Why Does my Car Rock Back and Forth When Stopping?

Have you recently been experiencing a rocking or shuddering motion when slowing and stopping your vehicle? This wobbling can most often be attributed to your brake system. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of your car’s brakes and what to do when you suspect an issue.

Frederick Brake Repair

Understanding the Braking System

If you’ve been driving long enough, you’re likely well aware that your vehicle’s brakes need checked regularly and will need replaced throughout the life of your car. There are plenty of small components that help make up a vehicle’s braking system, but we’ll be focusing on the three main components: the calipers, brake pads and rotors. 

The calipers are what hold your brake pads in place. When you press on the brake pedal, the calipers are directed to push the brake pads against the spinning rotors. This slows your vehicle down and will eventually bring your car to a smooth stop. Over time, this repeated action will remove material from both the brake pads and the rotors.

How Regular Wear Affects Your Brakes

Plenty of heat is generated when your brake pads push against the rotors. It is because of this heat that the material that makes up both of these components will wear off over time. The brake pads and rotor discs themselves become thinner and are therefore more prone to warping and uneven wear. Picture a brake pad and rotor tightly pressing against one another. When these parts are still new or in good condition, you’ll have one smooth surface sliding against another smooth surface. That’s good! 

Now picture the same interaction, but with either the brake pads or the rotors showing uneven wear. The smooth surface pressed against the uneven surface isn’t ideal for your braking system and often causes a rocking or wobbling motion when the brakes are applied. If both the brake pads and rotors have too much or uneven wear, the effects can be even worse. It’s always best to have your reliable brake repair shop check out your braking system whenever you’re experiencing this rocking motion.

Common Symptoms of Brake Issues

Your brakes are vital to your safety while driving, so it’s important to know the additional signs and symptoms of brake problems that may occur. If you notice any of the following, bring your vehicle into a professional Frederick, MD brake repair specialist as soon as possible:

  • A lit brake warning light
  • Squealing or grinding noise when applying the brakes
  • Vibration or scraping
  • Soft or Loose brake pedal
  • Burning smell while driving

Do You Need Brake Repair in Frederick, MD?

If you experience an issue with your vehicle that only seems to be present when you apply pressure to your brake pedal, there’s likely a problem with one of the many components of your car’s braking system. Diagnosing the exact issue on your own can be difficult, time-consuming, and even dangerous if you don’t have the proper expertise. 

At Ken’s Automotive & Transmissions, we’ve been helping drivers with brake repair and vehicle maintenance in Frederick, MD since 1968. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get your brakes in tip-top shape. 

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