I just had my rear discs and pads replaced (2015 Golf). Everything seems fine, but if I'm backing up and press the brakes, there will be a "clunk" on one or both sides; when I then drive forward and press the brakes there will be another "clunk". It isn't loud, but it's clearly present.

If I don't switch directions and brake it won't happen again; only when I brake in reverse (and then the next time I brake going forwards). This didn't happen before the replacement, and I haven't heard it while driving other cars.

It sounds like the pads are sliding to one side of the calipers when I brake in one direction, and then the other side when I brake in the other direction. Is this right? Should I take it back to the shop and complain, or is this completely harmless? I don't care (much) about the noise; I just wonder if it's causing wear, or an indication of some other problem.

(I'm guessing this post was talking about the same problem, but it wasn't explained clearly and there were no answers.)


2 Answers 2


Could be a couple of problems but most likely in my mind is that the calipers are not properly fixed to the caliper brackets or the caliper brackets are not properly fixed to the the wheel hub.

I think my next move would be to CAREFULLY take it back to the shop and have them sort it out at their expense.

If the pads are sliding then they are the wrong pads for those calipers and that too needs to be corrected ASAP.

  • I agree with you, I can't think of a good reason for that noise, and plenty of bad ones.
    – GdD
    May 12 at 12:59
  • Thanks. It's at the shop now; his guess was that it's the clips holding the pads in place. I'll update when I know more. May 12 at 13:19
  • Agree with calipers being at issue. May 12 at 13:56
  • The shop tightened the clips, and the noise seems to be gone. He confirmed that the noise was the only problem he saw. May 13 at 2:27
  • @DanielGriscom "The shop tightened the clips." sounds like hogwash. I've never done brakes on a VW but I can't imagine they are wildly different from a Honda, Subaru, or Chrysler. In fact, I see nothing to "tighten" when looking for brake parts online. There shouldn't be an clips to "tighten". If they had said "we forgot to install the clips" then that would be believable since it allows the brake pad more wiggle room to hit the top and bottom of the caliper bracket when applying the brake which explains why you only hear the noise when switching directions.
    – MonkeyZeus
    May 13 at 15:20

It is possible that the rear wheels nuts/bolts haven't been tightened correctly, which is allowing the disc/rotor to rotate slightly relative to the hub until it hits the studs, when you brake.

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