Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake

If you are an owner of a vehicle, you might be well aware of the ins and outs of the vehicle and gain the ability to sense when something isn’t going alright! A very common problem that you might face as a car owner experiencing shaking within the car while braking. 

A shaking car can give you nervous shakes! Experiencing vibration in your vehicle can be a bit jarring, specifically while you are performing a crucial action like braking. 

If you are wondering – why does my car shake when I brake? Then let us tell you that there can be several reasons that are causing the shaking of your car when you brake, and it is crucial to identify and resolve the issues before they drive you to some serious concerns.

So, now stop thinking about ‘why does my car shake when I brake?’, and read this article to find the causes behind the issues along with a proper solution. 

The Causes Of The Car Shaking When It Brakes

The feeling of your car shaking whenever you brake can be troublesome and frustrating. In case the shaking happens only while braking, specifically on a car that has front or all-wheel disc brakes, then it can be caused by various problems, including the ones mentioned below.

why does my car shake when I brake

1. Brake Rotor Issues

Brake rotors are basically large discs that are connected to the wheel hub assembly of your car, located between the brake pads. The pads push down the rotor to slow or stop the car by means of the caliper. 

In case one or more of the rotors in your car gets warped, then it can cause shaking when you brake. In that case, you’ll have to take your vehicle to a mechanic to inspect the brake.

2. Frayed Brake Pads

Brake pads tend to be worn over time, and you can’t avoid them. However, it can sometimes cause a vibration in your car while braking. If the car shakes when you press the brakes, along with a squealing noise, then you should consider getting your brake serviced.

Also Read: How To Start A Car With A Bad Starter?

3. Stuck Brake Calipers

The brake calipers force the pads against the rotors. When we hit the brake, the chamber in the caliper gets filled with hydraulic brake fluid that pushes the caliper piston outside and against the brake pads and slows the rotor. 

Pushing the breaker harder increases the fluid pressure in the caliper, and the pressure on the pads and rotor.

In case your brake caliper gets stuck, you may experience a less responsive brake pedal, difficulty in acceleration, and the vehicle can even pull to one side. 

It can cause the car to shake when you apply the brake, make unusual sounds, and even release a burning odor from the extremely hot rotor and brake pads getting squeezed for a long time.

In such cases, it will be crucial to get the brake serviced as soon as possible.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake And How To Fix It?

1. Brake Pads And Rotors

The substances gripping the rotor can be one of the basic reasons causing your car to shake when you brake.

why does my car shake when I brake

Once you press the brake pedal down, a caliper registers the pressure on the brake pad, and then the brake pad pushes the rotors for stopping the wheels from rotating.

As time passes, the brake pads cumulate dirt, oil, and other elements. And when it occurs, these substances can become the reason behind the vibration of the car, particularly while braking. Getting rid of the substances is the best way to fix this issue.

Moreover, after some time, the rotors become thinner and make them vulnerable to damage. While braking, high heat gets generated that can influence the rotors to deform. To resolve this problem, ensure to replace the rotors around the 7000-mile mark. 

2. Dry Guide Pins

The dry guide pins can be a problem if the steering wheel of your car shakes when you totally stop. The guide pins that are a part of the brake calipers, guide the brake pads to the rotor. To work efficiently, guide pins are needed to be lubricated and clean. 

If dried, they can become the reason for the brake pads to push the rotors at an incorrect angle or even a stuck caliper.

To fix this, you’ll have to visit a service center.

Read More: How To Fix Engine Power Reduced

3. Alignment Issues

In case your car shudders when you brake at more than 50 mph speed, then your vehicle may have alignment issues. To test it, you can drive a car between 50 and 55 mph on an empty road. Don’t touch the steering for some seconds, so you can see which side the car is drifting.

If it does not veer to any side, then your car is fine, but if it does, then it has alignment issues, and you’ll have to perform a full inspection for determining the tires that need alignment.

4. Unbalanced Tires

It is another basic issue that can cause your car to shake. 

If one or several tires of the vehicle is unbalanced or under-inflated in specific areas, it makes the suspension system work harder. Moreover, the steering wheel can start to shake because of it, which eventually makes it difficult to steer the car. 

During the tire rotation service, ask the mechanic to check the tire alignment. It is ideal to have a tire rotation session each 5000 to 7500 miles.

5. Deformed Wheel Rims

Same as the misaligned wheels, deformed wheel rims can become a reason that your vehicle drifts during driving. 

In case you have to drive to potholes, then having deformed wheel rims is inevitable. This can also cause a vibration when you drive at a higher speed or brake. It can impact the steering wheel due to the vibration. 

You’ll have to check and take proper care of the wheel rims to resolve this issue.


1. How do I stop my car from shaking when I brake?

For stopping your car from shaking when you brake, first, you are required to identify the cause and source of the issue, thus you can take the necessary steps to resolve the problem. 

Carefully check all the areas like the brake rotor, brake pads, brake calipers, tire alignment, wheel rims, and also power steering to find out the source of the problem. 

Otherwise, you can take your car to an auto mechanic, as they have more knowledge about what can cause these issues and fix them accordingly.

2. What does it mean when your car shakes when you brake?

It could mean that your rotor might be damaged or warped. Wrapping of the rotor can be a result of normal wear. Continuous utilization of the brake pad onto the rotor generally wears away the rotor material that is in the contact area.

Other than that, it can also mean that the tires of your car may be out of alignment, or it has a damaged tire that is unbalanced.

Guide On: What Does It Take To Drive With A Bad Catalytic Converter?

Leave a Comment