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Old 03-28-2008, 02:37 PM
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raymoon raymoon is offline
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Clicking/Cracking sound when braking

I have an 03 Accord and I've been noticing a clicking/cracking sound in rhythm with my wheels. It only happens when I'm braking. I usually cant hear it unless i'm going pretty slow. If I'm going REALLY slow (braking while in idle) I can hear it go "" with the wheels...

What could it be!?
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:46 PM
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Spektyr Spektyr is offline
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Well the first obvious thing to rule out would be some kind of physical interference with the wheels - ie. a "card" in the spokes. Put the car in park, start it up (so you've got full power to the brakes) then have someone operate the brakes while you peek under the car and up into the inside of the wheels. (Looking with the wheels off is also an option.)

The idea there is to rule out that the operation of the brakes could somehow be moving something into contact with your wheels.

The only other thing I can think of would be an issue with your CV joints (which is what I'd put my money on). While you're under there, inspect the boots for tears/splits. Generally, CV joints don't start to fail until the boots start to come apart, so if the boots are intact you can pretty safely rule them out as a problem. (Be sure to check all the way around in each "mountain" and "valley" of the boot. Once a hole appears crud starts to get in and lubricant starts to get out, and the joint will wear out pretty quickly after that.)

Another good indication of CV joint failure is that clicking noise being particularly pronounced during turning (usually acceleration combined with turning).

I've known people that drove with bad CV joints for months (my mechanically ignorant father, for one), but I've never been able to stand the noise longer than a week. On most cars the CV joints aren't too bad to replace yourself, either. You'll probably have to borrow a couple specialized tools from Autozone or somewhere, and maybe bribe a buddy with a 6-pack to lend a hand (many hands make light work), but it's not a complicated job.

If you check and you can't find anything contacting the wheels, and the CV boots look good... well I'd have to guess there's something else wrong with the brakes, but I couldn't begin to guess what it might be. At that point I'd pull the front wheels and have a look at the calipers and rotors to see if I could spot any obvious problems/damage. If after that you still can't find the source, I'd say to call around to a few repair shops and see if you can find one that does a free (or at least very cheap) brake inspection. There's one where I live that does a basic inspection at no charge. (Ironically they're also one of the more expensive places to get the actual repairs done, so I'll let them find a problem and then either fix it myself or take it to a different garage.)
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