Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car vibrates when braking on a hill.

asked by on

When I apply my brakes while driving down a hill, the car starts to vibrate. It only occurs when I'm driving down a hill on the freeway. Is it time to get my brakes replaced, or is this pretty normal for steep highway hills?

The front brake rotors on this car is common to get warped causing the vibration you feel. When you are going down the hill it is putting more stress on the brakes and will tend to heat the rotors more. The warped rotors are felt more on a downhill grade and will only get warped worse till you will start to feel it all the time. If you feel it in the steering wheel then it is in the front brake rotors. If you feel it more in the seat of your pants then it is in the rear brakes. It could be felt in both and would be in both the front and rear brakes. I recommend you have a mechanic like one from YourMechanic to inspect your brakes for you.

Was this answer helpful?

The vibration that you are feeling is coming from the brake rotors being warped. This can happen over time with the rotors due to normal wear and tear. Applying the brakes going down hill makes the rotors get warmer than they usually do. Heat causes metal to expand and when this happens it makes the warpage bad enough that you can feel the shaking through the car when braking. Once the rotors cool down the warpage is less noticeable. Usually rotors can be machined so the rotors are flat again. It is possible that the rotors may be too worn, or too thin, to machine. I would ask for help from one of the mechanics at YourMechanic so they can come to you and check your rotors. Once they do that they will know whether or not your brakes need to be replaced or machined.

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

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 gear does not change and the speedometer is not working as well. what can I do please.

There is the possibility of a speed sensor failing. If the vehicles computer cannot calculate the speed, it will not perform correctly. Consider consulting a mechanic to inspect the gear shifting issue in person in order to get an accurate...

Q: Malfunction indicator lamp is on!

Code P2647 stands for Rocker Arm Oil Pressure Switch Circuit High Voltage. This switch is part of the the variable valve timing (VETC) system. The powertrain control module (PCM) activates an oil control solenoid to charge/discharge the hydraulic circuit of...

Q: Fluctuating RPM gauge when going up hills

Hey there. It's hard to tell without further information. Automatic transmissions rely on solenoids and electronic sensors to shift. If these sensors have failed, the symptoms would be similar to yours. Issues with your fuel system will also produce similar...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...