Q:

Why does my car shake when I slow down?

A:

CarsDirect.com explains that when a vehicle shakes as it slows down and the brakes are applied, worn brake rotors or unevenly worn pads are likely culprits. According to the source, excessive wear on the rotors and the amounts of heat generated during braking alter the shape of the rotor turning a normally flat surface into one with smalls peaks and valleys.

Another possible cause of shuddering or vibration while braking is brake pads that are unevenly worn. This is due to the brake pads failing to make complete, steady contact with the rotors.

AGCO Automotive Corporation suggests that warped rotors or unevenly worn brake pads indicate deeper problems with a vehicle's braking system. Three common root causes of these conditions are extreme driving styles and excessive braking, using brake pad materials that are incompatible with the vehicle's rotors and brake calipers that are binding. If one or more of these root causes is present, replacement rotors and brake pads may also experience abnormal wear.

CarsDirect.com gives tips on how drivers can check the health of their brake pads and rotors easily. Most vehicle wheels allow the owner to see through to both of these important components. Brake pads should wear evenly and have ample pad material left, while healthy rotors are free of grooves, surface checks, cracks and contaminants.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long do brakes last?

    A:

    Brake pads last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles, and brake rotors can last about three times longer. The exact mileage depends on the type and composition of the pad's friction material, the owner's driving habits and driving conditions.

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  • Q:

    Why does a car shake when applying the brakes?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    Why does my car shake when I go over 45 mph?

    A:

    Common causes of cars shaking over 45 mph can include misalignment of the wheels, bad wheel bearings and warped brake rotors. If your car is shaking at relatively low speeds, it's best to consult a mechanic .

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  • Q:

    What can cause a car to shake at low speeds?

    A:

    There are several reasons why a car may shake at low speeds, such as bad motor mounts, warped rotors and unbalanced wheels. To narrow down the problem the braking components, wheels and mounts of the vehicle should be inspected.

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