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Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

by Louise W. Rice
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We can’t deny that we have a connection with our cars. I personally do! Whenever something is up with my Gina—I call her Gina—I can instantly feel it.

Have you ever noticed any shaking in your car when you brake? When a car shakes, particularly when braking, it’s one of the most common signs that something is wrong with it.

In this article, I’ll provide you with some possible causes why your car shakes when you brake.

Let’s take a look.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

It doesn’t always have to be a big problem if your car shakes when you brake, but you should always consider safety first.

One day, when I was driving my car to work, I began to suspect that something was wrong with it.

Every time I stepped on the brakes that day, I could feel that pulsating shake in the car. I couldn’t come up with an explanation, so I thought it was just the tires.

Later that day, I decided not to sleep on it and go to the mechanic. It turned out that it was more than just worn-out tires!

Car brakes are what saves us in sudden situations, which is why they always have to be in good working order.

Let’s take a look at some reasons behind those vibrations!

1. Car Tires

Tires are most likely to blame for car shaking when you brake.

There are two things to look for in your car tires to either fix the shaking or rule out tires to move on to the next possibility:

Over-Inflated

Over-inflated tires are like bouncing balls. Your car will vibrate when you step on the brakes due to their stiffness and rigidity.

Under-Inflated/Worn-Out Tires

Under-inflated tires start overheating more quickly than those with more air.

When they start overheating, the outer edges of the tire start to wear out, which then leads to high-speed vibrations when you brake.

2. Brake Rotors

When you step on the brakes, the brake pad presses the brake rotors, slowing down your car.

If your car’s brake rotors are out of balance, you should feel the vibrations in both your brake pedal and your steering wheel.

In that case, you’ll need to get the brake rotors replaced as soon as you can.

3. Brake Pads

Your car has two brake pads on each wheel and should be replaced every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. If you haven’t replaced them in a while, they could be the reason for all the shaking!

There’s a metal tab on the pad that gets exposed when the brake pad wears down. When you brake, the metal tab causes the vibrations.

If the brake pads are the problem, you may need to replace them soon.

4. Brake Calipers

Brakes work using a hydraulic system. When you press on the pedal, fluid gets pumped, creating hydraulic pressure.

After that, the pressure forces the caliper against the brake pads, which press the rotors and stop the car.

When you start feeling vibrations coming only from the steering wheel, it means your calipers are sticking and can’t press the pads towards the rotors.

Just like the tires and pads, you’ll need to replace the brake calipers if they’re the cause of the shaking.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, cars aren’t supposed to shake when you brake. So, when that happens, there are several reasons you should consider.

Your car’s brake system consists mainly of brake pads, brake calipers, and brake rotors. Remember, if any part needs replacing, your car may start shaking when you brake.

Your car will also shake if your car tires have too much or too little air.

That’s why you should make sure to have your car inspected regularly to avoid similar issues in the future. I hope I helped get your Gina fixed!

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