Clunking Noise When Braking- Causes and Solutions!

Worn brake pads are the most typical reason for clunking noise when braking. The rotor skips as the brake pads deteriorate, producing a clunking noise.

However, driving is never enjoyable when your brakes are making noise. And you may learn a lot from the noise your brakes make. 

And therefore, we are here to assist you in understanding the signals and resolving the issues that your vehicle is trying to send you.

So, be with us, and enjoy your learning!

3 Types of Common Brake Noises

Different sounds that brakes make can each be signs of a different issue. Therefore, it’s important to understand the various noises your brakes might produce and what they mean.

Grinding: When you have little to no brake pad left, your brakes will start to grind. The brake disc and caliper scrape against one another when your brake pads are fully worn out. At this stage, the rotor itself is almost certainly damaged.

Clunking: There’s a great possibility that any clunking or knocking sounds you hear are coming from loose bolts. it can be caused by different parts. Clunking is usually the result of faulty braking pads, calipers, rotors, disks, or fluid.

Squeaking: Nothing is more painful to the ears than squealing brakes. This annoying noise has a variety of causes. Squeaking brakes might be caused by worn brake pads, rust accumulation on your rotors, or both.

What is Clunking Noise

Your car makes a clunking noise when its brake pads are not functioning properly because they skip along with the rotor. It typically sounds like a knock.

Any clunking or knocking sounds you hear are caused by loose bolts, which is one of the many causes of the noise.

Clunking noises can also have a variety of reasons, although they are typically the consequence of damaged brake fluid, rotors, disks, or pads.

5 Common Parts of Any Vehicle That Cause Clunking Noise

There are some parts of every vehicle that remain in frequent friction so the clunking noise from these parts is so usual. Some of the parts that cause the most clunking noise are:

  1. Brake Pads: When brake pads are worn out, they skip along with the rotors, making a clunking noise.
  2. Ball Joints: A clunking noise is one of the initial indications of damaged ball joints.
  3. Suspension: The suspension of a vehicle is what makes noises. When you apply the brakes, if all you hear is a clunk, the problem might be with your suspension.
  4. Shock Absorbers: Shock absorbers regulate the suspension’s movement. Moreover, if it is worn out, it might not function properly and make noises.
  5. Struts: When struts begin to deteriorate, they start to clunk.

8 Causes of Clunking Noise When Braking With Solutions!

Brake pad wear is the most common cause of clunking when braking. But if your brake pads are in good condition, there may be other reasons. Some of the reasons are:

1. Air in The Brake Lines: 

One of the worst enemies of your brakes’ hydraulic system is the air in the brake lines. If brake fluid contains air, when the brakes are applied, air bubbles condense and pop, producing a clunking noise.

How to Fix It:

  1. There is a reservoir cap on the master cylinder, Remove it.
  2. Pour the brake fluid slowly into the funnel.
  3. Maintaining pressure on the brakes will force any formed air bubbles to the surface.
  4. Avoid going over the maximum fluid level.

2. Improper Brake Caliper Alignment: 

Though brake efficiency is not much affected by the position of the disc brake caliper on the rotor, clunking noises when braking can be caused by misaligned brake calipers.

How to Fix It:

Turn a rear wheel in the direction described by the manufacturer in a service manual or the owner’s manual of the vehicle. While it is possible to do an alignment yourself at home, it is recommended to have a mechanic at a nearby service center perform the task for you. The wheel alignment can be done alone or as part of your regular tire and vehicle maintenance.

3. Warped Rotors: 

When braking, warped rotors might also make a clunking noise. Driving with a warped rotor may cause malfunctioning of the brake system, which may harm anyone.

How to Fix It:

You can either repair them or replace them. If your rotors are thick enough and sufficiently bent, a mechanic might be able to straighten them. Turning or resurfacing brake rotors is the process of “fixing” them.

4. Loose Brake Disc: 

A loose disc can not function properly and creates over-vibration. It damages the braking pads and triggers a clunking noise.

How to Fix It:

Go to your mechanic and ask him to fix this. It’s a part of your regular maintenance. 

5. Loose Bolts: 

If the bolts holding the calipers in place are loose, the caliper may shift and slide, making a clunking noise.

How to Fix It:

It’s easy to tighten a loose brake caliper. The calipers were probably installed incorrectly, which is why they are loose. You ought to fully unbolt the brake caliper bolts for your own safety. To remove the bolts, you might require penetrating fluid because this area of the car rusts quickly.

6. Damaged Tires: 

Tires that are worn out or damaged may snag on the brake pads or calipers.

How to Fix It:

If your sidewall is damaged, you should get a new tire as soon as possible. The general structure of your tire may be impacted by sidewall damage, which can’t be fixed by patching the sidewall. 

7. Fluid Leakage: 

leaks in the fluid can make clunking because they can be admitting air into the braking fluid.

How to Fix It:

Go and check your fluid line with a professional mechanic. Leave the rest on him. He will take care of it.

8. Excessive Clearance of Suspension Joint: 

Clunking noises when braking and driving may potentially be a sign of worn suspension joints with excessive clearance. There are several components in the suspension system that wear out with time and work less effectively. 

How to Fix It:

When it comes to your safety and the safety of your passengers, suspensions are important, so if you think yours isn’t functioning properly, please don’t wait and take your car to a mechanic ASAP.

Clunking Noise When Starts and Driving

A clunking noise when starting your car often indicates that the starter has failed.  Additionally, if your car makes a loud clunking sound while driving then the shock absorbers or suspension maybe not work properly or get damaged.

So check these things-

  1. When you shift gears, the engine and gearbox will move and make a clunking noise if the engine and transmission mounts are damaged.
  2. The transmission fluid should be transparent and either crimson or dark pink in color. Replace any fluid that is murky, brown, or black.
  3. Modern vehicles frequently use computerized sensors to manage the transmission. A clunking could happen if they send information that is inaccurate or at the incorrect speed.


Why Is It Not Safe to Drive with A Clunking Noise?

It is not safe to drive with a clunking noise because clunking noises in a car can be caused by suspension system damage, both minor and severe. Driving with it puts your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of other road users in danger.

What Noise Do Worn Brakes Make?

If the brake pads and shoes wear down, the backing plate begins to make contact with the rotor or disc, creating sounds like a metallic grinding noise. When the brake pads are worn out, a metal wear indicator on the pads drags on the rotors and makes a  grinding or squealing noise.


Since you’re aware of it, you can conclude that a clunking noise when braking often denotes wear and damage to numerous parts. When it comes to your safety and the safety of your passengers, brakes are important, so if you think yours aren’t functioning properly, please take your car to a mechanic as soon as you can.

Robert Faulkner
Robert Faulkner

I'm Robert Faulkner, My profession is soundproofing. I'm still acquiring knowledge about sound and soundproofing procedures. Furthermore, I am very good at noise management and like sharing soundproofing ideas and methods for any situation.

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