Step by step guide on how to repair automotive clunking noises. This article
pertains to all non-electric vehicles.
Difficulty Scale: 4 of 10
Tools and Supplies Needed
- Socket set
- Wrench set
- Protective eye wear and clothing
- Shop towels
Begin inspection with the vehicle on level ground with the emergency brake "ON"
with the engine "OFF".
- The brake pads and calipers are designed
to slow the vehicle when applied. If the caliper is loose or if the brake pads are
not fitted properly they will make a clunking noise when the brakes are applied.
Brake pad replacement
- An engine mount is designed to hold the
engine and transmission in place. When these mounts fail it will allow the engine
to rise up when accelerating, and then falling back down on deceleration. Its this
falling back into place which produces the clunking sound. To inspect for this condition
the car will need to be lifted and the engine mounts inspected. Look for separation
of the rubber and metal mounts that hold the mount together. If separation is detected,
the mount must be replaced.
- Struts and shocks are created with hydraulic
dampening valves which fail causing a clunking noise. To test for this condition
disassemble strut assembly and check for excessive strut movement, if strut is easily
moved (low resistance) replacement is needed. A spring compressor is required for
When a clunking noise is detected first locate the area of the vehicle its being
generated from which could by many things from a loose strut or shock to a worn out
sway bar mount. Once a clunking sound has been located a repair is needed to avoid
Article first published 2016-02-03