Top 8 Reasons Why Your Cars Shakes When You Brake
If your car is shakes when you break, you won’t enjoy it because it will be uncomfortable. If you let the shaking continue for a long time without doing anytime, it will decrease your vehicle’s performance tremendously, or it might stop working.
Your car will shake when you break simply because of wear and tear or break pads and lower arm bushings and deep scratched to the wheel hub. After specific mileages, Certain parts of the car starts to deteriorate to a point where important parts needs replacement or repair. There are several parts in your vehicle where wear and tear might occur.
Let me break it down below.
Reasons Why Your Cars Shakes When You Brake
Power Steering Issues
If you turn your steering wheel and notice that the car is shaking without even pressing the bake, it could be an issue with your power steering. If this is the case, you’ll experience stiffness when trying to turn the steering wheel. This shows it is a symptom of car shaking when braking. To solve this issue, you’ll have to check for leaks in the power steering fluid or check if it needs additional fluid.
It could be that your engine is already faulty. If the engine is not getting enough fuel, it won’t function properly, and it could make your car shake, even without braking.
There is an air filter in the engine that you’ll have to replace to stop the shaking. If it doesn’t, then you’ll have to visit a mechanic.
If you’re someone who does a daily inspection and maintenance of your vehicle, you’ll have noticed a deflating tire or unbalanced area. If you’re driving at high speed, you’ll notice this issue. Change the tires to a new one.
However; if, if the shaking doesn’t stop, there is more to the problem than just the tires after changing it.
Blocked Transmission Filter
If you’ve driven your car for a few thousand miles, it’s expected of you to change the transmission filter to a new one.
To solve this issue, you’ll need to jack up your vehicle, then you’ll remove the fluid with a drain plug. Inspect the gasket, if you notice debris or dirt on it, scrape them off.
Worn Brake Rotors
The brake pads of vehicles are designed to come in contact with the rotor, and when they come in contact, they must touch completely so the braking can be smooth.
The contact of the brake pad and the rotors will make the rotors start wearing over time because heat will be produced when they touch. The wear occurs on the exterior of the rotor, and it doesn’t wear evenly.
Now that the rotor has started wearing unevenly, only certain parts of the rotor will contact the brake pad, which will lead to vibration.
If you’re speeding and you press the brake, then you notice your car is shaking. This is more noticeable if You’re speeding at about 80km/hr.
After noticing this, you’ll have to find a road or pathway with no cars or pedestrians. You’ll drive at the speed mentioned above, and your hands will be away from the steering wheels for just a few seconds (don’t take your hands away completely, it should be close by so you can act fast if an emergency occurs).
As you’re driving at this speed, try to notice if your car is moving to the left or right on its own. If it is, then you have gotten a symptom of car shaking when braking. You’ll need to act fast and get the issue resolved by visiting a mechanic to have it realigned.
You might come across videos teaching you how to realign it yourself, but if you do not have prior knowledge of how a vehicle works and its major components, then you shouldn’t attempt to realign it yourself. Moreover, it could be a two or four-wheel alignment it needs, and it is only at an auto repair shop you’ll find out.
Worn brake pad
Just like the brake rotors, brake pads can get warped or worn, too, thereby making your vehicle shake. Apart from shaking, your vehicle will also make a squeaking sound that is very audible and annoying (check below to learn how to resolve this issue).
It’s also possible that specks of dirt have clogged the pads. These,e toxins could be of any kind, such as dirt and even oil. They will slow the rotor when you press the brake and your car will shake due to that.
Worn suspension components
By now, you should know that one of the major reasons for car shaking is usually because of a component that is wearing. In this case, it could be the suspension components that are wearing. These parts don’t usually wear to the extent that it makes your car starts shaking; however, if they are the cause, then it is because you use your car regularly.
We aren’t telling you not to use your car regularly; we are just stating the cause. If the issue is because of worn suspension components, you should notice the car is shuddering when you turn the wheel without even braking.
If this is why your vehicle is shaking when braking, you will need a mechanic to help you diagnose and do a full inspection of your vehicle. After repairing it, there are certain improvements you can make to lower the risk of this occurring again — avoid driving uphill constantly, avoid potholes completely because they will make your tire bend, and if it is possible to avoid bumps, then find a way to dodge them.
Solutions to Car Shakes When Braking
We have given you answers to the question, “why does my car shake when i brake?” It’s time to consider solutions.
The most common reason why car shakes when braking is because of worn-out rotors and brake pads. You’ll need to replace the rotor and brake pad, and then the guide pins will have to be greased.
However, there is the possibility that your brakes will still be good (so no need for replacement). After disengaging the rotor, you’ll just grease the guide pins. Here is a detailed guide on how to go about this.
Tools you will need:
Fishbone gear tie
wheel bearing grease
Collapse the caliper
Before you collapse the caliper, you’ll have to engage the emergency brake, then jack up your vehicle. Make sure it is well jacked.
Open the hood of your car, then remove the lid to the master cylinder reservoir. Removing the lid is more of a preventive method than a necessity. You’re doing this because there is the possibility that the reservoir will rupture during or after the collapse of the calipers.
Remove the tire
Between the brake pad and rotor, you’ll place a pry bar; then, with firm pressure on the caliper pistons, you’ll be able to press the pistons back into the caliper.
If you’re planning to change only the rotor, make sure you do things carefully to avoid damaging the brake pads. If it ever gets damaged, you’ll have to fix it with a new brake pad.
Remove the caliper
The caliper has lower and upper mounting bolts; you’ll remove them. To make things easier for you, you can shift the caliper to the top so it doesn’t stay within the brake line and obstruct you or cause damage. You can use a Fish Bone Gear Tie if you have one.
Disengage the caliper bracket
You’ll find very large bolts on the caliper bracket. There are thread lockers on the bolts (thread locker is a glue that keeps the bolt firm). The easiest way to loosen the bolts is by using an impact gun.
Then spray where the rotor meets the hub. You can make use of penetrating oil.
In some vehicles where the rotor and hub meet, there might be a bolt. You’ll have to remove it if it is there.
Install the rotors and brakes and caliper bracket
Now, it’s time to install the rotors and brakes. The thread locker that is around the bolts, you’ll have to remove/scrape it off. Then you’ll apply a new thread locker.
Now, it’s time to reinstall the caliper bracket. Make sure it meets the torque specifications made by the manufacturer.
Grease the guide pins
The guide pins can also add to the issue of the braking shake, so remove the pins and clean them. Afterward, apply wheel bearing grease so they can work smoothly, then put them back.
Put in the caliper
First, you want to check if the brake fluid is overflowing from the reservoir. Place towels around the master cylinder to confirm this. If it isn’t, then you’ve nothing to worry about.
Now, you’ll retract the pistons back into the caliper with the help of a C-clamp.
Tighten the bolts of the caliper to the torque specifications of the manufacturer.
Put in the tire and test the brakes
Make sure the brake reservoir is filled to the proper level. Lift and position the tire back onto the lugs with a pry bar. You’ll now mount the tire. You’re done.
It’s time to test the brake to see how firm it is. You’ll test the brake before you start the vehicle. If you don’t do this, your brakes won’t work when you press them. So this is very important.
How to Avoid Brake Shudder
Brake shudder is another name for brake shake. When you stop your car, it’s common for intense heat to be created from the friction. As time goes on, the heat that is created will cause damage to the braking system of your vehicle.
If you’re the kind of driver that speeds a lot and presses the brake suddenly, this can lead to faster wear down of the brakes. Even though brakes are engineered to handle extreme temperatures and can cool down between uses, braking frequently won’t let it cool off properly, leading to brake fade.
When brake fade occurs, it will decrease the braking system pressure. This pressure is vital because it helps your vehicle stop. Besides, before the brake fade worsens, you’ll notice a rather unpleasant smell. To solve the brake fade issue, you will have to replace the brakes.
It’s important to let you know how bad driving can cause brake shudder, and the simple way to avoid it is by teaching good driving practices. Apart from brake shudder, terrible driving can lead to dreadful accidents.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that low-quality brake pads can also lead to brake shudder. If your brake pad is of low quality, it’s expected that the materials will be less durable and intolerable to the heat. So it will overheat, and very soon, your car will start shaking when you break.
Is Brake Shuddering Dangerous?
We have covered everything about the dangers and solutions of brake shake. However, most people do not act immediately or are confused about how dangerous it is, so they ignore the issue for some time.
The truth is, brake shudders aren’t that dangerous and detrimental to your vehicle when they start occurring. However, if you do not attend to the issue on time, it could worsen, and you’ll be putting your life and other people’s life at risk.
To be on the safe side, once you notice your car is shaking when you brake, try finding the symptoms and its remedy, or take it to your mechanic for diagnosis and repair.
Why does my car shake when I brake? This is a frequently asked question, so we made sure to cover everything there is to know to make an informed decision. If you can’t carry out an inspection yourself, then you can get a mechanic.