Why Is My Car Making a Clicking Noise?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 month ago

5 min read

  • Diagnostic
Clicking noise blog

WhoCanFixMyCar looks at some of the reasons why your car might be making a clicking noise and how to fix them.

When your car starts making a new noise, it can be a worrying experience. This guide explains the reasons why your car might be clicking, other symptoms to look for, and what repair is required.

Guide Contents:

My car is making a clicking noise

Clicking noise while turning

Clicking noise while driving slowly

Rapid clicking noise coming from my car

My car makes a single click

My car is making a clicking noise

Low engine oil

A lack of lubrication between different car components can cause a clicking noise. You should check your engine oil level and, if it’s low, look around under the bonnet to see if you can spot a leak.

It’s easy to top up your engine oil; this job is always done when you book a full service. However, maintaining the correct fluid level will be impossible if there's a leak. In this case, you should take your car to a garage to get it fixed.

The average cost of fixing a leak is £77.38.

Dirty oil

Not only could your oil be low, it might also be dirty, meaning that it won’t be able to do its job properly. Engine oil needs to be fairly clean so that it can lubricate the necessary components. If you let dirty engine oil run through your engine for long enough, eventually it could cause the valve filter to become faulty or break.

Woman checking engine oil

Fortunately, it’s possible to replace the old engine oil yourself, or if you prefer, you can book your car in for a service where a professional will do it for you.

The average cost of an oil change is £104.50.

My car makes a clicking noise while turning

CV axle

If you notice that the clicking noise is most prominent when you turn your car, the most likely suspect is a CV (or constant velocity) axle. CV axles allow the car’s transmission to drive the wheels and open up a range of motion with bearings.

The clicking sound probably comes from a torn shaft boot on one of the CV axles. When shaft boots are damaged, they leak grease, resulting in dry components that make a clicking sound when they come into contact.

Catching this problem before it becomes severe can prevent you from replacing the entire CV axle. A mechanic will be able to advise you on the extent of the damage and the nature of the repair job needed.

My car makes a clicking noise while driving slowly

Loose brake pad

A clicking sound that happens when you drive slowly, particularly when braking, could indicate a loose brake pad. If the pad is not secured to the calliper, it might move around at slower speeds. The fix for this would be a brake pad replacement.

The average cost for front and rear brake pads is £230.67.

My car makes a rapid clicking noise

Faulty battery or alternator

Rapid clicking usually suggests the battery has enough power to bring the starter motor to life but not enough to crank the engine. Either your battery is faulty, or the alternator is no longer charging the battery, causing the power to be drained.

The average price of an alternator repair is £438.61.

Mechanic inspecting car battery

You can try jump-starting the car if you need to use it urgently, but if the alternator isn’t working, the battery will die anyway. The best option in this situation is a battery replacement.

The average price of a battery replacement when booked with a mobile mechanic is £196.52. However, if you prefer to take your car to a brick-and-mortar garage, the average price is £217.37.

My car makes a single click

Faulty starter motor

The starter motor is a small motor powered by your car’s battery. It’s responsible for running the engine. However, starters have a limited lifespan, typically between 30,000 and 200,000 miles, after which they need replacing.

A faulty starter motor costs £308.88 on average to repair.

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Written by Ellie

Ellie Author Pic

Ellie is WhoCanFixMyCar’s Content Writer. She has a BA in English literature from Durham University, a master’s degree in creative writing, and three years of experience writing in the automotive industry. She currently drives a Suzuki Swift.

Find Ellie on LinkedIn.