Why Does My Car Sound Like It’s Struggling to Start?

It’s important to identify the exact problem quickly if your car is struggling to start but running fine.

This could indicate other engine troubles if you are sure the battery and alternator are fine.

You turn the key and the car won’t start. Maybe you try a second time and it doesn’t work out.

It might take a few frantic switches back and forth before your car starts. You drive off and forget about it until next time because it is running fine.

If your car is struggling to start but running fine, this is most likely an issue with the battery. What’s wrong in the first place?

We will cover the typical problems you will encounter with your car’s battery and alternator, some solutions for addressing each one, and what you can do to keep your car running smoothly.

Car Struggling

Reasons Why Car is Struggling to Start

Car Battery

The car battery is the primary source of power for your car’s electrical components. The battery is used to power the lights on your vehicle, as well as your radio, power windows, and other essential functions.

If your car is struggling to start, you will want to attend to the battery first, because it sends voltage to your starter.

Look out for the following:

Rapid Clicking 

It could be that your car battery lacks the power to turn over the engine if you are turning your key and getting a loud clicking noise.

If the output reading is under 12 you need a mechanic to take a second look.

Battery Power Drain

Clicking could indicate that your battery is running out of juice. When there is too much power discharged after shutting off your car’s engine, there is a problem with the battery.

If you want to fix a power drain, you need to replace your battery’s cables, which requires at least a little prior experience.

Battery Corrosion

The clicking sound may be a sign of a malfunctioning battery terminal.

If you notice green or blue deposits on your battery, they could be interfering with the transfer of power from your battery to other components of your engine, so you need to inspect it.

Loose Battery Cables

A clicking noise accompanied by loose battery cables or frayed wires can prevent or interfere with the start of your car. You will want to replace the battery cables if it is the problem.

Low Electrolyte Levels

It is similar to car battery acid in that it is the liquid substance used to power your battery. The battery won’t function well if the levels of the electrolyte are low.

If you have to replace the battery, it is a quick fix at most garages.

Swollen Battery Case

Fluctuating weather conditions can cause your case to swell and warp. If your battery is swollen you will have to replace it.

Sulfuric Smell

If you are smelling sulfur in your car, that could be an indication that your battery is leaking fluid.

It is necessary to replace the battery asap because fluid leaks can damage other components in your car’s engine, impacting your car’s ability to start.

Dead or Dying Battery

Car batteries can run out of juice at certain times. The easiest way to tell if your battery’s time is over is if your key fob stops working.

If you have a dying car battery, jumping-starting your vehicle is an easy solution. Eventually, you will need to replace it.

Car Alternator 

The battery’s charge is maintained by the car’s alternator, which is connected to the engine.

A damaged alternator will increase your bills and if it is left untreated it will ruin your car’s battery.

Common symptoms:

Loud Noises

It’s an indicator of a faulty alternator if there are loud rumblings or grinding noises. The belt or pulley system of your alternator might be malfunctioning.

If noises persist, you will need a new alternator to get your car running again, and you will have to replace these components to fix the problem.

Engine Cranking

If your engine is cranking too slowly, it could be the fault of the alternator.

Flickering Lights

Your alternator is likely to be to blame if your headlights are flickering or not as bright when you are idling.

To address the problem, you will want to check your drive belt, as the lights on your dashboard may be dim at this time.

It could be an issue with the battery terminal or the cables.

Voltage Leaks

The alternator can leak as well. It’s harder for your car to start running if the voltage is low. You can use a voltmeter to check the level of your alternator.

Battery Light

If your dashboard battery light stays on after you start your car, that means you have trouble with the alternator. It is shaped like a car battery, so you will know that it is the battery light.

Failed Ignition Switch

The part of the electrical switch that turns the engine on is the ignition switch.

If the car is stuck, damaged, or failing, you will notice that the car accessories won’t turn on. If it is the ignition switch that is at fault, you will need a mechanic to fix it.

Other Problems

You have inspected your battery and alternator, and everything checks out. Your car is stuck in start-up mode. Is there anything else that could be causing the problem?


Clicking noises can indicate problems with your car starter.

If the components of your car that are powered by electricity are still working, but the car isn’t starting or struggling to start, it’s your starter that’s the problem

Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter on your car helps to keep the gas flowing in your vehicle. Sometimes the filter will need to be replaced because it gets clogged with debris from your fuel.

Broken Fuel Pump

If you have a broken fuel pump or frozen lines, you will not be able to start your car. Replacing a fuel pump is inexpensive, and you can thaw fuel lines with a little bit of Additive.

Car Struggling

Oil Is Too Thick/Dirty

If you have not changed your oil in a long time, thick or dirty oil could be the culprit. To correct the issue, try changing the oil and replacing the filter.

Spark Plugs 

The spark plugs play an important role in sparking the fuel and getting the engine running. They will need to replace every 100,000 or more.

Similar Posts