Your braking system plays an important safety role in your car. Therefore, you should be concerned when you hear a clicking sound while pressing the brake pedal.
This sound may imply that one of the braking system’s components has gone wrong. These components include brake pads, brake calipers, backing plates, calipers, etc.
It may also be due to an issue with the weather or just an everyday issue.
Although this sound is irritating, it tends to send a warning message that, if heeded, will protect your car and the safety of its occupants.
Below are what causes this problem and how to get rid of it.
Loose Brake Calipers
The braking calipers are held firmly by bolts and guide pins into the bushings. The brake calipers will move freely if these bolts and guide pins get loose.
When this happens, the calipers will contact the rotors every time you press the brake pedal.
Therefore, the clicking sound you hear is due to the brake calipers hitting the rotors. So, by tightening the bolts and guide pins, you will eradicate the clicking sound.
You can use a wrench to tighten them. However, you should apply the correct pressure listed on your car’s manual to avoid breaking them.
Bear in mind that the bolts and guide pins may have gone faulty. In this case, you will have to replace them.
Loose Brake Pads
If you hear a clicking sound when braking at a low speed, you have a loose brake pad. The brake pad ought to be firmly attached to the caliper seat.
But sometimes, they can get loose due to harsh terrain or poor maintenance. Brake pads will tend to move up and down when pressing the brake pedal when they do so.
Therefore, the brake pads should be the first thing you check when you encounter this problem while driving slowly.
These pads are customarily held onto the calipers by flanges that can get bent or faulty, thus loosening the brake pads.
So, you will have to check their condition when fixing the problem. Bending brake pads back to their proper shape will fix the issue.
However, if they are entirely faulty, you should replace them with new ones. It is critical to install the right size to make the pads firm when replacing them.
The Brake Backing Plates Are Bent
All brakes have a backing plate that is attached to their backs.
The role of the backing plate is to prevent dust, debris, or water from getting into the braking system and making it malfunction.
But due to reckless driving or accidents, these backing plates can be bent inwards as a result.
When they do, they will rub against the caliper or the rotor every time you press the brake pedal. It will, in turn, cause a clicking sound.
As a result, you might want to check the backing plates whenever you hear such a sound.
If you deduce that they are bent, you should straighten them to their standard shape to eliminate the sound.
A Rock In The Braking System
Are you hearing a clicking sound after driving on a rocky surface? If so, you might have a rock stuck between the caliper and the wheel.
As the caliper moves, it crushes the rock resulting in a clicking sound. As a result, you should remove it to sort out the sound issue.
To do so, you will have to remove the wheel first and then use a screwdriver or a stick to push it out.
If you leave your car in the rain for many days, you might start hearing a clicking sound when pressing on the brake pedal.
The rotors will rust if water or moisture gets into the braking system. As such, the sound you hear results from rust being scraped off as the calipers rub on the rotors.
Luckily, you can quickly solve the issue by using a brake cleaner to remove the rust. But if you want to get rid of it entirely, try not to leave your car idle for long.
Nevertheless, rotors can also get damaged due to bad brake pads. If the brake pads get faulty, they will scratch the rotor, causing holes.
These holes will cause uneven braking, resulting in a clicking sound. Luckily, if you have enough skills, you can resurface the rotors to get rid of the sound.
But if you don’t know how to do so, you should consult a professional to prevent damaging the rotors further.
The Shift-Lock Feature
Do you hear the clicking sound only when moving out of the parking space? Well, it is due to the shift lock feature.
This feature is for safety reasons and can only be activated by pressing the brake pedal.
When you press the brake pedal, an electric signal is sent to the shift-lock system, which starts to operate. A clicking sound usually accompanies this operation.
For this reason, if the shift-lock mechanism causes the sound, it shouldn’t terrify you since it is purely normal.
Worn Or Loose Ball Joints
The ball joints are responsible for supporting the wheels. As such, they should be firm and in good condition.
But due to reckless driving, they can get loose or worn. When the ball joints do so, they will make a clicking sound when you press the brake pedal.
This sound is generally accompanied by excessive vibrations and sideway movements of wheels when going over bumps.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard to diagnose this fault. But once you identify it, it would be a great idea to fix it to resolve the clicking sound.
The Brake Shims Are Faulty
Even when your braking system is in good condition, it tends to make some sound. But this sound is rarely heard due to brake shims that absorb it.
So, if you are hearing a low clicking sound, you may have faulty shims.
Since the shims are rubber or metallic and are found between the calipers and brake pads, they are prone to damage due to friction.
When they get faulty, they won’t absorb the sound. Therefore, a clicking sound when pressing the brake pedal due to faulty shims shouldn’t scare you.
But it is good to confirm it to ensure that other components do not cause it.
Bear in mind that not all braking systems come with brake shims, so you might as well choose to ignore them if they are faulty.
It is vital to pay close attention to the sound made by your car when braking. It is because it usually indicates a problem with one or more components.
A clicking sound when pressing the brake pedal, for instance, can imply that the braking system’s components are worn or loose.
These parts include the rotors, ball joints, brake calipers, pads, etc.
It could also indicate the presence of a foreign substance in the braking system, which can affect its functionality.
Since the braking system plays an important safety role in the car, you should make an effort to check the affected part and repair or replace it.
By doing so, you will safeguard other essential components and prevent accidents.
Patrick started his love affair with cars in his childhood. Over the years, he claims a sturdy hold on his driving skills, along with a thorough understanding of cars. We can expect some interesting, holistic, and pleasurable blogs with his flair for writing and his love for cars.
Being a car enthusiast, Patrick has experience comprising of two decades in which he has ridden some of the meanest and strongest machines in the automotive industry. His previous avatars include an automotive professional, photographer, and journalist, and you will certainly experience the roundness of experience in his piece on this site.
In his second decade of reviewing cars and analyzing tools, Patrick is all set to give you convincing, reliable, and the latest information regarding what’s happening in the automotive industry. Currently, he owns a BMW Z3 but cannot get his eyes off Aston Martin DB5. He is a car enthusiast; he loves cooking and listening to music, especially jazz. Here are some of the pieces written by our ace author.