Reasons My Car Shakes When Braking at High Speeds

So you’re driving on a highway at top speed but then have to brake suddenly due to unavoidable circumstances. Normally, this doesn’t have to be a big deal especially if your car is in optimal condition. However, that is not the case this time as your car shakes strangely that it worries you.

What’s the fuss about it today?

Well, the following are some of the main reasons your car shakes when braking at high speeds.

Tires that are out of balance

Tires that are out of balance can cause significant vibrations at high speeds usually between 50-70mph. A misalignment of the tires will cause a vibration in the steering wheel. To solve this issue, get a professional mechanic to balance them as soon as possible.

Warped brake rotors

A car has rotors on both the front and rear axles. These rotors can cause the car to shake if they are bent, heavily rusted, or have significant variations in their thickness. Usually, it is the steering wheel that shakes if the front rotors are faulty. Vibration occurs when the flat pad comes into contact with the rusted or bent rotor, disconnects and recontacts with the rotor continuously. To stop this problem, you can either repair the faulty rotors or get them replaced altogether. However, should you decide on having them replaced, here are a few things to consider;

  • When replacing the rotors, replace the pads too since they are not expensive; if anything, you’ll still be paying for the labor charges.
  • Consider buying durable rotors and not necessarily the cheapest ones for extended service.
  • Most manufacturers recommend bedding in your brakes after installing new rotors and pads.

Wear and tear

There are several parts of a car that wear out over time and can cause vibrations when you are braking at high speeds. They include ball joints, tie rods, upper strut bearings and shocks. For example, ball joints keep the suspension steady when driving. The tie rods that run between the steering rack and the steering knuckles tend to get lose over time. All these parts therefore need to be checked and replaced when looking to fix this problem.

Defective shock absorbers

When shock absorbers are without their damping effects, then you’re basically bouncing on the springs. This way, every imperfection on the road or small bump will be felt. Shock absorbers enable the tires to remain in contact with the road surface throughout a journey thereby improving the cars stability and effectiveness of braking. If these parts wear out or are faulty, then these vibrations will be felt strongly when braking since the tires are not maintaining enough contact with the road.


You don’t need to keep worrying about car shakes when driving at high speeds once you’ve sorted out the issues discussed above. If you are not great with tools, then a visit to a certified mechanic to assist you in troubleshooting all these problems.

Happy driving!

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