Why Does My Jeep Shake When I Brake?


Why Does My Jeep Shake When I Brake?

You’re driving down the highway and all of a sudden you see that familiar red glow of brake lights. The cars ahead have come to a complete stop and there is traffic built up for as far as you can see.

You hit the brakes hard to come to a stop and then you feel it. Your Jeep is shaking while you are braking. You come to a stop but not without being startled by the amount of noticeable shaking there was. Why is this shaking happening when the brakes are applied?

Jeeps, just like most vehicles, can have several factors that contribute to a shaky stop when you press hard on the brakes on the highway or faster speed situations.

Most of the time you feel the shaking vibration in the steering wheel. Though you could feel it in the brake pedal as well. If it’s really bad, passengers can feel the vibration as well.

There are some things to check or change on the vehicle when something like this happens:

  • Rotate the tires.
  • Balance the tires.
  • Tire alignment.
  • Ensure the correct installation of new tires and parts.
  • Check rotors for warping.
  • Check brake pads for wear.

Checking and fixing the above items can give you peace of mind the next time you need to make a hard stop at high speeds. It’s important to feel safe in a vehicle so addressing these issues sooner than later is crucial for yourself and other drivers around you.

Don’t put off getting something like shaking when braking looked at. It could get worse which could be a safety issue.

Tires, Rotors, and Brake Pads

Your tires, rotors, and brake pads play an important role in how your Jeep stops. These parts can be affected by numerous things such as hitting a large bump at high speeds or normal wear from driving and braking.

How often and the way you drive also can affect these car parts. If you’re heavy on the brakes when stopping, you’ll likely go through the rotors and brake pads sooner than later.

Let’s take a deeper look into these parts and how shaking can happen as they wear. 

Tires

The tires on a vehicle are the only part that comes into contact with the road when in motion. Unfortunately, the road is not always a friendly place for tires.

When driving regularly, they come into contact with poor road conditions, potholes, train tracks, bumps, and debris. It’s next to impossible to avoid all bumps and bad road conditions. That’s why it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance on your vehicle.

The actual tires on your Jeep have several components and requirements to keep them in good working order. The tire is the actual rubber treaded part that touches the road. Here are a few things you can do on the tire level to stop the shaking:

  • Rotate the tires. Tires will wear over time and can wear uneven on each tire. This can cause shaking when braking. It can be helpful to rotate the tires so they wear in more of an even pattern over time. Check with your tire manufacturer or service center to see if they have a suggested number of miles to rotate your tires.
  • Balancing the tires. The weight of most tires is not symmetrical. Meaning the bottom of a tire might be slightly heavier or lighter than another side of the tire. When this happens, the tire needs to be balanced by adding weight to the side that needs it. This is sometimes done with the tire and the wheel combined. Shaking can happen when the tires are not properly balanced. This is also something that might need to be done more than once during the life of the tire.
  • Tire alignment. Though this isn’t something done to the actual tire itself, it does affect the angle of the tire when it touches the road. If the tire is hitting the road at a poor angle the tire will wear out one side faster than the other. This adjustment is done by first seeing how off the angle of the tire is compared to a few different points. Then the tire is adjusted using a variety of different items added so the tire has less of an angle when it touches the road. This type of adjustment would best be done by your mechanic or dealership service center. They have the appropriate tools and devices to efficiently work on this.

In addition to the above, it’s important to make sure tires are installed correctly with the correct parts required for the model of Jeep you drive.

The right size tire and parts used should be installed so the Jeep runs how it is supposed to. The wrong part can have a poor effect on the performance of your Jeep.

Replacing your tires when they need to be replaced is also a good practice. Many visual clues show you if you need to replace your tires. Check with the manufacturer to see when they recommend replacing the tires.

Rotors

  • Rotors come into contact with the brake pads when the brake pedal is pressed to make the car come to a stop. This action happens every time the brake is applied without exception. If you brake forty times in a single trip, then the brake pads are rubbing on the rotor for hundreds of rotations to stop the car. The friction between the brake pads and the rotors causes heat. The heat over time can cause the warping of the rotors. When the rotors get warped, they can cause shaking when you go to stop at higher speeds since the brake pads are not coming into contact evenly with the rotors. The best way to remedy this would be to replace the rotors.

Brake Pads

  • Brake pads are small but important parts of your Jeep and critical for braking. This is the part that comes into direct contact with the rotor when you press the brake pedal. The brake pads will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. It is a fairly common car part to replace. It’s best to replace them before they need to be replaced. If you wait too long to replace brake pads you might start to experience shaking since the pad is worn too much so it can’t get a good hold on the rotor. You may also hear squeaking from the brake pads if they are due to be changed.

Brake pads and rotors are essential to keep your Jeep’s braking system in good working condition. They can help stop you from getting into a bad situation like an accident.

Check with your mechanic or service center to see how often they recommend replacing the brake pads and rotors. This is helpful to know so you won’t be surprised when you bring your Jeep in for a routine oil change then come to find out you need new brake pads and rotors.

Avoiding road obstructions could help prevent some of the issues that could occur that make your Jeep shake during braking. Not all potholes can be avoided but being more cautious can help prevent damage from happening sooner than it needs to.

Talk to Others

When you’re ready to have some of these parts replaced on your Jeep, talk with friends, family, or coworkers who have had similar issues. It’s better if they have the same car as you.

They may have had experience with the issue and can guide you to a trusted service center for great service. You might also help them be aware of the issue if it happens to them later on so they can be better prepared.

Check with Dealerships for Recalls

Call your local Jeep dealership to see if there are any recalls for your Jeep. You might be covered under the recall to have the issue fixed at no additional cost to you.

Make sure they have the correct model, and year of your vehicle so they can advise if there are any recalls. It might be good practice to check on recalls occasionally with the dealership so you can keep the vehicle up to date and in good working order. 

Safety with Maintenance and Service

Safety is important when it comes to cars and driving. It’s important to speak with your mechanic or service center and let them know what’s happening with your vehicle when you bring it in. Don’t delay bringing your Jeep in for service when something like shaking occurs.

Your service professional will likely have a plan in place to remedy the shaking issue. It could be a simple solution that could cost little to fix. But if left unchecked over time it could become a very large problem with many different parts to fix and replace.

Keep track when the issue occurs and try to be as descriptive as possible when you bring the vehicle in for service. The more information you can give, the better they will be able to narrow down the problem.

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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