car makes clunking noise when backing up


Clunking noise when backing up? Or when you shift to drive, do you hear any shocking sound, as in something hit somewhere?  Check the following guides on what to check if you observe any clunk while trying to move, either front or back.




This guide will help you figure out the components of your car that their malfunctions will result to that clunking noise.

As you're reading every word of this article, you'll also notice the best practices in driving and parking that will help you avoid damaging your transmission system.

Where clunking noises usually develop in the car.

  1. CV joints of drive shaft,
    inner shaft bearing: If the boot of CV joint tore up and the grease leaked out,  it'll cause the clunking noise, the same thing will happen if the inner shaft bearing loose its grease, and the bearing has broken. Have these inspected.
  2. Motor mounts (Engine seats): they are to firmly gripp the engine and gearbox to the chassis, if there's a problem with any of them, it'll cause a clunking noise when shifting gear to reverse or drive. Do check, if their bolts or nuts loose or the bushing has spoiled.
  3. Parking pawl: a parking pawl is a pin that will lock the vehicle from rolling off whenever you shift the vehicle to park. When there is a problem with it, it'll result to such clunking noise when you shift from parking to reverse. It's not common but when it happens, it's not easy to eliminate as you have to disassemble the gearbox to replace it.
  4. Low level of fluid in the transmission: when there's extremely low level of fluid in transmission, the gear will delay to engage, and with such a loud noise, and if it's not easily detected, fixing it will not stop the noise as it has affected the  locking pin.
  5. Brake pads: when there's allowance to brake pad keys, it'll result to such sounds, especially when reversing. Also check that the brake disk are good. If the brake discs are bad, they'll results to such clunk noise, this time not only in reverse but also while applying brake. You'll also notice a slight jerking of the brake pedal while applying brake.
  6. Broken shock absorber spring: if the shock absorber springs are broken, you'll hear such clunks. The same clunks will happen if the spring are not well set. Check to see that the springs are set, pointed to the correct angle and are not broken.

For Rear Wheel Drive Vehicles 

On a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, failing U-joints will clunk when you put the vehicle in gear, or when you step on or let off of the throttle. It's the sound of slop being taken up in the joint as you apply the throttle

Precautions to take while driving automatic transmission

The following point are the best practices while driving automatic transmission vehicle:
  1. Make sure you press the brake pedal firmly before engaging in drive, and gradually remove your foot when taking off. This will help in avoiding shock to the locking pin and the motor mounts
  2. Stop the vehicle completely, before engaging into reverse or drive, changing the selector lever suddenly to drive or reverse while the vehicle is still moving is fatal to transmission.  Stop completely, with a brake before doing that.
  3. Don't rest to your hand on the gear selector while driving, as this will make you unknowingly shift the gear between 1 and 2. This action wears out the internal clutch of the transmission. Always rest your two hands on the steering wheel while driving.
  4. When you're parking on a sloppy area, use a parking brake, to support the vehicle. Don't leave only the locking pin of the gear. It's a best practice to always apply your parking brake whenever you park.
  5. When you're stopping, use brake to stop the vehicle completely, before shifting the gear to park. Never shift the  gear to park while the vehicle is still moving as this will distort the locking pin. 
The points above will help avoiding any potential damage to the transmission that'll results to such clunking noise while shifting the gear.

If you're having any problem with your transmission, or having any noise in your car while driving, consider booking an appointment with a professional Mechanic here. You'll have your fault diagnosed and solved instantly by a professional Mechanic from DREAMLAND Motor's. 

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