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TonyF
09-05-2010, 01:33 PM
Yesterday, on inserting the key into the ignition key slot, got a click-click sound only. The key would not turn to start ignition. I repeated to insert the key several times with the same result. I turned on the headlights and checked them. They seemed normal. I was ready to open the hood when I tried one more time and did not get the click-click but normal ignition . I continued to start successfully several times yesterday and this morning. Does anyone have idea what might have happened here?

HarryN
09-06-2010, 03:26 PM
I am not sure about on Sprinters, but on other cars, I would guess either the battery is getting old or the solenoid to engage the starter is failing. I am not a mechanic, just a home hack.

Most modern cars have the solenoid built into the starter, so it is a swap of the starter sort of deal.

The battery might have enough power to run the lights, but not enough to drive the starter. This can be checked at most mechanic shops with a battery load test, although I have had a battery pass the load test unit, and was not sufficient to ensure repeatable starts in a car.

Let us know what it turns out to be.

autostaretx
09-06-2010, 07:17 PM
Another possibility is a bad engine-to-frame ground cable (or connection).
That would allow the headlights to work properly, but would prevent adequate current for the starter to turn.

good luck
--dick

TonyF
09-07-2010, 08:32 PM
Thanks for your suggestions, guys. Inserting the key seems to engage some solenoids only; it is not possible to turn the key without the solenoids. The starter is engaged only after the key is successfully inserted, the solenoids do their thing and the key is turned to the start position. I had the battery checked out this morning and it seemed weak but ok for another year. It is the original battery in this '07 Sprinter with 37 k miles on it. I'll keep my jumper cables handy; got 2 new 6 volt golf cart batteries in series for use in the RV part of the van.

wildimaginations
11-13-2010, 08:50 AM
I had the same thing happen to me yesterday. I must've spent a good 15 minutes trying to figure this out. Nothing till I called AAA to have the van towed to the dealer. The operator told me told me to try stepping on the brakes, jiggle the steering wheel and turn the key. Seems like the ignition solenoid worked after I stepped on the brakes and inserted the key. Now I'm a little scared everytime I turn off the engine wondering if it will turn on again when I need it. I will check my battery out tomorrow morning. It's the original battery as well so if it's time to go, it' time to go. It's got almost 90k miles on it.

folzag
11-13-2010, 10:44 PM
Your description of the click-click sound is a little unclear to me. Are you saying you get click-click sound from the column instead of the usual "whirl"?

Are you familiar with the threads on the ignition-security ECM failing?
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=55020 (post 12 has the summary)
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11207 (pretty long thread and takes a while to get to the source of the problem)

If I understand it correctly, when it is the ECM failing, people don't get any sound. That you are getting a click-click sound might indicate a different failure mode than the ECM losing it's mind. Good luck.

folzag
11-13-2010, 10:54 PM
Wait a second. TonyF, didn't you have this problem a couple months ago?

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12764

jdcaples
11-14-2010, 02:30 PM
Is there any kind of warranty - like a 90 day "we'll fix it if it breaks in three months" - on the new parts and labor for this repair?

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=109785&postcount=24

For the sake of faith in the vehicle, I think the work needs to be reviewed and the vehicle scanned for any active/pending or stored DTCs involving any of those modules.

-Jon

Mrdi
11-14-2010, 02:39 PM
Interesting.
I meant to post this topic a week ago. I got that clicking sound from what seemed to be my column area last week.
Heard about 6 clicks but had no trouble starting.
(2008 Cargo 6,000 miles 1 year since purchase)
Have had no clicking sound in 6 starts this past week.

TonyF
11-22-2010, 01:27 AM
A couple of weeks after I posted this thread, I did have a complete failure as described in the following thread:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12764

So the Click-Click sound was a warning for an impending complete failure for me. It took 29 days for the dealer to fix this!!

Aqua Puttana
11-22-2010, 12:09 PM
...
I had the battery checked out this morning and it seemed weak but ok for another year. It is the original battery in this '07 Sprinter with 37 k miles on it. I'll keep my jumper cables handy;
...


The good Doktor A is very adamant in his recommendation to replace any battery that is at all questionable and to not use jumper cables at risk of premature SKREEM failures.

A couple of weeks after I posted this thread, I did have a complete failure as described in the following thread:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12764

So the Click-Click sound was a warning for an impending complete failure for me. It took 29 days for the dealer to fix this!!
Did you ever replace that battery? If not, your experience seems to support what Andy recommends. vic

folzag
11-22-2010, 05:15 PM
Wow, somehow I'd missed that recommendation. Thanks for mentioning it.

I'd be curious in a poll of both folks that have had SKREEM failures and folks that had battery problems without SKREEM.

TonyF
11-23-2010, 01:16 AM
The good Doktor A is very adamant in his recommendation to replace any battery that is at all questionable and to not use jumper cables at risk of premature SKREEM failures.

Did you ever replace that battery? If not, your experience seems to support what Andy recommends. vic

No, the van still has the original '07 model year battery. It is a sealed battery under the driver's side floor board. I've never looked at it. I would assume that the dealer checked it after I had the various modules fail as described in the link of my previous post. I've put over 2000 miles on the van since the problem was fixed 6 weeks ago. Have had no starting/ignition problems since the repair. I have both a good digital multimeter and a load tester. What tests do you suggest I do on the battery to see if it needs to be replaced?

autostaretx
11-23-2010, 01:43 AM
A quick and easy battery test is to turn off the engine, and measure the voltage before/after turning on the headlights.
Then do it again in the morning (before starting).
If the voltage drops less than about 0.3 volts, it's a strong battery
If the voltage drops below 12v, it may want attention.

A much stiffer test would be to watch the battery while the glow plugs are running... they draw between 90 to 65 amps (it drops as they warm up).
--dick

2mdist
11-27-2010, 02:07 PM
had same problem with my 07 3500 it is your ignition control module computer shuts down the entire system van must be towed to service department

WODZO
11-29-2015, 10:55 PM
Had the key turn to click sound (click being the starter solenoid) on 2011 3500 sprinter - put up with it off and on for nearly year - continued to get worse (would start but would take multiple tries) - considered battery but was convinced it was something worse after researching on internet - finally replaced battery with MB OEM replacement and insured all cables POS and NEG were snug - so far has not missed a lick - believe MB battery are sooo good that when they end life it is a slow drawn out process and will easily fool the driver into thinking it is something other - would recommend battery change if older than three years old - battery test if newer....

Froggy
11-30-2015, 10:52 PM
My experience may be unusual, but once the clicking starts, I know it is only a matter of time until the starter fails. I am on my 5th starter in 60,000 miles. I replaced battery with a new 950CCA AGM thinking that was the problem, it wasn't.

In short, I carry a new starter in the van at all times. A new Bosch starter can be purchased on ebay for about the same price as an oil change with filter and a fuel filter change. Takes about 30 minutes to change starters if arthiritis is not too bad. ha

I seem to get about 1000-1200 starts out of a starter. I have new Y cable and two engine grounding straps. Scan gauge and DVM show ~14.2v constantly. Van always starts immediately -- no grinding. Ring gear shows no damage nor I hear any dragging (indicating starter is not properly aligned.)

I've been dealing with this for several years and I took out the anxiety of being in the middle of nowhere by carrying a new starter at all times.