Winch Not Working Just Clicking: Things You Need To Do

You are preparing for your next offroad adventure. Everything is complete and you’re ready to head out and do what you love. You check if your safety gears are functional or not. But you find the winch not working just making a clicking noise. 

This is a common problem with many winches. We are going to show you different ways of solving this issue including the most effective solutions for fixing the issue. 

Let’s take a look, shall we…

Winch Not Working Just Clicking 

A Winch is one of the most useful and powerful pieces of safety gear for outdoor enthusiasts. However, it can also be a pain when your winch isn’t working as expected and the winch motor clicks but won’t move. There are a few things that can cause a winch solenoid clicking. If that’s the case then you can check out the following solutions to get your winch back to normal operation and make sure it works flawlessly again.

Case-1: Bad Electrical Connections

The winch on your vehicle gets power from the electrical source through the wiring connection. It’s common for the wires to loosen and the terminals of the connections to be corroded or damaged with time after heavy usage.


Check all the wiring connections from the solenoid to the motor. Also, check the terminals for corrosion and damage. Replacing the damaged components will solve this problem.

Case-2: Faulty Motor 

The motor rotates the drum on your winch. It is made up of a lot of components that can get damaged. Luckily you can check a motor by the jumper cable test.


For performing the jumper cable test you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Jumper Cables 
  • Working Battery (Take one from a working vehicle if possible. Battery must have 12.5 volts. DO NOT use a jump box)

Follow these steps to perform the test:

Step-1: Place your motor on a table.

Step-2: (You’re going to need to mess with the positive and negative to see if the winch will move.) Attach the negative/Black battery cable to the negative terminal of the battery. The other end will need to be attached to the motor case.

Step-3: For Counterclockwise Rotation: attach the positive/Red battery cable to the positive terminal on the battery. Attach the other end to the “F1” post of the motor. Then attach one end of your jumper wire to the “F2” post of your motor. Attach the other end of the jumper wire to the “A” post of the motor.

Step-4: For Clockwise Rotation attach the positive/RED battery cable to the positive terminal on the battery. Attach the other end to the “F2” post of the motor. Then attach one end of your jumper wire to the “F1” post of your motor and the other end of the jumper wire to the “A” post.

You may watch this video to understand the process more clearly

If the motor doesn’t work you will need a new one

Case-3: Damaged Solenoid

If the motor is working fine then your solenoid is definitely damaged. Even though the solenoids are firing which makes the clicking sound, they are not connecting. Corrosion or damage from overheating can cause this problem.


You can check the solenoids with the help of a voltmeter. If the voltmeter shows appropriate reading it means it is supplying power to the motor. But if it doesn’t you will need to replace the damaged solenoids.

Watch this short video on testing a solenoid with a voltmeter:

Arctic Cat Winch Just Clicks

Many Arctic Cat owners have faced the problem and want to know why their winch makes clicking noise but not spooling even when being used regularly. This can occur when the motor isn’t getting enough power to rotate. You can try the solutions mentioned above or try removing just the control box. If it doesn’t solve the issue, try changing the battery on the vehicle. The winch needs its complete number of volts for proper operation.

Badlands Winch Just Clicks

Harbor Freight’s Badland winches are pretty popular in the industry. A clicking noise is a common problem with their winches. Usually, it can be solved by making sure that the earth wire from the winch is terminated directly to the battery. If this doesn’t work try the solutions in the above segment to fix your winch.

You can check out this detailed troubleshooting video specifically made for badland winches.


It’s important to routinely check your winch to ensure it works properly. You don’t want to be out in the offroads stuck with a winch not working just clicking. By following the steps in this guide, you can make sure your winch is not letting you down, and always ready for the rescue.

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

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