17 Reasons Why Car Shakes When Braking at High Speeds

Are you wondering why does your car shake when you hit the brakes? If you have ever faced a situation where your car shakes when braking at high speeds then this guide is perfect for you.

Driving a car is a skill not all can master very straightforwardly, and being safe while driving is the priority of all the drivers and the co-passenger as well. But it is not always that the conditions are favorable. There can be accidents that are genuine and severe accidents, and then there are accidents that occur due to negligence.

One such negligence occurs when you ignore the car shaking signs during braking. Yes, car shaking when braking at high speeds is a normal phenomenon that most of us have faced at least once in our driving journey.

car shakes when braking at high speeds
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But we fail to acknowledge the fact that it is dangerous at many levels, and it needs immediate intervention to prevent further damage to both the car and the driver!

You may ask yourself; Why does my car shake when I brake or how to prevent it from happening in the future! There are several reasons why this occurs, and there are many preventive measures at the same time.

In this article, we will discover more about brake judder, the 17 possible causes of car shaking when braking at high speeds, and other related information about the same! Keep reading to know more…

What is Brake Judder?

In simple words, if you want to know “what is brake judder”, then it can be defined as a sudden jerk or vibration that reverberates throughout the steering wheel when you apply the car brakes. It usually occurs when the brake gets down to low pressure from high pressure in rapid succession.

You will notice that the car shakes when braking at high speeds, and that’s when you tell them that your car brakes are juddering. Generally, it feels like the car is moving to and fro and the sensation of vibration can last longer depending upon the intensity of the jerk.

Now, some of us may have the question – Is brake judder an mot failure?

Yes, a brake judder can be considered an MOT failure. It can happen due to various reasons that include heavily corroded brake discs, worn-out brake pads, warped brake discs, etc.

And when this occurs, you shall detect the issues instantly and find solutions to the problem to prevent further hazards. So, the next time your car shakes when brakes are applied, you can think of it as an MOT failure and brake shuddering as well!

Is It Safe to Drive a Car That Is Shaking When Braking?

The straight answer to the question – is it safe to drive a car that is shaking when braking at high speeds is a NO! But if you want detailed knowledge about the same, you must know some facts about why it is dangerous to drive a car if it’s shaking after you apply the brakes.

Firstly, you must notice the extent of the vibration you face when you apply the brakes. If the vibration is unnoticeable or not too extreme, you can avoid it if you want as there is no significant harm in it.

But if the car shakes when braking at high speeds and the extent of the vibration is severe, you must be worried about it as it is not too safe to drive in such conditions.

There are countless reasons why a car vibrates when braking at high speed, which we shall read in the next section of this article. Subsequently, if you are feeling severe vibration, it might be that your car is in danger and needs immediate intervention or repair to avoid further damages.

So, it is advised you do not neglect or ignore the causes and solutions of car shaking when braking at high speeds to ensure your and your car’s safety in the long run.

You might also like: Why Your Car Smells Like Burning Rubber After Driving Fast?

17 Reasons Why Car Shakes When Braking at High Speeds

This is the most significant part of the article that you must be looking for when you came searching for this article. In this section, we will get to know the 17 reasons why car shakes when braking at high speeds. Keep reading to find out more…

Out of Balance Tires

There are a lot of reasons why your car shakes when braking at high speeds that we will eventually know in this section. The first on the list is out-of-balance tires. It is a common understanding that if the car tires are out of balance, it can cause improper driving every time. What we do not know is that it can be a major cause behind the car shaking when you apply the brakes.

When the tires are out of balance, the car generally shakes at a lower speed rather than while being at a higher speed. For instance, if you are driving the vehicle in a speed range of 80-90 km/h, it is more likely that your car will vibrate when you apply the brakes rather than when driving at a speed range above this!

But thankfully, it is not a big issue to deal with, and it can be repaired or fixed easily. You need to balance the car’s tires properly, and this problem can be solved thus! So, if the car vibrates when braking at high speed, check for imbalanced car tires and fix them or replace them with new ones!

Bad Wheel Alignment

Have you observed your car shaking when braking at high speeds? If yes, then one reason can be lousy alignment issues of the wheels! If your vehicle shudders when driving at a minimal speed of 70-80 km/h, it might be due to bad wheel alignment. Sometimes, people do not understand whether their cars have alignment issues or not!

Well, if you want to check for it, you can drive your vehicle on a possibly empty road (to reduce any risk) at an average speed of 80km/h. You can then leave the steering wheel for a few seconds. If the car goes straight during this time, you can be assured that the wheel alignment has no problem, but if the car goes left and right, you must know that your car has wheel alignment issues.

If the car shakes when brakes applied during this time, it may need repairing. You may have to take the vehicle to an automobile service station and get it inspected fully to understand whether it needs a two-wheel or a four-wheel alignment. This issue is also nothing to worry much about, and thus you can expect it to get fixed easily!

Uneven Brake Rotors

Do you often think- why does my car shakes when I brake or why do I feel the sudden jolt when I brake my car when driving at high speed?

If yes, you must know that there might be some problem in your car that is causing it to shake when the brake is applied. And the cause that we are going to discuss here is uneven brake rotors. This generally occurs when a mechanic, after servicing your car, places the brake rotors unevenly.

When the rotors are not placed evenly, it will result in friction between the brakes or improper functioning of the brakes, and it will eventually result in shaking of the car when the brake is applied while driving at high speed.

And whenever this happens, you must take your car to the mechanic again and check for the uneven brake rotors so that they can be fixed and the problem is dealt with easily! So, the next time you think about what causes vibration in car when braking, do consider uneven brake rotors as one of the prime causes.

Worn Brake Pads

Do you often think- why does my car shake when I brake? It can be because of many reasons why this happens. You have already read about some of the most common reasons why the car shakes when brakes are applied. Now we will get to know the most possible and accurate reason, i.e., worn-out brake pads.

Most of us do not consider the brakes to be an essential part if and when the car shakes anytime. We often ignore the brakes because we think it is the least important thing to bother when we face such issues in our vehicle.

It is true to some extent because usually, the car engine is what is responsible for all the problems in your car. But when it comes to back end or front end shaking when braking at high speeds, you must know that it may be due to worn-out brake pads also.

The brake pads may become flattened or damaged as it is the most pressurized portion of the brakes. Regular wear and tear can cause high pitch sound and lead to shaking as well. So, you must check for such damages regularly and take them for repair at the earliest to avoid further disturbances.

Bad or Stuck Brake Caliper

This section will discuss the 17 reasons why car shakes when braking at high speeds, and we will discuss the number 5th reason now! Well, a bad or stuck brake caliper can also be another cause why your car shakes when you apply the brakes when driving at a higher speed, and the jerk that you feel when you apply the car brakes is different!

Sometimes, you feel the vibration in the front end, and sometimes you feel it on your steering wheel. The latter is generally caused when the brake caliper is stuck or bad! If you do not know how to test whether the problem is in the brake caliper, we will suggest a solution to this.

If you can smell a burning odor when you are driving at high speed and then experience vibration when the brakes are applied, you must know that the problem is in the brake caliper.

To solve this issue and avoid further damages, you must check on your brake calipers after driving 70,000 miles. When you drive your vehicle for a more extended period, it is more likely to damage your brake calipers. So, identifying the problem and solving it is the solution in such cases. Now you know what makes a car shake when braking!

Worn Suspension Components

Do you often feel a sudden jerk in your car while driving at a higher speed or wonder why is my car shaking when I brake even if I am driving at a slower speed? If the answer to these questions is a yes, then there might be some issues with the suspension components of the car.

If this part of the car is worn out, it can cause the car to shake or vibrate when the brakes are applied. For those who do not know, the brake suspension is a major part of the car, and when it starts degrading or damaging, it can cause the vehicle to shake when the brakes are applied at a higher speed.

Although other parts of the car can lead to the car shaking if they become damaged, the car suspension is a significant part of the car that also contributes to the vibration if it is worn out.

There are several causes and solutions of car shaking when braking at high speeds, and it is caused during turning on the suspension; you know where the problem lies and what to do to get a solution!

Air Trapped in the Brake Lines

Are you still wondering why does my car shake when I hit the brakes? Well, this is another solid reason that you should know so that you can get rid of it eventually! If air gets trapped in the car’s brake lines, it can cause uneven pressure on the brake line, and this pressure can also spread across the brake pads and brake calipers.

When this happens, the car shakes at high speeds when braking! Now you may wonder why the car shakes if there is air trapped across the brake lines. When the brake line is filled with air, the pressure it will create when the brakes are applied will not adjust well.

And when the brakes are not applied correctly, it is more likely to lead to jerks and vibrations. Thus, it is advised that you check for any unwanted air on the brake line to get rid of it at the earliest so that your car stops vibrating when the brakes are applied during driving at high speeds.

Out of Round Brake Drums

Have you felt vibration when braking at high speed of late? Does your car start jerking when you apply the brakes during driving at a higher speed? If yes, you must check for reasons as to why it happens!

We have already read about seven such signs and reasons that may be the cause behind such sudden jerks or vibrations. Now we will know the next reason for the same.

The out of round brake drums can cause the car to shake when brakes are applied suddenly after driving for a more extended time. This occurs due to regular wear and tear of the brake system of the car.

And when the brake drums cause inconvenience in driving, it can often create problems! The more time you take to repair it, the more problems it will create in the future. So, as soon as you find out that the brake drums are out of round, you must take the car to a mechanic and do the needful!

Always remember, it is crucial to take action immediately when you find out what causes vibration when braking your car while driving at high speed.

Dry Guide Pins

Are you still willing to know what causes a car to shake when braking? The dry guide pin does! Yes, you read that right! The problem may sound very basic, and you may think that it does need your intervention. But the fact is that even simple wear and tear in the dry guide pins of the car can lead it to vibrate and shake when it is driven at high speed.

As the dry guide pins are part of the brake calipers of the car, a fault in them can create issues with the brakes of the vehicle that can eventually lead to it shaking and vibrating when the brakes are applied while driving the car at high speed.

The problem with the guide pins generally occurs when they are too dirty or dry. In such an instance, there is nothing much to do! You just take out the dried or dirty guide pins, clean them properly, and then lubricate them so that further dryness can be prevented.

So, now you know what does it mean when your car shakes while braking; your car’s guide pins might be dry!

Loose Wheel Bearings

Suppose you found out that your car shakes when braking at high speeds; another strong reason behind that could be loose wheel bearings. When the car’s wheel bearings become loose, it may cause the car to vibrate when the brakes are applied while driving the car at high speed.

The wheel bearings play a significant part in keeping the car at a running pace and avoiding swaying it anyway. But when they become loose or face issues with their fittings, the problem begins.

To detect this problem, you must check on any loud noise coming from your car’s tires or the wheels. When the wheel bearing is damaged, it may lead to uneven wearing of the tires.

In such instances, the steering wheel shakes when applying brakes at high speed and the car also vibrates rapidly. The solution to this problem is to take the vehicle to a mechanic and tighten the bearings, or if the problem is significant, you may also have to change the tires!

Bent Wheel Rims

There are different types of car shaking when braking at high speeds that you need to identify so that you get to know where exactly the problem lies! In this case, if you feel the jerk just behind or underneath your car seat, then you can be assured that the problem is with the bent wheel rims.

The perfect shape of the car tires contributes a lot to the proper alignment and running of the car. But when the wheel rims are bent, it leads to improper shaping of the car tires, which is not circular anymore!

When this happens, the part of the tires may also not touch the ground anymore. If the front end shakes when braking at high speeds, you may understand that the rim is bent at the front wheels. Like this, you can identify where exactly the problem is!

No matter what, you must not delay this issue. Take your car to the car mechanic as soon as you find out about the problem and get the wheel rim straightened or fixed as required to prevent further vibrations.

Low Transmission Fluid

Have you often wondered why my car shakes when I brake? Is it because of default in the car brake system, or is it a fault in the car engine? Beyond these, there are undoubtedly other issues too that need immediate intervention to prevent the further vibrations of the car upon applying brakes.

The presence of low transmission fluid in the car can lead to jerks and vibrations that are unwanted. When the fluid is low, your car won’t be able to generate enough hydraulic pressure.

This will lead to gear slippage, which will eventually fail to create proper acceleration. To know what causes a car to shake when brakes are applied, you must check whether your vehicle moves sluggishly yet achieves high RPMs.

You must understand that the problem lies in the car transmission fluid when this occurs. It needs to get checked soon, and the fluid level must be made optimum so that your car does not face such vibrations and shakes anymore.

Problems with the Axles

Are you still wondering why does my car shake when I brake? Well, the problem could be on your car axles. Sometimes, it goes unnoticed when people have problems with their car axles as they cannot be identified easily because the jerks are so similar to other types of jerks caused by different parts of the car. But there are some signs that can help you figure out that the problem lies precisely with your car axles.

To start with, you may feel vibrations underneath your car accompanied by a rumbling noise, and the vibrations are adequately noticed during acceleration and declaration, tire wobblings that are strange, sluggish driving, etc. These are some signs that say your car axles have a problem and need repairing as soon as possible.

However, there might be other issues too, so you must check on the car properly when you think about why does my car jerk when I brake! Apart from repairing, you must also carry out regular maintenance of the vehicle so that the axles do not get damaged further and can be well prevented.

Bad Motor Mounts

Suppose you experience vibration when braking at high speed, and none of the above-mentioned reasons is justified enough. In that case, you must seek other reasons that provide proper justification for the issue you are facing. And another such reason behind your car shaking or vibrating when brakes are applied may be bad motor mounts.

Though the size of the motor mounts is selectively small and cheaper in cost also, it is evident that when there is a problem in this part of the vehicle, it creates unending suffering for the owner in wheels.

The issues that come alongside experiencing vibrations when brakes are applied due to bad motor mount are various; abnormal positioning of the engine, excessive rattling and vibration of the engine, broken engine hoses or belts, engine damage, etc.

In such instances, you must take quick action to repair the car motor mounts so that you do not face any further damages to either the car or the driver due to them. No wonder if you are thinking of what makes a car shake when applying brakes, you know what to check!

Power Steering Problems

After getting to know about 14 major reasons behind the car shaking when brakes are applied, if you are still asking yourself why does my car shake when I hit the brakes, then this reason might help you figure out why!

The power steering problems cause issues that lead to shaking of the car when brakes are applied during driving at high speed. There is not one problem related to power steering; there are, in fact, many!

To name a few, the power steering can have low fluid, and it can have fluid leaks, it can lead to cracked or peeling hose, steering belt damages, etc. When this happens, it will trigger issues in the car brake system, and the car will give in!

So, whenever such problems occur with your car’s power steering, please do not delay getting it checked and repairing it sooner to avoid further problems.

Not only that, but you must also be active in the proper maintenance of the power steering to prevent it from getting damaged frequently. Thus, if you have been questioning yourself, why does my car shake when I brake at high speeds, you know the answer now!

Clogged Transmission Filter

By now, you already know what causes a car to shake when braking! There are several reasons why a car shakes or vibrates when brakes are applied during driving at high speed. We will discuss one more reason here!

The clogged transmission filter is another significant reason why your car vibrates during braking. When there is clogging on the transmission filter or when the transmission fluid is not clean, it will lead to the removal of lubrication from the internal components of the filter.

When this occurs, many problems may arise due to it apart from just the car shaking during brakes application. And timely detection and prevention are important in such cases. To detect the problem with the transmission filter, you can also check for loud whining noise that would feel uneasy.

So, if you have doubts regarding what makes your car shake when braking, you must check the transmission filter for any clogs or blockages.

Engine Problems

This is the last in the list of 17 reasons why car shakes when braking at high speeds, but this one is very crucial also! More often than not, people fail to recognize that there might be a problem with the car engine when they feel sudden jerks or vibrations after applying brakes while driving for a more extended period.

But it is a fact that if the car vibrates after applying brakes, there can be a problem with the engines. Though it is not a usual case and the engine is not primarily at fault if the car shakes, you must still be aware of the fact that this can be a reason too!

The problem mainly lies with the engine air filters or the spark plugs. And when you detect the problem, repair or replace them immediately to avoid any further disturbances in your car. On average, the life of a spark plug is around 130-160 kms, and if you keep driving beyond this limit, it will eventually affect the spark plug of the car.

On the other hand, if you do not maintain your car engine properly, it will start showing problems that will again lead to the car shaking and vibrating when the brakes are applied during driving at high speed.

Thus, it is advised that you take care of your car engine and maintain it properly to avoid any mechanical issues related to it. So, now when you wonder why is my car shaking when I brake, check for the engine condition!

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Car Shaking When Braking at High Speeds [FAQs]:

No matter how much information you get on the reasons for car shaking, there might still be something that you need an answer for! Like what is the cost of fixing these issues, or can wheel alignment affect braking, etc. And to answer these questions, the following FAQs section is formed! Keep reading:

Can Bad Alignment Cause Vibration When Braking?


One of the most common questions that car owners have is- will a bad alignment cause a car to shake when braking?

The simple answer is a YES!

But you must have more information about the same. When the wheels of the car are not correctly aligned, it may cause the car to vibrate when the brakes are applied.

A right alignment is necessary to make the driving smoother. When the wheel alignment is poor, it will also affect the brake pads of the car and the other car components.

Therefore, a proper wheel alignment of the car is necessary so that the car does not shake when the brakes are applied.

Can a Bad Tie Rods Cause Shaking When Braking?


Another significant question car owners have- can bad tie rods affect braking? Again, the answer is a YES! When the car’s tie rods are in bad condition, it may lead to major vibrations when the car brakes are applied.

Not only the tie rods but improper functioning of other significant parts of the car like the ball joints, wheel bearings, etc., can also lead to the shaking of the vehicle at high-speed braking.

Thus, if you find out that your car is shaking when you apply the brakes, you may well check the tie rods to be sure of their condition.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Car Shakes When Braking?


The most common question that you all must be having is that how much does it cost to fix a brake problem?

It cannot be estimated as a whole because it depends on the reason behind such a condition. The damage of different parts causes the car to shake, and the repair of each part will charge you differently!

Fixing the brake pads might cost you anything between $100 and $300, while repairing the brake rotor and disc issue can cost you anything between $30 to $600. Overall, the average repair cost can go up to $1000 depending upon the type of damage caused!

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

If you have reached this part of the article, you already know the 17 reasons why car shakes when braking at high speeds. It is evident that not all of these reasons can always be avoided, and there is some or other thing that will eventually cause your car to shake when the brakes are applied.

So, what’s the best way to deal with it? Well, you must find ways to deal with these possible reasons for car shaking and prevent them as far as possible to avoid such shaking. If the car shakes when braking at high speeds, you know the reasons behind it. But you must be confused about the best ways to prevent it!

Well, I have shortlisted a few methods that are very effective in fixing the Car Shaking When Braking at High Speeds issue so that it helps you to get rid of such shakes quickly. And my recommendations are…

  • Repair or change the Bad or Stuck Brake Caliper
  • Check for Low Transmission Fluid and fix it
  • Unclog the Clogged Transmission Filter

These are entirely based on my understanding and what I felt was best for fixing the issue if my car shakes when I brake at high speeds. However, it would be best if you found out the exact reason that causes your vehicle to shake and thereby fix it accordingly.

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About Jace

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars and pickup trucks. Applying innovative car care products and installing different latest car accessories are my hobbies. Also, I love sharing my adventurous experience with car lovers.

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