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A single click when you turn the key to the crank position usually indicates a bad starter. A rapid clicking noise usually indicates a dead battery. If you hear a click and everything goes dead there is a bad connection at the battery.
If you have a tape cassette player in the dash, this can cause a sound like what you are describing. Even though a tape is not in it,,, it can still freak out and cause this sound. Had this happen on several of my old vehicles. Let us know if this helps. Leave feedback for others to see. Thanks.
a single click usually means the starter. multiple rapid clicks while the key is in start position usually means battery...if battery bad, could be due to alternator, but you likely would have noticed a battery light on the dash while driving before.
It almost sounds like you have a loose connection at the battery. If the connection is loose it can cause the starter to click as you have described. Also it could be the starter itself. If the starter is bad (locked up) it can make the clicking noise and not start the engine. If you can get to the starter, try to tap on it with a hammer while someone is trying to start the engine. I hope this helps.