Why Does My Car Shudder When I Brake?

Imagine you're driving your car, and you approach the red light. When you step on the brake pedal, the vehicle starts to shudder. Sometimes you step on the pedal slightly, but still, the car jiggles as if it's running on a long stretch of corrugated surface, yet it's on a paved road. Naturally, it'll cause concern, and you'll wonder: "What's causing this car to shake whenever I brake?"

Bad Wheel Alignment

One of the primary causes of your car shaking when you apply the brakes is bad wheel alignment. Misalignment causes tire imbalance, and the shaking is often accompanied by the vehicle pulling to one side. A qualified technician can quickly realign the wheels, although that would mean investing in a new pair of tires. Performing front-end realignment might solve the issue, but it only provides a temporary fix. It would help to have full wheel alignment to restore smooth braking.

The Brake Rotors Might Be the Culprit

Sometimes the problem might not be the tires but the brake rotors/discs. With bad rotors, you'll experience vibrations and wobbling in the steering wheel and brake pedal. The brake pads push against the rotors attached to the wheel. As a result, the wheel stops. If the discs are out of balance, the vehicle shutters with every brake application. When you notice the slightest shudder, call up your technician, so they provide the necessary repairs.

Failing Drum Brakes

If you have a car with drum brakes, the vibrations and pulsations you experience might be because of out-of-round drums. The upside to partnering with qualified technicians is that they can assess the drums to check if they are up to the required specifications. They'll also inspect other signs of potential damages to provide the needed repairs. In most cases, they'll fix the vibration by machining the drums, so long as their thickness matches the manufacturer's recommendations. The other alternative is to replace the drum entirely.

Does your car vibrate and shake when you apply the brakes? Bring your vehicle to our automotive repair and maintenance shop, and we'll offer professional brake checks and repairs.