Truck Wobbles When Braking

Bob Roberts
• Monday, 17 January, 2022
• 8 min read

If you hit the brakes and feel your car wobble or shudder, it's time to give your brakes a thorough inspection. Braking removes material not just from the pads, but from the discs as well.

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As rotors get thinner, they are more susceptible to warping because of the heat generated during braking. Although sometimes you can't see any irregularity, that's what is causing shudder when a caliper clamps down.

This is a machining process where the surfaces are smoothed using a special lathe. If it's too thin, legally they aren't allowed to turn the rotors.

It's a good idea to swap out the pads at the same time. At 55,000 miles, if you haven't done a front brake job on your car, you're not far off from having to do one anyway.

HR Email Tries to Car Shame Employee, Backfires Reading Time: 3minutesA shaking or pulsating when applying the brake pedal almost always indicates excessive rotor run out or a variation in rotor thickness.

Although not quite accurate, many professionals refer to these irregularities as “warped brake rotors.” Pressing the brake pedal forces a pair of brake pads to squeeze against the disc-shaped rotor, creating the friction needed to stop the vehicle.

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Over time, the brake rotors can develop irregularities, such as excessive run out or a variation in thickness (also known as parallelism). Run out refers to a distortion of the rotor that causes it to wobble side-to-side as it rotates.

Thickness variation, on the other hand, indicates the rotor is thicker in some spots than others. Both concerns can prevent the pads from pressing squarely against the rotor during brake application.

Because the wheel hub also serves as a mounting spot for the disc brake, a loose wheel bearing can lead to excessive lateral run out. In some cases, worn suspension components can cause a shaking while braking.

The sensation may be felt in the steering wheel and/or brake pedal. Pulsation and shaking can occur whenever the pads don’t apply squarely against the brake rotor.

That means worn pads also have the potential to cause shaking when the driver applies the brakes. As you’re coming to a stop, you feel a vibration in the brake pedal.

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You'll want a professional mechanic to inspect your car, but let's run down how your brakes work, and some likely causes of this problem. There are two basic types of braking systems : disc and drum.

Both types of systems have a master cylinder, where hydraulic pressure is created when you press the brake pedal. The pedal moves two pistons inside the master cylinder, which pressurizes the brake fluid.

Have your mechanic visually check the rotors for damage such as cracks, scoring and heat spots, and then measure the rotor for minimum thickness, thickness variation and run out. Other symptoms include a scraping or squealing noise when you press the brake pedal.

Have your mechanic give them a visual inspection, looking for damage such as cracks, scoring and heat spots. The brake rotor is connected to the wheel bearing hub assembly.

A worn wheel bearing that has too much play will cause a vibration when braking. In many cases, the wheel bearing will be an integral part of the hub assembly and won’t be serviceable.

(Source: www.flickr.com)

Typically, worn steering or suspension components will cause a vibration while driving, not just when braking. Solution: Have the car inspected and replace any worn or damaged suspension or steering components.

Even if you don’t feel a problem (or hear one), your brakes should be inspected at least once a year. How often you need to get them replaced will vary depending on your car and your brake usage.

Mia Bevacqua is an automotive expert with ASE Master, L1, L2 and L3 Advanced Level Specialist certification. With 13-plus years of experience in the field, she applies her skills toward writing, consulting and automotive software engineering.

Problem doesn't manifest under any other condition, just braking once warm/hot. Normally I would attribute this to warped front rotors or worn out steering components, but at 18k miles I'm stumped.

Waiting on hip replacement surgery, so rolling around on the concrete isn't at the top of my list of fun things to do. This is my first Nissan, someone please convince me that the dealer didn't sell me a rolled/totaled truck that they fixed up and doctored up a fake CARFAX report.

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My wife even noticed it as a passenger. It is noticeable on level ground but more apparent on a steep mountain grade when braking. In either case it is after the truck has been on the road a while and all b rake components are up to normal operating temperature.

The Titan has gone from Los Angeles area to Vegas twice. Once loaded with furniture, return trip empty, second time towing a trailer with a motorcycle, return with trailer empty.

Each time the truck tracks straight and smooth, steering never wanders or feels loose, no unusual vibrations either. I'm not talking a death wobble, just a very noticeable vibration that shouldn't exist.

My son just arrived from Vegas, he'll be spending the night with friends then returning tomorrow to help me out with the truck. He'll be doing the oil change for me and while he's down there I'm going to have him check out the steering components as well as looking for anything that looks out of whack. Raising the front end and checking the wheels for any wiggle is part of the plan.

Jackpot! Entered “brake judder” and found a slew of replies. I went through 3 sets of OEM rotors on my Titan in less than 100k miles.

(Source: www.britbike.com)

The Power Stop rotor and pad kit is the best brake kit I have used on my Titan in the 12 years of owning it. Yeah, I put PowerS lot rotors and Akron pads on 7 years ago (50,000 miles on them now).

Had a look at the pads the other day when we replaced the front hubs. Yep my 2004 went through three sets of Rotors and brakes until the final fix was put on at 17,000 miles only issue I had with that truck until the day I traded it in with 75,000 miles on it.

Yeah, I put PowerS lot rotors and Akron pads on 7 years ago (50,000 miles on them now). Had a look at the pads the other day when we replaced the front hubs.

Feeling the steering wheel shake when braking can and should make you nervous. Since the 1980s, virtually all vehicles come with front disc brakes as standard equipment.

This heat-friction slows the rotor (and wheel) rotation and ultimately makes the car come to a stop. Worn, rusted, dirty or loose brake pads cannot effectively clamp down on the rotor.

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(Source: www.touchofmodern.com)

Neither can pads contaminated with oil, brake fluid, mud or road salt, or even grease from a sloppy installation. This also leads to the pads dragging on the rotors and overheating, causing them to vibrate when stopping.

Your rotors could be signaling trouble if you feel the steering wheel shaking side-to-side and the brake pedal pulsating up and down when stopping. Rotors will wear unevenly, especially if already below the manufacturer’s minimum thickness specifications, if the heat from braking is not quickly dissipated.

Serious rotor failures can cause the wheels to lock up and you to lose control of your vehicle. Overheated brake pads, as well as overtightened lug nuts, are the main reasons for warped rotors.

Rotors can be resurfaced, but if they’re damaged or worn beyond manufacturer’s specifications, they need replacing. Defective wheel bearings, loose, worn or damaged suspension parts (bushings, springs, struts/shocks, steering linkage, tie-rods) can also cause the steering wheel to vibrate when stopping.

In addition, a defective wheel speed sensor can send misinformation to the computer that will mistakenly activate the anti-lock brake system at any time when stopping. If this happens, it’s time for a trip to the repair shop to diagnose if a suspension part is causing the steering wheel to shake while braking.

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