Whether you are stopping the car in an emergency or braking for a stop sign, the vehicle should decelerate smoothly, with no shakes and no pulling to one side or the other. If you notice any unusual behavior when you step on the brake, it is important to have your vehicle checked out by a certified mechanic as soon as possible.
Unusual braking behavior is very unsafe, and it could lead to an accident. If your car is not stopping properly and shaking when you brake, here are some of the things that could cause it.
If You Just Bought Your Car
If you just purchased your car and notice a shaking when you brake, you could have a vehicle that was once involved in a serious accident. Not all sellers disclose the accident history of their cars, and it is important to do your homework before you buy.
If you already own the car and want to keep it, a skilled body shop or mechanic can put things right and make the vehicle as safe as possible. Talk to your mechanic about the shaking – and what to do about it.
Check Your Tires
If your tires are worn, or wearing unevenly, it could effect the way your car handles when it is stopping. If you feel the vehicle pull to one side or shade as you step on the brake, the problem could be with your tires.
Check your tires carefully to make sure there is plenty of tread left, especially on the front if you are driving a front-wheel drive vehicle. Also check the tread wear pattern, since an uneven pattern could indicate a misaligned front end.
Schedule an Alignment
If your tires are wearing unevenly, the culprit is most likely a misaligned front end. If the front end is out of alignment, the vehicle may pull sharply to one side, especially when you brake.
You can test your alignment by looking for a straight stretch of road and carefully taking your hands off the wheel. If the front end is properly aligned, the vehicle should track straight. If it moves to one side or the other, grab the wheel and drive to your mechanic.
Consider a Tune-Up
If the shaking you feel when you step on the brake seems to be coming from the engine, it might be time for a tune-up. A car that runs unevenly or threatens to stall when sitting still might simply need a tune-up to restore it to good health.
That tune-up might include a number of services, starting with changing the spark plugs and spark plug wires. Your mechanic can explain exactly what is involved in the tune-up, and how tuning up the engine could restore your smooth performance.
No one wants to drive a car that does not stop properly, and braking problems are among the most dangerous around. If your vehicle shakes or shimmies when you step on the brake, it is time to head to your mechanic. Your mechanic can help you determine the problem – and more importantly tell you how to fix it.