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Back tire thumps when hitting brakes

Honda Civic 2000, 200,000 miles good shape.This knocking as i brake has gone on before new tires and after new tires. Also have had brake job on back tires including new drums, I had a leaky cylinder. New fluid also. When I had the brake job i think the wheels were switched because now the sound is on left side where it was the right before. .It happened before the brake job when I would apply brakes lightly to slow but not so much when applied hard to stop. Since new tires and brakes it is less often but still does it and is on left side now. They say it may be a Honda quirk. No problems just annoying noise.

switch the wheels back and see if the sounds moves with the wheels. Then you can narrow down potential problems. Nice weekend afternoon job :grin:

they were switched once and it only happens during braking

I mention the switch because you said that you “think” they were switched. My suggestion was to make sure that is the case.

The thump could be caused by the caliper moving when you apply the brakes. Also possible that something is rubbing on the dust shield right behind the rotors/drums.

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I wish i could switch them again but I cannot do it and the funds are currently low, thanks for the advise

Swapping tires side to side doesn’t sound like it should have done anything. If there was a problem with either tire or wheels or both, then it wouldn’t wait until braking to make itself evident - plus I can not think of anything that would cause a thump when braking that involves tires and/or wheels. I strongly suggest you take kurt’s advice and rotate the tires and wheels side to side, again. This needs to eliminated as a possibility (or confirmed if that is the case!)

I suspect a bushing or a sway bar link, although I wouldn’t discount something in the brakes themselves. May be a spring seating problem?

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If you don’t have the funds to even swap the tires side to side, why did you post here asking about the noise? Were you expecting us to confirm to you that everything is OK?

It isn’t OK. Noises like this can be a very minor problem or a major problem. If you aren’t willing to help us help you, have a nice day and I hope nothing falls off your Civic. Good Luck!


Mustangman is correct. If you have zero funds to repair your car and do not have the ability to do the repairs yourself, sell the car and use public transportation.


If swapping the rear wheels right/left the problem followed the wheels, that’s a major clue that the problem is that wheel, not anything to do with the rest of the car. That’s why the folks above suggest to repeat that experiment. If you are able to repeat it and prove the problem is the wheel … hmm … well if the wheel (i.e. the rim that the tire mounts on) is a little bent or corroded and isn’t setting against the hub evenly all the way around, such a thing could happen. The effect would be similar to having a warped rotor. You might not notice it just going down the road, but upon braking you’d feel a vibration or hear thumping noises. If this bent wheel is the culprit, there may be some uneven tire wear too, so look for that. Until you can repeat the experiment of the wheel swap, and know for sure if it is a bad wheel or not, no sense spending any more time or money on it.

Swapping the tires, for most people, is a DIY job. As a matter of fact, if you had a helper you could attempt to re-create the symptoms by turning the wheel by hand while someone lightly steps on the brakes.

We were actually trying to save you some money. This “annoying” noise could bite you one day if ignored.

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Drum brakes? They can be noisy sometimes due to a lack of grease on the backing plate contact points.Shoes must be able to slide in and out smoothly when pedal pressure is applied.

Yeah it wouldn’t be a caliper since it is drum brakes on the rear. I think Capri is close that it may be a loose or worn bushing or something and not the brakes. If it is the brakes, I suppose it could when the shoes come in contact with the drum. I think its going to take someone actually looking at it and hearing the thump you are talking about though.

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