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Why does my car shake when I hit the brakes?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Apr 05, 2013 @ 09:24 AM

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One of the most important parts of any car is the braking system.  If you ever sense that something just isn’t right while braking, it is always a good idea to have your car inspected for problems right away.  It’s too dangerous to risk any issues while stopping your car.  Sometimes brakes make strange sounds or vibrations during application.  It could be nothing major, but it’s usually not worth taking a chance on.

If your car shakes when you hit the brakes, it is likely because your rotors have become warped. 
Rotors can become warped due to general wear and tear on your vehicle.  Manufacturers have specifications for how thick your rotors should be and when rotors become too thin, they tend to warp easily. 

Besides general wear and tear, rotors can become warped if you’ve had your brake pads replaced but not the rotors.  When new, thick brake pads rub against worn rotors, this can cause the rotors to become warped.

Once your rotors become warped, you’ll need to have them replaced.

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To maintain the condition of your brakes, follow these tips:

  • Have your brake fluid changed every two years or 15,000 miles—whichever comes first.  Consult your owner’s manual for your car’s specific guidelines.  If you decide to flush your brake fluid on your own, make sure that you use the proper type of fluid.  To be certain, check your owner’s manual.  The manufacturer designed your car with a type of brake fluid in mind, so it’s important to adhere to their recommendation.  And don’t mix your fluids!

  • Try to apply gentle pressure on your brakes whenever possible.  If you find yourself doing a lot of high speed stopping, unfortunately this kind of wear can cause your rotor surfaces to become glazed.  When the surfaces are glazed, the brake pads begin to vibrate on the brake rotors and make a squealing sound.  At Ward Automotive, we can resurface your rotors with our brake rotor lathe, then clean and lubricate the brake pad shims and abutment clips. 

  • Have your rotors either resurfaced or replaced whenever you have your brake pads replaced.  It’s important to remove surface rust and abrasions on healthy rotors when you get new brake pads.  If your mechanic informs you that your rotors are thinner than your manufacturer recommends, then be sure to have them replaced.

    Ward Automotive

At Ward Automotive in Harford County, Maryland, we can service all of your brake and rotor needs.  If you ever have a question or concern about the condition of your brakes, bring your car in for an examination.  We will make sure that your car is safe and healthy to be on the road.  And remember—we service all of the towns in Harford County, including Aberdeen, Bel Air, Burns Corner, Darlington, Edgewood, Fallston, Havre de Grace, Hickory Hills, Jarrettsville, Joppatowne, Perryman, Pleasant Hills, Pylesville, and Riverside.  At Bel Air Autobody and Ward Automotive, we hope to be the shop for all of your auto repair needs.

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Topics: bel air mechanic, Brakes, Auto Mechanic Abingdon, Auto Mechanic Edgewood, auto mechanic bel air, car repair Bel Air, brake problems, brake noises, Auto mechanic Bel Air Maryland, basic car maintenance, brake fluid flush, warped rotors, car shakes, brake maintenance, brake rotor replacement, brake pad replacement