7 Reasons Your Car Shakes When You Brake: Common Causes and FAQs
When your car's smooth ride is disrupted by a tremor while braking, it may indicate a mechanical issue.
You might wonder, "What causes my car to shake while braking?" Is it the brake rotors or a suspension problem?
No need to worry, as this article will delve into the seven possible causes of a car shake when braking and answer your frequently asked questions.
Let's identify the reasons for your car's shaking. Although many factors may cause this issue, unbalanced tires, faulty braking system components, or suspension problems are the typical suspects.
Let's find out the seven common reasons for car shaking:
Brake rotors are large metal discs that sit between the brake pads on each wheel. When you depress the brake pedal, the pads clamp down on the rotor's surface, creating friction that slows down the car. However, repeated use over time can cause the rotor to warp, leading to vibrations in the steering wheel and tie rod while braking.
Worn brake pads are a common problem that most car owners encounter. You should replace each worn brake pad every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. If you hear a loud squealing with the car shake, the pads are likely the cause of the brake system issue.
The brake caliper houses the brake pads and pistons. Its purpose is to push the brake pads against the rotors to slow the vehicle using brake fluid pressure delivered through the brake lines. A faulty brake caliper, such as a caliper guide pin, prevents this brake system component from working correctly, leading to brake shudder and car vibration.
This problem only applies to some vehicles since only some cars have drum brakes in their rear, primarily older or economy models. Drum brakes help slow down the car by pressing brake shoes against them to create friction. Like warped brake rotors, drum brakes can deform, leading to a shaking sensation in the steering wheel when you hit the brake pedal.
Vibrations and shaking while braking can also be due to unaligned wheels or unbalanced tires. Poor wheel alignment can cause uneven tire pressure and wear. Under-inflated tires and misaligned wheels are the most common causes of a shaky car.
Ignoring wheel alignment and tire balance issues could result in expensive suspension problems. Therefore, it's best to visit a mechanic immediately for tire rotation or alignment fixes to counteract uneven pressure for optimal wear performance.
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