Truck Won’t Start Just Clicks—What Could Be Wrong? [6 Reasons Explored]

It's a real problem trying to start up your truck only to hear it click and not turn over. When a vehicle doesn't start, it could be due to multiple issues. We consulted automotive experts about why this happens, and here is what we learned.

Broken or worn-out components are the most likely reason your car won't start. To uncover the cause of your problem, here are some common reasons your truck is clicking.

  1. Dead Battery
  2. Broken Alternator
  3. Bad Spark Plugs
  4. Low Fuel
  5. Faulty Fuel System
  6. Air Restrictions

Getting regular car maintenance can reduce the chances of experiencing this problem. To learn more about trucks, you'll want to keep reading.

The 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 truck in black color, Truck Won't Start Just Clicks - What Could Be Wrong?

Main Reasons Why Your Truck Clicks When You Start It

A vehicle's components don't last forever. They can get worn out, break, or lose power. When you start your truck but only hear a click, it is possible to figure out what is causing this problem.

It is essential to listen out for where the click is coming from to help determine the source of the problem. Here are the common reasons your truck only clicks when trying to start it.

Start or stop engine of the car

1. Dead Battery

If you start your vehicle and don't hear anything else but a burst of clicks, your battery is most likely dead. A dead or low battery can't give enough power to work the vehicle's starter.

Even if you have low power, you may still be able to turn on your radio and some lights, but it's not enough juice to get the car going. To check if your battery is dead, take it to an auto parts store and have them test it for you.

If you have can't go to an auto parts store,  have a friend help you jump start your vehicle, or call a tow service. A towing service doesn't necessarily have to tow your car.  Some can offer a quick jump start, so be sure to specify what you need.

2. Broken Alternator

An alternator is a vehicle component that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. That alternator helps charge up the vehicle's battery while the engine is running, so your car battery can last up to a year without replacement.

Without the help of the alternator, your vehicle would quickly drain the battery's power. And without a charge in the battery, there would be no more power to keep the spark plugs firing. If this happens on the road, your vehicle will suddenly shut off.

If your alternator breaks, you'll have to get this replaced. The mechanic shop is the number one place to get your alternator fixed, but some auto part shops offer replacement and installation.

Remember you can ask around in different auto parts shops about your vehicle's problems. Most of the time, the employees will be very helpful, and this will improve your car knowledge.

3. Bad Spark Plugs

The old spark plug of the car

After starting up your vehicle, if you hear a click followed by a scratching noise, your fuel is not igniting. The most common reason for this is a bad spark plug.

A spark plug is a component used to send an electrical current from an ignition system to the combustion chamber. But because the is a scratching noise after the click, it is safe to say that your vehicle has enough power in its battery.

If your battery does not have enough power, you will only hear a click. Also, you will notice that your truck's electronics are still working fine and not losing any power whatsoever. 

To lessen the chance of getting a bad spark plug, it is a good idea to replace it every 30,000 miles. Remember, if you're planning to replace your spark plugs, make sure you do all four to keep the wear as even as possible.

4. Low Fuel

Fuel is essential for a motor vehicle to function. Trucks tend to run on diesel or gasoline. Though gasoline and diesel are both fuels, they operate in different ways.

Gasoline vehicles use spark-ignited combustion, while diesel vehicle uses compressed ignited combustion. Even if they both have different ways of igniting, it is needed to power the engine of the car.

When fuel levels are low, your vehicle may have a hard time starting. You may feel your car try to start but instead, it will shake and wind up. Keeping an eye on your fuel meter can help prevent this problem.

5. Faulty Fuel System

If there is a faulty fuel system, your engine can't get enough fuel to start the vehicle. Without enough gas, your vehicle will stall and shut off.

There are many things that can go wrong with your fuel pump, such as overheating, damage, or a clog. Your fuel pump could get worn out or accumulate contaminants from fuel as time passes.

Overheating can be caused by the way a vehicle is driven. When a car is driven in a stop-and-go fashion, this will most likely lead to overheating. 

6. Air Restrictions

Aside from fuel, a vehicle's engine needs the proper amount of air. Having the right mixture of air and fuel is essential for an engine to run correctly.

Dirty or clogged filters can cause air restrictions. The vehicle's air filter protects your intake from contaminants that may come from sucked air.

Also, a blocked exhaust can cause the vehicle to have a hard start or not start at all. Without the proper exhaust flow, your engine can stall because there's a build-up of air in your exhaust system and engine.

If your vehicle is hard to start or you're losing a bit of power while driving, poor air restrictions is the likely cause. Check up on your air filter and exhaust to make sure that they are free of any dirt or debris.

Starter Problems For Different Trucks 

Black colored pick up truck

Starter problems on a truck or vehicle have many sources, such as a bad battery, spark plugs, or even contaminated gas. That's why it is essential to know specific starter issues your car can have.

Below are the most common truck brands and the starter problems they experience. Keep in mind that all trucks will have these problems, but these are just the most likely problems your vehicle can have.


Ford is a car manufacturer known for making powerful and large trucks. Although Ford makes great trucks, not all of them are built perfectly. 

Problems that can cause a Ford truck not to start are corrosion on battery terminals, a faulty alternator, clogged fuel filter, broken starter, blown fuse, and electrical issues. These are the most common issues you may face if your Ford truck won't start.

Note that multiple problems may happen simultaneously, but that is a rare occurrence. Checking your vehicle regularly will reduce the chance of you experiencing problems starting your truck. 


Chevrolet is a car manufacturer connected to the General Motors Company, and it is one of Ford's long-time rivals. Trucks made by Chevrolet are both reliable and powerful.

Some common reasons why a Chevrolet truck won't start are because of a bad crankshaft position sensor, bad spark plugs, bad fuel pump, clogged fuel injectors, and insufficient compression. Look out for these problems first when your Chevrolet truck won't start.


black 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 driving down a dirt country road in the mountains during the evening sunset using 4x4

Ram, also formally known as Ram Truck Division, is a company that specializes in making trucks. Though Ram has not been in the automotive market that long, they have been making amazing trucks that rival other car companies.

Some of the starter issues on Ram trucks include a weak battery, faulty alternator, faulty starter, and faulty solenoid. If your vehicle is new, call the dealership you bought it from and have them pick it up for you if it's still under warranty.


The 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 truck in black color

When you start your truck and all you hear is a click, the first thing you should check is the battery. The most common reason why a vehicle won't start is because of a dead battery. To avoid most problems, have your vehicle regularly checked to spot any signs of wear before it breaks.

For more automotive topics and tips, check out the following post.

How Do I Track My Ram Truck Order?

How Do I Track My Ford Factory Truck Order?


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