1. Homepage
  2. »
  3. Cars
  4. »
  5. Nissan
  6. »
  7. Nissan Qashqai: My Car Won’t Start And Makes a Clicking Noise

Nissan Qashqai: My Car Won’t Start And Makes a Clicking Noise

nissan wont start and makes clicking noise

Nissan Qashqai: My Car Won’t Start And Makes a Clicking Noise

Nissan Qashqai has been making multiple headline hits in the automobile industry. The numbers it has been reeling show that this car is a step into the next generation of the automobile industry.

Nissan claims its new model to be “A Super Evolution” car. Here’s why: The Qashqai series was first started back in 2007. The vision was to combine the traditional SUV look with a hatchback, thus combining the compactness and practicality.

They first launched it as a gamble because it was a new approach towards that stereotypical family SUV and how the masses would respond was not entirely known. Nevertheless, the car was a massive hit, and since 2007 it has been pushing the limits of what an SUV car can achieve.

Despite being a workhorse, the Nissan Qashqai can fall prey to the deadly “not starting and giving a clicking sound instead” fault. There may be several reasons why you might be hearing rapid clicking when you get the Nissan Qashqai.

A fast-clicking noise indicates that there is a problem with the electrical systems of the car. The primary thing to be concerned about is the battery of the vehicle.

Let’s dive into the reasons why your Nissan Qashqai won’t start and makes a clicking noise instead:

Why Your Nissan Qashqai Won’t Start? 

electrical fault

Imagine that you have a big day ahead of you, and it is a special day, a significant interview, or a special occasion where you have to reach early or at least on time. To get to your desired destination, you enter your car, but for some reason, even though you are ready to start your day, your car just doesn’t get it.

Your new Nissan Qashqai is not starting instead producing a clicking noise. This situation is very irritating because not only is the car not functioning correctly, but you are also getting late to the destination you want to reach.

Depending on the probable cause, the clicking sound can vary from a rapid ticking noise to a single loud clicking sound that produces a grinding or squealing type of noise. 

Indeed, these noises can be frustrating—not to mention; your engine might not even start when you turn the ignition. 

In this guide, we will look at what causes Nissan Qashqai clicking noises, how to detect the problem, worse-case scenarios, and how to fix your car.  

This way, you can stay a step ahead—and avoid much bigger car problems that could be costly.

Probable Causes of Nissan Qashqai Won’t Start Clicking Noise

A clicking noise is usually a warning sign that your car has an internal mechanical issue. This could either be a symptom of a bad starter motor or an issue with your battery/alternator.

Typically, this happens when the engine cannot respond to the components that are supposed to give it power—triggering a series of chain events, like clicking sounds.

Usually, you may hear two types of clicking noises when you start your car:

  • Rapid/fast clicking
  • A single click

Let’s explore each one of them and why they occur:

Rapid Or Fast Clicking When You Turn The Ignition Key

If you hear a rapid-fire clicking noise when you start your car, this is high resistance or low voltage hazard. The only feasible cause for this problem is a faulty car battery.

A faulty battery could mean one of the two reasons:

The battery Is Dead

jump starting battery

Usually, this is a result of a low battery charge or a malfunctioning alternator. 

To diagnose this problem, check your battery’s voltmeter reading (the normal reading should be around 12.6 V). If the reading is below 12 V, then your car battery is not transmitting power because of low electrolyte levels.

However, a dead battery does not necessarily mean it’s damaged—and you should resolve this problem by recharging your electrolytes. In the worst-case scenario, you may also need to replace the entire battery system or alternator if the problem persists.

What about a malfunctioning alternator? If you have a damaged alternator, it also means that the voltage output is not enough. Here, if you can’t fix the alternator, the solution is to replace it altogether.

The price of a new alternator ranges from $500 to $1000, and mostly, this is inclusive of installation labor. 

If you can’t afford a new alternator, you could opt for a more economical alternative: a remanufactured alternator. Usually, the price for these ones ranges between $300 to $500.

Corrosion Of The Terminals 

If you hear a fast clicking sound when starting the car, even though your battery appears to be in good condition, corrosion may have eaten through the terminals. As a result, the starter motor receives a very limited power supply. 

To discover what’s wrong, start at the bottom of your car and examine your battery if it’s under the hood. Check for green or blue deposits on the terminals—or if the terminals have rust inhibitors.

In both cases, ensure you clean them up to restore the voltage supply and reactivate the engine.

Also, check for any signs of trouble with your car’s accessories. Sometimes the terminal connections on the battery cables and electrical wires can become loose, frayed, or damaged over time—causing clicking noises when you start the car. 

A Single Clicking Sound When Starting Your Qashqai

an alternator

If you hear a single clicking sound instead of a rapid clicking when you turn the ignition key, it might be due to a faulty starter. 

The first sign of a faulty starter is when the contacts are damaged or corroded, thus becoming extremely resistive. By attempting to start the engine, the high resistance consumes away at the voltage intended to power the starter, reducing its efficacy and preventing it from turning over the engine.

A faulty or malfunctioning solenoid might give you the same symptom of clicking by disrupting the ignition circuit.

A starter solenoid is an electromagnet that activates the starter motor in a gasoline engine. Its function is to activate the contactor, a relay designed to withstand high-powered electric current.

The starter solenoid plays an important role in moving the starter pinion into engagement with the engine’s ring gear. If the starter solenoid doesn’t work properly, hearing a single clicking sound means your car won’t start. 

The good news for motorists is that new contacts are cheap—typically less than $10. However, they are hard to find in any auto service center or garage. In this case, the plausible solution remains to replace the entire starter assembly. 

On average, replacing the starter will cost around $300 to $550. The price is also inclusive of labor costs, but it’s important to discuss this beforehand with your mechanic. 

Other Reasons Of Nissan Qashqai Not Starting — Clicking Noise

1. Frozen Or Locked-Up Engine

the engine

Clicking noises may also be due to a frozen or locked-up engine. The problem may be addressed by starting the engine manually with a breaker bar and wrench.

If that doesn’t work, try the following to unfreeze or “thaw” your engine:

Step 1: Turn off the ignition and remove the key.

Step 2: Open all of the car windows to allow fresh air inside, which will help thaw out frozen locks and windows as well as the engine itself.

Step 3: Turn on your hazard lights so other motorists can see you clearly.

Step 4: Pump your brake pedal a few times, holding the pedal down for two seconds each time.

Step 5: Turn on your hazard lights to indicate that you are pumping the brake pedal. Do not turn them off until after you have stopped pumping.

Step 6: Repeat steps 2-4 until the engine is unfrozen and turns over freely when you try to start it with the ignition key.

Step 7: Once the engine starts, rev it up and drive around to help unfreeze your heater and defroster vents.

If your engine doesn’t start, despite the above efforts, you should probably arrange for a tow and take the vehicle to a mechanic or an auto service center.

To protect your engine from freezing, avoid parking your vehicle in an open space when it’s very cold outside, or you can always ensure you refill the coolant before winter kicks in.

2. Defective Alternator

battery in nissan

As mentioned earlier, your vehicle’s battery might be dead, or the alternating functions attached to the battery might not be functioning correctly. As all car enthusiasts know, an alternator is an essential part of the charging mechanisms of your car’s battery.

To deal with your Nissan Qashqai not starting and producing a clicking noise, you might have to get your car jump-started. When situations like these arise, know that a misfiring starter is not the root cause of your vehicle not starting instead it’s one of the symptoms.

After you have jump-started your car, you will have to take it to a qualified technician for him to look at each electrical component of the car individually, the most probable cause may be the alternator or the battery.

Often the cause of your vehicle not starting and producing a clicking noise may be something as simple as corrosion, key fob battery failure, or a battery terminal not in proper contact.

2. Faulty Starter Relay/Motor

an engine

If your Nissan Qashqai does not start and produces a single clicking noise, then it might not just be an electrical problem. If it makes a single click, there is an issue with the starter relay. The starter relay is a type of device that transmits power to the starter, which initiates the engine’s ignition.

The starter has several other components, including a distributor. A distributor has another minor part installed, known as a Capacitor discharge ignition device (CDI device).

Sometimes when you don’t use your car for more extended periods and restart the engine after quite some time, this capacitor discharge ignition device becomes rusty and breaks.

Getting a new CDI part can help resolve this issue, or you may need to get a new distributor relay system as a whole. To avoid this problem, the best thing you can do is take out your car for a spin at least once a week so that the parts keep moving in coordination with each other and rust does not develop on them.

Moreover, after 100,000 to 150,000 miles, your starter motor can also go bad, causing the clicking sound. A temporary fix, in this case, can be to start the car while hitting the starter motor with something like a stick or metal tool.

3. Choked Fuel Filter

fuel filter

The engineers working at Nissan made sure that the fuel filter of the new Qashqai model did not wear out like some ordinary mechanical component. No matter how suitable it may be, there are problems with the fuel filter of the new Nissan Qashqai.

The Nissan Qashqai not starting and producing a clicking noise can also be a clogged fuel filter.

It can get choked by dirt and airborne particles over time, resulting in which the fuel particles aren’t able to cross the fuel filter properly and enter the engine for ignition purposes. It causes the engine to drop its maximum efficiency and stop working altogether.

The only solution is to replace the clogged fuel filter.

4. Fuel Pump Failure

topping up oil

The fuel pump’s job is to ensure that the correct amount of fuel is being passed into the engine for ignition purposes and at the right pressure. However, if your fuel pump starts creating problems, your machine will break down. 

However, this is not something that is going to happen abruptly. It will be a gradual process, and you will see symptoms such as difficulty in starting your car, the engine performance drops, and the car produces jerky accelerations.

You’ll have to contact a technician to replace the faulty fuel pump.

How To Prevent The Trouble Of Car Won’t Start – Clicking Noise?

The best way to prevent the Nissan Qashqai from not starting is by taking your car for regular checkups. 

Regular upkeeps of your vehicle’s battery, along with the alternator and the motor, will all go a long way to help you avoid these mechanical issues in the future. 

How Much Will The Repair Cost From A Nissan Specialist?

The cost of repairs will vary depending on the issue and garage, but your best bet is to take the car into a local garage so a professional can check the situation. They’ll be able to figure out what’s causing your Nissan Qashqai not to start. We have compiled a handy price guide below so you know what to expect.

IssueReplacement Cost (Local Garage)Replacement Cost (Nissan Dealership)
New Alternator £350 – £450£500 – 600
Starter Motor Replacement£200 – £250£250 – £300
Fuel Pump£300 – £350£380 – £450
Replacement Fuel Filter£100 – £150£150 – £200


Why is my Nissan Qashqai making a clicking noise and won’t start?

There are several reasons why your Nissan Qashqai might be making a clicking noise and not starting. These include a low battery charge, bad starter motor, loose electrical connections, an open fuse or circuit breaker, and a frozen engine.

What do you do when your car won’t start and makes a clicking noise? 

First, identify the origin of the problem. Then, depending on your diagnosis, try one of these solutions: 

  • Make sure your battery is fully charged
  • Try jumping the car
  • Take the car to a mechanic if the problem persists

How do you tell if it’s your starter or battery?

The most logical thing to do when your car doesn’t start is to check your battery. If the voltmeter reading is below 12 V, then you have a flat battery. 

The engine’s battery sends a quick burst of power to the start, which is used to turn over and start the engine. If you put the key in the ignition but only hear a click when you turn it, it means your starter has failed.

If the alternator is defective there won’t be any current and the car won’t even begin to start. On the other hand, if the battery is faulty then the engine will try to start but since there isn’t enough charge it won’t undergo ignition.

My car is not starting, and the battery isn’t dead either?

If the battery charge is full, it’s possible that the starter motor no longer works and needs to be replaced. This can happen if you’ve driven your Nissan Qashqai in cold weather or in harsh conditions with low-quality gasoline in the tank. 

Also, check for other faults like a bad alternator, loose wires, or corroded connection cables. 

How long does a Qashqai battery last?

Typically, your Qashqai battery should last at least four years. Of course, other factors like how you take care (or not) of the car may affect the lifespan of your car’s battery. 

And the starter? The average lifespan of a car battery is 30,000 to 200,000 miles. Like the battery life, your starter’s lifespan depends on whether or not you keep your car in good condition. 

How do you jump start a Nissan Qashqai?

A Nissan Qashqai can be easily jump-started. All you need to do is to connect another battery that has a charge and is full of potential. Connect the positive terminal with the positive terminal of your own battery and the negative one with the negative terminal with the help of wires and you will be good to go.

Does the new Nissan Qashqai have issues with the battery?

Yes, the new Qashqai may have problems with the battery as well as the alternator because it loses its charge potential quicker when compared to its rivals.

What should be my primary concern regarding the new Qashqai?

The most common problem associated with consumers who have bought the new Qashqai is the battery. Qashqai owners claimed that their battery went out of charge very quickly.

Does the Nissan Qashqai have other problems?

If not taken care of the automobile, it may cause burnt fuses within the car’s electrical systems as well as worn-out ABS braking systems. Users have also reported certain problems with the automatic gearbox, main clutch, and the battery itself.

Final Thoughts

a parked nissan

With a graceful and stylish design, in addition to correct aerodynamic measurements and a low center of gravity, this car is truly a masterpiece of automobile engineering.

The car provides a more comfortable and smoother driving experience than its rivals due to the Alliance CMF-C platform. The car is more muscular than its predecessors and thus provides a much more expansive interior design.

We can’t deny that the Nissan Qashqai is a dependable road companion. But it’s a vehicle made with hundreds of interrelated components which, like any vehicle, may fail to deliver as expected.

However, there’s always an upper hand to every problem. 

We hope that this article has been informative—and should you experience any of the above symptoms, don’t forget to always take your car to a professional mechanic for diagnosis.

Got any other issues going on with your Qashqai? Check out our articles on:

Nissan Qashqai: 7 Automatic Gearbox Problems

7 Common Nissan Qashqai Battery Problems & Solutions

Nissan Qashqai: What Are the Main Clutch Problems?

Related articles