Shaking Steering Wheel When Braking: Causes & Solutions

Shaking Steering Wheel When Braking: Causes & Solutions

Steering Wheel Shaking, Brake Pads, Rotors, SuspensionExperiencing a shaking or vibrating steering wheel when braking can be concerning for any driver. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can signal an issue with your vehicle’s braking system. Let’s explore four common causes of a shaking steering wheel when braking: brake pads, rotors & suspension. Be sure to review the possible solutions.


4 Common Shaking Steering Wheel Causes

Knowledge is power, so understanding some common causes for a shaking steering wheel when braking can help you address the issue promptly.

Warped Brake Rotors

Warped brake rotors are one of the most common reasons for a shaking steering wheel when braking. Brake rotors (or discs) are the circular metal plates the brake pads clamp onto when you apply the brakes. Over time, excessive heat and wear can cause the rotors to warp, resulting in an uneven braking surface. When you engage the brakes, this warped surface may shake or vibrate your steering wheel.

Possible Solution

Depending on the severity of the warping, your mechanic will need to resurface or replace your vehicle’s brake rotors. Resurfacing removes a thin layer of the rotor’s exterior to create a smooth braking surface. If the warping is severe, the rotors should be replaced with new ones.

Worn Brake Pads

Uneven brake pad wear can create imbalanced braking, causing the steering wheel to vibrate when you use the brakes. This uneven wear can be due to caliper piston issues, improper brake pad installation, or excessive heat buildup.

Possible Solution

Have your brake pads inspected by your local auto technician. If the pads exhibit uneven wear or damage, get them replaced. During the inspection, the mechanic should also check the brake calipers for any potential issues that may contribute to uneven pad wear.

Loose or Worn Suspension Components

Another common cause of a shaking steering wheel when braking may be loose or worn suspension components. Car parts have a natural life cycle and need to be replaced periodically. Worn-out bushings, tie rod ends, or ball joints can create excessive play or movement in the suspension system when braking. This extra movement can cause a shaking steering wheel.

Possible Solution

Routine vehicle maintenance often identifies worn or loose components. Consult your vehicle’s manual for a suggested maintenance schedule for the suspension. A well-maintained suspension system keeps your car safe and running smoothly.

Wheel and Tire Issues

Wheel and tire issues include unbalanced tires, misaligned wheels, and damaged or worn tire tread. Faulty wheels and tires can cause vibrations to transfer from the road to the steering wheel when braking.

Possible Solution

Your service tech can balance the tires to distribute the vehicle’s weight evenly. They can also check the wheel alignment to ensure the wheels are all facing the correct direction and working together. Finally, replace worn or damaged tires to ensure a smooth, safe ride.

Seek Professional Assistance

While these are some common causes and solutions for a shaking steering wheel when braking, remember that diagnosing and correcting the issue may require a trained mechanic. They have the experience and tools to identify and repair the problem accurately.

All A’s Automotive Repair provides outstanding service from certified technicians at a reasonable price. We are a local, family-owned, independent service center located at 1300 S. Poseyville Rd., Midland, MI 48640. 

Schedule Your Shaking Steering Wheel Service

Call us at (989) 631-4672 or visit us online to make an appointment today!

Posted in: Brakes, Diagnosis

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