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Single clunk when braking

Hi! I have a 2000 Subaru Legacy with just over 215,000 on it. The car runs nice and I just replaced the plugs and wires as well as the transmission fluid. There is just one other clunk and I don’t really know what it is. I was hoping someone here might.

When I brake there is a clunk that sounds like it’s coming from the back somewhere near the center of the car. It is a single clunk. It doesn’t seem to affect how the car brakes or handles but I want to know what it is. You know, the enemy you know is easier to deal with than the one you don’t :wink:

Make sure that someone didnt forget to put ALL of the brake hardware in your caliper upon pad change. If they forgot or overlooked one or more of the Stainless Steel Brake pad shims that are on the corners of every caliper…your brake pads will have excessive room to move around. The clunk you hear may be a caliper missing these stainless pieces or getting loose in some other way. If the calipers have not been changed in a long time, they may just be simply wearing out…that DOES happen. Have someone look at the brake calipers to find out where this noise is coming from…might be time for a new caliper…Which cost about 50-60 bucks to buy…God knows what shops charge to install them. I’m just quoting you what I pay for a caliper…then again I buy wholesale as I have a shop. Definitely get the brakes looked at because theyre kind of important…they are either worn out (calipers) or some piece of HW is missning…or something is unintentionally loose…ALL of these things can happen. SO…

Well, I was suspicious of the calipers being worn out because sometimes the pressure in the brake pedal is weird. The pedal feels hard. Since that happened twice in the last week, I was planning on checking out the brakes today anyway. Plus, I really don’t know how old the calipers (or the pads and rotors) are.

I decided to start doing my own work when a mechanic told me I could save myself $400 by doing my brakes myself.

Please be very careful with brakes. Personally, I believe it’s the most important safety feature on any car. it doesn’t matter how quick you take off, how fast you can go or how well you can corner if you can’t stop quickly, efficiently and safely every time.

Calipers rarely acually wear out. The rubber boots on the pistons do, and pistons seize, but it they’re working correctly (e.g. not leaking, the pistons move smoothly, and the seals are in good shape) then a pedal being particularly hard or soft is indicative of something else playing up.

make sure you have a maintenance manual, and thoroughly read the brakes section before you start the work.

Good luck in any event,

I agree with you and don’t worry, I was supervised by a mechanic on my first brake job and have done several since. All with resounding success. I never do any work, even something I have done more than once, without my Haines guide handy.

Make sure that your spare tire & all associated things (e.g. jack) are completely and tightly secured.