Here’s something we see quite a bit at All Tune and Lube Tempe, vibration when the brakes are applied. It’s annoying and can feel disconcerting.
So what’s going on?
Brake vibration is where a shaking occurs when the brakes in your car are applied. You’ll often notice it more when slowing down from high speed, like when you’re getting off the highway. You might get a little shaking to a nasty vibration.
What causes it?
I don’t know how familiar everyone is anymore with vinyl records but if you remember them you’ll also remember how they would warp if you let them get too hot. Your brake rotors are a lot like those old records in that heat will warp them and unlike your records, your brakes have to deal with a lot of heat all the time. When we’re talking about brake rotors that warpage is called “run out” and the vehicle manufacturers have very tight limits as to how much run out is allowed. If your brake rotors have more than the specified limit you’ll get vibration through the steering.
How do I fix it?!
The first thing is to find out if it’s the front or rear rotors that are causing the brake vibration. If you’re getting shaking in the steering wheel itself, it is more than likely the front. If the whole car and shakes, it will probably be the rear but that’s a bit less common. The thing to do is to mount a measuring device, a dial indicator is what I’m familiar with, to the car, spin the rotors and measure the run out. Once you’ve found the offending parts you next measure their thickness to determine if it needs to be replaced because there’s a specified limit there too. If the rotors are thick enough you can have them machined true again, reinstalled and head on out. Don’t let anyone tell you that you necessarily need to replace your brake pads at the same time unless their getting thin.
That’s really about it. Simple problem, simple solution. I hope you’ll bring your car in to your local mechanics, All Tune & Lube Total Car Care in Tempe Arizona. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance.