Home | Auto Detailing | Steering Wheel Shakes when Braking? Here’s why

Steering Wheel Shakes when Braking? Here’s why

March 20, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

If your steering wheel shakes when braking, then it’s an indication that there is a problem with your tire or brake system.

Asides from self-moving cars, steering isn’t supposed to vibrate, move, shake, or pull on its own.

You must pay attention to your car’s minor warning before it develops into something critical.

Without wasting much time, here are some reasons your steering wheel shakes when braking.


Steering Wheel Shakes when Braking – Causes

Five common reasons why the steering wheel shakes when brakes are applied are discussed below.

1. Bent Brake Rotors

Brake pads are designed to be smooth and flat to create a smooth surface for the brake pads to rest on when brakes are applied.

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If your brake Rotors are twisted, bent, or warped due to the heat from the impact of the brake pad, then you’ll notice a shaky steering wheel when you apply the brakes.

This is because the brake pads will not have to make contact with a bent rotor which would no longer be able to grip the system firmly.

If you decipher this fault quickly, you can reach your mechanic for a resurfacing or permanent rotor replacement.

2. Uneven Tire Alignment

Your car tires should be aligned parallel and at a right angle.

Incorrect tire alignment will result in uneven tire parts, causing friction and a shaky steering wheel.

This will also result in new tires wearing out fast but can be resolved by seeking an alignment service.

3. Unbalanced tires

Your cars are supposed to rotate at the same speed, but this can stop over time due to road conditions, driving habits, or differences in air pressure.

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This further affects your suspension and axle, leading to heavy steering shakes when braking due to unbalanced tires.

This can be easily fixed by taking your car for balance in an auto repair shop.

4. Suspension Faults

Your vehicle’s suspension system comprises the shock absorber, coil, bushing, springs, and others that help you gain control after running into bumps, roadblocks, or potholes.

If any systems develop a fault, then expect the steering wheel to shake whenever you brake or stop.

This is a significant issue that’ll need the service of a professional mechanic.

5. A sticky brake Pad Caliper

Brake calipers are the joints where your brake pads are fitted; they aid in bringing the brake pads down when brakes are applied.

But sometimes, your brake caliper might stick to your rotor, making it glued to your rotor instead of bringing down the brake pads when braking.

This will often cause driving difficulties as you’ll find it hard to get total control of the vehicle.

You can check out our article on sticky brake calipers to learn more about the problem.

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Once you notice that a sticky brake caliper is why your steering wheel shakes when braking, kindly seek the attention of a mechanic.


Q: Why does my steering wheel shake when I slow down?

If your steering shakes when you slow down or apply brakes, there’s a problem in your brake or tire system that needs immediate attention before it escalates.

Q: Why does my front end shake when I brake at high speeds?

Uneven rotor surfaces contribute to why your car’s front end shakes when brakes are applied at high speed.

Q: How do I stop my car from shaking when I brake?

To stop your car from shaking when you brake, inspect the tires installed on your vehicle and make sure they’re equal. Also, you can check and apply necessary fixes to the braking system.

Q: Is it safe to drive with a shaky steering wheel?

You can drive moderately with a shaky steering wheel, but it’s advised that you visit a mechanic to avert the risk of an accident, especially if you’re inexperienced.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.