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Why does my car shake when I brake? [Troubleshoot & Fixes]

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So you’re driving your car down on a highway at around 50 miles per hour and you press your brakes. All of a sudden your car goes “UJUJUJU”, you let go of the break and it’s nice and smooth. You press the brake pedal again and start “UJUJUJU”. Also on your pedal, you’ll probably feel that pulsation-like pumping you back.

It only occurs when you press the brake pedal and as soon as you let it go it goes away.

You might wonder “why does my car shake when I brake?”. There may be different thoughts and queries like, why does my steering wheel shake when I brake at high speeds especially?

So today, we’re going to cover the most possible reasons why your car may be shaking & potential fixes that you can do. Could be the indication there’s something wrong with your brakes! So let’s start without wasting a time.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

There are a few different things that can cause your car to shake when you hit the brakes.

The answer is not really simple but it could be from worn suspension or steering components. It could be a tire problem but in most cases, it is a problem with the brake rotors.

Brake pulsations are usually caused by unbalanced or warped rotors. The main cause of warped rotors is generally because of overheating. If you feel pulsation throughout your whole vehicle or even in the seat, more than likely it’s coming from the rear of the vehicle.

Even more, if the calipers are not lubricated or they’re seizing up inside, that’s gonna cause an issue as well.

1. Replace Rotors And Brake Pads

Whenever you press the brake pedal if you feel the vibration inside the cabin only. Then you more likely have uneven wear on your brake rotors or your brake pads.

why is my car shaking when i brake
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This could be due to a few reasons,

  • Maybe the piston inside the brake caliper is sticking, not working properly
  • Maybe the slide pins lost the lubrication not allowing for the engagement and disengagement of the brake pads

Why does my car shake when I hit the brakes? Most likely in this case, if the shaking is only happening when you apply your brakes, the problem is with your brake pads and it’s usually, upfront because you do most of the braking with your brakes on the front wheels. Before they warp too much and even more if you have heard sharp noise coming from the outside of your vehicle, you need to get the rotors checked and measured.

Make sure it’s within that specification and if it’s not, you need to either machine them or replace them along with your brake rotors and pads (get from Amazon) also with the hardware for your brake caliper.

2. Balance The Tires

If you feel vibration at highway speeds between 55 to 75 miles per hour, 80 to 90 percent of the time is due to your tire being out of balance. When tires come out of the factory, the material that makes tire rubber might not exactly perfectly spread out throughout the tire, A small bulge or a little bit more material thickness in one corner when going at high speed could pull the tire and cause shaking.

why does my car shake when i hit the brakes

To get the tire balanced, add weights (get from Amazon) or simply visit the nearby tire shop to have the tire be more even as far as weight goes all around.

If you have a severely damaged wheel, that’s gonna cause shaking prominently. 

  • The tire has been sitting flat for a long time
  • Tire bulging and out of shape from some area

In such cases, no amount of tire balancing is gonna get rid of that!

Pro tip: Fixing on at home needs a wheel balancing weight plier hammer tool (get from Amazon).

3. Perform Alignment Issues

You might think, why does my steering wheel shake when I brake at high speeds? Especially, when your car is out of alignment you could be wasting gas, wearing out your tires and possibly increasing your chances of an unplanned emergency when braking.

Signs of an alignment problem,

  • Pulling without turning the steering
  • Wacky wheel
  • Wheel wear
  • Turn return of the steering
  • A whole lot of shaking in the steering wheel

The steering wheel should be perfectly horizontal, your car is probably out of alignment if you have to hold your steering wheel at an angle just to drive straight. This can be very dangerous and requires immediate attention from a professional mechanic.

You need to get some new rubber and get an alignment before the tire goes flat.

4. Check For A Bent Wheel Rims

A simple curb rash can be cosmetically repaired but a more serious bend in your wheel can create a wobble or a vibration while driving. So what can cause a bent rim or a cracked alloy like that is just by hitting a curb or maybe even a pothole. Eventually, because of harmonic vibrations, that could result getting in uneven tire wear.

Make sure to check for a Bent Wheel Rim. Obviously, this is not a scientific method of checking your wheels to see whether they’re bent or not. In order to be 100% sure you should approach to get them down to a tire shop and they can get on the machine and tell you for sure whether you have bent wheels or not!

5. Check Out Suspension Problems

Shock absorbers can be damaged by large potholes, corrosion from road salt, or simply wear out from use. And can be quite dangerous because these can cause poor handling, excessive body roll, and poor traction.

Why does my car shake when I brake at high speeds? One of these could be suspension problems. During regular driving, if you have realized the same signs when you hit the brakes there could be suspension issues. More often, the excessive shaking of vehicles might happen when coming to a stop. This could also damage the constant velocity (CV) that connects the vehicle’s axles which are made to protect from dirt and debris eventually shaking the car.

6. Fix The Power Steering Problems

Talking about the power steering system, it must be smooth to be in the best condition though numerous parts are largely involved. If you feel like you are acquiring more force to turn the steering along with a shaking sensation then you are most likely to have an issue with your power steering.

To troubleshoot the issue, try to replicate the plan when stopped to check whether the vehicle shakes or not. If it appears to shake while simply turning the steering wheel, your vehicle is most likely to have a problem with the steering components themselves. In most cases, hose leakages are the prominent reason.


Anytime you start sensing a pulsation or a vibration as a brake is applied, you might wonder why is my car shaking when I brake! Without wasting your time be sure to get into a skilled service center where a technician can get that problem resolved for you. So that your vehicle will be safe and you’ll know that you’re operating out of the best conditions for your vehicle.

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