If you’ve ever experienced your steering wheel shaking when you apply brakes while driving on the highway, then you know how scary and uncomfortable it can be. This problem can be a sign of a serious issue, and it’s essential to diagnose and fix it before it causes any accidents or damages. In this article, we’ll discuss the common causes of steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway and their solutions.
What Causes Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking on the Highway?
There are several reasons why your steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway, and here are some of the most common ones:
Warped Brake Rotors
One of the leading causes of steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway is warped brake rotors. Warping occurs when the rotors get too hot and then cool off too quickly, leading to uneven thickness and shape. This issue can result in vibrations and shaking when you apply the brakes.
Another possible cause of steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway is tire problems. If your tires are out of balance, have worn-out treads or have uneven wear, it can cause vibrations when you brake.
If your vehicle’s suspension system is not functioning correctly, it can also cause your steering wheel to shake when you brake. Damaged shock absorbers, worn-out springs, and damaged control arms can cause the problem.
Issues with your vehicle’s steering components, such as a worn-out steering rack or tie rods, can also result in shaking when you brake.
Loose Wheel Bearings
Loose or damaged wheel bearings can cause a shaking steering wheel when you brake. Wheel bearings help your wheels turn smoothly and should be checked regularly.
Bad CV Joints
If the CV joint, which is responsible for transmitting power from the transmission to the wheels, is damaged, it can cause your steering wheel to shake when you apply the brakes.
Worn-Out Brake Pads
Brake pads play a crucial role in stopping your vehicle, and when they wear out, they can cause shaking when you apply the brakes.
Brake Caliper Issues
If your brake calipers, which are responsible for clamping the brake pads onto the rotors, are not functioning correctly, they can cause the steering wheel to shake when braking.
How to Fix Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking on the Highway
If your steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway, there are several steps you can take to fix the problem, including:
Get a Professional Inspection
The first step is to have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle to determine the exact cause of the problem.
Replace Brake Rotors
If your brake rotors are warped, the mechanic will need to replace them.
If the problem is caused by tire issues, you may need to replace your tires or have them balanced and aligned correctly.
Check and Repair Suspension Components
If the issue is due to suspension problems, you may need to replace damaged components such as shock absorbers or control arms.
Replace Wheel Bearings
If your wheel bearings are loose or damaged, you may need to replace them.
Fix CV Joint Issues
If the problem is caused by damaged CV joints, they will need to be repaired or replaced.
Replace Worn-Out Brake Pads
Worn-out brake pads need to be replaced to ensure safe driving and stop the shaking.
Repair or Replace Brake Calipers
If the issue is with your brake calipers, they may need to be repaired or replaced.
How to Prevent Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking on the Highway
To prevent steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway, you can take the following measures:
Regular maintenance, including brake inspections and tire rotations, can prevent problems that can cause steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway.
Brake smoothly and gradually, instead of suddenly slamming on the brakes. This will reduce the heat buildup and prevent warping of the brake rotors.
Overloading your vehicle can cause excessive strain on the suspension and brake system, leading to steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway.
How much will it cost to fix steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway?
The cost of fixing this problem depends on the exact cause of the issue and the extent of the damage. A mechanic will need to inspect the vehicle to provide an accurate estimate.
How often should I have checked my brakes and tires?
It’s recommended to have your brakes and tires checked at least once a year, or more frequently if you drive frequently or notice any issues.
Can I still drive with steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway?
While it’s technically possible to continue driving with this issue, it’s not recommended as it can be dangerous and potentially lead to accidents.
What’s the best way to prevent steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway?
The best way to prevent this issue is to practice proper braking techniques, avoid overloading your vehicle, and keep up with regular maintenance.
If your steering wheel shakes when braking on the highway, it’s essential to diagnose and fix the problem promptly. The causes can vary, ranging from simple issues such as worn-out brake pads to more complex problems such as suspension issues. Regular maintenance and proper braking techniques can help prevent this issue from occurring in the first place.