Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?
It can be quite alarming when you experience your car shaking when you brake. But why does this happen?
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that shaking can be indicative of a number of issues and cleaning is not always one of them. To determine the cause of your car’s shaking, it is advised to take your vehicle in to a qualified mechanic or dealership who can investigate further.
Below are some common reasons why your car might shake when you brake:
Most modern cars are equipped with a disc brake system, meaning that when you press down on the brake pedal, brake pads grip onto a disc (known as a rotor) which is connected to the wheel. Over time, the buildup of heat from the friction between the brake pads and the rotor can cause the rotor to become warped – this can create a shaking sensation when you come to a stop.
Your car relies on a number of components working together for the brakes to properly engage. If any of these components become loose, you may experience excessive shaking when you attempt to reduce speed. It is also worth noting that if your brake calipers, rotors and pads are not correctly aligned, this could cause a shaking sensation.
Contaminated Brake Pads
If your car has been exposed to wet or snow-covered roads, this can lead to your brake pads becoming contaminated with dirt, mud and water. When your brake pads are contaminated, they cannot grip the rotor as well, causing your car to shake when brakes are applied. To rectify this, it’s best to get a professional to clean the pads and rotors.
Worn Out Brake Pads
Braking causes your car brake pads to wear down over time, and if this happens then you may experience shaking when you brake. Generally speaking, brake pads should be replaced every few years depending on your car model and driving habits.
Resolving the Issue
If your car is shaking when you brake, it is recommended to take your car to the nearest professional dealer or mechanic who can investigate and diagnose the problem.
In the meantime, here are some quick steps you can take in order to help reduce the chances of experiencing a decrease in brake performance:
- Check the condition of your brakes – if your brakes look worn or damaged, replace them as soon as possible.
- Wash your car regularly– dirt, debris and other contaminants can affect the performance of your brakes. Keep your car clean at all times.
- Check tire pressure– low tire pressure can contribute to brake disc wear which can cause excess vibration.
- Check wheel alignment – this should be checked regularly and adjusted if necessary.
Remember, shaking when braking can suggest a myriad of issues and is not always indicative of a problem with your brakes. If you are experiencing persistent shaking, it is best to take your car in to a qualified technician who can provide a more detailed diagnosis.