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How To Fix the Clunking Noise While Braking

  • Tips & Trips
  • Sara Sam
  • 4 minutes

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Ignoring the clunking noise while braking is not an easy option. The noise will certainly force you to look at the reasons behind the noise. Since healthy car brakes are critical to safety, diagnosing and fixing the clunking noise as early as possible is important. Here is your guide to everything you need to know about your fussy car brake.  

clunking noise while braking

Squeak, grind, groan, click the brake playlist seems endless. However, compared to these, the clunking noise from the brake is rather common. So, what are the possible reasons and how do we prevent it?

What causes clunking noise when braking?

The clunking noise is commonly observed while braking at low speeds. While it is better to seek professional help, the possible reasons for this are detailed below.

Damage in Control Arms

A worn-out control arm is common in those cars exposed to regular off-road rides. Consequently, wheels tend to move out of alignment resulting in clunking noise while braking.

Loosened Bolts

Loosened bolts are the most simple and easy-to-fix reason behind the noise. Tightening them will resolve the clunk.

Loose Brake Calipers

If your car is left inactive for an extended period, it can cause corrosion and rust, and as a result, your brake calipers to stall. Similarly, parking in a moist environment can also result in this. Similarly, the hand brake cable system can jam, causing the brakes to lock up. Therefore, it is crucial to lubricate the cable to maintain the brakes.   

Damage with the Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers or dampers can wear out over time. As a result, it can tamper with the suspension. Regular driving over rough or uneven surfaces can break them, resulting in clunk. 

Ball Joint Failure

Suppose you experience a shake while you drive and a clunk; then a ball joint failure could be the reason. The failure in the ball joint can let the control arm to fall off. If not resolved, driving at high speeds can completely wreck your car. 

Damaged Axle

Pressure on a damaged axle will affect the power transmission and consequently will make noises under pressure.

Brake Pad Impair

The clunking noise while braking could also be because of a damaged brake pad. Consequently, it can result in brake failure. In other words, if the brake pads are misaligned, they can easily hit the nearby parts and make noise. 

brake pad replacement

How do I diagnose the clunking noise?

If you hear the clunking noise while braking you must find the root cause for the noise. It is detected by the methods mentioned below.

  • Shocks and struts inspection.
  • Checking the upper control arms.
  • Inspect the inner tie road ends.
  • Power steering rack inspection.
  • Checking the lower ball joints.

How to fix the clunking noise when applying brakes

Inspect the tires

The primary step for diagnosis is checking the tires for damage.  In other words, large cracks or worn-down tires can catch on your brake pads and result in noise. In that case, replace the tires immediately. 

Inspect for fluid leaks

If there is a leak in the hydraulic system, then the excess air pressure can lead to the compression of bubbles followed by the clunk while braking.

Adjust the brake calipers

Since misaligned brake calipers are a reason for the clunking noise while braking, aligning them can resolve the issue.

Replacement of warped motors

Replacing the warped motors can reduce the clunking noise.

Brake pad inspection

If none of the diagnoses mentioned has worked, the problem could be with the brake pad. You will have to align it to resolve the noise issue. 

Is there a relation between slow brakes and clunking noise?

We all know that parts of the brake can come in contact with dirt or mud, resulting in a clunking noise. For instance, the dirt can be trapped inside the rotors and the brake pads, resulting in noise while applying brakes. 

Similarly, when the metal back of the rotor rubs against the rotor, it can result in a clunk. Something as small as a pebble can trigger the clunking noise while braking. 

Squeaky or clunky, routine inspection of your brakes is a must to ensure the safety of the passengers. 

Does insurance cover brakes?

Insurance doesn’t offer coverage for standard maintenance including changing worn-out brake pads. However, you will get coverage for brake pads damaged in an accident. A comprehensive or collision insurance could assist cover you in the event of a car accident or such hazards.

Also Read: Anti-lock brakes can reduce your car insurance

Way.com can help you pick the right and most affordable auto insurance coverage!


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