Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When Braking?

April 8, 2021 11:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the last things you want to feel while driving down the road is a shaking steering wheel. Unlike some vehicle issues that are cut and dry, there are multiple reasons why your steering wheel might shake while you’re slowing down. Continue reading to learn more about why your steering wheel shakes when braking in Athens County, OH.

Worn brake pads

A leading cause of the steering wheel shaking when braking has to do with the brake pads. When you press on the brake pedal, the caliper applies pressure to the brake pad. The brake pad then presses down on the rotors, bringing your car to a stop. Pads that are worn or dirty have a difficult time gripping the rotor, which can cause a startling vibration.

If the pads are the problem, all you need to do is replace them. Brake pads are only designed to last for about 40,000 miles before they need to be replaced. While you can replace your brake pads yourself, we recommend bringing your vehicle to a pro to handle this job.

Warped rotors

Another reason why your steering wheel may shake when braking in Athens County, OH has to do with the rotors. Rotors get very hot each time they come in contact with the brake pads. This heat eventually wears down the rotors, making them warped or uneven. As the rotors get more and more damaged, you’ll feel an increasingly strong vibration in the steering wheel.

There are two ways to resolve warped rotors: resurfacing them or replacing them. A technician can resurface them if the damage is minimal, which is a fairly inexpensive and quick procedure. If the rotors are worn down past the minimum thickness specification, however, they must be replaced. Thankfully, rotor replacement is also relatively inexpensive these days.

Bad tires

Another reason your steering wheel shakes might not have to deal with the brakes at all. Instead, it may be due to a problem with your tires. If the shaking begins when you get up to 50 or 55 miles per hour but gets better at higher speeds, the issue has to deal with tires that are out of balance.

You can prevent this type of shaking by purchasing high-quality tires and having them rotated every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Your mechanic will inspect your tires each time you bring your vehicle in for professional maintenance.

What to do if your steering wheel shakes

Because the vehicle is harder to control and there are underlying issues, driving with a shaking steering wheel is one of the more dangerous things you can do. Instead of ignoring the vibrations, visit a mechanic as soon as you can. A certified professional will be able to quickly identify the root of the problem and make any necessary repairs or part replacement.

Stop driving with a shaking steering wheel and visit Dana’s Tire Center in Athens County, OH. Our professionals can answer all of your questions like “Why does my steering wheel shake when braking?” and set any problem straight in no time at all. Give us a call today to schedule steering wheel repairs or general maintenance.

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