Why Does my Car Shake When Braking?

Are you experiencing a feeling that when you hit the brakes, your car suddenly starts vibrating?

In this article, we’re going to look at different reasons why your car may be shaking when you apply the brakes

Why does my car shake when I apply the brakes?

Brake discs

If you’re on the motorway at a cruising speed, you apply the brakes and feel the car shake, it’s generally an indication of warped brake discs. It’s especially noticeable when you press the pedal where you feel a pulsation which goes away as soon as you let it go. A mechanic will be able to take a closer look, and use a dial indicator to check if it’s truly the warping that is causing the vibrations.

Brake calipers

If the brake calipers are faulty or “stuck” and cannot press the brake pads against the discs properly, it could also cause vibrations that can be felt at the steering wheel. You may also notice the brake pedal is less responsive or experience a burning smell coming from the brakes. Calipers tend to corrode and wear internally over time or form rust which indicates it’s time for a replacement.

Worn-out or unbalanced tyres

If your wheels are not balanced or the tyres have been worn excessively or unevenly, it could be a reason why your steering wheel is vibrating. Driving at high speeds can make this symptom worse as the shaking transfers to the steering wheel. Fixing the wheel alignment and balancing should fix the issue but may require tyre replacement.

Is it safe to drive if the car is shaking when brakes are applied?

Generally speaking, anything that affects your handling and braking abilities while driving should be addressed before continuing to drive for extended periods. In most cases, a car shaking when braking is down to the braking system which is critical for overall vehicle safety. Furthermore, delaying an inspection of the issue could exacerbate the underlying problem which could put your safety at serious risk and lead to more costly repairs.

Get a brake inspection

Marketing at ClickMechanic

Louanne is a marketing and communications professional in the automotive tech industry currently at ClickMechanic, boasting over 5 years of experience.

Louanne’s work at ClickMechanic might revolve around branding and customer engagement, but her passions extend far beyond the marketing sphere. A true foodie at heart, she loves exploring diverse cuisines and talking about her culinary adventures across the world. Her writing prowess shines through in her car-related blog content, where she offers invaluable driving tips and practical car repair advice.

In her Suzuki Jimny 4-wheel drive, Louanne combines her sense of adventure with her automotive know-how, transforming every drive into a lesson and a pleasure.