000 miles. More frequent engine startups can shorten this lifespan. Once a starter motor fails, the only fix is to replace it.

Can a car start with a bad alternator?

Your alternator converts mechanical energy from the rotation of your car’s engines into electrical energy. Once your car has started, the alternator will be the one supplying electrical energy for your car. One of its tasks is to charge the car battery while you drive around and use your car.

If the alternator is defective, it will not be able to charge the battery. To make it worse, a bad alternator means that your Toyota RAV4 will still get its electrical supply from the car battery, thus draining it.

When you need to start your car, and your car battery has been drained but has not been charged, then your starter motor will not be able to start the engine.

Thus, during times when you might think that the problem is with the car battery, it could be the alternator that is the real culprit.

An alternator is a reliable car part that can last up to 300,000 miles. However, if it breaks down, the only way to fix it is to replace it.

Conclusion

New Toyota RAV4 parked near house

The clicking noise when you try to start your Toyota RAV4 is generated by the starter motor. However, a bad car battery can cause the starter motor to fail to function properly. Thus, it is important to eliminate the usual suspects first before going for the starter motor because the only way to fix a starter motor is to replace it.

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