Every car owner has that solid connection with their vehicle making it easy to understand like the back of their hand. This familiarity helps you notice when something is wrong with your car. A common problem is your car shaking when you apply the brakes. The vibrating or shaking is also known as a brake shudder or judder.
A brake shudder or vibration runs through the steering wheel and brake pedal when braking. While this should not cause panic, it usually indicates issues with your brake pads, rotors, or failing calipers. To understand the shudder, you need to identify its source.
Shaking felt through the steering wheel indicate problems with the front rotors, while rear rotor issues cause vibrations on the brake pad. However, if you are unfamiliar with such technical terms, here are signs and indicators to help you understand why your car vibrates when you brake.
Causes of Brake Shudder or Car Vibration When You Brake
Over time your brake pads will wear out. But depending on how the pads wear, your car will shake when you brake. Your pads could also be damaged or warped, causing a brake shudder. However, have your brake pads replaced when you notice your car vibrating, along with a squeaking sound.
- Stuck or Malfunctioning Calipers
Brake calipers push the pads against the rotors. The force on the calipers causes the rotors to slow. But, when the caliper pistons get stuck, it fails to squeeze the brake pads against the rotors, causing your car to shake when you brake.
Brake rotors are large discs attached to the wheel axle and positioned between the pads. The constant pressure from the caliper piston and heat generated from braking friction may cause these rotors to become warped. Warping causes uneven rotors, which cause vibrations or a brake shudder.
- Suspension and Alignment Problems
Misalignment causes unexpected tire wear and damages essential suspension components. Also, when wheel bearings, ball joints, and tie rods wear out, you will experience vibrations or shaking when you brake.
What You Should Do
A new set of brake pads may be the ultimate solution, but if you experience a shudder, always consult a knowledgeable professional. Also, avoid unnecessary speeding, especially over short distances. Additionally, don't install poor-quality brakes since it will cost you more in the long run when you encounter braking problems.
However, all this may be unclear, so if you need brake repair or inspection, bring your car to Kehoe Auto Repair today. Our experts will make it easy for you.