Has your car become a bumpy pile of tin that just shakes and shivers whenever you’re just trying to take a decent ride? If at all anything should be rocking and rolling while you drive, it should be you while grooving to your best vibe or turning your car to a studio. When your car is the one doing the rocking and rolling instead, then you should be worried.
What can cause a wiggle, wobble, shake or squeak in your vehicle? There are so many answers to that question from the very minor to the major problem. But if you are maintaining your vehicle, we will address the most common causes.
First of all, what causes a wobble in the steering wheel or a pulsation in the brake pedal? Most commonly, a low speed wobble could be a bad tire. When there is a separation in the inner layers of a tire, it will cause air to get in between the layers a cause a bulge. When your tire rolls when driving, the car raises, then settles back down and a wobble occurs. This seems like common sense, but it is surprising how this problem is not checked first. So most of the time (not all) if the wheel shakes, it’s due to the front tires. If the whole car shakes it’s the rear tires. Shaking can also be due to uneven wear on the tires that the naked eye can’t see.
When you brake and the pedal pulsates or the steering wheel shakes back and forth this can get very worrisome and annoying. This problem can be caused by several culprits. Check for mud, grease, tar, grime or a rock stuck in the back side of the wheel. This can shake off wheel weights even after having the tires balanced and aligned. What we see is the most common cause is a warped brake rotor. When the rotor gets to hot, the metal will warp causing the shake. One way to help prevent this problem is to use a lower gear when driving down a hill. Second gear is usually the best, saving your brakes.
Thirdly, there are those squeaks that happen when you least expect them. Nothing more irritating than noisy, squeaky brakes! It’s very rarely serious, but you need to take care of the problem. This can commonly be caused by a vibration between the brake pads and the rotor. This is usually uneven pressure being applied to a spinning brake rotor. This problem can reduce braking power as well as dealing with a grinding and “the squeak”.
Another problem could be as simple as brake dust, particles that are shed from the pads and coat the surface of a spinning brake rotor. The brake squeaking doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run out immediately and get new brakes. For example, it is somewhat like a needle on a record (for those of you who are old enough to remember records) or running your fingers down a chalkboard. The needle or your finger doesn’t wear out the record or chalkboard right there and then. One way to help stop this is to add an adhesive to the back of the brake pad, or buff the rotors to get rid of the groove in the brake rotor. But when the brake pads are worn out, it is time to replace them. Some brake pads are made with a built in-wear indicator which is a small metal strip embedded into the pad backing. When this becomes exposed and rubs against the rotor you get that terrible squeak.
Obviously, these wiggle, wobbles, shakes and squeaks can be a multitude of problems, but eliminating the most common causes can save you time and money. When having your vehicle checked, please note that when you neglect to address these problems, it can lead to a more serious one for your car.
To enjoy your rides, fix every wobbly issues.