Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Brakes shake the car, what makes that happen?

asked by on

The steering wheel on my 2007 Camry XLE (V6 3.5L, automatic, 70k miles) shakes when I brake going 50+ MPH. Toyota has twice turned the rotors and changed brake pads at no cost to me (even outside of the warranty period) and it fixes the problem for a short time, then it comes back. I'm tired of going to the dealer. How do I get this fixed for good?

A: I can understand the frustration with this ...

I can understand the frustration with this problem and to assist with fixing the concern, it is best to understand why we see the issue re-occurring. Disc brake rotors that have been resurfaced are more susceptible to being overheated. When you put pressure on the brake pedal and begin to apply the brakes, the surface of the brake pad mates with the surface of the brake rotor to slow down the vehicle. When this happens, heat is generated and some of the material from the brake pad is transferred to the rotor. Areas of the resurfaced rotor can become more heated than other areas, called hotspots, and cause more material from the brake pad to adhere to the rotor. This creates an uneven surface for the brake pad to grab the rotor and in turn transmits a pulsation to the steering wheel. The solution to your vehicle’s problem is pretty straight forward, have a certified technician replace the front disc brake rotors and disc brake pads. In addition to replacing these parts, it’s also important to perform the repair properly, such as removing any rust and debris from the surface of the hub that meets the disc brake rotor. Any rust and debris here can prevent the two surfaces from mating evenly and transmit vibrations to the steering wheel upon braking. Properly lubricated calipers slide bolts will allow the caliper to freely move as needed without binding which can lead to unnecessary vibrations. Using a torque wrench to tighten each lug nut to factory specifications and in the proper tightening sequence will keep the rotors evenly secured between the hub and the wheel. Over torqued lug nuts can distort the position of the rotor which, in turn, can transmit vibrations.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: The key easily turns from lock all the way to the right with no resistance

The problem is not the ignition key cylinder but the ignition switch. If the internal steering column mechanism is broken, then it will not turn the ignition switch. The ignition switch will have to be removed to see if the...

Q: Car misfires after distributor, rotors, plugs, plug wires replacements. 1999 GMC Savana 3500

Although the person who serviced your vehicle the first time did not repair the issue, I think he might be correct about the fact that it could be an intake manifold gasket or a fuel pump issue. You may...

Q: Had to change clutch need info how to put all back together

In order to give the information that you need, it will take more than just telling you. As a mechanic, when I take something apart, I make notes and mentally picture where everything goes back together. An experienced mechanic should...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.