Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?
If your car shakes when you brake, it usually means there’s an issue with some part of the braking system. However, it could also stem from your tires and/or wheels. Fortunately, we here at Land Rover Albuquerque provided this guide to help you answer the question, “why does my car shake when I brake?”
Read through some of the common reasons below. Then, feel to free to contact our dealership near Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley with any questions or to schedule service.
Warped Brake Rotors
If hitting the brakes causes your vehicle to shake, then the brake rotors may be warped. Over time, the heat from braking will thin out the rotors. When this happens, they’re more susceptible to warping. You can either get the brakes turned over or have them replaced entirely.
You’ll want to determine which rotors are causing the car to shake. If the steering wheel is shaking, then it’s likely the front rotors. If the whole car shakes, then it’s probably the rear ones. Since it could be one rotor—or both—that’s causing the issue, it’s important to know the source of the vibrations. By knowing its original, it’s easier for a service technician to rectify the problem.
Worn Brake Pads
Pressing down on the brake pedal sets the braking system’s operation in motion. After stepping on the pedal, a caliper will apply pressure to the brake pad, which squeezes down on the rotors.
Intense heat can distort brake pads over time. When this happens, they can’t immediately make contact with the rotors, leading to an inconsistent movement that results in vibrations.
Plus, if brake pads have dirt, debris, or rust in them, they can’t grip the rotor, which could cause your steering wheel to shake.
Worn Wheel Bearings
The wheel bearings are what allow the wheels to rotate while supporting your car’s weight. The wheel bearing hub assembly contains the brake rotors, which are connected right to it.
If you have a worn wheel bearing, it can cause you to feel vibrations when braking. You’ll want to replace the wheel bearing or bearings that are worn. However, there are instances when the entire hub assembly would have to be replaced. A service technician can take a look at your vehicle and determine the proper way to proceed.
Save on your next brake repair with our Land Rover service specials…
Out-of-Round Brake Drums
A brake drum is a broad and short cylinder that’s attached to a wheel and has a set of brake shoes inside it.
When you press on the brake pedal, the shoes are pushed out against the inner surface of the drum. This process generates friction and causes your vehicle to slow down.
If the drums are “out-of-round,” they don’t make constant contact with the shoes. Instead, the shoes will just bounce up and down, which would cause the brake pedal to pulsate.
Sticking Brake Calipers
The brake calipers could be sticking, which would lead you to feel vibrations in the steering wheel. However, you most likely wouldn’t feel it until you’re driving at least 45 MPH.
There are several potential causes for brake caliper sticking, such as the piston and brake hose. The piston has a rubber boot that protects it. If the rubber is worn, dirt and debris can get inside, which would diminish the piston’s sliding abilities.
The brake hose can also wear down over time, which would cause brake fluid to get onto the pistons. This fluid would also not be able to get back into the master cylinder, which could make the caliper stick.
Damaged Steering & Suspension Components
If you have a worn component, such as a loose control arm or damaged knuckle, you may feel vibrations when braking. This could also happen if you have a bent axle shaft.
You’ll want to have any damaged steering or suspension component replaced right away. A wheel alignment may be needed to really make sure that everything continues to work properly inside your Land Rover.
Uneven Tires & Wheels
Issues with the tires and wheels can actually cause your car to shake when braking. When the wheels are misaligned, the tires go in at uneven angles. The uneven tires are more noticeable when you start slowing the car down as that’s when you feel the vibrations.
Misaligned wheels can lead to other issues, including rapid tire wear and damaged suspension components. Therefore, you’ll want to have a professional complete a wheel alignment right away.
Where to Fix a Shaking Car
Since there are different reasons for a shaking car, it’s important to get the issue resolved at a reliable Land Rover service center.
At our state-of-the-art facility, you’ll find a group of highly trained and certified technicians. Since they know the inner workings of various automobiles, they can accurately determine why yours is shaking. Then, they’ll solve the problem in a timely manner, getting you back on the road as soon as possible.
Plus, if anything has to be replaced, we’ll only use genuine OEM parts. Since these parts were used when the car was first built, they’ll be of high quality and the correct fit.
Schedule Land Rover Service Today
Our team at Land Rover Albuquerque loves helping drivers in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and South Valley keep their cars in tip-top shape. We hope this guide provided all the necessary information you needed to better understand why your car shakes when you brake.
Schedule a service appointment today to keep your car in pristine condition.