Is There A bomb Under My Hood??? tick, tick, tick...

Went to start our '91 F Festiva this morning and - nothing. Dead battery. I noticed the dome light was very weak, and of course no headlights. However before I disconnected the neg. battery cable in
order to connect the battery charger I noticed a definite and steady clicking sound coming from somewhere around the passenger side of the engine compartment but can't pinpoint where it's coming from.
Here's the weird part. This noise disappears when the driver's door is open, and if I turn on the dome light to the stay 'on' position and then shut the door or even partially engage the door to be shut, the ticking sound stops. If i turn the dome light back to where it shuts off when the door is shut, the ticking resumes.
At this point I tested the battery and it has a little over 9 volts, so currently I have the charger on it. Meantime, does this action sound familiar to anyone?
tks, al
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@thegrid.com says...

Most likely a relay or solenoid that is trying to engage, but there isn't enough power. Turning on the light reduces the voltage enough to prevent it from even trying.
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What you are describing sounds like the door ajar mechanism that activates when you have your key in the ignition and open the door. You get that "bing .. bing .. bing" chime. But because the battery is so dead in the car, you're hearing a tick, tick, tick noise instead. Personally, I don't think this noise is related to your problem with the dead battery.

So you are manually turning the dome light on? It doesn't stay on otherwise when the door is closed? The reason I say that is because the dome light sticking is one thing that will drain the battery if left on overnight. Another thing, if that chime happened to be sticking while the door was closed (I'm not quite sure how it operates, so I don't even know if that is possible), it may drain the battery also.
Just a few possibilities to explore. Good luck,
Sharky
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Any relay under dash or hood can start to click because of empty battery.
the lack of voltage will make it activate /deactivate because of the voltage drop when activated

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All esp Johan are right.
UNLESS you know the 'clicking' was happening BEFORE you opened the door or turned on anything electrical, it doesnt mean much, symptom-wise.
Get a test light, make sure all lighting is out and all delay circuits expired then disconnect charged battery and see if lite glows when held between batt terminal and its connector

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big al wrote:

hell!!!!!
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big al wrote:

Thanks to all for the advice and help. Wife thinks now she left the parking lights on yesterday afternoon when she got home. It had been raining and overcast. I charged the battery up, cleaned the terminals and posts. Battery's hanging in at 12.4.
tks, al
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