Is it normal for your car to shake when you brake?

Have you ever come to a stop at a red light, only to feel your car shaking when you hit the brakes? This can seem a little unnerving. If your car is shaking when you brake, it happens for a reason. Read on to learn why.

A warped or damaged rotor
If your vehicle has disc brakes, your car is most likely shaking when it brakes due to a damaged rotor. JD Power explains that this is normal, and can be caused by just normal wear and tear. By using your car and applying the brakes, it will push the brake pad into the rotor repeatedly, which will start to slowly wear away at the rotor. For the rotor to warp, this repeated application can heat up due to the friction, which will, in turn, cause the rotor to get hot and warp.

Lack of use
Your brake rotor could also get damaged due to a lack of use, as opposed to too much of it. If your vehicle sits around unused for a long period of time, there's a chance that the brake pad itself could corrode or just collect parts of the brake pad material, according to JD Power. This means when the unused car eventually goes back out on the road, the damaged brake pad will act almost the same as if it were a warped rotor.

If you discover that your brake pads are unsatisfactory or your rotor is warped or damaged, do not continue driving your vehicle. This could become very unsafe and cause your brakes to not work properly. Immediately get your car in for some new brake pads and rotors.

Air trapped in the brake lines
While an old brake pad or a warped rotor are both frequent and typical reasons for your car to shake when you brake, there are other possibilities. The Drive suggests that the reason for your shaky car could be due to air trapped in your brake lines. This could cause your car to shake as you brake because the air that is trapped inside the brake line could produce uneven pressure across the brake calipers and pads.

There's also a possibility that your brake caliper is stuck. The brake caliper could either be stuck clamping the rotor, or it could even be stuck open and not doing its job at all. Either way, this could lead to your car to shake when you hit your brakes. This is because uneven pressure is applied to the rotors as you brake, according to The Drive.

If your car is shaking as you brake, there could be a reasonable explanation for it. However, it is still important that you figure out what the problem is and get it fixed to stay safe on the roads. Greening Testing Laboratories is a fully certified brake testing lab that provides a variety of brake testing services worldwide. Contact Greening for a complimentary consultation.