Why Your 4WD SUV Clunks When Moving After Breaking and How to Fix the Underlying Problems

Posted on: 9 May 2017

If you recently purchased a new 4WD SUV and have noticed a loud clunking sound when you start moving again after you apply the brakes, then your vehicle has a mechanical problem that needs immediate attention. The underlying cause of this type of problem is a malfunction somewhere along the drive shaft. Once you have determined what part along the driveshaft is causing the clunking issue, then you can easily fix it yourself or have it repaired at your local auto mechanic shop.

Here is some information about causes of post-breaking clunking problems and how to fix the problem.

A Clunking Noise from the Driveshaft's Connection to the Transfer Case

One very common cause of post-breaking clunking in an older SUV is a worn-out gasket located between the drive shaft and the transfer case. You can check the condition of the gasket by climbing under your vehicle. Follow along the drive shaft until where its rear goes into the transfer case.

Now, look at the rubber gasket and look for signs that it is worn out. If it is worn, then you can remove the drive shaft and replace the gasket. The gasket is inexpensive and removing the drive shaft is a simple procedure. If you have never worked on the drive shaft of your vehicle before, there are many instructional videos online that can help. Do a quick internet search on your make and model of SUV to see the exact procedure to follow. 

A Clunking Noise from Worn-out Universal Joints

Your SUV has universal joints installed on the front and back of its drive shaft. The universal joints are shaped like plus signs. They contain bearings that allow them to move in multiple directions at the same time. The purpose of the universal joints is to protect your vehicle's drive shaft by allowing it to move around as you drive over rough surfaces and as you brake. When a universal joint has become too worn, then it will move around too much, and this will cause the clunking you are hearing and feeling inside the cab of your SUV.

To replace your SUV's universal joints, you need to remove the two bolts that hold the driveshaft into the transfer case. The transfer case is at the rear of your vehicle's driveshaft. Once you have removed the bolts, then the driveshaft will slip out of place and you can exchange the universal joints for new ones. Once you have put the driveshaft back in place, then your SUV will no longer clunk after breaking.

For all the parts you need to repair your vehicle, turn to companies like Dugan Oil and Tire.