How to Fix a chevy truck won’t start just clicks? Expert Tips and Tricks!

We’ve all been there: You turn the key, and instead of the engine roaring to life, all you hear is a clicking sound. This frustrating issue is common in Chevy trucks, and it’s crucial to understand the underlying causes to address it effectively. 

It may be a defective starting motor or a weak battery if a Chevrolet truck only clicks when you try to start. Although the starting solenoid may be engaged by the clicking sound, the starter motor is not receiving enough power (possibly for weak or dead battery) to turn the engine over.

Fret not! In this article, we’ll delve deep into the reasons behind this problem, how to diagnose and fix it, and prevention tips to ensure you don’t face this issue again. Let’s get started!

chevy truck wont start just clicks

5 Reasons that leads chevy truck won’t start just clicks 

Before diving into fixing the problem, it’s essential to understand the various reasons that could cause your Chevy truck not to start and only produce a clicking sound. Here are some of the most common culprits:

#1- Weak or Dead battery

A dead battery is the most common reason for a chevy truck won’t start just clicks. If your battery doesn’t have enough charge to turn the starter motor, you’ll likely hear a clicking sound when you try to start the truck.

Start by checking the battery’s voltage with a multimeter. A healthy battery should have a voltage of around 12.6 volts. If the voltage is lower, the battery might be dead or not adequately charged.

#2- Bad starter

The starter is responsible for turning the engine over when you turn the key. A bad starter could be the reason behind the clicking sound if it isn’t engaging correctly or is drawing too much power.

To test the starter, you can try tapping it lightly with a hammer while someone attempts to start the truck. If the truck starts after tapping, the starter is likely the problem. For a more definitive test, you can remove the starter and have it bench-tested at an auto parts store.

#3- Corroded or loose battery connections

Poor electrical connections between the battery and other components can cause a lack of power, resulting in the dreaded clicking noise. Corrosion or loose connections at the battery terminals can prevent the necessary power from reaching the starter.

Examine the battery terminals and cables for signs of corrosion or looseness. Clean any corrosion with a battery terminal cleaner and make sure the connections are tight.

#4- Ignition switch problem

The ignition switch is what sends the signal to the starter to crank the engine. If there’s an issue with the switch, it may not be sending the necessary signal, causing the clicking noise when trying to start your truck.

To check the ignition switch, you can use a test light or multimeter to verify that the switch is sending power to the starter solenoid when you turn the key. If there’s no power, the ignition switch could be the issue.

#5- Alternator failure

The alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the vehicle is running. If it fails, the battery won’t be adequately charged, and your truck might not start.

To test the alternator, you can use a multimeter to check the voltage at the battery while the truck is running. The voltage should be around 13.8-14.2 volts. If it’s lower, the alternator might not be charging the battery correctly.

How to Fix the Chevy Truck Just Clicks but Won’t Start issue?

Once you’ve identified the cause of the problem, you can take the appropriate steps to fix it. Here are some measures  you may try-

1# Jump-starting the battery

If the battery is dead, you can try jump-starting your truck with the help of another vehicle or a portable jump starter. 

Connect the positive jumper cable to the dead battery’s positive terminal and the other end to the helper battery’s positive terminal. 

Next, connect the negative jumper cable to the helper battery’s negative terminal and the other end to a solid, unpainted metal surface on your truck’s engine block, away from the battery. 

Start the helper vehicle and let it run for a few minutes before attempting to start your truck.

If the truck starts, let it run for at least 15-20 minutes to charge the battery. If the battery continues to die after jump-starting, it may need to be replaced.

2# Replacing the starter motor

If you’ve determined that the starter is the problem, you’ll need to replace it. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery.
  2. Locate the starter, which is usually on the lower part of the engine near the transmission.
  3. Remove any components that obstruct access to the starter, such as heat shields or exhaust pipes.
  4. Disconnect the wiring from the starter solenoid.
  5. Remove the mounting bolts and carefully remove the starter from the engine.
  6. Install the new starter by following the removal steps in reverse order. Make sure to tighten all bolts and connections securely.

3# Cleaning or replacing battery connections

If corrosion or loose connections are causing the issue, you’ll need to clean or replace the affected parts:

  1. Remove the battery cables from the battery terminals, starting with the negative cable.
  2. Use a battery terminal cleaner or a wire brush to clean the terminals and cable ends thoroughly. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and water to help neutralize and remove corrosion.
  3. If the battery cables are damaged or excessively corroded, consider replacing them.
  4. Reattach the battery cables to the battery terminals, starting with the positive cable. Ensure the connections are tight and secure.

4# Repairing or replacing the ignition switch

If the ignition switch is the problem, you may need to repair or replace it. This process can be quite involved and may require the assistance of a professional mechanic. However, if you’re confident in your skills, you can attempt the repair by following these general steps:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove any trim pieces and the steering wheel, if necessary, to access the ignition switch.
  3. Disconnect the wiring from the ignition switch.
  4. Remove the screws or bolts holding the ignition switch in place and carefully remove the switch.
  5. Install the new ignition switch, following the removal steps in reverse order. Ensure all connections and mounting points are secure.

5# Replacing the alternator

If the alternator is the culprit, you’ll need to replace it. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Locate the alternator, which is typically near the top of the engine and driven by a belt.
  3. Loosen the belt tensioner and remove the belt from the alternator pulley.
  4. Disconnect the wiring from the alternator.
  5. Remove the mounting bolts and carefully remove the alternator from the engine.
  6. Install the new alternator by following the removal steps in reverse order. Make sure to tighten all bolts and connections securely.

How to prevent a chevy truck just clicks but won’t start happening again?

To prevent your Chevy truck from encountering starting issues in the future, follow these preventative maintenance tips:

Regular maintenance

Keep up with your truck’s regular maintenance schedule, including oil changes, filter replacements, and belt inspections.

Checking the battery regularly

Inspect your battery regularly for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. Make sure the connections are tight and secure.

Keeping the battery connections clean

Clean the battery terminals and cable ends periodically to prevent corrosion from building up. 

You can use a battery terminal cleaner or a wire brush, along with a mixture of baking soda and water, to keep the connections clean.

Replacing the battery as needed

Most batteries have a lifespan of 3-5 years. Keep an eye on your battery’s age and replace it as needed to avoid starting problems.


While skimming through different forums and blogs, I’ve found below queries that are related to today’s topic. So, I’ve tried to provide a quick answer for each.  Have a quick look-

Can a blown fuse cause my truck not to start and just click?

Yes, a blown fuse can cause starting problems. Check the fuses related to the starter, ignition, and fuel system to ensure they are in working order.

What should I do if I hear a grinding noise when I try to start my truck?

A grinding noise may indicate a problem with the starter’s gear or the engine’s flywheel. Consult a mechanic to diagnose and fix the issue.

How do I know if my truck’s problem is fuel-related?

If your truck cranks but doesn’t start, it could be a fuel-related issue. Check the fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel injectors for proper operation.

Can a bad spark plug cause my truck not to start and just click?

While a bad spark plug can cause starting problems, it generally won’t cause a clicking sound. A clicking sound is usually related to issues with the battery, starter, or electrical connections.

Final Thoughts

By understanding the possible reasons for your Chevy truck not starting and just clicking, you can confidently troubleshoot and fix the problem. 

With regular maintenance and a proactive approach to potential issues, you can keep your truck running smoothly and prevent future starting problems.

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