Common Reasons For Clunking Noise When Braking

Common Reasons For Clunking Noise When Braking

All people are conscious of their driving because the driving schools teach the ABC of driving. The driver should master this before they get the license and get into the real world. Here B represents the brakes in the car. It is necessary to brake whenever needed so that accidents can be avoided. The person should know how much brake to apply based on the situation. Sometimes a little force is enough, but at other times, hard braking is required.

We all know that materials wear out when in contact fro a long time. Brakes also wear out over time. The person can notice clunking noises when braking, which insists on changing the parts. If your car is making such noises, read this article to learn what causes them and how to fix it.

How Do Brakes Work?

Nowadays, the brakes are operated under hydraulics, where the fluid acts as the medium. When the pedal is pressed, the fluid transmits the pressure to the brake system, which arrests the motion, respectively. The brake oil should be refilled or replaced from time to time for effective performance.

The parts of brakes can wear out over time because the materials get in contact every time. Many parts of the car work in contact with other materials, like brakes. So, it might eventually wear out over time. It might cause squeaky clunking noise when braking. So, It is better to replace the worn-out and damaged parts to avoid system failure, which could end worse in some cases.

What Causes Clunking Noise When Braking?

The person can hear grinding noises while braking, which is the symptom that some parts have been worn out. It is better to inspect the issues and replace or repair them to avoid failures. If the person ignores such problems, it could propagate, and it might even get worse. The failure or damage in the system could cause clunking noise when braking, and if you hear it, then these must be the cause of it.

1. Loose Bolts

The brakes are connected with joints, and the system is connected to the wheels through bolts. If any of the bolts are loose and not fixed properly, then it damages the brakes and wheel when braking. The loose bolts will allow the wheel to wobble and hit the brake system sometimes, which might cause clunking noise while braking. Tightening the bolts or replacing them, if necessary, will arrest the noise.

2. Loose Calipers

The brake calipers suspend near the wheel that allows the brake pads to touch the rotor when the pedal is pressed. This contact slows the wheel, and thereby the vehicle stops. If the brake caliper is loose or hanging, then the brake pads barely touch the rotor and strike with the wheel. It might also be the reason for the clunking noise. Tighten the calipers and make sure it doesn’t get loose again to arrest the noises.

3. Bad CV Joints

The constant velocity joints can be found in every vehicle. The inner joint connects the transmission to the axle, and the outer joint connects the axle to the wheel. Generally, a car has two CV joints, one for the front wheels, and another for the rear wheels. A damaged CV joint is prone to dust and dirt that affects the function. It could affect the joints and gears in the CV joints. If the CV joint is not working correctly, it might make noises when stressed. Sometimes, the person can hear a clunking noise when braking.

4. Damages Suspension

The suspension system is attached to the wheels to support the vehicle. A flawed or damaged suspension could also affect the function of the brakes and makes noise. One of the parts of the suspension system includes shock absorbers, also called dampers, which are attached near the wheels for support. If the shock absorber or the spring is damaged, it might make a clunking noise when braking. There are many reasons for the suspension to fail, which cannot be discussed in this article. Check our article on suspension failures to learn more bout it.

5. Damaged Axle

An axle is a rod that transfers the power to the wheels, and if it is damaged, it could affect the function. A damaged axle affects power transmission, and the effect directly impacts the driving. Sometimes, a damaged axle might also make noises under pressure and stress, and at worse, it could break. The car could never move with a broken axle or a driveshaft. The entire system has to be replaced in this case to resolve the issue.

6. Bad Brake Pad

A lousy brake pad might lead to brake failure, which always ends badly. It is attached near the rotor and gets in contact when the pedal is pressed. The brake pad gets in touch with the rotor to arrest its rotation and stop the wheel from movement. Also, the contact will wear out the material over some time. If it is not aligned correctly, then it might make noises when it hits nearby parts. The brake pads must be replaced regularly for effective performance.

These are some common reasons for clunking noises when braking, and some repair and replacements can also resolve it if you have any such noises when braking, then check it and solve it immediately. Because driving with a bad brake is not only dangerous to you but also for the others who are driving in the road.


Brakes play an essential role in the safety of the people inside the vehicle. Any brake failures might result in an accident, and it is only the skill the driver that saves them. But, every system exhibits specific symptoms to alert the issue so that it can be resolved. It is the person’s responsibility to inspect and replace the parts to avoid further problems. Next time if you hear any noise in the brakes, then check the system and resolve it immediately.

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Vishnu K

Mechanical Engineer cum creative writer at your service.

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