Why does my steering wheel shake when I brake?

steering wheel

If your steering wheel shakes when you brake, you probably have an issue with your brake rotors.  There are many front-end problems that can cause your steering wheel to shake when traveling at certain speeds.  However, if the steering wheel shimmy only happens when applying the brake pedal, the possible causes are narrowed down quite a bit!

When you apply the brakes, the brake pads squeeze the spinning rotors to stop the vehicle.  If the rotors are warped, have uneven wear, or have been improperly installed, the brake calipers will vibrate while the brakes are applied.  This vibration is transferred to the steering column through the front-end components that the brake calipers are bolted to.  This is what causes your steering wheel shake when you apply the brakes!

Brake caliper and rotor photo for auto repair shop in Dallas TX

If the rotors are only slightly warped or unevenly worn, it may be possible to have them machined and straightened out.  If the rotors are beyond repair, they may have to be replaced.  If the rotors are new or have just been machined, it is possible that they were not properly mounted to the axle.

Similar questions related to this post:

  • My steering wheel shakes when I brake
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Why does my car die at stop lights and intersections?

Stop sign on street for car repair service in Dallas TX

Does your car or truck run fine as long as you keep your foot on the gas pedal, but it stalls and dies when you come to a stop light or intersection?  This can be a tricky problem to solve because there are several things that could be causing the issue.  Finding the cause of the problem takes experienced troubleshooting skills and a working knowledge of your vehicle's air, fuel, and electrical systems.

Here are some things we look at during our troubleshooting process:

  1. Fuel system
    • Clogged fuel Injectors
    • Clogged fuel filter
    • Failing fuel pump
    • Too much moisture in the fuel
    • Fuel pressure regulator
  2. Airflow system
    • Dirty air filter
    • EGR valve (Exhaust Gas Recirculation)
    • Mass airflow sensor
    • Dirty throttle body
  3. Electrical system
    • Check engine light on?
    • Idle speed sensor
    • Mass airflow sensor
    • Distributor cap (older vehicles)

For some vehicles, this issue only happens in cold weather.  If that's the case, then it is best to try and get it fixed during the cold weather season to make sure that the problem is solved.

Again, there are many possible causes of this issue.  It is important to start with the basics and rule out the simple things first, working methodically toward the more complicated causes of the problem.

Similar questions related to this post:

  • Why does my car or truck die when I come to a stop?
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Curb Check!

Mercedes CLK repair in dallas

This 2006 Mercedes CLK500 slammed into a curb at high speed, and suffered some pretty serious damage.  We're going to have to replace the following components:

  • Two wheels
  • One tire
  • One right-front, lower control arm
  • Entire rear suspension system

Good thing this client brought his vehicle to City Auto Clinic!  He'll be back on the road again for about 2800 bucks, give-or-take a few dollars. Watch out for those curbs!

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