Do you have a new noise coming from your car when you hit the brakes? Before you start looking for a quote on new brakes, you may want to check a few other things. Chances are your brakes are what you're hitting is one of the last things.
There are many things that make noise when they start to wear out. Brakes can make a lot of noise, but clunking isn't usually one of them.
1. Suspension system
One of the most common, if notamore common, clunk comes from avehicle suspension.
Even if you only hear the noise when you hit the brakes, your suspension could be to blame. Your suspension is what keeps your braking smooth. Problems with the suspension can make braking difficult and difficult to control.
The issue now is which part of your suspension is at fault. There are many moving parts in this department and they all connect in some way.
2. Worn or damaged supports
bracketssupport the vehicle by keeping it stable, smoothing out the ride and controlling body roll. When they start to wear down, they start to make a strange noise. As they get worse, you will notice more steering wheel movement and the vehicle will bottom out more.
One way to diagnose worn struts is to put the vehicle on jacks. Using a flashlight, you can check the mounts for dents, oil leaks, loose bolts, and a bad bearing plate. Checking the lateral movement of the tires can also be a useful diagnostic option.
3. Control arms
Keeping your suspension connected is whatcontrol armsare for. Steering vibrations and clanking noises are very common signs of steering arm wear. During normal operation, you may not hear any noise. With horizontal movements, such as the body moving up and down during braking, it can reveal worn control arms.
Diagnosing control arms noise means jacking up the vehicle and looking at them and the bolts that hold them in the least place. Again, checking for improper tire movement is part of troubleshooting.
4. Ball and socket joints
Your car has a ball joint very similar to your hip joint. ThosekneecapsThey are the ones that allow a pivoting movement between the control arm and the steering system. They are what make the wheels move up and down and from side to side.
One of the first signs of worn ball joints is a clicking noise. Vibrations in the wrong direction and direction to the right and to the left are two other common signs. If the ball joints are worn or damaged, the wheels can move incorrectly just by shaking them.
To really diagnose a bad ball joint, you have to figure out where it is, squeeze it with channel lock pliers for any kind of movement. Then check that the castle nut and cotter pin are still in place.
5. Shock absorbers
shock absorbersThey are what control the movement, or spring, of your suspension. By doing this, your shocks are what keep your tires on the road instead of bouncing all over the place like a cartoon.
Bad shock absorbers make losing control of your car more of a possibility. Your car's ability to stop will decrease and you will need more space to do so. Just like a truck can't stop on a dime, neither can you. Aquaplaning and loss of control while cornering are more problems caused by faulty shock absorbers.
If you can see signs of wear on the tire treads, the shock absorbers are worn and need to be replaced. Along with its tires.
6. Stabilizer Bar Links
stabilizer bar linksThey are also known as sway bar links and that is what they do. They are another part of the suspensions that stabilize and smooth the handling of the car in all kinds of conditions.
These links are attached to the body using body mounts, which will also be discussed a little later.
The noise you hear from a bad stabilizer linkage will actually be coming from the tire area. You will notice the noise mainly when going over bumps and curves. This will make your steering loose and allow your car to rock a lot more back and forth.
The best way to check for a bad sway bar is to do it when replacing the tires. It can also be done any time you do a job that requires the wheel to be removed.
1. Drum brakes
Many cars havedrum brakes, instead of disc brakes, in the back of a car. Drum brakes do not have calipers, rotors, or brake pads. Instead, they have a wheel cylinder that uses pistons to push the brake shoes against the rotating drum, preventing the wheel from spinning.
The way the brake shoes glide across the surface is very similar to a record player needle spinning a record. If the surface is not smooth, the shoe may bounce and hit the heel plate, causing a thud or clunk.
Drum brake drums should be checked from time to time, just like disc brake rotors.
1. Parking brake cable
A fairly common problem is that the parking brake cable is a bit loose. This allows it to move around within its stand and make a rattling noise. You could also be hitting whatever part of the suspension you're going through.
2. Loose screws
There are many screws that hold your car. Vibrations and other factors from highway driving can cause them to come loose. The same thing can happen to someone who did not tighten them properly the last time they were repaired.
The screws that hold the caliper in place may be loose, allowing the caliper to shift and move. Your caliper is what holds the brake pads and squeezes them when you apply the brakes.
3. Body kits
Holding your body to the frame are body mounts or body mount bushings. Faulty body mounts cause your car's body to sag or not seat properly, placing it in the wrong or stuck position.
Visible signs of worn or defective body assemblies are doors or fenders that don't align properly with the rest of the body. Misaligned doors require a little or a lot more effort to open or close. Door and window seals can also get misaligned and let water seep in where you really don't want it.
Leaking water in your car is how you end up with rust, which is a pretty bad problem in itself.
If you started to hear a screeching noise when you braked, you may have missed earlier signs that they needed attention.
A grinding noise is a noise your brake will make when you have few or no brake pads. Once it gets to that point, it's very likely that it will cause damage to the actual rotor. Once you start to damage the rotor, make sure your next mechanical bill isn't cheap.
Related:How long do car brake pads last?
A squeak can be as simple as cheap pads that are usually made with large flakes of metal in the material. With the metal in the pads and the rotors being metal, you get that fork scrape with a plate sound.
If you hear a screeching noise while going down the road that really seems to go away when you brake, you're still in luck. You haven't reached the point of no return, instead your brake indicator is rubbing your rotor. That means it's time to schedule your next service.
Cars have many moving parts made of different materials. Even if your brakes need regularly scheduled maintenance, one thing you shouldn't have is a clanking noise coming from them.
Most popping noises are signs that some part of the suspension is worn or damaged. Your suspension is just as important as your brakes, allowing you to maintain control of your vehicle. Especially when braking.
If you hear a noise when braking, stop for a minute and try to make sure it is not coming from something else. You may have to turn off the radio and walk around the block once or twice. If you notice noise when hitting speed bumps or cornering, it's more than likely something in your suspension.
That's not to say that a clang can't come from your brakes. If you have drum brakes, it's quite possible. If not, take a second and see how your car handles before taking it to the shop to have your brakes changed.