If the steering wheel or car shakes when the brakes are applied, it is almost certain that the problem lies with the rotors. This is an important distinction as steering wheel or car vibration can happen for a number of reasons, but if it only happens when the brakes are applied, this isolates the problem. Worn brake pads are another possibility, but if the pads have recently been replaced, then this leaves only the rotors as suspects.
Rotors are the large metal discs that the brakes clamp in order to stop a car. When the brakes are applied, intense heat spreads across the rotors. Normally, the rotor surface is smooth and the heat is dissipated across this area. However, when rotors become worn, pits and grooves appear. When the brakes are applied, the unevenness is transmitted through the brake pedal to the steering wheel and the rest of the car, causing the shaking.
In some cases, rotors are only unevenly worn and can be machined or smoothed out to near their original state. However, if the rotors develop pits or grooves, they are likely to be beyond repair. In that case, it is necessary to purchase new rotors. Brake pads should also be replaced at this time.Learn More
The most common cause for a vehicle to shake when the brake is applied is a worn or warped rotor. Other causes include bad shock absorbers, worn bushings or degraded suspension components.Full Answer >
Car brakes overheat for various reasons, including as a result of riding the brake and applying excessive force to or overusing the brakes. When brakes overheat on a regular basis, hardened spots can develop on the brake drums or the rotors. These "hot spots" resist friction, causing brake failure.Full Answer >
Having a car vibrate when the brakes are applied is a common problem for many car owners. Most of the time, this is a result of the front brakes being worn out, which is usually due to warping.Full Answer >
While there are several reasons brakes lock up, one is a dragging caliper piston. The friction this causes heats brake fluid and increases the pressure in the brake lines, locking a single wheel. Taking the car for a short drive and then checking the wheels for one that is warmer than the rest is a quick way to check for this problem.Full Answer >