If you own a BMW, especially a 3 series BMW, you may observe that your steering wheel vibrates or shakes each time you hit the brakes. Sometimes, you may feel the pulsations in the brake pads too. As the driver, each time your car shakes when your brake, it may not only be annoying, it can make you nervous as well. A vibrating vehicle can interfere with the performance of your car and it is recommended you get it fixed once you begin to notice the vibrations.
How do the Braking and Steering Systems Work?
The braking and steering systems are two very vital systems in a car. While the brakes are designed to slow down the car to bring it to a controlled stop, the components of the steering system are designed to give the driver control over the direction they want to move the car in. Major components of the braking system include the brake rotors and the brake pads. For the steering and suspension system, the main components include the steering wheel, steering column, gearbox and wheel bearings.
The brakes are connected to the steering system via the brake rotors and the wheel bearings. Thus, if any of these components fail, it could affect other components of both systems. Braking is supposed to be smooth, so if you feel vibrations in your car when you brake, that is a warning sign that there is something wrong with your vehicle. Sometimes, the vibrations may also come with a squealing or scraping noise. The braking and steering systems are vital to the safety of your vehicle and you should get your car to an auto repair shop if you begin to feel any vibrations in your car.
What Causes the Car to Vibrate When Braking?
There are a number of reasons why your BMW may shake each time you apply the brakes. If the brake rotors of your car are wobbly, they may not be perfectly aligned with the brake pads. Thus, each time you step on the brake, the brake pads which are supposed to parallel to the now wobbly rotors will slip. You will feel this as vibrations in your brake pads and steering wheel.
The wheel bearings allow the wheels to support the weight of the car while it is turning. So if you are experiencing vibrations while braking, it could be because the wheel bearings are worn out or damaged. A faulty component in the steering and suspension system such as a bent axle shaft or a loose arm control could also be responsible for vibrations. Basically, vibrations in the car can be caused by various factors and it is best you get a professional technician to look at your car for accurate diagnosis and repairs.
How to Fix Vibrations While Braking
You should not drive around with your car if you suspect a faulty braking system. It is dangerous for you as the driver and other road users as well. When you bring your car in, we will inspect and check the various systems to pinpoint the root cause of the vibrations to determine which components will need to be repaired or replaced.
If the brake rotors are distorted and no longer meet the manufacturer’s requirements for minimum thickness, they will need to be replaced. In a case where the wheel bearings are damaged, replacing the entire wheel bearing hub assembly is recommended. If the tests point to a fault in the steering and suspension system, we will have to replace the failing components of the system as well. Your BMW may also need a wheel alignment depending on the severity of the damage done.
It goes without saying that it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and service to ensure that both the braking and steering systems of your car are in good condition. A failure in either system could compromise the safe operation of your vehicle and if any car problem can be prevented, regular maintenance and servicing will prevent it.
European Service Center has been servicing European vehicles for over 35 years. If you are experiencing any brake issues or vibrations while braking, schedule a visit with one of our ASE certified service mechanics for any brake services that you might need. We are so confident of our work, that we offer a 3 years / 36,000-mile warranty on all of our services.