Automotive

Slight vibration when braking

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  • Feb 25th, 2011 9:52 pm
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[OP]
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Mar 17, 2004
11327 posts
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Mountain View, CA

Slight vibration when braking

I recently noticed some ever so slightly vibration at the steering wheel when braking from high speed (not necessarily slamming the brake. But just general slow down from approximately highway speed). Does it mean

a) the brake is going;
b) alignment is getting out of whack somehow;
c) tire problem; or
d) or a whole lot more that I need to worry about?

Again, it's some slight vibration that I don't think it's a major safety concern so I will likely bring it up to the mechanics during the next oil change (about 1500 miles or 1.5 month to go).

Thanks ahead
21 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 13, 2004
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Toronto, Ontario
Probably something normal like your Rotors are warped.

Could even be ice/snow build up around your tires/brakes. As long as it does not get much worse you should be safe to wait until your next oil change just take it to a trusted mechanic or else some place will for sure take advantage and replace everything just because you may not know any better.
0_o
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Deal Addict
May 16, 2009
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What's your vehicle? But in most cases, shuddering or vibration while braking at high speeds is usually caused by brake issues, most likely warped rotors. Our Dodge Caravans after they hit 40,000km on usually start having brake issues and thus needing a brake job.
Sr. Member
Aug 1, 2008
985 posts
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GTA
Yup, most likely warped rotors if the vibration is only there when braking. If it gets worse it could feel a bit more like pulsating. How much mileage on your car?
Newbie
Jan 26, 2011
3 posts
1 upvote
GTA
Most likely warped rotors. They don't make rotors like they used to anymore. Nowadays when you change brake pads, you might as well change the rotors as well. Brand new after market rotors from Crappy Tire are like $25 each.

B
[OP]
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Mar 17, 2004
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Mountain View, CA
Thanks a lot for the replies.

Snow/Ice problem is out of question. I'm in the Bay Area and the car has never seen any snow. :)

It's a 2007 Mazda 5. Bought it used about 4 months ago at 32000 miles. Had 1 oil change at 33000 miles and scheduled for another one at around 34500-35000 or so.
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May 10, 2005
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NDman wrote:
Feb 24th, 2011 12:40 pm
Thanks a lot for the replies.

Snow/Ice problem is out of question. I'm in the Bay Area and the car has never seen any snow. :)

It's a 2007 Mazda 5. Bought it used about 4 months ago at 32000 miles. Had 1 oil change at 33000 miles and scheduled for another one at around 34500-35000 or so.


You have not mentioned how many miles on those pads. If it is the same as the car, then 33,000 is a good life for pads. You could just be experiencing worn pads. Have them inspected during your next service (which is coming up soon). If they are down to the point of needing replacement at the same time get them to resurface or turn the rotor to ensure trueness.
No big deal, a very slight vibration under light braking pressure is not a safety issue.
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[OP]
Deal Guru
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Mar 17, 2004
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Mountain View, CA
Looking at the records provide from the previous owner, the original pads had never been changed. I suppose it's reaching the end of its life then. Thanks
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NDman wrote:
Feb 24th, 2011 1:51 pm
Looking at the records provide from the previous owner, the original pads had never been changed. I suppose it's reaching the end of its life then. Thanks

Depending on price it may be better to just replace the rotors as well instead of resurfacing them.
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[OP]
Deal Guru
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Mar 17, 2004
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Mountain View, CA
I guess the take home is that it doesn't seem to be a serious safety issue on hands and I'll definitely bring it up to the mechanics next time when it's up for an oil change.

Thanks for the help, everyone!
Sr. Member
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Aug 13, 2006
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Vancouver
my mazda 5 2007 also had warped rotors, you're not alone OP and i had less than 20k KM when it happened.
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May 16, 2009
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KevC wrote:
Feb 24th, 2011 2:16 pm
Wow. It's amazing how many people still think warped rotors still happen.

It could be a ton of things. I'd say take it to a mechanic you trust, he/she may be able to point something out on a hoist.

Some suspects may be brake pads, tire pressure, wheel off-balance, alignment, ball joint/tie rod/control arms.

Tell that to my two Dodge Caravan's sitting at shop with 40k km's on them. Both need their rotors machined.
[OP]
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Mar 17, 2004
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Sorry to hear about your stories, kyoshiro and ThePointblank. But it does make me feel a tad better. :razz:
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Jun 11, 2005
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NDman wrote:
Feb 23rd, 2011 11:49 pm
I recently noticed some ever so slightly vibration at the steering wheel when braking from high speed (not necessarily slamming the brake. But just general slow down from approximately highway speed). Does it mean

a) the brake is going;
b) alignment is getting out of whack somehow;
c) tire problem; or
d) or a whole lot more that I need to worry about?

Again, it's some slight vibration that I don't think it's a major safety concern so I will likely bring it up to the mechanics during the next oil change (about 1500 miles or 1.5 month to go).

Thanks ahead

It sounds like the front rotors are warped. I would look into replacing them rather than having them machined. If you machine them you are making them thinner more likely they will warp again. I would also replace the pads at the same time. I would have them looked at sooner rather than later because under normal conditions its minor pulsation but under panic stop you want full braking power, it could be the difference between stopping and hitting something.
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