Why Does My Car Shake When Braking?

Car brakes
There are a number of reasons your Honda—or any car—might start shaking upon braking as you drive around Redmond. So if you’re asking yourself, “Why does my car shake when braking?” you’ve come to the right place. Consider our advice, and if you have further questions, connect with  In this piece, you’ll hopefully walk away with a Honda of Kirkland certified technician.


Why a Car Might Shake

If you’re cruising along the highway and notice shakiness when you hit the brakes to slow down, some potential reasons include:

  • Bent rims
  • Bad CV joints
  • Loose lug nuts

If your brakes are merely making grinding or squeaky noises, you may be facing a different issue. However, a shaky steering wheel when braking, in particular, is often linked to issues with the rotors.

Repairing brakes

Why Rotors Fail

To understand why rotors fail, you should understand how your brakes function. When you press on the brakes, your brake pads clamp down on your brake discs, also known as rotors. In an ideal world, the rotors are perfectly smooth. If you’re steering wheel shakes as you brake, this indicates your rotor is either warped or, more likely, has worn unevenly over time. The latter is something that happens over the lifespan of a car.

Brake pads and disc

How Dangerous are Worn Rotors?

Though warped rotors don’t indicate immediate doom, the sooner you confront the issue, the better. The vibrations caused by warped rotors can create problems in any number of other components in your car, from your calipers to your car’s brake pads. The sooner the problem is addressed, the smaller your bill—or time investment—will be. Even more dangerous than a high bill: the wobbliness could potentially be a hazard as you drive around Woodinville. So for the sake of your wallet and your car’s stability, address this issue if it continues.

Brake repair

How to Fix a Car’s Rotors

If your rotors are bad, you can replace them or fix them. What does fixing a worn rotor entail? If you happen to have a lathe around, you can shave the flat side of the rotor smooth. This fix is temporary though—there’s obviously only so much rotor you can shave before you run out of rotor. If you want, most mechanics can also complete this quick fix for you.

Working on brakes

Our Service Specials

"A" Service Special - Oil Change with Multi-Point Inspection
$10 Off

“A” Service Special – Oil Change with Multi-Point Inspection
In addition to providing top-quality Honda Genuine oil and a Honda Genuine oil filter, we’ll perform a free multi-point inspection. Competitive prices, Honda-trained technicians and Honda Genuine Parts. Why take your Honda anywhere else? Includes replacing engine oil per specifications, assessing and adjusting fluid levels and complimentary multi-point inspection.

0w20 $53.4o with Coupon – Regular Price: $63.4o
5w20 $39.95 with Coupon – Regular Price: $49.95

Valid only at Honda of Kirkland. Up to 4.5 qts. $8.89 extra for 5.7 qt. systems. Coupon must be presented at time of write-up. One coupon per customer, per visit. Not valid with any other offer, promotion or special. Not to be used to reduce outstanding debt. No cash value. Not retroactive. See dealership for details. Void where prohibited by law.

EXPIRES: 04/30/2020
"B" Service Special
$15 Off

Our “B” service special:
oil and filter change, inspect front/rear brakes, check parking brake adjustment, inspect driveshaft boots, tie-rod ends, steering gearbox, gearbox parts, suspension components, brake hoses and lines, all fluid levels, exhaust system and fuel lines.

0W-20: $116.89 With Coupon – Regular Price: $131.89
5W-20: $102.63 With Coupon – Regular Price: $117.63

Valid only at Honda of Kirkland. Prices may vary by model. Plus taxes and fees where applicable. Up to 4.5 qts. $8.89 extra for 5.7 qt. systems. Coupon must be presented at time of write-up. One coupon per customer, per visit. Not valid with any other offer, promotion or special. Not to be used to reduce outstanding debt. No cash value. Not retroactive. See dealership for details. Void where prohibited by law.

EXPIRES: 04/30/2020
Battery Replacement
$15 Off

Have a Honda Genuine battery installed today and drive confidently! Includes our 100-month limited warranty.

Valid only at Honda of Kirkland. Prices may vary by model. Plus taxes and fees where applicable. Please present coupon during write-up. Not to be combined with any other discounts.

EXPIRES: 04/30/2020
Discount on Vehicle Service
$20.00 OFF

Save on vehicle service (including parts and labor)
$10.00 – Discount on service from $49.99-$99.99
$15.00 – Discount on service from $100.00-$149.99
$20.00 – Discount on service from $150.00 or more

Prices may vary by model. Plus taxes and fees where applicable. Please present coupon during write-up. Not to be combined with any other discounts. Coupon not valid for tire purchase or vehicle alignment. Not Valid for Diagnostic Fees.

EXPIRES: 04/30/2020
Brake Fluid Exchange
$85.10

Original Price: $95.10
Coupon Price: $85.10

Honda recommends brake fluid replacement every 3 years. Brake fluid loses its ability over time to absorb moisture from the brake lines. This can result in loss of brake pedal pressure due to a lower boiling point and corrosion.

Prices may vary by model. Plus taxes and fees where applicable. Please present coupon during write-up. Not to be combined with any other discounts. Please refer to your vehicle owner's manual for "0W-20 Oil" vehicles.

EXPIRES: 04/30/2020
Brake Pad Replacement

Front or Rear Brake Pad Replacement w/ Rotor Resurfacing

$35 Off

Valid only at Honda of Kirkland. Prices may vary by model. Plus taxes and fees where applicable. Please present coupon during write-up. Not to be combined with any other discounts. Includes brake pad replacement and rotor resurfacing. Discount does not apply if customer elects to defer resurfacing.

EXPIRES: 04/30/2020

Replace Your Rotors at Honda of Kirkland

For Seattle resident, replacing your rotors is the most effective and long-lasting fix to a shaky steering wheel. If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, have a Honda of Kirkland technician take a look. Our techs are qualified to both diagnose and fix any problems that may arise with your Honda, and we can even help you learn how to enter a Honda radio code, or change the battery in your Honda key fob, and what your Honda warning lights mean. Schedule a service appointment today!


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(425) 827-9300

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12420 NE 85th St • Kirkland, WA 98033

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Today's Hours:

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

Honda of Kirkland 47.6798067, -122.1753462.