Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

As the owner of your vehicle, it is likely that you are familiar with its inner workings and can detect when something is a miss. If your vehicle shakes upon braking, you may be experiencing a typical issue.

There are several potential causes for your vehicle’s shaking, and it’s crucial to solve this issue before it escalates. Here are several typical causes for your vehicle to tremble when you apply the brakes.

Does a shaky car give you the jitters? Vibrations in your vehicle and driver’s seat can be problematic, especially when braking.

If you detect vibrations when applying the brakes, you should visit your local Tires Plus for brake servicing!

However, let’s first break out what could be wrong with your automobile.

The Causes Of The Car Shaking When It Breaks 

Your Brake Pads And Rotors Require Care

Substances adhering to the rotor are one of the most prevalent causes of a vehicle’s trembling when the brakes are applied. When the brake pedal is depressed, a caliper applies force to the brake pad.

In turn, the brake pad presses on the rotors to prevent the wheels from spinning. Brake pads acquire oil, grime, and other contaminants over time.

When this occurs, the chemicals might generate vibrations, especially when the brake pads are depressed.

In addition, as rotors age, they become thinner and more vulnerable to damage. During braking, considerable heat is produced, which can cause the warping of the rotors.

This can also cause brake pads to slip. To avoid this problem, your brake rotors should be replaced every 70,000 miles.

Depending on your vehicle’s weight, driving patterns, and the local temperature, you may need to replace them sooner.

You can also hear a harsh sound outside your vehicle when you press the brakes. This sound may indicate that your brake is worn out. Replace your brake pads as quickly as possible if this occurs.

You should consult your owner’s manual to determine when to replace the brake pads, but this is normally every 50,000 miles.

1. Dry Guide Pins

If your steering wheel shakes when you come to a full stop, this could result from dry guiding pins. These brake caliper guide pins are crucial for guiding the braking pad to the rotor.

For these pins to function effectively, they must be clean and oiled. When they get rusted or dry, they might cause the brake pads to press down at an incorrect angle on the rotor or the caliper to stick.

Visit a service center to discover if your guide pins are dry since the caliper must be removed, inspected, and lubricated.

In addition to inspecting the caliper housing and manipulating high-temperature grease, resolving this issue frequently necessitates evaluating the caliper itself.

2. Concerns About Alignment

If your vehicle shudders when you brake at speeds greater than 50 miles per hour, you may have alignment issues. To test this theory, you must travel between 50 and 55 mph while no other vehicles are on the road.

Remove your hands from the driving wheel for a moment, but keep them close in an emergency. You wish to identify whether the vehicle leans slightly left or right.

If there are no alignment concerns with your vehicle, it should move in a straight line.

However, if it drifts slightly in either direction, your car requires a thorough inspection to determine whether two or four tires require adjustment.

3. Unstable Tires

The tires are a common cause of brake-induced vehicle trembling. If the tires are underinflated or out of balance in some locations, your car’s suspension system may have to work harder.

Additionally, it might cause the steering wheel to tremble, making it difficult to maneuver the vehicle.

When you take your vehicle in for tire rotations, the mechanic should also examine the vehicle’s wheel alignment.

Ideally, you should rotate your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, but you should consult your owner’s manual to be certain.

4. Bent Wheel Rims

Similar to worn and mismatched tires, bent wheel rims can cause vehicle drifting. If you frequently drive through potholes, you will likely have a bent rim.

Minor vibrations may emanate from the vehicle when traveling at high speeds with twisted rims. As your speed increases, you may notice that the vibrations intensify.

Bent Wheel Rims: 

Warped rims affect the steering wheel of your vehicle, generating painful vibrations. It is essential to address the rims before they cause extra damage.

5. Suspension Problems

If you observe that your vehicle vibrates not only when you apply the brakes but also while driving normally, you may have suspension troubles.

Over time, small stones and potholes can damage your car’s axle, resulting in suspension damage.

Suspension difficulties may also be at play if your vehicle rattles, particularly when stopping.

The constant velocity (CV) joint, which is attached to the axle, is also affected by axle damage. If the rubber boots that protect the CV joint develop holes or become clogged with debris, the vehicle may shake.

This joint is affected by almost any disturbance to the axle system.

6. Power Steering Issues

There are various components involved in the power steering system of your car, and each of these components must be in excellent condition for you to make smooth turns.

Power Steering Issues: 

You may observe that turning the steering wheel in one direction requires greater effort than in the other. In addition to spending more energy when turning, you may experience a shaking sensation.

If this occurs, you may have a problem with your vehicle’s power steering.

Repeat the maneuver when the car is stopped to observe if the vehicle shakes. If shaking occurs simply from rotating the steering wheel, the steering components are likely to blame. There could be a leak in one of the connections.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake And How To Fix It?

If your gear stick and brake pedal are trembling or vibrating, it could be your rotors. To slow your vehicle, the brake pad presses on the rotors, and if the rotors are out of balance, this could cause the pedal and control surface vibrations.

A mechanic may be able to modify, shim, or resurface the rotors to account for the unevenness, but changing them is a safer bet and a relatively straightforward do-it-yourself project for people who are experienced working under the hood.

In addition, some mechanics advise replacing rotors and disc brakes at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I stop my car from shaking when I brake?

Tires are a potential source of shaking while applying the brakes, especially at high speeds on the highway or when driving downhill.

It is the first thing you should inspect if braking causes your vehicle to shake. Your wheels may be misaligned or have a defective, imbalanced tire.

2. What does it mean when your car shakes when you break?

The more forcefully you apply the brakes, the higher the hydrostatic properties in the calipers and the greater the pressure applied to the brake discs and rotors.

If the caliper or pistons become jammed, the caliper cannot squeeze the brake pads against the rotors, which may result in braking-related vibrations.

Tires are a potential source of shaking while applying the brakes, especially with high speeds on the road or when driving downhill.

It’s the first thing you should inspect if braking causes your vehicle to shake. Your wheels may be misaligned or have a defective, imbalanced tire.

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