What’s That Strange Sound Coming from My Car? Part 1

As your car ages, sometimes weird squeals, clicks and clunking sounds happen. And when you hear them, you may wonder many where it’s coming from and if it needs your immediate attention. Your car, like people, will tell you if something is wrong. In this first installment of, “What’s That Strange Sound Coming from My Car,” we’re going to cover brakes, the types of noises they make, and the cause of those noises.

car mechanic worker replacing brakes of lifted automobile at aut

Clunking Sound When Braking

Possible causes:

  • An improperly mounted disc brake caliper.
  • Worn steering system components.
  • Damaged or missing brake hardware.

Squealing Sound When Braking

Possible causes:

  • Worn brake pads and/or shoes.
  • Dirty brake pads, rotors, drums and/or shoes.
  • Brake pads have overheated and have consequently glazed.
  • The wear indicator on the pads is making contact with the rotor.
  • Disc brake calipers were incorrectly mounted or have come loose.

Scraping Sound from the Rear of the Car When Braking

Possible causes:

  • Brakes are not applying evenly.
  • Severely worn brake shoes.
  • Distorted or out-of-round brake drum.

Brakes Make a Rhythmic Scraping Noise at Slow Speeds

Possible causes:

  • Brake drums need to be replaced because they are badly out-of-round.
  • Brake rotor is badly warped.

Clicking Sounds from the Front While Turning Corners

Possible causes:

  • Brake pads are loose in their mounting.
  • A hard object is caught between the rotor and the brake pads.
  • CV joints are worn.

Clicking Noise While Turning or Braking

Possible causes:

  • Brake hardware is damaged or missing.
  • Disc brake caliper is improperly mounted.
  • Worn steering system components.

When your brakes make any of the above sounds, they should not be ignored. Your car is telling you to take notice and do something about the issue. Drivers know that stopping is just as important as going, and you don’t want to end up in a nasty accident.

If your brakes make any of the above sounds, bring your vehicle to Performance Auto Repair. Call (334) 245-6600 to schedule an appointment today.

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL.




  1. I really like how you explained the different causes of the noises your car is making. Especially the ones that are coming from behind your car because its most likely the wheel bearings. The other day I had a whistling sound from the back of my car. I took it in to get it fixed and it turned out to be the wheel bearings. Is this a hard fix to do yourself for next time in order to save money?

    • If it is a simple problem, you can do it. However, if you do not really understand the causes, I think you should take it to the automobile repair shop to avoid the problem becomes more severe

  2. Thanks for explaining the possible causes of clicking sounds in your car. A friend of mine has recently been having problems with that. He turns right and he gets this little noise. I’ll have to show this to him. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I like how you put it, “Your car, like people, will tell you if something is wrong.” I appreciate how you listed out the possible issues that coincide with the noises we hear from our cars. I’m always nervous when it comes to auto repairs because I don’t feel confident in knowing what is wrong. So your info is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I have been having problems with squealing when I am breaking. I didn’t realize that it could be due to just having dirty brake pads. I will have to take my car through the carwash and see if this helps. I hope it can be fixed with just a simple cleaning.

  5. Thanks so much for this! Sounds are the symptoms of car trouble. This is the most complete, concise list of car sounds I’ve found online. I’m sure it was tough to put together, so thanks for your time and for getting this for us.

  6. I thought that it was unusual to hear a rhythmic scraping noise when I would hit slow speeds, so I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t a sign that my brake pads need to be replaced. It helps that you pointed out that I might need to replace my brake drums or fix a warped brake rotor. Now that I’m aware of this, I’ll check them out to find out if my rotor is warped or if my brake drums need to be replaced. Thanks for the tips!

  7. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that a clunking sound while braking could indicate damaged hardware. While driving home from grocery shopping yesterday, I noticed that my car was making that sound whenever I stopped or slowed down. I’ll definitely take my car in to have the brakes looked at and repaired, if needed. Thanks for the great post!

  8. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that a clunking sound when braking can indicate damaged or missing hardware. While I was driving home from the store today, I noticed a loud clunking sound whenever I stopped or slowed down quickly. I’ll definitely take my car in to see what the problem is, and to get it repaired. Thanks for the great post!

  9. Simply clicking, clunking and squealing. Where is it arriving from? Is it dangerous? Should I get out and take a look, or overlook it and wish it goes away? Vehicles, like individuals, connect when something is not right. Often, a used or uneven car aspect will create an audio. Here are some typical causes of those disturbing appears to be.

  10. Wow, brakes can make a whole lot of different sounds. I have head squeaking from my brakes before, but eventually it just went away. It must have been the pads were overheated, causing them to glaze.

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