A car makes many different kinds of noises. If you’re experienced with vehicles, you should already know that some noises are very scary, and one of them is clicking noises after turning off your car’s ignition. What can be that clicking noise after your car is turned off?
If a car makes clicking noises after it’s turned off, it’s most likely the components of your car cooling after a hot ride. The clicking sounds are a result of the metal parts of the car shrinking as the components cool rapidly.
In this article, you’ll learn what kinds of clicking noises in your car should make you worry. Also, I’ll show you what to do when your car starts clicking abnormally and why you shouldn’t ignore any irregular noise.
Why Is My Car Ticking When It’s Off?
If you start hearing clicking noises in your vehicle, it may be a perfectly normal scenario. On the flip side, you may be listening to the gradual death of your car if you refuse to do anything about it.
Typically, your auto mechanic can tell if the situation is worrisome or perfectly normal, depending on the other circumstances apart from the clicking noise. Sometimes, the click happens after the car has been turned off, and at other scarier times, it happens when the car won’t turn on.
If you have either of these problems or another one entirely, here are some reasons why you can hear those ticking noises from the hood of your car.
1. Cooling components
If this is the case, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Most parts of a car run hot during a drive, and they need to cool down after you turn off the ignition. The clicking sound you can hear is from shrinking metal since metal shrinks when it cools.
This is usually the case if you only experience the clicking noise when you turn off your car after a ride. It is also no cause for concern, as your vehicle was designed to run, heat up, cool down, and click in this very way.
2. A dead battery
If the clicking is rapid and not after a ride, it’s likely not a cooling component. In this case, you may be dealing with a dead battery, which is a worse scenario than cooling components. This may also be a result of an alternator that doesn’t work properly.
In this case, your car may refuse to start while it clicks. You should try kickstarting the car and getting it to a nearby technician for repair. If you need to replace your battery or alternator, you should be prepared to spend a bit more.
It’s important to note that you can only do so much when the click starts happening. Do not try to fix it yourself or manage the problem if you don’t want to deal with a major problem soon after.
3. Low engine oil levels
If your oil levels are low, the creaking of the components in the car may cause a recurring clicking sound that continues until the car is properly oiled. In this situation, you may need to oil your car, but the repair shouldn’t stop there.
You must also try to find out the cause of the low engine oil levels to avoid future occurrences of the same problem. If it’s a leak, it’s important to fix the leak before oiling the car, as the problem will only reoccur if the root problem isn’t fixed.
4. Faulty starter
If you only heard a single loud clicking sound from inside the hood, it’s most likely a faulty starter. If your starter is faulty, you’ll hear a single click whenever you try to start the vehicle, but it may still work.
If you have a bad starter, it’s only a matter of time before the vehicle breaks down completely. Before this happens, it’s important to see a technician to fix the fault. If it has already broken down, you may need to tow the vehicle to the technician.
It’s also important to know that a faulty starter is inevitable. While they typically last very long, they’re not made to last forever. Someday, you’ll be required to replace your car’s starter, and when you start hearing this clicking sound, the day has finally come.
Is It Normal for Your Car to Make Noise After You Turn It Off?
If your car makes ticking noises after you turn it off, you have nothing to worry about. However, there are some times when ticking should be a cause for concern.
For example, a single clicking sound after trying to start your vehicle is a sign of a faulty starter which is a cause for concern. Also, if you experience the noise while you drive, it may be that your engine oil leaks and is unable to lubricate the components efficiently.
A dead alternator or battery can also cause rapid clicking sounds. If the click happens many times every second, you may want to see a mechanic for a quick check on the battery.
Of all these scenarios, the most favorable one is the ticking noise after turning off the car. In that case, the hot metal compartments of the car are shrinking as a result of rapid cooling, and you can easily imagine metal clicking while they shrink.
However, the worst-case scenario is a dead battery or alternator. They both require urgent attention and you shouldn’t attempt to fix them or continue using the car until you see a technician.
How to Fix a Car Making Clicking Sounds
If your car makes clicking sounds after you turn it off, you can safely ignore it. It’s an intended heat dissipation system that shows that your car works perfectly.
However, if the clicking sounds happen too rapidly or during a ride, you should worry. If the car can still move, you should drive to a technician as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may need to arrange for a tow to the technician to have them check out the car.