Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Redoing brake repair job?

Hello cartalkers,
I had a front brake job done on a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup at 85000 miles. When I stepped on the brake, I felt pulsation in the pedal and a sort of wobbly feeling in the steering wheel. Also the brakes were making noises while driving. Classical sign of a warped rotor?! Long story short brand new rotors, brake pads and calipers, later the pulsation is mostly gone but the braking is still not smooth at one point while the tires are turning. Now i do have to older tires on the front but i just bought two brand new tires for the rear. Would it be wise to put the new tires on front to see if there might be some unevenness caused by the old tires before i take it back to the shop? Also the feeling of the brakes catching on one point seems non existent or so minimal I can not be sure if the road surface interfering while driving slow of applying the brakes gently. But slowing down from higher speeds (above 40 mph) and using more then gentle braking ( not standing on the pedal with both feet) it is definitely there. Before the brake job braking caused the steering turning right. (sign of more braking action on the right - right?). Now with new stuff still pulls to the right but not as strongly. Should not this disappear with the brake job? Or get the new tires on front and see what gives? Any input is appreciated.


If the pads/rotors/calipers were replaced, and the braking still doesn’t feel right then the next thing to check for are worn wheel bearings.


hey T.
Would not the shop noticed the worn bearing if the truck was on a lift and everything was apart?

Not necessarily. If you went in for just a brake job they may have raised the vehicle, replaced the brake components, and then lowered the vehicle and gave it back to you.

When I do a brake job, and before I remove the tires I grab each tire at the 3:00 and 9:00 oclock positions and try wiggling the tire to check for worn steering components. Then I grab each tire at the 6:00 and 12:00 oclock positions and try wiggling the tire to check for a worn wheel bearing. Not all shops do this.


I will give it a wiggle. See what is going on. Thank you T. again…

@ tester, I give if a wiggle and the bearing seems solid.
Now I have some burning smell issues with the brake. See new post…

Could this be an anti lock brake system malfunction? I’m asking because I’m not very familiar with anti lock brakes even though one of my cars has them.

@ FordMan, no check engine light, no abs malfunction light. The feeling is very subtle not like when the abs really engaging…

So, we can determine that since the car pulled to the right before the brake job and still pulls to the right, the culprit was not the front brakes. and since the pulsating is a lot better now, but still not totally gone, there may be something besides the frmt rotors that’s contributing to it.

Let me suggest that you have the rear brakes checked. And the alignment.

And, as Tester said, the bearings…on all four corners. Bad bearings can cause the wobbly feel as well as intermittant grinding feel and sound, as well as pulling to one side. Try tester’s method of checking for looseness. In addition, if you remove the wheel and turn the hub by hand you’ll often feel roughness in bad bearings. Trust me, I just spent a beautiful Saturday putting new front bearings on my own vehicle. Blah! But it feels like a brand new car now.

Check all of these things and I’m pretty sure you’ll find the culprit;. Write back with the results.

Hey guys, I should have combined my other post about a brake job. The wheel bearings checked out fine and here is what happened. One of the front tires had some tread separation going. This tire and wheel combo were on the right front where a partially restricted brake hose caused the wheel to drag and this amplified the weird feeling of the tire rolling on the pavement. Thanks for all your suggestions!