A car or motorcycle’s braking system is an essential component of the vehicle. A moving car or motorcycle needs to make periodic turns and stops. These turns and stops can be abrupt or gradual. Either way, none of this is possible without a good braking system. This makes a vehicle’s braking system crucial. You have to ensure it runs smoothly.
As you ride or drive your motorcycle or car, you need to pay close attention to the braking system. It would be best if you observed how the brakes operate and are aware of all the warning signs. One of the common issues facing a car’s braking system is when it makes a clicking sound during braking. When you notice this sound and any other warning sound, you need to take your car to the nearest mechanic for repairs.
What Causes the Clicking Noise When Braking?Your car may produce click sound when braking for a couple of reasons. Some of these reasons are directly related to your vehicle’s braking system, while others are not. Here are some that you should check when you hear the clicking sound.
This problem could emanate from your front wheel on the driver’s side when you brake. It mostly happens when you are driving at a low speed.
When your car experiences this problem, it could be having an issue with its suspension. It might be having degraded suspension components. Unlike you might have earlier believed, this problem might have nothing to do with your car’s braking system. It can occur when your car’s sway bar links make clicking sound if they have worn out bushings. Additionally, if the car’s ball joints are degraded, the spindle’s shifting may cause the clicking sound. Your car might have a loose strut, which makes a clicking sound.
Given that a faulty car suspension component is a safety hazard, you need to take your car to a qualified mechanic for a complete diagnosis of the suspension system and all the relevant replacements and repairs. Fixing the suspension components as soon as you discover faults with the system, will ensure they do not break down as you drive.
Shims, springs, and Clips
The pads of your car are held in place by springs, shims, and clips. When one of the springs weakens or rusts, it causes a shift in your braking pads when you brake, thus causing the clicking sound. When it happens for some time, it will create a shiny area in the ears of your car’s braking pads.
When left unattended, this fault could morph into a life-threatening problem. This is even worse if the noise is caused by shifting pads. Therefore, you need to take your car to a qualified mechanic for diagnosis and repairs. It is important to diagnose before repairing the issue because the problem might be caused by a loose caliper slide bolt or caliper mount (though less likely). Both these problems can be catastrophic, especially if the caliper can loosen and jam on your wheel.
An Object Stuck in Your Tire Tread
In some cases, the clicking sound is caused by an object, like a stone or a pebble, stuck in between your tire tread. Examine your tire treads to see if there is any small object stuck in there. If you find any, you need to pull it out easily. You should also check the edge of your brake disk for a lamp that might be touching the pad while you engage the brakes.
Brake Pedals Goes Near the Floor
If you hear a single click and your car’s pins and pads are normal, then you need to inspect the brake lines and brake oil. Sometimes the brake oil and lines have air bubbles, which loosen the strength of your pedal. Therefore, when you press your pedal, it exceeds its limit causing the clicking sound. Fix this by bleeding your car’s brake oil and letting the excess air out. It would be best if you also replenished the brake fluid.
Missing lips on your car’s pads result in the clicking sound. This click sound results from pad slamming on the opposite side of your car’s torque frame. Typically, pads are supposed to be installed with clips. Therefore, when they are missing, the pads will flop every time you engage your brakes. Fix this by installing the clips. Prolonged driving of your car without the clips may pose a serious danger to you and your passengers.
By design, brake pads are assured of securing themselves on the car’s brake caliper seats. However, if they come loose for any reason, the pad will move up and down when you engage the brakes. This causes a clicking sound as you drive slowly or when you brake as you drive slowly.
The brake calipers are held to their seats using bolts and guide pins, which fit firmly into the bushings. This arrangement ensures your vehicle’s calipers are suspended nicely so that your car’s brake pads come into contact with the rotor, and your car comes to a halt when you apply brakes. When the caliper becomes loose, it will flop about and produce a clicking sound from your car’s wheel.
When your vehicle’s wheel has a loose lug nut, it will rub, click or grind. However, a wheel that has a crack will click, especially wheel with steels.
Bent Brake Backing Plates
A backing plated is attached is every brake in the back of your vehicle. This plate is deliberately positioned at this location to protect your brakes from road dirt. It also protects the brake from harmful projectiles. If your brake backing plate bends inwards, it will rub itself against the caliper or rotor, resulting in a clicking sound.
Your car’s hub caps might become loose. When this happens, it may click as you drive at low speeds, and your car’s wheels flex during turns.
Other than the clicking sound, your brake may portray signs of weakness that need to be repaired s as to restore the braking system to its optimum function. Given the seriousness of this system in your car, it is important for you to know these signs and what to do about them to be safe on the road.
You Don’t Like Your Car
if you don’t maintain your car, it’s going to have problems and this is why your brakes are bad. Your brakes are there to help you when slowing down and if you don’t look after them, then you’re going to have problems with them. If you want to avoid having bad components like the brakes, then you’ll need to maintain them.
If you want to avoid brake problems or other issues and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.
A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.
Warning Signs in Your Car Braking System
When you see or experience any of these things with your car’s braking system, you need to contact your local mechanic or take your car to a qualified mechanic for repairs.
Vibrating or Pulsating Brakes
If your vehicle’s brakes are pulsating or vibrating when you engage, it means that the brake pads are worn out. Therefore, you need to examine the rotors and brake pedals of your car for issues. Replace the damaged rotors and brake pads.
When you hear rattling sounds coming from your car’s braking system, it means that the brake pads are faulty and need replacement. The rattling sound results from the vibration of loose components that damage your brake pad. You need to take your car to a qualified mechanic who will inspect your car’s braking system’s general condition and the brake pads.
Your Car Pulling on One Side
Sometimes your vehicle pulls on one side when you engage the braking system. This indicates the braking effect is not applied evenly across the car. This issue can be caused by a lack of braking on one or more wheels. This means that the brake pad does not come to contact with the rotor. It could also be a result of binding brakes. This means that your car’s brake pad (view on Amazon) fails to retract from its rotor surface in one or more car wheels. Take your car to a qualified mechanic who will diagnose and prescribe a solution to this issue.
Growling and Grinding Sound
This sound is produced when you engage a completely worn brake pad. Therefore, when you engage the brakes, the worn-out brake pads grind against the rotors. This sound often shows metal to metal contact, meaning no braking material is left on your vehicle’s braking system. Take your car to a mechanic immediately you realize this problem because driving your car in this condition puts you and your passengers at great risk.
How to Fix the Metal on Metal Sound
Metal to metal rub results in grinding, growling, or even squeaky sound. Squeaks often happen when the car’s pads vibrate against the piston and bracket during the brakes’ partial pressing. Remove the brake pads and re-install them anew. During your brake pads’ re-installation process, add a brake lube in between the pads and shims where necessary.
Vehicles with the drum brakes often produce grinding noise when they are not driven for extended periods. However, this sound disappears with time. However, you can make it go away sooner by examining and cleaning it. As you inspect the drum, you need to look out for damaged hardware, and excess build-up of rust in the drums. While the drums can be cleaned, it costs less to replace the drum.
Sometimes your car produces a high-pitch squealing sound when you brake. This indicates that your brake pads are completely worn and should be replaced to restore your car’s braking system’s integrity. The squealing sound is a result of a small metal tab that acts as your car’s indicator, alerting you on the need to service your brake pads.
Conduct regular visual inspection of your car’s brake to determine the condition of wear on the brake pads. If you observe only a quarter-inch of your brake pad remains, you need to replace the brake pads because they are too thin to serve you properly.
Deep Grooves in the Rotor
Severely worn brake pads leave deep, circular-shaped grooves in your car’s rotor. If these grooves are visible, you need to replace your brake pads and their hardware. You will also have to service your rotor or replace it altogether.
This guide explains why you hear clicking noise when braking and the dangers of ignoring the clicking sound. It also explains several measures that you can take to correct the problem and restore your car’s braking system back to its optimum efficiency. Do not hesitate to take your car to a qualified mechanic when you hear the clicking sound. Other braking system weaknesses have been outlined in this article showing clearly how they come about and how you can fix them to restore your vehicle’s braking system back to its optimum efficiency.
If any of these issues happen when you are driving, park your car on the road side and call your mechanic. You can attempt to fix the issue if you have the technical knowledge and skill required to repair a broken breaking system.