Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake? (4 Causes & Fixes)

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It has happened to many drivers and some have adjusted to seeing it as a normal occurrence, yet that’s not it, your car is not supposed to vibrate or shake at any time, whether you’re accelerating or braking. But why does my car shake when I brake?

Truth be told, when your car shakes or vibrates while braking, the possible cause(s) could be from the engine, braking system, tires/wheels, or axle.

The aforementioned parts of a car are mostly where to check when your car tends to vibrate or shake while you apply the brake.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

First things first, when was the last time you drove your car to a mechanic workshop to get it thoroughly serviced?

Car maintenance isn’t only about washing your car regularly and following DIY practices to fix minor issues; it is advisable that once in a while, you take your car to a professional mechanic for proper servicing and diagnosis.

This helps to detect issues earlier so they can be fixed before they turn into serious damages.

Now, back to the question, there are several reasons why your car would shake or vibrate when you match the brake.

You may also experience a more serious shake when you stop the car, probably in traffic. Let’s look into these causes and how to fix them.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake at High Speeds?

Whether you’re on top speeds or normal speed, your car should shake when you apply the brakes.

However, if you do experience such issues while driving, do well to stop driving and check out these components/systems that make your car move.

1. The Braking System is Bad

When we talk about the braking system, we’re talking about the brake calipers, brake rotors, and brake pads.

These are the three (3) components that determine how your car’s braking system would function. A faulty brake caliper can cause engine misfiring, and also cause vibration at high speeds.

A damaged brake pad can cause shuddering or serious shaking when you match the brake pedals while driving.

Come to the brake rotors; when they begin to fail, they can also affect the functions of the brake pads and calipers; thus, your car is likely to shake or vibrate as you match the pedals.

If you confirm that either of these components is the reason for the shaking, the best way to get it fixed is to replace it entirely.

More so, if you can, replace all of them at a go; that is to say, if the caliper was the one that got broken, you should consider changing the brake pads too, during the repair.

A broken caliper must have affected the brake pad it housed; thus, changing only the caliper and leaving the brake pad may still not solve the issue.

2. Your Tires Are Too Old and Worn-Out

If you were able to check your braking system and everything looked okay, then you should check your tires right away.

Yes, when your tires are too old or expired, they can cause vibrations at high speeds, and this can be due to uneven wear or not being well-balanced.

Check to see if all your car tires are well balanced and not worn-out. If one or two of the tires are already expired tires with worn-out threads, that could be the cause of the problem. So, you will need to replace the tires with good ones.

Remember, any time you make adjustments to your tire, you need to take the car to a wheel alignment shop to get them straightened up again, else, you’d likely experience shaking and vibration when you drive.

3. Something is Wrong With The Engine

As awkward as it may sound to you, your vehicle’s engine is also to be suspected to be the cause of the shaking at high speeds.

The truth is, the performance of any automobile is dependent on the engine. There are so many components that make up your car’s engine.

Among all those components, if the spark plugs are clogged, damaged, or faulty, your engine would misfire frequently, and you may experience shaking, too.

Spark plugs help to supercharge the engine to run smoothly, so also other small components found in the engine bay.

Again, do not carry out any DIY practice to fix your car engine by yourself; however, except for if you’re a mechanic.

Engine damage is among the costliest repairs you can even pay for as a car owner; hence, the engine should be given professional attention.

4. Check The Axle

The axle is another important component that can be the chief culprit for the unusual shaking you experience when applying the brakes at high speeds. In modern cars, the axle houses the CV joints, which are covered with plastic bonds.

For quite a number of reasons, these CV joints can get damaged, or the axle itself will bend. When either of these happens, you are likely to experience shakes and vibrations when driving.

If you have checked the engine, tires, and braking system, and they all seem good, then you should come over to the axle.

The position of the axle may differ in different cars, but the function is the same. Apparently, without the axle, your car wheels won’t move.

This component plays a vital role in how your car accelerates and decelerates. You will need a mechanic to help out in fixing the axle/shaft issue that’s causing your car to shake.

What If My Car Shakes When Braking At Slow Speeds?

Well, whether you’re driving at high speeds or slow speeds, it is not normal for your car to shake (except if you’re driving on a rocky path). Whatever makes a car shake at high speed is also to be suspected if the shakes at slow speeds.

In addition, if your car shakes only at slow speeds, the problem may be your brake rotors. However, ensure that you run a diagnosis to ascertain the actual cause of the issue.

Another common scenario is when you notice that your car shakes when braking slowly; this can also be caused by the braking system.

Always ensure that your brake calipers, pads, and rotors are in good condition. If one of them starts showing signs of failure, replace it immediately or you’ll be needing to pay more to change everything if the situation lingers.

Paying adequate attention to your tires, wheels, and braking system would save you from experiencing shaking and vibration as you drive. It is also important to say that these problems can possibly lead to accidents.

How Do I Stop My Car Shaking When I Brake?

The first thing to do is to discover the cause of the shaking; is it a faulty brake rotor, the caliper, tires, wheels, or your engine? When the cause is detected, fixing it becomes much easier.

However, if you’re unable to detect where the fault is coming from, try to get an auto technician or mechanic to help you out.

Once the cause is detected, it is best to replace the faulty component entirely. In most cases, if you repair a broken component, chances are that it’d get broken again – and that could happen sooner than you predicted.

Sadly, there are no failsafe DIY tricks to stop your car from shaking when you brake at high speeds or low speeds. The best solution remains to fix/replace the faulty component.


In conclusion, “Why does my car shake when I brake?” The cause is due to a failing component in the engine bay, wheel area, braking system, or axle.

Once the faulty component is discovered and fixed, apparently, you should stop experiencing the shaking or vibration, regardless of the speed you’re driving at.

More so, there is a need to craft a maintenance routine and stick to it keenly. It would help you to detect issues on time and fix them right away.

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