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Why Is My Car Vibrating When I Brake?

So you're running a quick errand, driving along a busy road, when you decide to take a left at the intersection. You press on the brakes to slow the car down and suddenly experience vibration on the wheel. You know it's not right, and so you continue driving, to test the car. Again, there's a vibration when pressing on the brakes, but it only occurs while braking. So what could it be?

Well, there is a list of possibilities, depending on the last time you had your car serviced:

  • You may have a loose lower control arm or a damaged knuckle in your steering system.
  • It may be due to bad wheel alignment, your tires may be out of round.
  • The wheel may wobble as a result of loose lug nuts, which might be more noticeable when you slow your car down.
  • There may be an unbalanced wheel that has lost its counterweight.
  • A damaged axle shaft may be acting up.
  • Your front alignment could be out.

Bearing this in mind, the most likely cause of vibration on the car/wheel when braking could be caused by your braking system. Therefore, it is necessary to determine if the car is shaking all the time, or only when braking, as this could eliminate the other possibilities. Currently, there are two types of brakes fitted on all makes and models of vehicles, the most popular being disc brakes and the less popular being drum brakes.

In a motor vehicle with disc brakes, the most probable cause for shaking may be a damaged or warped rotor. Normal wear and tear may be the cause of warping. And while this may be the case, a lack of use could also cause this problem in cars that are not driven for periods of time. However, in vehicles fitted with drum brakes, pedal pulsation and vibration could be caused by out-of-round drums.

Our mechanic could inspect the braking system to determine what the actual cause of the vibration is or simply by taking the car for a test drive. These issues, while needing attention, may not be that serious, and can be fixed rather quickly and inexpensively. If you suspect you have a brake issue, we invite you to our auto repair shop today!

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