Why Is My Car Ticking When It’s Off? (Notable Causes!)

There are affiliate links on this article. If you make a purchase through any of the links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Why is my car ticking when it’s off? Okay, you just got up and went out to “warm” your car – your usual habit of getting the car ready for the day’s drive, but this time, your car isn’t starting, and you’re hearing a clicking/ticking sound?

When you start hearing uncertain sounds and noise coming from your car’s engine bay, it’s a clear indication that something’s not right, and you need to troubleshoot your vehicle. But, what could be the cause of the “ticking” sound your car makes when it’s off?

The most common culprit here is your car battery or alternator. If the battery itself is not charged, or the alternator is bad, such scenarios such as this could happen. It could also be that your engine components are trying to cool down after a long ride.

Why Is My Car Ticking When It’s Off?

If the ticking sound occurs when you turn off your car, it can be assumed to be the sound of your engine components trying to cool down.

Yes, after a long drive, some components may not completely shut off when you turn off the car; they may keep rotating for a few more seconds before they finally stop.

So to say, if your engine is making the clicking sound after you turned off the engine, it’s pretty normal, and does not call for alarm.

However, in contrast, if the noise is happening when you try to start the car, that’s when it should be a concern.

When you put the key to turn your car on, usually, it’d make a slight cracking noise before cranking and then the engine starts working.

The clicking sound is pretty normal, but if it’s making your car not to start, there are a couple of things to check.

Below are some possible reasons why your car might be ticking when it’s off!

1. Dead Battery

First, you need to check your car’s battery. If the battery is dead, your car would continuously make the clicking sound without cranking up.

If this is the problem, you’d need to get a new battery or take the dead battery for a charge.

2. Bad Alternator

Secondly, the alternator is another thing to hold responsible here. If the alternator is bad, it’d cause the battery not to charge while the car is functioning; thus, your car may not be able to crank up when you try to start it after a stop.

3. Fuel Injectors Firing

Asides from battery-related issues, this is the most possible cause for engine ticking. In some car models, the fuel injection system makes a ticking sound when the injectors start firing.

This happens because the injector valves are quickly opening and closing to push the required amount of fuel into the engine for the car to start. So, if you a ticking sound before your car starts, this could be the cause.

4. Faulty Bearing

Another cause of the ticking noise is a faulty bearing. If a bearing is bad or worn out, the rod it is attached to would collide with other surrounding metals; thus, causing the ticking sound.  

Can Lack Of Oil Cause Clicking/Ticking Sound?

Why Is My Car Ticking When It's Off

Yes, when your engine is running low on oil, it’d cause the moving parts to grind against each other, causing slight friction, which can result in the clicking or ticking noise you’re here.

However, you would only hear this noise when you’ve started driving already.

What More?

There could be other reasons why you’re hearing the ticking noise when your car is off. However, here’s the summary of this post:

  • If you hear ticking/clicking sound after turning off your car, that’s the sound of metals trying to settle into new positions since the engine has been shut off. This is normal and you shouldn’t be bothered about it.
  • If the sound happens when you want to start the car, that’s normal too, as certain components are trying to get set for a driving cycle.
  • But, if you’re hearing the ticking sound and your car won’t start, that’s most probably coming from a dead battery or faulty alternator.
Scroll to Top