Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking : 6 Causes & Quick Fixes

steering wheel

Steering wheel shaking when braking can be a serious problem as vehicles get older. If this problem is ignored for a long time, it may become worse. Suspension and steering components are used to control and stabilize any vehicle.

The function of steering in vehicles is to turn and control the vehicle in any direction. But sometimes you may have to face many problems regarding the steering system. For example, the steering wheel shakes when braking.

In this post, you will learn in detail about the reasons for steering wheel shaking when applying brakes, so that you can get rid of such a problem in your vehicle.

Causes of Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking

The main causes of steering wheel shaking when braking are warped brake rotor surfaces or damaged brake calipers. Additionally, there may be worn wheel hubs, damaged bearings, worn suspension components, or incorrect wheel alignment.

Let us know in detail all the reasons behind steering wheel shaking when braking, so that you do not get confused about any other problem when such a problem occurs.

1. Damaged or Bent Brake Rotors

dirty brake rotor

Steering wheel shaking while braking in cars or other vehicles is caused by worn brake rotors. Many times we drive for a long time with excessively worn brake pads, due to which the rotor layer gets worn out and the surface of the brake rotor becomes rough instead of smooth.

This causes the brake pads not to have full grip with the rotor during braking, and the increased friction between the brake pads and rotor during braking can cause the brake rotors to overheat.

Applying a sudden dead brake to extremely hot brake rotors can cause the brake rotors to bend, causing the steering wheel to shake when braking.

2. Bad Wheel Bearing or Damage Wheel Hub

Bad Wheel Bearing or Damage Wheel Hub

Bearings are installed in the wheels of vehicles. So that the vehicle can run smoothly without friction. But sometimes, due to some reason, a wheel bearing or wheel hub may get damaged or broken.

Due to this, the wheel of the vehicle starts to wobble. When the wheel bearing breaks or the wheel hub wears out and the brakes are applied, the wheel of the vehicle does not remain stationary.

Due to this, during the motion of the wheel of the car, this wobble can be felt at the steering wheel. So a bad or broken wheel bearing or wheel hub can cause the steering wheel to move even when the brakes are applied.

3. Wheel Balancing Problem

wheel balancing

If your vehicle has any problems related to wheel balancing, then the steering wheel of your vehicle starts shaking. This problem also occurs when the vehicle is driven in a steep direction due to poor wheel balancing.

Due to bad wheel balancing, the wheels of your vehicle will run crooked while moving, causing the steering wheel to also start shaking. This problem becomes more severe when you apply the brakes.

4. Abnormal Tires Wear


In many cases, due to many reasons, the tires of the vehicle start to wear abnormally or one tire gets inflated in one place, due to which the vehicle starts shaking while moving and this problem starts increasing when the speed is high.

Due to this, you will feel the steering wheel of the car moving. The steering wheel shaking problem occurs even when the vehicle is moving in a straight direction, and the steering wheel shaking problem can also be observed when the brakes are applied.

5. Bad Suspension

control arm in a car

The shaking of the steering wheel of vehicles during braking is also due to the wear of the parts used in the suspension assembly. Because the suspension assembly in vehicles works to maintain the balance of the vehicle, the vehicle does not lose control on rough roads, on turns, during speed, or in the case of braking.

But due to bad suspension, the vehicle and its wheels start shaking at high speeds while moving. Due to which the problem of shaking during motion can be seen in the steering wheel and due to poor suspension, this problem is more common in vehicles during turning and braking. Bad suspension can badly affect the balance and controllability of the vehicle.

6. Incorrect Alignment


Wheel alignment is an essential and important task in cars or vehicles with more than 4 wheels. Wheel alignment keeps a vehicle’s wheels straight from all angles during motion or when cornering.

Due to this, the tires of the vehicle do not move in the opposite direction from each other, which reduces tire friction and the vehicle does not pull to one side during high speed, which helps in maintaining the balance of the vehicle and the vehicle remains stationary when the brakes are applied.

But all these problems can be seen in the vehicle due to bad or incorrect wheels alignment. Due to bad or incorrect alignment, the steering wheel of the vehicle starts shaking during braking.

How To Fix Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking

  • Check brake rotors and calipers and replace with new ones if damaged.
  • Check all steering system components and replace any steering components that are worn or loose.
  • Check the wheel bearing; if the wheel bearing is bad, it also needs to be replaced.
  • Incorrect wheel and tire balancing can also cause this problem. So correct the tire and wheel balancing.
  • Check all the components of the suspension assembly. If any component is damaged or worn, replace it with a new one.

Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving

Common causes of steering wheel shaking while driving include unbalanced tires or bent axles, which can cause vibrations that can be transferred to the steering wheel while the vehicle is moving.

Additionally, damaged suspension components (tie rods or ball joints), warped rotors, or uneven brake pad wear can also cause steering wheel shaking.


Q. How do I stop my steering wheel from shaking when I brake?

When your vehicle’s brake rotors become warped or the calipers wear out, the brake pads will press against an uneven surface when braking, which will transmit vibration to the steering wheel and cause the steering wheel to shake when the brakes are applied. You can easily fix this problem with the replacement of the brake rotor and calipers.

Q. Is it safe to drive with a shaking steering wheel?

Driving with a shaking steering wheel can be unsafe and is never recommended. This may indicate unbalanced tires, worn suspension components, or brake problems. Which may affect vehicle control and cause accidents.

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