Why Does My Car Steering Wheel Shake When I Brake At High Speeds?


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For starters, know that your steering wheel shaking anytime the breaks are applied is not normal. Certain things might be wrong with the delicate components of your car which I will be explaining shortly.

Reasons Why Your Steering Wheel May Shake When You Break At High Speed

1. Bad rotors: It’s likely to be a rotor problem if you notice a movement on the brake pedal and shaking on your car steering anytime you deaccelerate at high speed.

The rotors are likely to be very hot anytime you hit the brakes, thereby causing the break-pads to come in contact with them.

The heat generated is enough to cause the rotors to become worn, twisted, and lopsided over the long run. As long as your break-pads are always coming in contact with rotors whose surface isn’t smooth, don’t expect your braking and steering experience to also be smooth.

As soon as you notice any of the experiences I explained above, take a trip to the mechanic. Professional mechanics are capable of spinning the rotors to know where the problem lies.

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One of the things they are likely to do is to measure the thickness of the rotors using a micrometer screw gauge – if it’s worn down below the minimum thickness allowed, you would have to purchase a replacement. Only a professional can do this, so don’t go about looking for DIY videos on YouTube. 

2. Worn-out brake pads: Another cause of shaky steering anytime the breaks are applied can also be worn-out brake pads.

You are likely to notice this anytime you carry out a normal routine of applying your breaks which involves stepping on your pedal thereby applying pressure to the caliper that makes contact with the brake pad, which presses down your rotors – it is this series of event that breaks your care to a halt.

If there is anything wrong with your brake pads, the first place you are likely to notice the effects will be your steering, and you can tell if your brake pads are worn out by such shakings since it is evident that the pads can’t have an effective grip on the rotors.

Just like many mechanical challenges, the best thing to do will be to visit a mechanic and have them do a maintenance check on your vehicle.

These parts can be easily replaced for a whole lot less, compared to the amount you will pay to the doctors if you decide to side with negligence.

3. Dried guide pins: Similar to bad rotors, if you notice your steering shaking anytime you apply the brakes while trying to slow down, then your guide pins could be the problem.

This is because guide pins are also part of your brake calipers that are tasked with guiding your brake pads to the rotor. These pins will have to be thoroughly clean for them to properly carry out their purpose in the calipers. 

The moment the pins become dry and rusty, they could cause the brake pads to make contact with the rotors at a wrong angle thereby causing the steering to shake.

While you might be tempted to lubricate your guide pins, I strongly suggest you leave it to the professionals to do what they are trained to do.


What does it mean when your car shakes when your brake?

Of all the reasons I explained above, the most likely reason for shakes when applying your brakes are the rotors due to the heat they generate anytime they come in contact with the brake pads, but just to be sure, endeavor to see a car specialist for more clarification on the issue. 

Why does my steering shake anytime I go over 70mph?

At such high speeds, one of the reasons your steering wheel is likely to shake can be attributed to the tires. When your tires are out of balance, then you will notice your steering shaking anytime you accelerate to a speed of about 50mph, and the shaking is likely to increase or even get worse when you approach higher speeds of let’s say 60 to 70mph.

As soon as you notice your steering shaking at such speeds, the best thing to do at that point is to reduce your speed, then head to your car mechanic for proper tire balancing.

SEE ALSO: 11 Best Steering Wheel Gadgets To Buy In 2021

Why does my steering wheel jerk when I brake?

Just like I explained in this article (kindly read through from the top for further clarification), the major reason why your wheel is likely to jerk anytime you apply the brakes are faulty rotors or brake pads. Visiting a professional mechanic will provide a healthy solution to the problem.

Will bad ball joints cause a vibration when braking?

Yes, it can. When your ball joints are worn out, there is a huge chance your steering wheel will vibrate especially during heavy braking. A simple solution to this will be to visit the mechanic for a  remedy to the situation.

Final Words

As an individual, the best thing to do when you notice any slight change, especially when you apply your brakes is to visit a professional mechanic who can tackle the situation. ignoring such warnings can be fatal to your health. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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