The first step is to have your battery charged and tested. Clicking is usally an indication of a weak battery. Some lights may work, but it still might not have enough power to start the car.
If you still have a problem with it starting with a known good battery, then start relay/starter is a good second guess.
When a car "clicks" while trying to start, do you know what the click is? Picture in your mind, a relay with 4 wires connected to it. Two of the wires are small, and two are large. The two large wires are connected to the battery and the starter. To start the car you need to make the two large wires contact. This is done inside the relay by a set of contacts. These contacts are pulled together by a little coil. This coil is connected to the ignition switch in your car, and a ground. When you turn the ignitions switch, power flows thru this coil, and creates a magnetic field that pulls the contacts together to allow the battery to be connected to the starter. But guess what, it takes a lot of power to turn that starter, so the battery voltage on a weak battery starts to drop. This inturn weakens the power going thru the coil, and starts to allow the contacts to open. When they open, battery voltage rebounds because it is not trying to start anymore, and so the coil strengthens again causing the contacts to close. It just does it really really fast, and the click you hea is the contacts in the relay opening and closing real fast because of a weak battery.
If you install a new, or freshly charged battery, and you still hear clicking, then maybe the starter is gone bad and really pulling down the good battery and causing the same effect. So to fix this problem, use a good battery, and if that doenst fix it, look for another cause.
As one gentleman stated, his ignition switch was bad. If that is the case, it may not be energixing the little coil good enough to keep the contacts closed.
All and all a very simple system that gets very miss understood.
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 AT 3:19 PM