Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking | All About Auto

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Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking

If you run into a problem of steering wheel shakes when braking there are two possible reasons, first is a warped front disc and the second is a loose or worn-out front wheel bearing. Both create shaking on the steering wheel especially when the brake pedal is depressed. The shaking of the steering wheel is so extreme that it can easily be felt by the driver.

Reasons why steering wheel shakes when braking
1. Warped front disc.
2. Loose or worn out front wheel bearing.

Usually, a problem that involves the shaking of the steering wheel when braking is a clear indication of a problem on the front end of your car. The front end is consists of several components which sometimes is the reason why it is difficult to identify what particular parts cause the problem.

However, since the steering wheel shaking only occurs during braking then we can safely say that the possible reason is a problem with the brake system and because the involved part is the steering wheel, therefore, the most probable cause of the problem is within the front brake system but which part of the brake system is causing the shaking? 

Well, the most common reason for the steering wheel to shakes during braking is a misalignment of brake components, and the components which often encountered misalignment are the front pads and the rotor disc, when that part is misaligned it causes uneven contact between the two during braking the uneven contact will create vibration.

Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speed
There are two common reasons causing the steering wheel to shake at high speed, the first is the imbalance front wheel and the second is loose front end parts.
Learn more: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speed

And since the steering wheel is connected to those components by means of front ends, therefore whenever there is a vibration that resulted from uneven contact between the pads and the rotor disc, the steering wheel is also affected and create the shaking or vibration of the steering wheel.

What causes misalignment?
Most of the time misalignment happens because of the warped rotor disc, but sometimes the rotor disc is not warped so the possibilities are that the front wheel bearing is the problem. The front-wheel bearing could be loose or worn-out if the bearing is lost or worn-out it will result in the misalignment between brake pads and the rotor disc.
The Truth About Cars
Front Wheel Bearing image credit
How to fix steering wheel shaking while braking

Bring the car to a reputable repair shop and ask the mechanic to check the front wheel bearing, ask him to check for any loose or worn-out bearings then replace if necessary. Now if the bearings are good, then the problem is the warpage of the rotor disc ask the mechanic to do a brake check if the problem is the warpage the rotor disc is needed to be machined to correct the warpage.

Car Shakes When Braking
Usually, if the entire car shakes during braking the problem is always the rear brake. The entire car shakes happen because the brake shoe is not making even contact with the brake drum during brake application.
Learn more: Car Shakes When Braking

After machining the rotor disc, it is also necessary to replace the brake pads so that it will make even contact with the newly machined rotor disc. Because if the old pads are used it will not be matched to the brake disc which may create a new problem and will result in brake repair. This usually fixes the problem of steering-wheel shaking when braking, however, if the entire car shakes when braking then the problem is not on the front end but on the rear end.

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