Brakes on ford contour

Our daughter drives a 2000 Ford Contour. The brakes(abs) flutter/shudder when engaged in lower speeds, such as in a parking lot. There is a little shudder at highway speeds when coming to a stop. It stops fine, no problems there. It began to do this 2 years ago after she had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting another car. We have had it checked by two different places, one a Ford dealer whom we trust and take all our cars to. The dealership sent a mechanic who drove with her and reproduced the symptom, however, the symptom cannot be reproduced on the diagnostic computer. They called the Ford Company, my daughter talked to that rep also, and Ford told them it was normal and not a problem. This is NOT NORMAL and it is getting worse over time. You can definitely feel a strong shudder, shimmy, etc. in the brake pedal when,for instance going about 30-40 mph and using the brakes to slow down. The car has 112,000+ miles on it but needs to last, SAFELY, another year. HELP! I think there is a bad valve in there somewhere but am no mechanic! Pat

If anything it would be a bad sensor causing the ABS to activate on one wheel when it’s unneeded. It’s possible the computer is unaware that there’s a problem, simply believe that you actually have a wheel losing traction.

I’m also wondering if it’s a simple warped rotor, although generally this would show up when stopping at highway speeds too. Has anyone checked the runout? It’s a simple measurement where a dial indicator is mounted to the car, the wheel turned, and a dial measures how much the rotor surface moves back and forth.

Sounds like a warped rotor. They are cheap. Replace rotors and pads and the shimmy should be gone. You can do this job yourself for <$100. This is a great money saver for a beginner level DIY job. You can also make sure that the lug nuts are properly torqued at the same time.