If you’ve ever experienced your steering wheel shaking when you brake, you know how alarming it can be. Not only can it be a safety hazard, but it can also indicate that something is wrong with your vehicle. In this article, we will discuss the causes and solutions for a shaking steering wheel when braking.
Causes of Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking
1. Warped Brake Rotors
The most common cause of a shaking steering wheel when braking is warped brake rotors. When the rotors become warped, the brake pads cannot make even contact with the rotor, which causes the shaking sensation. This can happen due to prolonged and aggressive braking, driving in wet conditions, or poor quality brake parts.
2. Worn Suspension Parts
Another cause of steering wheel shaking when braking is worn suspension parts. When your suspension parts, such as your struts or shocks, are worn out, they are not able to effectively absorb the impact of braking. This can cause the steering wheel to shake and vibrate when you hit the brakes.
3. Loose Wheel Bearings
Loose wheel bearings can also cause the steering wheel to shake when braking. When the wheel bearings are worn or loose, the wheels can wobble, which will cause the steering wheel to shake. This is particularly common in older vehicles or vehicles that have been driven over rough terrain.
4. Uneven Tire Wear
If your tires are unevenly worn, it can cause the steering wheel to shake when you brake. This is because the uneven wear can cause the tires to become imbalanced, which will cause the steering wheel to vibrate. It’s important to have your tires rotated and balanced regularly to avoid this issue.
Solutions for Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking
1. Replace Warped Brake Rotors
If your brake rotors are warped, you will need to replace them. It’s important to replace both the rotors and the brake pads to ensure that they are making even contact with each other. You can have a mechanic replace the rotors or you can do it yourself if you have the necessary tools and experience.
2. Replace Worn Suspension Parts
If your suspension parts are worn out, you will need to have them replaced. This can include your struts, shocks, and other components of your suspension system. It’s important to have this done by a professional mechanic to ensure that the parts are installed correctly.
3. Tighten or Replace Loose Wheel Bearings
If your wheel bearings are loose or worn out, they will need to be tightened or replaced. This is another task that is best left to a professional mechanic as it can be complex and requires specialized tools.
4. Rotate and Balance Tires
If your tires are unevenly worn, you will need to have them rotated and balanced. This can be done at a tire shop or by a professional mechanic. It’s important to have this done regularly to avoid future issues with the steering wheel shaking.
In conclusion, a shaking steering wheel when braking can be a sign of several issues with your vehicle. The most common cause is warped brake rotors, but it can also be caused by worn suspension parts, loose wheel bearings, or uneven tire wear. It’s important to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic to determine the root cause of the issue and to have any necessary repairs done. Don’t ignore a shaking steering wheel when braking as it can be a safety hazard on the road.