1995 Pontiac Grand Am

Engine Mechanical problem
1995 Pontiac Grand Am 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 112000 miles

Several days ago my 1995 Pontiac Grand Am refused to start and is instead making a loud clicking noise. The battery is roughly four years old as is the alternator, but I don't believe either is at fault as all of the lights come on just fine. I'm very much a novice when it comes to working on cars, but I replaced the starter yesterday and it is still making the same loud clicking noise (almost sounds like rapid hammering). What else could be the problem?


July 7, 2010.

I'd have to check that the battery has a full charge. Using a digital multimeter, place the leads across the battery posts, everything turned off. Generic spec for a full charge is 12.6 volts, leave the leads hooked up to battery, have helper turn key to crank, if the voltage reading drops much below 10 volts, take the battery off and have it charged. Some of the national brand autostores will test and charge the battery for you. Make sure all battery connections are clean and tight on both ends.

Jul 7, 2010.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll hook up my multimeter tomorrow and run some tests. I didn't realize that a dead battery could cause a clicking noise like that.

Jul 9, 2010.
Multimeter showed about 10.5 volts. I replaced the battery and the car started up just fine. I guess I should have checked that first - oops. At least, I know how to replace a starter now. I charged the battery for two hours at a two amp rate. The charger showed that the battery was then fully charged.

Is there a recommended charging time or rate for an off-the-shelf battery?

Thanks for the help.

Jul 18, 2010.