Why is the car shaking when I brake?

close up photo of ferrari rim

If your car is shaking while braking, it’s likely due to warped brake rotors. Warped brakes are a common problem that many drivers face at some point. The good news is that they’re usually easy to fix. In this blog post, we’ll explain what brake rotors are, what causes them to warp, and how you can fix the problem.

What is a brake rotor?

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Brake rotors are metal discs that are mounted to your car’s wheels. They are responsible for stopping your car when you press on the brake pedal. There are two types of brakes: disc brakes and drum brakes. While disc brakes are much more effective, drum brakes are great for when a car is parked.

When the brakes are applied, hydraulic pressure makes the pads clamp down on the rotors and create friction. This friction is what slows down or stops your car.

What causes brake rotors to warp and the steering wheel to shake?

Courtesy: Wikipedia

Brake rotors can warp for a number of reasons. The most common cause is heat build-up from excessive braking. If you live in a hot climate or do a lot of driving in stop-and-go traffic, you’re more likely to experience warped brake rotors. Other causes include hitting a pothole or curb, driving on uneven surfaces, and using brakes that are too hard or soft.

Other causes of warped brake rotors include:

  • Driving in extreme weather conditions (hot or cold)

  • Driving on rough roads

  • hard braking

  • using lower quality brake pads

Because of this, the vibration from the uneven rotors travels up the steering shaft and into the steering wheel.

How can I fix warped brake rotors

Courtesy: Wikipedia

There are a few different ways that you can fix warped brake rotors. The first and most common method is to have them resurfaced by a professional. This process involves using a machine to remove a thin layer of metal from the rotor surface. This will create a smooth, even surface for the brakes to grip onto.

The second method is to replace the brake rotors entirely. This is usually only necessary if the rotors are severely warped or damaged beyond repair. Replacing brake rotors is a more costly option, but it will ensure that your brakes are in good working condition.

Other factors that can cause the car to shake

a person holding red and black hand tool

While bad brakes are a common cause, there are several other reasons why your car could be shaking when you press the brake pedal.

Bad brake pads

When brake pads are worn, pressing on the brakes will cause a rumble feeling on the road. Constantly riding your brakes in traffic will cause unnecessary wear on the pads and braking system, leading to car shake from the vibrations of uneven pressure.

A brake pad is a fairly cheap replacement, especially if you can do it yourself. Sometimes you will also need new calipers, which can be a slightly more difficult job. Getting a mechanic to install new brake calipers and pads isn’t too terribly expensive if you need to do that.

Imbalanced tires

Tire imbalance will also cause vibrations in your vehicle. Typically, tire imbalance occurs when a wheel loses a weight or has been ran into a curb too many times.

Good practices for maintaining your car

Courtesy: Wikipedia

On top of just keeping up with regular brake maintenance, checking your brake fluid from time-to-time will ensure that you get the longevity you’re looking for in your brakes.

Depending on your experience with vehicles, checking your suspension components can be largely beneficial for preventative maintenance.

Why the car shakes when braking

cars on asphalt road

Warped brake rotors are a common problem that many drivers face at some point. If your car is shaking while braking, it’s likely due to warped brake rotors. The good news is that they’re usually easy to fix. In this blog post, we’ve explained what brake rotors are, what causes them to warp, and how you can fix the problem.

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