7 Reasons Why Your Car Shakes When Braking

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car shakes when braking

Do you feel like your car is shaking every time you brake? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many drivers experience this problem, but most don’t know the cause.

This blog post will discuss seven reasons why your car shakes when braking. We’ll also offer some solutions and preventive measures that you can take to reduce the shaking in your vehicle. Keep reading to learn more!

The major reasons your car shakes when braking include worn disc brakes or brake pads, warped rotors, stuck brake calipers, unbalanced wheels, air bubbles in brake fluid, and more.

Is it Normal For Your Car to Shake While Braking?

It’s normal for your car to shake a little while braking. This is usually caused by brake pad vibration, which happens when your brake pads aren’t seated properly in the caliper or are worn down and need to be replaced.

If your car is vibrating excessively while braking, however, this could be a sign of more serious brake problems, such as warped rotors.

How Does a Braking System Work?

When you press the brake pedal, it activates the braking system and brings your car to a stop. But how does a vehicle’s braking system work?

This is important to understand if you want to fully grasp the issue of a car shaking when you brake. Essentially, brakes use friction to slow down the wheels and prevent them from spinning.

Here’s a closer look at how the different components of the braking system work together to generate braking force. 

Brake pads are located on either side of the rotor (the metal disc that rotates along with the wheel). When you press the brake pedal, the caliper (a device that holds the brake pads in place) squeezes the pads against the rotor.

This contact creates friction, which slows down the rotation of the rotor (and ultimately the wheel). The amount of friction generated depends on several factors, including the type of material used for the brake pad and the amount of pressure exerted by the caliper.

In order to exert enough pressure to stop a car from moving at high speed, hydraulic pressure is used. The hydraulic pressure is generated by the master cylinder, which converts pedal pressure into hydraulic pressure. 

As you see, several components work together to generate braking force. When one of these components isn’t working properly, it can cause your car to shake while braking.

7 Reasons Why Your Car Shakes When Braking (+Soultions)

Now that we’ve looked at how the braking system works let’s take a closer look at some of the most common reasons why your steering wheel shakes when braking.

  1. Stuck Brake Caliper
  2. Worn Brake Pads
  3. Warped Disc Brake Rotor
  4. Air Bubbles in Brake Fluid
  5. Worn Tires
  6. Unbalanced Wheels
  7. Loose Steering Wheel or Brake Pedal

Let’s analyze each of these reasons in more detail.

1. Stuck Brake Caliper:

A few things can cause your car to shake when you brake, but one of the most common causes is stuck brake calipers.

When your brake calipers get stuck, it prevents your brakes from working properly. The calipers are what squeeze the brake pads against the rotors to create friction and slow down your car. If they’re not working right, it can cause your vehicle to shake.


Sometimes you can fix stuck brake calipers by simply cleaning them or lubricating them. But if they’re badly damaged, you might need to replace them. Either way, it’s important to get it fixed so you can brake safely.

2. Worn Brake Pads:

Worn brake pads are one of the most common reasons your car may shake when you apply the brakes. The pads press against the rotors (the large metal discs that your wheels sit on) to create friction, which slows down or stops your vehicle.

Over time, the pads wear down and become thinner, so they don’t create as much friction. When you brake, the calipers squeeze the pads against the rotors, but because the pads are thinner, they can vibrate against the metal.

This vibration is what causes your car to shake. You’ll usually feel it in the steering wheel or seat, and you may hear a humming noise.


The best way to solve this problem is to have your brake pads replaced by a qualified mechanic. They’ll measure the thickness of the pads and compare them to the manufacturer’s specifications to determine whether they need to be replaced.

In most cases, they’ll also inspect the rotors and calipers to ensure there isn’t any other damage.

3. Warped Disc Brake Rotors:

When you press the brake pedal, the calipers grip the rotor and stop the vehicle. If you have brake rotor issues, they cause the calipers to grip and release unevenly, which makes the car shake.

The vibration is usually more pronounced at higher speeds. Warped rotors can also cause a pulsing sensation in the brake pedal.

The pads and calipers may also wear down faster due to the uneven contact. In extreme cases, warped rotors can cause the brakes to fail entirely.


To fix warped rotors, they need to be replaced with new ones. Most garages will do this for you, but it’s not a difficult job to do yourself if you’re mechanically inclined.

You can also try resurfacing them, but this isn’t always effective and may just be a temporary fix. In general, it’s best just to replace them if they’re warped.

Preventative measures include avoiding hard braking and driving on smooth surfaces whenever possible. If you live in an area with many potholes, invest in some quality shocks to help protect your brakes from damage.

4. Air Bubbles in Brake Fluid:

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that helps transfer the force from your brake pedal to the calipers. When you press the pedal, the fluid moves through a series of tubes and hoses to push the calipers against the rotors.

But if there are air bubbles in the fluid, it can cause it to compress unevenly. This can make the pedal feel spongy and cause the car to shake when you brake.


You need to bleed the brakes to get rid of air bubbles in your brake fluid. This is a pretty simple process that anyone can do with the right tools.

First, you’ll need to find the bleeder valves on each wheel. Then, you’ll need to connect a hose to the valve and open it up.

Next, you’ll need to pump the brake pedal until all the air is out of the system. Once that’s done, close the valve and check the fluid level in the reservoir.

If it’s low, add more fluid until it reaches the “full” line. You may need to bleed the brakes multiple times to get all the air out.

5. Worn Tires:

Worn tires can also cause your car to shake when you brake. This is because the tread on the tires is what provides traction.

If the tread is worn down, it can’t grip the road as well, which can cause your car to slip and skid. Worn tires are also more likely to lose air pressure, reducing traction.


The best way to fix this problem is simply to replace your tires with new ones. But if you can’t afford that, you can try having them patched or plugged.

You can also try rotating them so that the front ones become the rear ones (and vice versa). This will help even out the wear and tear.

6. Unbalanced Wheels:

If your wheels are unbalanced, it can cause your car to shake when you brake. This is because the weight of the wheel is not evenly distributed.

The heavy part of the wheel will tend to pull to one side, which can cause the car to veer in that direction. Watch out for unbalanced wheels as they can also cause premature wear on your tires and suspension components.


The best way to fix this problem is to have your wheels balanced by a professional. They’ll use a special machine to determine where the weights need to be added or removed.

You can also try doing it yourself, but it’s best to leave it to the professionals if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Or you can try swapping rear wheels with front ones.

7. Loose Steering Wheel or Brake Pedal:

One of the most common reasons your car might shake while you apply the brakes is a loose steering wheel or brake pedal.

This can happen for several reasons, but usually, it’s because something is preventing the steering wheel from turning freely or the brake pedal from being able to press down smoothly. In either case, this can cause your car to shake as you try to brake.


There are a few ways to solve this problem. First, you can try tightening the steering wheel so that it doesn’t have any play. It might take a little trial and error to get it right, but once you do, it should help eliminate the shaking.

Alternatively, you can try adjusting the brake pedal, so it has less travel before it starts engaging the brakes. Again, you’ll need to experiment with this to find the right setting, but once you do, it should help reduce or eliminate the shaking.

Finally, if neither of these solutions works, you may need to take your car to a mechanic to have them look at it and see if there’s something else that could be causing the problem.

How to Prevent Car From Shaking While You Apply Brakes?

You can do a few things to prevent your car from shaking when you apply the brakes.

  1. Make sure that your wheels are properly aligned. This will help ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and that the tires can grip the road properly.
  2. You should also make sure to check your wheel alignment regularly, especially if you hit a lot of potholes or curbs. You can usually do wheel alignment for free at most tire shops.
  3. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated. This will help them last longer and grip the road in a better way.
  4. Go gentle on the brakes while driving on bumpy roads. Avoid sudden stops and braking as much as possible.
  5. Get your brakes checked regularly in a brake service. You should do this at least once a year, but more often if you drive a lot or in harsh conditions.

Following these tips should help keep your car from shaking when applying the brakes.


If your car shakes while braking, you may lose control of the vehicle, leading to an accident. There are several other reasons why car shaking while braking is a serious issue.

One reason is that it can cause the tires to skid. Another reason is that it can cause the brake pads to wear out. When the brake pads wear out, they can no longer stop the car effectively, leading to an accident.

This article has looked at seven reasons why your car shakes when braking. If you have this problem, it is important to fix it as soon as possible.

We hope this article has helped you better understand the problem and given you some solutions to try. If your car is still shaking after trying these solutions, it is time to take it to a mechanic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you hear a squealing sound while braking?

If you’ve ever heard a squealing noise while braking, it’s likely due to a buildup of brake dust on the rotor. This usually happens when the brakes are first used after a period of disuse, such as when the car has been sitting in the garage for a few months.

The dust acts as a barrier between the pad and the rotor, causing the squeal. Once the brakes are used a few times, it will wear the dust away, and the noise should stop. If the noise continues, it could indicate that the pads are worn out and need to be replaced.

Is it safe to drive if your car shakes when braking?

If your car is shaking when you brake, it’s definitely not safe to drive. There are a few different things that could be causing this, and it’s important to get it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.

One possibility is that your brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced. Another possibility is that your rotors are warped and need to be resurfaced.

In either case, driving with shaking brakes is dangerous and can lead to an accident. So if you notice your car shaking when braking, get it checked out right away!

Why does my car shake when slowing down?

There can be a few different reasons for this, and it’s usually nothing to worry about. One common cause is uneven tire wear.

If your tires are worn down on one side more than the other, it can cause your car to shake when you brake. Another possibility is that your brake pads are worn out and need to be replaced.

Sometimes, a problem with your suspension system can also cause your car to shake when braking. However, if your vehicle is still under warranty, it’s best to take it to the dealer to have it checked out. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and fix it for you.

Why your car is rough idling when you stop?

One reason behind this is that your engine is misfiring. This means that the spark plugs are not firing correctly, which can cause the engine to run rough.

Another possibility is that there is something wrong with the fuel injection system. If the injectors are not working properly, they will not be able to deliver the correct amount of fuel to the engine, which can also cause it to run rough.

At last, it is also possible that there is an issue with the air intake system. A leak in the intake hose can cause air to enter the engine, which can throw off the air-fuel mixture and cause the engine to run rough.

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