I have had the brake pads replaced on my Forester STi (4 pot Brembos all round) and have noticed a strange noise on first application of the brakes after moving either forwards or backwards.

By this I mean I can start off, then as I touch the brakes there will be a clunk. This won't happen again until I go in reverse, then it will happen once. And when I go forward again it will happen the first time.

This makes me think something is loose in the brake mounting and it is moving forwards against a stop through friction when I touch the brake, and it moves back again when I do the same in reverse.

I'm going to take it to the garage anyway, as I couldn't pin it down at home, but any thoughts on what it might be?

4 Answers 4


A few years ago, I had similar problems on my car after changing the pads. The first thing I did was to make sure all of the mounting hardware was tight (bolts torqued to spec, etc.). Next I looked for obvious problems in the suspension. Finally I took it into my mechanic and had him go over it. In the end, it turned out that there was room for some play between the width of the brake pad and the opening in the caliper. He said not to worry about it, and it finally went away. (I'm guessing the brake dust decided that the small space was a good place to gather.)

  • Ahhhh - presumably that could be a very small gap I wouldn't have noticed from a cursory look. Excellent - will see whether the garage mentions it as a possible, and if not, I will.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 12:51
  • Very true. If you have something loose, every time you apply the brakes it will likely behave like this. Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 13:41
  • Yep - this is what it was
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 21:20

I had a similar problem after the friction material delaminated from the backing plate on one of my brake pads. As long as I kept going the same direction it was quiet, but whenever I switched between forwards/backwards, the loose material would shift and clunk.


As mentioned check to see if all the bolts are tight. One time, I left one of the caliper carrier bolts not tight enough and it fell out while driving and made some awful noise as brake started to drift off the rotor. Same thing happened to my friend who had his brakes done at a shop.

If it is just a matter of a gap between pad and rotor/caliper, I would try pumping the pedal to push the piston out to close the gap.


I had the same problem All I did was pull the e-break while driving hard a few times to adjust the breaks since they have an adjuster they automatically adjust and it went away

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