Q: Hard braking causes steering wheel to shake

asked by on

It started when I was descending a mountain through some windy roads that meant hard braking into sharp curves. When I press the brake hard, the steering wheel starts to "shake". What I mean by shake is that it rotates back and forth (about 5-10 degrees each direction) very quickly. It is too strong for me to hold the steering wheel in place. The phenomenon only happens when I brake. It does not happen at lower speeds (<40mph). I only feel it in the steering wheel, there is no sound associated with it, and I don't smell anything.

I think my brake rotors are warped, can you confirm?

My car has 26000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

It seems that you may be correct. I am here to help and hopefully find your issue. Find a road where you can get up to around 30-40 miles per hour and lightly press on the brakes. Press on them enough to where you will stop within 100 yards, so not too hard. Hold steady pressure and see if at some point you feel the brakes let off and come back again. If this happens the you will know you have warped rotors. I would suggest replacing your pads and rotors at this point. However, don’t stop there. Let’s look under your hood. Is your brake fluid low? If so, fill it. Let’s look at your power steering fluid and fill it up if it is low. Make sure you use the correct fluid. You probably want to jack your car up for these next steps. Let’s look at your steering components, do you see any torn boots on your upper or lower balljoints? Look at your tie rod ends and see if they are dry or torn, and then we want to look at the rotors now. Do you see any excessive wear on your rotors? Run your finger nail across them, did your finger stop at some point or do they look excessively rough? If so, I would again replace the rotors and pads on the front. I hope these few things will help you find your problem and get your car back to where you feel a little more safe again. If you need help replacing the rotors, I recommend having a certified mechanic from YourMechanic come to your home or office.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Hard braking causes steering wheel to shake

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: Keep getting Battery saver mode on my message screen and i replaced the battery like the dealer said.. message came back on?

Hello. A battery saver mode light can sometimes be set off by an issue with the battery, but it is also often set off if a problem occurs with the alternator, such as low or excessive output from a failed...

Q: Power steering stops working at low speeds

The slower the vehicle is moving, the harder the power steering system has to work. So if the power assist is failing at slower speeds, the more common issue is either a faulty pump or a serpentine belt that is...

Q: My vehicle runs or idles rough. I was told that is normal, is it? And what are the signs of the transmission going out?

With a vehicle as new as yours, the likelihood of a transmission issue would be fairly slim unless damage has been done. The clanking and the rough idle may be the cause of the jerking motion. You should turn your...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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...
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...