Q: Heavy vibration when braking above 40 mph. Also vibrates in the steering wheel

asked by on

I'm experiencing a lot of vibration in my car above 40 mph - some vibration from 20-30 mph. It's constant and also occurs significantly in the steering wheel when I brake while going high speeds. I had the brake pads checked and they have 9 mm left, so I don't think it's a brake problem. I've heard that this can be a result of a wheel balancing issue but I just wanted to get another opinion.

My car has 214000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This may be a variety of things, such as wheels and tires out-of-balance, poor alignment, worn or failing wheel bearings, worn or failing control arm bushings, or worn or failing suspension components.

A wheel bearing will usually fail due to pitting or small damage on the surface of the rollers or the bearing race. Both the surface of the rollers and the race is precision machined to tight tolerances and highly polished to allow the rollers to pass easily over the race with the addition of bearing grease for lubrication and cooling. Over time, the bearing will wear slightly, allowing microscopic pieces of metal into the grease.

Bearing noise can sound a lot like a brake pad dragging or grinding. It can also sound like whirring, whining, or humming depending on how much sound deadening material your vehicle has in it. Bearing noise will always be dependent on vehicle speed; meaning that, as you speed up or slow down, the noise should change frequency or loudness.

Cornering may affect the noise from a damaged front wheel bearing and is usually more pronounced as you make turns. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to inspect the vibration problem and proceed with the needed repairs.

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. Heavy vibration when braking above 40 mph. Also vibrates in the steering wheel

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: Jeeps stalls at traffic lights - 1979 Jeep CJ5

From the description it almost sounds like an air/fuel mixture issue. Possibly caused by unmetered air being sucked in at closed throttle. The vacuum system should be checked along with the intake manifold gasket. If no leaks are obvious, a...

Q: Metal-on-metal sound from front of car

It sounds like the pads are grinding the rotorLook through the wheel. Take note of the brake pad thickness. See if there is approximately 2mm of pad surface remaining (about the thickness of a nickel). If possible look at the...

Q: Loud steering that only makes noise when I turn

Noises can be annoying and bothersome. Diagnosing a noise is a hands on job. With so many items involved in driving and turning, it is hard to say what the specific cause could be. The possible items involved are the...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.