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Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake

Sheetal B
By Sheetal B. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake

A smooth car ride is what all owners expect of their car, right? So whenever it is not so, it’s time to have It checked. It is a machine after all that tends to wear and tear with time. One of the common problems is shaking of the car on using brakes. The car vibrates, shakes or sometimes even shudders when you use the brakes. This is also referred as shimmying or brake pulsation. Why does it happen? How to fix it? What precautions can you take to avoid it? Let’s take a look at why your car shakes when you break.

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  1. Why does my car shake when I brake?
  2. How To Fix It
  3. Precautions You Can Take

Why does my car shake when I brake?

Imagine a car moving at speeds of 40, 100 or even 120 miles per hour and you press the brake pedal. What exactly happens? In order to slow or stop the car, the brakes press hard against the rotor that sits inside the wheel. At these enormous speeds, it is a high heat and friction environment and with time the rotor tends to warp. Warping causes the rotor to have uneven surfaces which in turn cause shaking when the brakes are in use. Uneven surfaces are also sometimes caused by layers of dirt or rust on the rotor, but in all probability, they won’t cause shaking but only mild vibrations. However, they are early signs of getting the rotor replaced.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake - Why does my car shake when I brake?
Image: en.wikipedia.org

How To Fix It

In order to fix the problem, you need to first locate the exact source. So if your entire car is shaking when you brake, then it’s the rear rotors that need mending and if it's only the steering wheel that’s vibrating or shaking, then it’s the front rotors. In some cases, a smoothing of rotors through the use of special lathe will do the trick, whereas, a warped rotor calls for immediate replacement. Always get it done from an authorized service center that uses genuine car parts only.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake - How To Fix It
Image: picture: en.wikipedia.org

Precautions You Can Take

A car is a machine with several thousand parts working in synchronization. Time, usage and driving conditions will surely bring about deterioration. The good news is that all parts of the machine are replaceable and timely detection will save you lot of heartburn and money. So don’t wait for the car to start shuddering, instead look for even slight vibrations and have it checked. To do so effectively, we recommend you read our article on how to know when you should replace your brake rotors.

Last but not the least; be gentle to your car. Sudden brakes at high speeds with rapidly thin out the rotors. Take care of the car and the car will take care of you!

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake - Precautions You Can Take

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake, we recommend you visit our Car Maintenance and Repair category.

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1 comment
Anna Picket
Having my car shake when I hit the brakes is pretty alarming. At least they didn't give out completely. While having something like this go wrong with my car isn't the most fun I've ever had, at least I know that this needs to be looked at now. I should probably pay more attention to how my car runs.
Oh yeah, machines are meant to be smooth running. Anything other than that needs attention and that holds true for cars too.
Image: en.wikipedia.org
Image: picture: en.wikipedia.org
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Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake