Harsh clunking sound while applying brake


Hey guys, im new to the site here so thanks for having me. Im looking to get some more input on an issue ive been having on my 2005 Audi A4 quattro.

The problem im having is whenever i press on the brakes, i experience a pretty harsh clunking sound that occurs until the car is completely stopped. There is no sound while normally driving (pretty smooth driving actually) and the clunking is most apparent while applying brakes about half way down. The faster im going when i start to brake, the more violent it acts. But it does still occur at lower speeds. There are no vibrations in the steering wheel or brake pedal. If i slam the brakes harder, the problem is ALOT less noticeable. When i ride over bumps, i do hear a clunking noise but its not very harsh. If im driving uphill and brake, its not very noticable but when driving down hill its even worse when braking. It feels like driver front wheel sorta dips down and back up continuously in a rotational manner until the car stops entirely.

Its kind of hard describing the issue because its not really a vibration or a clunking sound exactly, its more of how the car “feels”. Theres no harsh metal clunking, steering seems fine, pedals dont pulsate. Its more like the car just dips up and down when applying brake half way and it can definitely be felt, its not just a small dip, Its pretty dramatic actually and feels unsafe to drive at all.

Anyways, i got the front end jacked up, there was very little to no play when pushin and pullin on the wheel at 3/9 and 12/6 positions. Removed the wheel, all lug nuts were tight. Removed caliper and pads, both seemed to be in decent shape and installed correctly with nothing wiggling around or loose. Inspected rotor and i dont see any harsh grooves. Maybe a few high/low indications but dont seem to be terribly bad or anything. Started checking suspension parts at that time, i did notice a tear in the balljoint bushing between lower control arm and wheel spindle. I also noticed an inner bushing on the sway bar link to the lower control arm appears to be missing. Everything else seems to be in order and no other visible damage or play in any other suspension parts as far as i could tell so i plan on swapping out the sway bar link and lower control arm today to see if that helps me out.

Since these suspension bolts are proving to be VERY difficult to remove, i have them soaking in wd40 at the moment and thought id jump on here to see if theres anything else i should be checking or any other advice or input i could get on this problem. How probable is the issue that ive described is related to the lower control arm and swaybar link problem. I guess i figured those parts failing would be more apparent at all times of driving, not just while braking.

I hope i gave a good description of the problem and appreciate any advice or help in advance!

I would start with those sway bar bushings

Sway bars can cause a LOT of noise

Please report back to us after the repair :smile_cat:

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Ok will do, i should have it put back together by tonight so ill update tonight or tomorrow after that and lower control arm has been replaced. Does the sway bar affect the braking? When troubleshooting online, those seem to make noise while driving but nothing i found indicated that it would cause the car to have issues braking. Thanks for your reply!

Just an update: as of right now i have removed the old lower control arm and after inspecting it, i also noticed that the bushings that connect the strut to it are very badly worn and shredded practically, there might as well be no bushings there with the condition they are in.

I ran into a problem with the lower control arm when trying to reinstall it where the lip on the strut connection point is way to wide for my strut assembly to be installed back on it, it just does not fit. So im getting another control arm tomorrow morning and will be inspecting it before i purchase it to make sure 100% it will fit this time around.

Id imagine the main problem im having is with those strut bushings to the control arm and will report back once i have it installed to let yall know if that fixed the problem im having.