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Last week, I went to start my car in the morning and it wouldn't immediately start. After cursing a bit, I held the key for ~10 seconds and it fired up. I drove home (30 min drive), turned it off for 15min, and started it again by holding the key for longer than normal. This was the first really cold night of Fall.

After that, it started normally until this afternoon. My car will not currently start, and holding the key produces a constant clicking. The battery seems to be fine; at least everything lights up. I tried reseating the battery cables and tapping the starter, but the problem persists.

2 years ago (almost exactly), I replaced the battery (didn't fix it) and the starter (fixed it). This problem seems to be brought on by cold weather. I'm wondering if something is causing my starter to fail prematurely, or other explanations to what's going on.

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Could be a faulty ground somewhere. I went through the exact same thing with a Mitsubishi Eclipse and it turned out that a ground strap had come loose... Sometimes it made contact, sometimes it didn't!

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After some very good advice, I made the assumption that I should have made from the start: the battery was dead.

A jump start got it moving, and the local auto parts store confirmed that the battery wouldn't hold a charge. A new battery seems to have fixed the problem.

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That's usually the case if you get the dreaded clicking sound... – Timo Geusch Nov 15 '11 at 22:07
If the same problem 2 years back hadn't led to a new starter, I wouldn't have even questioned the rest of the system. – Ryre Nov 15 '11 at 23:44

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