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!

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