Car Making A Clicking Noise – 11 Most Common Reasons Behind

Written By: Terrence Hines
Category: Engine

If you hear your car making a clicking noise, it’s important to address the issue as quickly as possible because it indicates a range of problems like faulty ignition coil, compression issues, etc.

Ignoring a clicking noise can lead to further damage and potential safety hazards on the road. So if you’re hearing a sound from your car, take action and have it looked at by a professional.

Car Making A Clicking Noise – 11 Reasons

When you’re driving and you hear your car making a clicking noise, it’s important to pay attention. While some clicking sounds may be harmless, others can indicate a more significant issue. 

The sound might come from various places, including the engine, wheels, or suspension system. 

If you’re hearing the clicking noise every time you hit a bump or turn a corner, it may be a signal that something needs to be repaired. 

Don’t ignore these sounds, as they can indicate an underlying mechanical problem that could lead to more significant issues. 

Instead, take your car to a professional mechanic to diagnose the issue and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

1. Low Engine Oil Level:

If you have recently noticed that your car is making a clicking noise, it might be because of a low engine oil level

Car Making A Clicking Noise

When the oil is depleted due to the engine’s extreme heat, it can lead to a clicking sound. The clicking noise is caused by the valve lifters slapping against the camshaft. 

It is essential to check the oil level regularly to prevent engine damage. To avoid such a scenario, ensure that you frequently perform oil changes as your car manufacturer recommends. 

A car maintenance schedule ensures that you save thousands of dollars you may have spent on engine repairs. 

So, always pay attention to any strange noises your car ,makes and don’t hesitate to take it to a professional mechanic.

2. Bad Spark Plugs:

Has your car recently started making a clicking noise? Ignoring the sound may not be the best idea. Bad spark plugs are among the most common causes of the clicking noise. 

Over time, spark plugs can wear out or become covered in buildup, causing them to misfire and produce an audible clicking noise. 

It’s important to address this issue as soon as possible, as ignoring bad spark plugs can reduce fuel efficiency and potentially cause engine damage. 

So if you hear your car making a clicking noise, it may be time to take a closer look at those spark plugs.

3. Faulty Ignition Coils:

As a car owner, some sounds are expected and normal while driving, but a clicking noise might cause concern and bring your attention to something faulty. 

One of the potential culprits for this clicking noise could be faulty ignition coils. 

Ignition coils play an important role in starting your vehicle, and when they are worn down or faulty, they can struggle to provide the necessary energy to your spark plugs. 

This results in a clicking noise from the engine compartment, especially when idling or accelerating. 

If you’re experiencing this type of noise, it’s recommended to have a mechanic inspect your ignition coils as soon as possible. 

Catching this issue early could potentially save you from a more costly repair down the road.

4. Poor Fuel Injectors:

When your car is making a clicking noise, it could be a sign of a problem with the fuel injectors. 

These small but essential components are responsible for delivering gasoline to the engine in precise amounts. 

Fuel Injectors

When they are not working properly, the engine may struggle to start or run rough during operation, resulting in an obvious clicking sound. 

Addressing this issue with a trained mechanic as soon as possible is important to avoid further damage to your vehicle’s engine. 

By keeping an eye (or rather, an ear) out for the slightest of clicks, you can address the issue proactively and ensure that your car stays healthy and reliable for years to come.

5. Loose Belts:

If you hear a clicking noise coming from your car, it might be due to a loose fan belt. 

Fan belts are an essential component in your vehicle that manages your engine’s power output to other crucial systems. 

If they become loose, the belt can rub against pulleys, causing a clicking sound. It’s important to address this issue immediately to avoid further damage to your car’s engine. 

A professional mechanic can diagnose whether the fan belt needs tightening or must be replaced. 

Don’t ignore unusual sounds from your car, as they could indicate more significant issues.

6. Worn Out Brake Pads:

The strange clicking noise your car produces when you press the brakes may result from worn-out brake pads. 

As the pads become thin from constant use, they can no longer provide the proper friction to stop the car smoothly

This can lead to a clicking or grinding noise as the metal backing of the worn pads rubs against the rotors. 

It’s important to have your brake pads inspected and replaced regularly to avoid further damage and potentially dangerous situations on the road. 

Don’t ignore any unusual noises from your brakes – schedule an appointment with a trusted mechanic to check them out as soon as possible.

7. Worn Out Alternator Bearings:

Worn-out alternator bearings may cause a clicking sound in your car. As the alternator bearings deteriorate over time, they can produce a clicking sound.

This is because the bearings support the rotating shafts and armature contained within the alternator. 

Without these bearings, the various parts within the alternator may not rotate or work correctly.

Car Making A Clicking Noise - 11 Reasons

 Thankfully, replacing the worn-out bearings in the alternator can solve the clicking noise issue and restore proper operation to your car’s electrical system. 

If you suspect that your car’s alternator bearings might be worn, it’s best to have a professional mechanic diagnose and fix the problem to ensure your car stays safe and reliable on the road.

8. Clogged Fuel Filter:

Your car is making a clicking noise, and the culprit behind it could be a clogged fuel filter

A fuel filter is a vital component of your car’s fuel system, preventing dirt and debris from entering the engine. 

When the fuel filter gets clogged, it restricts the fuel flow to the engine, causing it to make strange sounds, like clicking or humming. 

This issue can also cause your vehicle to run rough and even stall. So, if your car is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to look closer at your fuel filter. 

Ignoring this problem can lead to serious engine damage and costly repairs, so it’s best to get it checked out ASAP.

9. Faulty Exhaust Manifold Gasket:

Are you noticing a clicking sound coming from under the hood of your car? It could be a sign of a faulty exhaust manifold gasket. 

This gasket plays a critical role in your car’s exhaust system by sealing the connection between the exhaust manifold and the engine block. 

Over time, the gasket can wear out or become damaged, leading to leaks and that distinctive clicking sound. 

If left unchecked, this issue can negatively impact your car’s performance and even cause further damage in the long run. 

Seeking professional help for a faulty exhaust manifold gasket is crucial to ensure the safety and longevity of your car.

 10. Corroded Pulley Or Fan Blades:

A possible reason for the unusual clicking sound in your car could be due to a corroded pulley or fan blades. 

Corrosion on these components can cause them to become loose and result in a clicking sound when the car is running. 

A corroded pulley can be particularly problematic, as it transfers power from the engine to other systems in your car. 

Therefore, addressing the issue as soon as possible is essential to prevent further damage to your car’s systems. 

A qualified mechanic can diagnose and fix this problem quickly, so it’s best to schedule an appointment as soon as you notice the clicking noise.

11. Compression Issues:

It’s natural to assume something may be seriously wrong when you hear a clicking noise from your car. One potential culprit is low compression levels in one or more cylinders. 

Compression issues occur when the engine fails to build up the necessary pressure to ignite gasoline properly. 

This can lead to uneven combustion and result in a clicking noise. It’s important to address compression issues as soon as possible, as they can indicate a larger problem in the engine

Compression Issues

If you suspect your car may have compression issues, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional mechanic to identify and resolve any underlying problems.

How To Prevent Cars From Making Clicking Noise?

Have you ever been driving down the road and heard an unnerving clicking noise from your vehicle? This unsettling sound can be a sign of underlying issues with your car. 

However, the good news is that you can take several preventative measures to keep your car from making clicking noises. 

One effective way is to check and replace your car’s oil and filter routinely. Heat and debris can cause these components to deteriorate, which leads to a clicking noise. 

Moreover, inspecting and tightening your car’s bolts and screws can reduce the chances of clicking noises. 

You’ll save time, money, and headaches by consistently maintaining your car.


Car clicking noises can be incredibly confusing and often enough will signify a need for some form of car repair. 

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your car stays healthy is to be vigilant for strange noises and familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s normal sounds. 

This will make it easier to pick up on the small details, such as excessive clicking, that may require further investigation. 

Though hearing clicking, rattling, pinging, or knocking from inside your engine could signify damage, this noise doesn’t always indicate catastrophic events. 

Sometimes, it could mean nothing more than an adjustability issue with the transmission or a loose component in the valve train. 

Ensuring proper and regular vehicle maintenance is key to preventing problems and maximizing its functionality and performance.

Terrence Hines

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