Rear Brake and/or Parking Brake 'Clunk'?

I bought a 2006 Sonata V6 3.3L with 137k on it about a month ago. Engine and Trans is great, but I noticed an issue that developed within the past week and a half or so.

I am one to always engage the parking brake when parked, to relieve pressure on the parking paw in the transmission. After about a week of heavy use of the parking brake, I began to hear a slight ‘clunk, clunk, clunk’ coming from the rear passenger wheel (it actually sounded like something was loose in the trunk, but ruled it out). The ‘clunk’ sound at first only happened going over rough or bumpy roads, but within the past week or so it’s gotten louder and more consistent. It now ‘clunks’ regardless of speed or road surface.

I used the parking break today for the first time while the car was in motion, and when pulled it sqreached very loud, didn’t really stop the car, but the ‘clunk’ became very loud while the break was pulled - shockingly loud, actually.

A couple of days ago I took the rear passenger tire off while jacked up, and spun the wheel. With neither the parking or regular breaks engaged, the wheel made a ‘clunk’ sound very similar to that it makes on the road. Took of the Tire/Rim and spun the Rotor, to hear the same sound. Attempted to wiggle the Rotor and found no play at all.

At first, the clunk went away when you pressed the floor board brake pedal, even just a slight bit stopped the noise. Now it doesn’t seem to stop it any longer.

My main idea is that the parking brake in the Rotor is the culprit, given that the issues didn’t arise until I started using the parking brake - and the fact that brake appears to not work very well. However, my dad tells me he thinks it’s a wheel bearing. I don’t think it is - as its not making any metal on metal sounds, nor is it very difficult to rotate the Rotor while jacked up.

Any opinions on what this could be? Don’t have the funds to pay a dealer to look at it.

Actually, I wouldn’t rule out the wheel bearing just yet

I’ve encountered many bad wheel bearings that didn’t make metal on metal sounds

Is the parking brake using the rear brake pads, or are there brake shoes mounted in the hat of the rotor?

In any case, when the car was jacked up, did you remove the rotor to get a closer look at the hub and the parking brake components?

The parking brake has a drum break inside the rotor. The car has rear disc brakes. The parking brake does not seem to affect the rear disc brakes. I took off the tire, but could not budge caliper bolts to remove the caliper even. I’m going to try it anew tomorrow, with a better ratchet to see if I can attack the caliper again.

The correct term is parking “pawl”, but “paw” works okay too. Your context is so clear and articulate that it doesn’t really matter.

You definitely should pull the wheel and disc and check the parking brake out, but I’ll bet the clunking/thunking is probably coming from a bushing. The #1 candidates are the bushings that hold the sway bar to the unibody. The metal bars rotate up & down in holes in the rubber bushings constantly, and between that and normal rubber shrinkage, the holes wear too large. I’ve even seen grooves worn into the bars themselves.

Start by putting the rear end on ramps (engine off, chocks, P-brake on, and everything on a solid, stable, level surface). Slide underneath and try shaking the bar aggressively, laterally to the bar. Try the bar by the mounts as well as at the links at the ends. Post back with the results. Bushings and links are cheap and easy to replace, but there are some tricky things about changing links that you need to know.

Post back. And good luck.

I have actually seen the sway bar links break from excessive rust. I assume you would have seen if it were broken but I just mention this just in case. They will for sure make a noise. The car will also lean more on turns. The nuts on the links are interference nuts and can be tough to remove. It is unlikely they loosened unless they have been removed a few times and never retightened to the correct torque. But if they did loosen, they will also make a noise.

Whether it’s suspension or brakes you should let someone that knows look at it.Could be simple as rust and strut tower coming loose.(Well simple but not good).What part of the land are you living?

@Dusenberg If you will notice when the last comment is more than a month old the Original Poster has left the cyber space building and is not likely to ever return.