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Skitzic 03-23-2009 10:56 AM

Vibration While Breaking
Okay this problem has been pestering me for quite a while now and I am getting irritated.

I sometimes have a vibration in the steering wheel when I break. When I first noticed it, I figured rotors. I looked at them, saw no problem...had someone else look at them, said they looked fine, had another person look at them and they said they look fine.

It's not all the time, and it happens while going different speeds at different times in different weather. I'm still quite a while away from needing to replace the rotors, and I am at a loss of what to do. I poked around a bit and found nothing. I had it checked out (2 inspections I had them look at it, they found nothing. I had my buddy look at it, and he found nothing. I had another buddy look at it and guess what he found...nothing).

It's driving me up the wall! AH!


snwchris 03-23-2009 11:03 AM

Hmmm maybe Ball Joints or Hub Assembly.

To check the Ball Joints jack up the tires off the ground and if you grab the tires by the top & bottom to push & pull, see if theres any abnormal movement in them.

jpdocdave 03-23-2009 11:11 AM

how are you checking rotors? you can't tell anything by looking at them, unless they are so bad they look like a record or something. they are probably a little warped, and its just showing up at the right conditions and heat.

the only way to know is put them on a lathe, and also measure with a mic. take a day , bring them to a machine shop, and have them measured and turned if you think you have a lot of life left on the brakes. if the brakes are getting low, replace it all.

not saying you did, but this is a main reason not to just slap pads on a vehicle. down the road you run into this.

thaduke2003 03-23-2009 01:14 PM

Also, it's often as not the pads- if they're wearing unevenly for any reason. The BEST solution is to replace pads and rotors, unless the pads have wear indicating shot/damaged calipers- then do the calipers too :) Mark W.

first timer 03-23-2009 01:21 PM

you might want to make sure the tires are balanced and on the money but my guess would be rotors also as stated above you cant tell anything by looking at them other than the fact that they are grooved real bad and need replaced.:banghead:

dj_chizzle 03-23-2009 05:32 PM

I had a similar problem and a tire balancing made my vibes go away when braking.

rrich 03-24-2009 12:09 AM

Jack up the front end. Rotate the wheel by hand - if the rotor has excessive runout, you'll probably feel it. If not, have someone lightly press on the brake pedal while you rotate it. Feel it? If yes, the rotor isn't running true.

While you are at it - notice if the tire is round - many aren't.

Brake lathes often cause rotors to have excessive runout - the "off the car" lathe mounts it with cones, not very accurate, not repeatable. Watch a rotor being turned - he'll brag about how much runout it had but he fixed it.
Then have the guy completely dismount it from the cones, then chuck it up again -- notice how much it has now. Maybe less than before, maybe more.

The only way to eliminate runout is with an "on the car" lathe or grinder.

Don't let idiots tell you that new rotors need to be turned. They'll tell you their $3000 machine is more accurate than the multi-million $ machine that made them.

jpdocdave 03-24-2009 07:17 AM

this is true, machining rotors off the car kinda sucks. esepcially now how cheap they are made anyway.

98% of brake jobs get new rotors these days everywhere you go. the ones that don't end up coming back in 6 months to a year.

daanbc 03-24-2009 07:49 AM

My guess=rotors. When you start braking and fell the vibe, try letting up on the brake peddle and use your emergency brake handle. This will let you know if its the front rotors or back drums. Its rare to have rear drums un-even but it can happen.

thaduke2003 03-24-2009 07:50 AM

^ Agreed. Off-the-car lathes are going the way of the dinosaur for everything but big, HD truck rotors. Turning rotors now is often not much less than replacing the rotors, and comebacks take time, so often, techs will say the rotors are shot to avoid the headache (many service managers will encourage, or at least not discourage, this behavior). I know I only ever use a lathe for HD's. Besides, new rotors are better for you anyway :) Mark W.

nater344 03-24-2009 07:52 AM

Have your wheels balanced. An unbalanced wheel (or bent wheel) can cause steering wheel vibration.

jp'rs_peep'rs 03-24-2009 05:30 PM

How about worn shocks?


thaduke2003 03-24-2009 06:44 PM

Wheel imbalance and worn shocks "SHOULD" show up in other situations. Wheel imbalance would be pretty constant, as would shock wear. They may become more noticable in certain situations- wheel imbalance would get worse with speed, and bad shocks would be worse during hard cornering, braking, or acceleration. A problem that occurs only during braking is most likely in the brakes themselves- pads, rotors, or the pistons- Mark W.

ironman01 03-25-2009 04:17 AM

Get your rotor machined
I had exactly the same problem and went through all the same simple steps like balancing wheels, checking for abnormal bearing wear etc, but at the end of the day it was a warped rotor. I got it machined and put in a new set of pads and it was all fixed. I hate to think how unsafe it was before doing these repairs. This was all done on my 2006 Wrangler with about 6,000 miles on the clock. I hope this helps.

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