What To Do When Your Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking
If your steering wheel is quivering when you brake, or shaking when you stop, something’s likely to be going erratic in your brake system. From worn brake pads to dry guide pins and warped rotors, there are a variety of common culprits. Learn why your steering wheel may be trembling when you brake, more about each vehicle part, and what you can do to put a stop to the shivers and shakes! More info on brakes.
Worn Brake Pads
When you press down on the brake pedal, you trigger a series of rapid events. As you step on the pedal a caliper applies pressure to the brake pad, which in turn puts pressure on the rotors. This brings your car to a stop. If anything is “off” with said brake pad, you may feel it in your steering wheel. Brake pads that are old, worn, or particularly dirty cannot grip the rotor effectively and can cause your steering wheel to quiver.
What to do:
Calipers were built to last for a long time. Rotors and brake pads, on the other hand, tend to wear out over time. Thankfully rotors can be resurfaced or replaced, and brake pads can easily be replaced too. A quick brake inspection at Highway Auto Rockhampton can give you an estimate of how much life may be left in your brake pads.
Dry Guide Pins
If your steering wheel is shaking as you’re trying to stop, dry guide pins could also be the culprit. The guide pins are part of the brake calipers. They’re in charge of guiding the brake pad to the rotor (hence the name). To do their job effectively, these guide pins need to be clean and lubricated. If guide pins become dry or corroded, they could cause the caliper to stick or cause the brake pads to press the rotor at the wrong angle. The result? Vibrations in the steering wheel.
What to do:
Inspecting and lubricating caliper guide pins is best left up to professionals, as it involves taking off the caliper, examining the caliper housing, and handling high-temperature grease. Visit Highway Auto Rockhampton for a free brake inspection and if needed, a brake service or repair.
If you feel a pulsing in the brake pedal and a wobbling of the steering wheel when slowing at highway speeds, your rotors could be signaling trouble. When you step on the brake and the brake pads press down on the rotors, the rotors become extremely hot. Naturally, this heat can cause the rotors to become worn, warped, and uneven over time. Since your brake pads will be pressing onto a surface that isn’t smooth, your braking and steering won’t feel smooth either.
What to do:
To get to the bottom of this issue, a brake technician can do one of two things. They can spin the rotors by hand and feel for any irregularities, or they can remove the rotors and measure them with a micrometer. If a rotor is worn down to the minimum thickness specification, the rotor cannot be resurfaced and must be replaced. (In fact, this is the law.) When it comes to replacing brake rotors, every car is different. The need for brake rotor replacement or resurfacing is best determined with an inspection and review of the vehicle manufacturer standards, which our technicians can do during a fast and free brake check.
If it feels like you might be experiencing a mild earthquake every time you brake, head to Highway Auto Rockhampton for a quick brake inspection and free answers to tough questions. Before those shakes become more serious, let our expert technicians take a look! Drop by or schedule an appointment on (07) 4926 1303. Silky smooth and safe braking could be as easy as a minor brake repair, new brake pads, or resurfaced rotors!
$197 Brake service kit includes:
- Supply and fit Bendix disc pads.
- Inspect disc rotors for condition, measure thickness.
- Inspect brake caliper operation.
- Clean and lubricate caliper sliding pins and contact areas.
- Check brake fluid condition and top up if necessary.
- Visually inspect brake master cylinder.
- Check park brake operation and adjust.
- Measure Tyre wear.
Common brake problems and the warning signs
- A spongy brake pedal
- A grinding sound when you depress the brake pedal
- Squealing brakes
- The car pulling to one side when you brake
- The brake warning light illuminating
- Brake fluid level dropping
- The brake pedal being hard to press
- Pulsating brake pedal