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Old 08-09-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
lulubboy
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Shaking/ Vibrations Steering wheel when braking at high speeds

Please help me diagnose this problem. I drove from East Coast to Vegas and now has noticed that my car's steering wheel would shake/vibrations when braking at high speeds > 60mph.

I had my rotors changed about 3 years ago. I've read that this is the most likely culprit. I just recently changed the brake pads before the drive. Could this cause the vibrations?

I also have a known slight wobble on my aftermarket wheels which I have to rebalance ever so often... but could this cause vibrations when braking?

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by lulubboy View Post
Please help me diagnose this problem. I drove from East Coast to Vegas and now has noticed that my car's steering wheel would shake/vibrations when braking at high speeds > 60mph.

I had my rotors changed about 3 years ago. I've read that this is the most likely culprit. I just recently changed the brake pads before the drive. Could this cause the vibrations?

I also have a known slight wobble on my aftermarket wheels which I have to rebalance ever so often... but could this cause vibrations when braking?

Thanks.

Sounds like you threw a weight on your rims and now it's severely out of balance.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
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About 4 years ago I changed the front bushings that corrected my vibrations at low speed. The bushings stiffened my suspension so at high speeds my steering wheel vibrated - at that point, I balanced my wheels and thats how I noticed/ informed of my wobble on the wheels.

The vibrations at high speed got better.

However this was the first time I ever noticed steering wheel vibrations at high speeds WHEN braking.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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Shakes while brakes can be caused by:

Uneven rotor surface caused by pad deposits which are in turned cause by an overheated pad
Control arm bushings are worn out

Other vibrations: tires, balancing, uneven hub-to-wheel mounting surfaces, aftermarket wheels which arent hubcentric, etc.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
lsteg
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About 4 years ago I changed the front bushings that corrected my vibrations at low speed. The bushings stiffened my suspension so at high speeds my steering wheel vibrated - at that point, I balanced my wheels and thats how I noticed/ informed of my wobble on the wheels.

The vibrations at high speed got better.

However this was the first time I ever noticed steering wheel vibrations at high speeds WHEN braking.
missed the "while breaking" part. My money is on rotors.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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this can also be caused by going through a puddle of water while the disk brakes are hot.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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You replaced your rotors and got new pads. So doubt that you have an issue there. Unless you've been doing hard driving lately. I would suggest looking at control arms (that was my issue anyway), bushings, and having your wheels re-balanced.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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Worn front control arm bushings, a wheel that needs to be balanced, rotors that need to be replaced, or a sticky brake caliper.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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Worn front control arm bushings, a wheel that needs to be balanced, rotors that need to be replaced, or a sticky brake caliper.
Ready...set....go check all of these.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #10
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had something of the same kind of issue...decently hard vibration during high speed braking (110+). Bled the brakes and that solved it for me. give that a try as well, a lot cheaper than changing other stuff.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:38 PM   #11
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Rotors replaced 3 years ago, replaced with stock rotors? Since the rotors were replaced, how many times have the wheels been removed and installed with a 1/2 drive air impact wrench? Most of the time, steering wheel vibration when applying the brakes from highway or higher speed is a sign that the front rotors are warped. You may even get a pulsing in the brake pedal something like the ABS pushing back at you, or you can get both. You can check the rotor run-out making a simple pointer, but more accurate with a dial indicator.
Air impact wrenches should not be used to install alloy wheels (especially on a BMW with stock rotors), unless they use the 80-90 foot pound torque lug socket, otherwise should be done by hand and with a quality torque wrench. This will ensure that the lugs are both properly torqued and EVENLY torqued so that braking heat doesn't affect them.

Other things that can cause your condition; a severely bent and/or flat spotted front wheel (however you should have a vibration from either of these even when the brakes are not applied), a wheel that has thrown a weight (but again, you should also feel this without brakes applied), worn lower control arm ball joint(s) and/or torn rear lower control arm bushing (though when driving, especially at highway speed, your steering should feel a bit vague).

If none of the above are experienced without the brakes applied, more than likely you need a new set of front rotors.
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