What does it Mean When the Car Shakes When Braking

my car shakes while brakingWhat does it mean when the car shakes when braking? If you have been driving your car and it begins to shake even at the lightest touch of the brake pedal, you should stop driving the vehicle.

Every car comes with an owner’s manual that detail specific maintenance periods in which your car must be serviced.

In the information below I want to explain, what does it mean when the car shakes when braking as well as how to prevent the situation from occurring again once fixed.

The problem that you are experiencing is likely due to you having bad brake pads and worn or warped brake rotors. Let me explain.

The brake rotor is the round disk that you can see through your tire rim. It is typically silver, when it’s brand new but starts to turn a dark brownish color as it ages.

Every time that you push down on the brake pedal, the brake pads squeeze/pinch against the brake rotor on both sides to slow the car down. Most cars have 4 rotors, some only have 2 but you can easily check by just looking through the tire rim.

Brake rotors are damaged easily from driving with bad brake pads. The first sign that you need brake pads is the squealing sound that you hear when you press the brake pedal. Eventually that squealing remains constant, which means the brake pads are worn down even more.

When the squealing stops and you start to hear and feel grinding every time that you depress the brake pedal, you are grinding away the surface of your brake rotors. This causes the surface of the brake rotor to become uneven and it also causes it to warp from the excessive heat from the friction.

Besides the shaking that you are experiencing, you are putting yourself and other drivers in harms way because the chances of the brake system on your car failing is much higher. The average life of brake rotors has nothing to do with your individual driving habits.

The brake rotors on your car should be replaced when it is time for your 4th set of brake pads. If you do a lot of highway driving or frequently drive up and down hilly roads, you may want to replace the rotors when it’s time for your 3rd set of brake pads.

It is not ok to keep putting new brake pads on bad rotors because bad brake rotors will still continue to wear away. A thinly worn rotor can collapse from the pressure the brake pads put on it and cause your tire to lock up while driving.

So what does it mean when the car shakes when braking? It means you need new brake pads and brake rotors. Never replace 1 brake rotor. If the car needs 1 brake rotor, you must replace all 4 or the brake system will be off balance.

You should replace your brake pads after you have driven 3000 to 4000 miles. If you lose count just remember that as soon as you hear that annoying squealing sound, you should have changed the brake pads 2 weeks ago.

Many of your local auto parts stores have websites that enable you to input the kind of car you have so that you can find brake pads and rotors for your car. This is a good idea because while brake pads are rather cheap, brake rotors can get expensive especially if you want the tip, top of the line rotors.

Note: Take your car in for a professional inspection as soon as you can afford to do so. While this is one solution because of the prolonged driving of your vehicle in this state, there may be other issues that pop up such as the need for additional brake system maintenance.