Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?
March 4th, 2016
Updated October 17th, 2016
Perhaps you're the consummate vehicle owner who never misses an oil change or tire rotation appointment. You make sure to adhere to all of the regular maintenance schedules recommended by your car's manufacturer. Heck, you even get your brake pads changed out on a regular basis. So, why in the world, then, is your car wobbling or shaking when you apply the brakes?
If your brake pads are in good shape but your car still seems to "shudder" whenever you hit the brakes, you could actually be dealing with warped rotors. Keep in mind that any time you apply the brakes, small layers of material are not only being removed from the brake pads, but the discs are also subject to the same wear and tear as well. Over time, the cumulative result of this repeated friction eventually thins out the rotors, at which point they can become more vulnerable to warping due to the intense heat generated by braking. Irregularities in your rotors may not always be easy to detect, but they can still be present nonetheless; as the calipers clamp down on the uneven surface of the discs, it creates an imbalance in the amount of pressure applied to the rotors, which in turn can produce the shuddering or wobbling you feel when you apply the brakes.
So what can you do to fix this troublesome issue? You have one of two choices:
You can take your car to the Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto Winchester, Virginia Auto Repair store and have them turn the rotors for you. This process involves smoothing out the surface of the rotors using a special machine known as a lathe. Once the rotors have been resurfaced, you shouldn't experience any more wobbling issues. One thing to remember is that the shop may not be able to turn your rotors if they're too thin; by law, rotors have to remain at a certain level of thickness in order to maintain the safety of your vehicle's braking system.
You can simply ditch your old rotors altogether and buy a new set of rotors. Not only will this be the quicker way to go, but you can rest assured that you'll have a good amount of time before you have to do anything else with your rotors. While you're getting the rotors replaced, it's always a good idea to replace the brake pads as well. If your car has more than 50,000 miles on it, you don't have much longer before you're going to need a front brake job done anyway.
We've included this video by Bushougoma "Steering Wheel Shake and Pulsation Diagnosis" for more information:
*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.
Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto provides automotive safety and auto repair information for the sole purpose of educating the community at large. “We believe an educated customer is a loyal customer.” Come to our Winchester, Virginia Auto Repair shop and see the difference. 8 Locations throughout the Northern Virginia area to choose from.
Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto: http://www.hoganandsonsinc.com
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