Why Your Vehicle Shakes When Braking (And How to Fix It)

Why Your Vehicle Shakes When Braking (And How to Fix It)

7th Apr 2023

Does your vehicle shake when you press the brake pedal? If so, you'll need to investigate the problem. Brakes play an important role in both the safety and performance of automobiles. As you may know, they allow drivers to slow down their vehicles. If your vehicle shakes when braking, though, it's typically a sign of an underlying problem. You'll need to identify and address this brake-related problem so that it doesn't place you at risk for an accident.

Worn Brake Pads

Your vehicle may shake when braking if the brake pads are heavily worn. brake pads are block-shaped pieces of material -- typically steel and a friction material -- that are designed to press against the rotors. Pressing the brake pedal will force the rotors to make contact with the brake pads. This will create friction that slows down your vehicle. If your vehicle's brake pads are heavily worn, it may shake aggressively when braking.

Uneven Brake Pads

Brake pads that are worn unevenly may cause your vehicle to shake when braking. It's normal for brake pads to wear down slightly over time. What's not normal, however, is for them to wear down unevenly. If the front brake pads are more worn than the rear brake pads, your vehicle may shake when braking.

Stuck Calipers

One of the most common reasons vehicles shake when braking is stuck calipers. Calipers are clamp-like parts that are designed to squeeze the brake pads. As they squeeze the brake pads, the pads will press against the rotors to create friction. Calipers can become stuck. Rather than returning to their open position, they may continue to squeeze the brake pads for a short period after you've released your foot from the brake pedal. This may cause your vehicle to shake when braking.

Uneven Tread Wear

In addition to uneven brake pads, uneven tread wear can result in shaking when you press the brake pedal. All tires have tread. Tread consists of a pattern that's designed to increase traction with the road. If some of your vehicle's tires have greater tread wear than others, your vehicle may shake when braking.

ABS Activation

It's also worth noting that anti-lock braking system (ABS) activation can cause shaking when braking. In vehicles equipped with ABS, the system may activate during hard braking, causing pulsations or vibrations as the ABS modulates the braking force. If there's a problem with your vehicle's ABS system, you'll need to get it fixed ASAP.