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Most of the time when I brake at low speeds I hear a clicking type sound, that is fairly faint. I do NOT hear squeaking, grinding or any high pitched noises that might indicate my brake pads are wearing down, or anything that sounds really bad. I also do NOT feel anything in the pedal with the clicking/tapping. It seems to come from the front left tire, but I can't say for sure.

A couple months ago I did have to get my rotors resurfaced, and I believe they put new break pads on at the same time.

What could be the possible causes? How serious of an issue is it likely to be?

Toyota Yaris '09 ~100,000 miles

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Does the click occur continuously after the brake is applied or is it a single click for each brake application? – mikes Apr 22 '14 at 0:54
    
It's usually multiple clicks, but sometimes just one. It varies, sometimes it happens all the time and sometimes it doesn't happen at all – TruthOf42 Apr 22 '14 at 12:11
up vote 7 down vote accepted

It turns out that the brake pads were improperly installed. Furthermore, the problem seemed to occur far more often when the breaks were wet. I'm not sure if that caused the pads to "slip" more or what.

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It could be something really obvious - the clicking could be caused by a small object that is stuck in your tire tread like a pebble.

Inspect your tire tread; if there is something stuck you should be able to pry it out with relative ease.

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I will check but the sound goes away as soon as I release the brake and comes back when I apply brake again – TruthOf42 Apr 21 '14 at 13:16
1  
Is there a lump in the edge of the brake disc that could be just touching the pad when engaged? – Rory Alsop Apr 21 '14 at 13:46

I would look at the springs, shims and clips that hold the pads in place. It is possible that one of the springs has weakened or rusted. When the brakes are applied the pad shifts resulting in the click. If you remove the pads you may detect a shiny spot on one or more of the "ears" of the pad.

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Assuming that is the issue, how dangerous and damaging would this be? Depending on amount of wear because of inaction? – TruthOf42 Apr 23 '14 at 19:10
    
Any undiagnosed noise that involves the brakes or steering should be investigated for obvious safety reasons. If in fact the noise is determined to be a pad shifting issue it should be repaired, it is not a life threatening concern. My concern is that you don't know for sure. It could also be (but less likely) a loose caliper mount or caliper slide bolt. Both of which can be catastrophic if the caliper were to come loose and jam against the wheel. – mikes Apr 23 '14 at 19:54

I had this problem too the first time I changed brake pads on my 99 Plymouth brezee. I had the rotors turned and installed new pads on front wheels, but I got a clicking noise I did not have before. Inner pads can go in either left or right Wheel, but outer pads have a different outer "hook" on the pad body that grabs on to the caliper frame. It has a notch with a bottom "hook" which keeps the pad from moving up. You have to make sure this notch is on the top side of the installed pad. If you install it on the bottom the pad will lift up when you brake and then go back down quikly and then up and down again and again. to be more clear usually this notch is in the same side as the wear sensor. If your wear sensor is in the bottom, there is your culprit.

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Mine turned out to be missing clips on the pads almost look like a spacer of sorts

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On my 2000 Toyota Camry at least if the clips are missing, that click would be the sound of the pad slamming into the opposite end of the torque frame. The pads were meant to be installed with those clips, without them they will flop around every time you hit the brakes. Not a good thing at all. – cdunn May 3 at 19:14

Mine turned out to be tie rod ends and hub bearings. It had a clicking sound when I hit the breaks.

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Welcome to the site. I recommend you avoid mentioning the cost of repair since such information would become obsolete very quickly – Zaid Dec 18 '15 at 17:44

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