Clicking noises in the dashboard when the car is off? Top reasons

You are all set to depart but that annoying sound from the dashboard proves too loud to ignore. You never miss a service date so the sound comes as a surprise.

 You are wondering: is this normal? You might know your car but we can tell for free, clicking sound from the dashboard should worry you.

Why Does My Car Have A Clicking Sound From The Dash Board?

Apparently, a sound from the dashboard is not noise but a warning. When the car system detects trouble down there, it relays the same to you through the dashboard.

Clicking sounds are unique- they indicate issues with some pretty uncommon areas. The clicking sounds from your dashboard are a result of problems with among others the door engine, transmission system, and air conditioning.

This is rare but incorrect weather settings can cause clicking sounds from the dashboard too.

Before settling on a cause and initiating repairs, you are advised to conduct scans and tests to confirm suspicions.

You can conduct a simple diagnosis with a detailed manufacturer’s manual although a basic understanding of car operations is required.

Causes Of Clicking Sounds From The Dashboard

Faulty Ac Compressor

The compressor serves in the air conditioning system as a refrigerant compressor- you can liken it to a pump. Whenever the air conditioner has issues, the compressor tends to frequently start and go off. If the ON and OFF cycle is tight, it sounds like a clicking beat under the dash.

The sound can be heard even when the car is off.

How To Diagnose The Faulty AC Compressor

The most obvious step, in this case, is pinpointing where the noise is coming from and when it clicks. Does it click when you start the car? When the car hits a pothole? or when driving in the rain?

The next step is assessing the system’s condition. This might be hard on cold days but on hot days, you can easily tell if your air condition system is working. If the system fails to keep up with the weather then there might be a leak down there.

The leak causes the system to frequently turn ON and OFF.

How To Repair The Clicking Noise In The AC

Before conducting any repairs, it is important that you isolate the sound source to avoid an unfruitful goose chase.

Repairing the AC leaks yourself might prove difficult- the refrigerant does not leave traces so spotting the leak area requires skills.

The repair options are mainly mending or simply replacing the leaking area –the mechanic will advise you accordingly.

Loose Or Old Dash Cover

Like any car part, the dash cover is not immune to wear and tear. As the car drives over potholes and bumps, parts like the dash cover get loose and might start clicking when the vibration gets too strong.

The issue is pretty common in second-hand cars- there’s nothing much to worry about.

How To Diagnose A Loose Dash Cover

Your most important tool in this process is your sense of hearing. Drive the car through a rough road and listen for the most affected areas. Bring a friend if you need to.

You can try to hold the clicking areas firmly while on the road too. If your grip quiets the noise then mark that spot for fastening.

After the trip, check the marked areas for loose screws or maybe weak glue.

How Can I Repair Loose Dash Cover?

Tighten The Loose Screws

If you have some basic DIY skills, you can attempt to fasten the screws around the cover. This option is however temporary- when you have time, drive to a repair shop for more detailed repairs.

Apply Tape

Tightening the fasteners alone might not be enough, why not add some double-sided tape to the screws.

This idea works best for hidden parts. You might have to open up the whole thing, apply the tape to the loose parts and then put it back. The tape and the tightened fasteners should hold for a while.

Be warned, this idea is time-consuming and requires some skills.

Install Gap Trim

If you can afford it, get the all-fit option- it will hold the whole thing in place while still giving your car that new interior look. Gap trims are available in different colors and thicknesses- they’ll surely have something for you.

Other areas whose failure could cause clicking sounds in the dashboard include the stepper motor, relay, and heat control.

Take Away

Clicking sounds from the dashboard can be a distraction to fast drivers. The sounds don’t come on to distract you to inform you of underlying issues that could render your ride motionless.

The sounds indicate an issue with areas like the stepper motor, the air conditioning, and the relay. These faults can be expensive to fix if left to persist.

 If you are wondering how you can tackle these faults, the article above has you covered although a quick look at the manufacturer’s manual will divulge more.

Before you have to replace your relays or stepper motor, there are measures you can take to keep your car in good condition. You could: regularly service the car, avoid idling for long to protect the battery, and trust your manual when you have issues.

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