Top 6 Causes of Clicking Noise When Braking
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As you’re driving your car, if you ever notice a clicking noise when braking, something is definitely wrong with your brake system, and you should take the car to your mechanic for proper inspection and diagnosis.
So that you know what to expect, our expert editors have curated the top 6 causes of that annoying clicking noise when you hit the brakes and how to fix them.
Table of Contents
- Clicking Sound When Braking - Troubleshooting Video
- Causes of Clicking Noise When Braking
- How Do You Fix a Clicking Noise When Braking?
- How To Know Your Brake Is Faulty
- Is It Safe To Drive if Your Car Makes a Clicking Noise When Braking?
- What Causes Clicking Noise When Driving?
- Best Car Deals by Category
Clicking Sound When Braking - Troubleshooting Video
Causes of Clicking Noise When Braking
A clicking sound while braking could indicate that the brake system is not working correctly. A loose component or suspension could cause it.
1. Rusty Anti-Rattle Springs
One of the most common reasons for clicking noises while braking is the presence of a rust-colored anti-rattle spring.
This component prevents the pads from moving and vibrating while you apply the brakes.
Since the anti-rattle springs are made of metal, they could get weak due to certain regions' cooling and heat conditions.
In addition, the pads might eventually wear out, which could cause premature rotor wear.
When this happens, the pads will start to move and make clicking noises when they're stopped.
2. Worn-Out Brake Shims
Another common cause of clicking noises while braking is the lack of brake shims.
These components play an essential role by insulating the pads from the noise and vibrations coming from the rotor.
The thermal barrier helps protect the pads from getting damaged if they get too hot. If the brake pads get weak as time goes on, clicking noises might occur.
3. Installing the Wrong Brake Pads
Another common cause of clicking noises while braking is the improper installation of the pads.
This issue can happen when a mechanic doesn't properly stake down the pads after replacing them.
Although clicking noises while braking can be frightening, it's not considered dangerous for you to drive a vehicle.
However, it isn't very pleasant and will only get louder as you use the brake without repairing it. This could also cause the pads to shift when you apply the brakes.
4. Worn Calipers
If you've been driving a vehicle in wet conditions for a long time, the worn brake pads might rust. This issue could also cause the pads to join.
If the guide pins and bolt are loose, clicking noises might occur. The guide pins and bolts are designed to keep the brake pads in place. If the guide pins and bolt are damaged, clicking noises might occur.
5. Worn-Out Suspension Components
Another issue that could cause clicking noises while braking is the weight shift. This could happen because the suspension is under stress while you're braking.
These are the components that make up the suspension of your vehicle and can make a clicking noise when driving:
The ball joints are also a component of a vehicle's suspension, allowing and connecting various joints to enable the car to move. These joints join the steering knuckle with the control arms.
If the ball joints are worn out, they could make the steering wheel less precise. This could also cause various noises and vibrations coming from the steering wheel.
Sway Bar Links
The sway bar is also a component of a vehicle's suspension system and helps decrease the body lean when you're taking bends or braking.
The weight shift could also cause the sway bar to click while braking. This happens because the car's weight affects the movement of the sway bar.
The car's suspension system comprises various components, one of which is the struts. These components help reduce the vibrations that the potholes or bumps can cause.
Although it's not common, clicking noises might occur when one of these components begins to develop a fault.
6. The Brake Backing Plates Are Bent
The backing plates for the vehicle's brake system are designed to guide the wheels through dirt and damage.
If these plates are bent, they could scratch the rotor or the hydraulic components.
Also, when clicking noises occur, the plates might rub against the rotor or the hydraulic components.
How Do You Fix a Clicking Noise When Braking?
Although it's relatively easy to fix a clicking noise, it can be costly to replace the anti-rattle spring.
Doing so would cost you around $10 for the parts, and you'll only get around $30 for the labour.
If your vehicle's brake pads are worn out, replacing them would cost you the same amount as the anti-rattle spring.
However, since the cheap pads are usually made with inferior components, they could become noisy over time.
If you cannot correctly install the brake pads, you can contact a professional mechanic to have them installed.
If the brake pads are dirty, you can use a metal brush to remove and clean them.
However, doing so could cost you around $10, while replacing the guide pins and bolt could cost you approximately $50.
Changing the worn-out component of the suspension system can be very expensive. For example, it can cost you around $150 for a sway bar and $700 for a faulty strut.
While you can do this yourself, it's recommended to let a professional fix the damage to the suspension components.
How To Know Your Brake Is Faulty
Various symptoms point to the fact that there's something wrong with your brake system. They include the following:
1. Vibrating Brake Pedal
If your brake pedal is constantly vibrating or pulsating, this could be a sign that new brakes are needed.
This usually happens due to worn brake pads and rotors. Having the proper brake components can help prevent accidents.
2. Clicking Sounds
The clicking or the clicking of the brake pads could signify that the pads need replacing.
In addition, the vibrations caused by loose components can damage the brake pads.
Therefore, during the inspection, the mechanic will also look for signs of brake hardware damage.
If the car pulls to one side after braking, this could be a sign that the system is not evenly distributed.
It could be that the pads cannot make contact with the rotor properly. You could also have a critical issue with the brake pads.
When you hear a growling or a grinding sound while you're braking, this could signify that the pads are getting worn out.
This could mean that you have no braking material left. The longer you drive in this condition, the more dangerous it will be for you and your passengers.
If you notice this condition, immediately take your car to the mechanic.
Suppose you hear a high-pitched squeal while braking; this could signify that the pads need replacing.
On the other hand, this could be caused by a small metal tab designed to alert you that the pads need service.
5. Deep Grooves in the Rotor
If these are visible, the pads and the hardware must be replaced. Having a mechanic inspect the entire system to determine the cause of the issue will also help prevent it.
6. Thin Brake Pads
A visual inspection of the brake pads is also an excellent way to check their condition. The pads need replacing if they're less than a quarter of an inch thick.
Is It Safe To Drive if Your Car Makes a Clicking Noise When Braking?
If you can confirm that the clicking noise is coming from the brake pads or the rust-colored anti-rattle spring, it's safe to drive.
However, if the clicking noise is caused by the worn-out components of the suspension system, you must have the issue fixed immediately. Having a damaged suspension could affect your ability to control the car properly.
What Causes Clicking Noise When Driving?
There are various reasons your car might be making a clicking or popping noise while driving. Here are some of the reasons why it might be happening:
1. The Hubcaps
The hubcaps are located in the steering system's inner hub. If they become loose, they can constantly move and float. This could be the reason for the clicking or popping noise.
2. The Drive Belt
The drive belt is an essential component of your car as it provides power to various parts of your vehicle, such as the engine, the power steering, and the AC. If the drive belt gets loose, it could cause a popping noise while driving.
3. The Tires
Unevenly inflated tires can cause your car to make a clicking or popping noise while driving. It's essential to make sure that your tires are properly inflated.
4. The Brake Calipers
The brake calipers are pins and bolts attached to the car's seat. If they become loose, they can cause a popping sound while driving.