If that is a rapid, repetitive clicking, like a loud buzzing, as long as you hold the ignition switch in the "crank" position, that is due to a bad connection in one of the battery cables, typically right at the battery, or the battery is not fully charged. The starter will work with a jump-start.
If you get a single, rather loud clunk from the starter each time you turn the ignition switch, but the starter doesn't spin the engine, suspect worn solenoid contacts. They can be replaced for 20 bucks, but most people just replace the entire starter. This problem is real common with the little silver Nippendenso starters used on Chryslers and Toyotas. The clue is this always starts out as a very intermittent problem. The engine will crank if you cycle the ignition switch repeatedly enough times. As the problem gets worse, it will take more and more tries before it cranks.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 AT 6:38 AM