Car Shakes When Braking

6 Reasons That Cause Cars To Shake When Braking


Every car owner goes through some sort of trouble with their vehicle. This usually occurs when a specific vehicle has been in use for a long period of time; eventually, it is bound to face some issues. One of those issues is when the car starts to shake or vibrate. This problem tends to grow over time and you don’t really hear it creeping up until it’s too late.

The main issue with a shaky car is that even though the solution might be cheap and simple, it could also end up costing a lot of money. You never know what the underlying cause is for the shaky car until the problem is properly diagnosed as soon as it starts.

It might seem a bit frustrating to always keep a lookout for any type of symptoms or signs that appear and could be the reason behind the shaky car. However, in the long run, this habit will pay off. Hence, knowing how to self-diagnose the issue can not only save you some money, it could also save you from all the hassle.

With keeping that in mind, listed below are the six reasons that explain why your car has started shaking or vibrating.

Reason 1 – Issues With The Brakes

If your car shakes when braking then the issue is probably related to the front brake mechanism of your car. Whenever the brakes of a car are applied, it is the front brakes that take the majority of the stress.

There are certain parts that are on the front disc brakes that should be replaced after every other year, like the rotors and the pads. The rotor, which is a round metal disc attached to the wheel, will eventually become damaged from all of the wear and tear.

Moreover, for slowing down a vehicle, pads are present in order to press against the rotor. These pads should be of a certain thickness so that they can work properly. Worn-out pads tend to cause the shakiness of a vehicle. Then there’s the caliper that helps in squeezing the pads against the rotor in order to slow down a vehicle and to stop it.

Furthermore, it also depends on the type of vehicle you own when it comes to replacing the brakes. Generally, they need to be replaced after 50,000 miles; however, there are certain models that last longer. You can check the owner’s manual of your vehicle in order to know when is the best time to replace your vehicle’s brakes.

Whenever you go for an oil change, ask your mechanic to check your rotors and pads’ condition. A professional will be able to better guide you and let you know when you should replace your brakes.


If you are experiencing this issue then the best solution would be to replace your old rotors and pads with brand new ones. Or, you can completely change your brakes and get new ones. A professional mechanic can help guide you better on which option you should choose.

Reason 2 – Issues With The Tires

Tires could be another reason why your car is shaking, depending on the type of shakiness. For instance, if the car shakes at a certain speed then the tires might need their balance adjusted. Or, if the car’s tires are wearing unevenly, hence vibrating, then the car might require tire rotation.


You would have to take your car to the mechanic in order to solve this issue, whether it is tire balancing or tire rotation. In certain situations, it might be better to just replace the tires in order to solve the shaking problem. The mechanic would know what to do.

Reason 3 – Issues With The Axles

The majority of the vehicles come with two axles. One connects the front wheels, while the second one connects the rear wheels. When either of the axles gets dented or bent, that is when the car would start shaking. Plus, if you don’t fix the axle issue soon then the intensity of the shakiness will increase whenever you accelerate.

Moreover, it is best to take a look at the driveshaft and CV joints as well for any potential issues. Worn-out CV joints will let dust plus other debris come in, which will end up damaging the joints.


Bent axles, worn-out CV joints, or the damaged driveshaft should be replaced as soon as possible. This is the only solution to solve the car’s shaking problem.

Reason 4 – Issues With The Engine

The engine of your vehicle consists of certain components that if they were to malfunction, your vehicle will start shaking. They are the engine’s air filter and the spark plugs. Hence, you need to check the connection of the spark plugs. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, spark plugs generally last for almost 80,000 to 100,000 miles.

If the connection of your spark plugs is alright, then take a look at your air filter now. An engine air filter that’s clogged or dirty will stop the flow of oxygen or/and fuel to the engine, which it needs in order to properly run.


If it is the spark plugs that are the cause of your issue, then the ideal solution would be to replace them as soon as you can. If the issue is a clogged air filter then you can clean it yourself, if you know how to, or you can get it replaced completely.

Reason 5 – Issues With The Steering Wheel

If the steering wheel of your vehicle starts to wobble or feels wiggly while you drive, then this can cause your car to shake as well. Plus, it might also indicate that one of the wheels might not be spinning properly. Or the problem could be with the tie rod ends, ball joints, or the wheel bearings.


The best solution would be to take your car to a mechanic and let them examine the steering wheel and its related components in order to see where the problem lies. Most probably, you would need to replace whichever component is causing the shaking with a brand new one.

Reason 6 – Not Enough Air, Fuel, Or Spark

When your vehicle does not receive enough air, fuel, or spark, it tends to shake. Notice the following signs in order to identify if this really is the issue.

For instance, whenever you press down on your accelerator, your car shudders or jerks. Or, when you reach a specific speed, your vehicle will start experiencing ‘detached’ shakiness, as if you drove over a rumble strip. Or, your car might be running smoothly for some time, but it would eventually start to shake on the road.


This is another engine-related problem and the only solution is to take it to a mechanic for proper inspection.

Make sure to watch this YouTube video that discusses some of these problems and their fixes. Plus, it also explains other issues as well that could be causing your car to shake.


These six reasons are just some of the main issues that could be causing your car to shake. There could also be some other underlying condition that you are unaware of. But these issues are some of the major causes that you should consider first.

However, if you aren’t confident with diagnosing the problem yourself, then always go to the professionals. They will be able to guide you much better regarding whatever problem is causing your car to shake.

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