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What Causes Brake Shudders?


Have you heard that annoying sound coming from your car when you brake? That is probably not because your car is haunted. It is more likely that something in the braking system has gone awry—and it is time to bring your car in for inspection and repairs.

What Causes The Vibration And Shuddering Sound When Breaking?

The most common cause of a shuddering sound when braking is warped brake rotors. Brake rotors are the large metal discs that sit at either end of your car's wheels and help slow it down as you press on the pedal. They are also massive heat sinks, meaning they absorb a lot of energy from friction between them and the pads that press against them to create friction and slow down your vehicle.
When this friction heats up the rotors too much, they warp just like any other piece of metal would when heated too much—and when they warp, they begin vibrating under pressure from your brakes. This vibrating creates an audible noise as well as a sensation that feels like shuddering or pulsating while you are driving down the road or stopping at a light. If you hear this sound coming from your brakes, it means they need to be replaced!
While there are many causes for this type of vibration, the most common cause is warped rotors. This means that the rotor—the disc-shaped part of the brake pads that touches the wheel—is unevenly worn down and not flat anymore.
The most common causes of brakes vibration are:

  • Worn brake pads or rotors (the part of the wheel that actually stops).
  • Worn or cracked calipers (the part of the wheel that pushes against the brake pads/rotors).
  • Loose or broken bolts attaching parts together.
  • Loose brakes or suspension parts.

What To Do When Your Car Is Vibrating When You Brake?

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to bring your vehicle for inspection as soon as possible. These issues can lead to costly repairs in the near future, so it is always better to catch them early on.
If you need your braking system checked and repaired, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Community Auto today!

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