Brake Shudder (even after replacing rotors and pads)



'94 Volvo 850 Turbo ~160k miles

I hit a pothole a couple of weeks ago. Since then there has been an occasional shuddering (33% of the time) when I hit the brakes at low speed (less than 10 mph) and when going downhill. The shuddering only begins once the car/brakes have warmed up. Everyone says check out the rotors with shuddering, so I did. I had the rotors turned and replaced the brake pads. Interesting to note that the left front pads were cracked and only had 7k miles on them. The car is still shuddering after the brake maintenance. I took the car into the pepboys down the street and they said it looked like the left front caliper might be seizing a little bit and the only thing you can do with a caliper is replace it. Does that sound right? What are the options?

Other tidbits:

1. the front left brake hose is cracked/corroded. i’ve read that can cause issues with the caliper’s movement. i anticipate replacing that this week.

2. there is another noise coming from the front left wheel well (aka the wheel that hit the pothole). it also started after hitting the pothole and sounds like a stone is caught up in the wheelwell and rattling around. but it only makes the noise going uphill and on poorly maintained roads. smooth roads, no noise.

3. according to pepboys the tires need to be rotated

4. according to pepboys the rear brakes need to be replaced soon

sorry for the novel. if you have anything for me, may karma deliver a free beer to you on my behalf.


Why PepBoys? You need to get the front suspension and steering components checked out after the pothole hit. Something is loose, bent, or broken and braking is when it is showing up. Pep boys isn’t up to diagnosing this. You need a good body shop, alignment shop, front end shop, or foreign car shop. Don’t expect it to be cheap. Perhaps your car insurance, if you have comprehensive, can help with the damage repair costs.

After you get the front end solid again and aligned then you can deal with the brakes. It seems your brake lines need to be replaced. Caliper replacement sounds like a shot in the dark guess to me.


I agree with checking other components. Loose wheel bearing, worn tie rod, or whatever can mimic a brake shudder.


I have good news. If the rear brakes are disc brakes too, change them now and the problem could go away. Price the new rotors, and if they are less than $100, have them changed.