Why Are My Brakes Clicking When Changing Direction?

Wondering why your brakes click? If you just changed your brake pads and brake rotors and hear a clicking noise coming from the brake every time you change direction from forward to reverse, it’s most likely hardware clips.

Most modern cars have an anchor bracket-style caliper that uses stainless steel clips to load the pads in a certain direction. These clips are spring steel and can wear out. It’s important to use new hardware every time.

Be sure to lubricate the clips with a high-performance synthetic brake lubricant. This will avoid any clicking. Nearly all PowerStop brake pads come with the hardware and lubricant necessary to make any brake job easy, without having to go to the parts store.

What Causes Clicking or Popping Noises When I Turn?

If your vehicle makes a clicking or popping noise when you turn, it’s best to determine the cause of the sound as quickly as possible. Below are some of the most common reasons vehicles make these clicking and popping noises while being driven.

Damaged CV Joints

If you hear a popping noise when accelerating or turning your vehicle, it could be a sign of a damaged Constant Velocity (CV) joint. A CV joint is a mechanical joint that transmits even power through a variety of angles with minimum friction and internal play. The joints are positioned at the end of the front axle, increasing its flexibility so it can run the wheels and suspensions. 

When a CV joint breaks, it impacts the axle’s flexibility. As a result, grease gets behind the wheels and makes a popping sound when the vehicle turns.

Worn Tie Rod

When worn-out tie rods are close to breaking, they may make a popping noise when the vehicle turns. If the tie rod breaks while you’re on the road, it could cause a dangerous situation. Because of the risk to your safety and those with whom you share the road, it’s a good idea to find out what is causing your vehicle’s noise so the problem can be addressed promptly.

That’s why it’s a good idea to check whenever your car is making a new noise so you can address the issue right away.

Loose Hubcaps

Loose hubcaps can also be responsible for causing a popping or clicking sound when you turn your vehicle. When hubcaps are loose, they may wobble and flutter, resulting in a popping noise.

You don’t even have to be turning to hear a popping noise caused by a loose hubcap; you may hear a sound just when driving in general or during the acceleration of your vehicle. Fortunately, checking to see if your hubcaps are loose is quick and easy. 

Loose Drive Belt or Tensioners

The drive belt connects the power steering, alternator, and air conditioning to the crankshaft. It delivers power to each of these components, allowing them to function properly. 

Tensioners keep the drive belt tight so it can do its job efficiently and effectively. When a drive belt or its tensioners become loose, they may tap against the vehicle, causing a clicking or popping noise. 

What Causes Clicking or Popping Noises When I Brake?

If your car makes a clicking or popping noise when you apply the brakes, it’s important to determine the source of the sound. This will enable you to address the issue promptly and potentially avoid bigger, more expensive, and even dangerous problems down the road.

Loose Brake Pads

Brake pads should always remain secured to the seat of the brake caliper. If the pads become loose, they may shift and jump when you brake. This can cause a clicking sound during braking, especially at low speeds.

Loose Brake Calipers

Guide pins and bolts secure brake calipers to their seats, keeping the calipers in proper suspension. This allows the brake pads to make contact with the rotors so the vehicle can stop when the brakes are applied. 

If the brake calipers are loose, they will bounce erratically causing a popping or clicking sound when you drive.

Bent Brake Backing Plates

Backing plates are attached to the back of each of the brakes on your vehicle. They protect the brakes from damage and grime. If the plate is bent inward, it can rub against the rotor or caliper making a clicking sound.

Have a Question? PowerStop Can Help!

At PowerStop, our mission is to provide top-quality performance brakes for every vehicle on the road. If you have a question regarding any of our products, contact us today online or toll-free at (888) 863-4415. Our customer service team is available to answer your questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). Se habla español.


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