Shuddering while braking at high speed


My 87 Toyota pickup’s front-end shudders while braking at high speed (over 50) while going downhill.

The tires are new, balanced, properly-inflated. I had new front brakes , rotors and pads, 10,000 miles ago. I had the alignment checked about 20,000 miles ago. The brakes work well and it steers well. I don’t feel the shudder in the steering wheel.

What think you all?


When did you start feeling the shuddering? Are you sure it is from the front?


It is probable that you have warped front rotor discs. If the rotors were turned at the last brake service, they will be more prone to rewarping subsequently. If the rotors were renewed, hard braking at high speed can overheat the rotors causing them to warp again. Mileage after service is no proof against disc rotor warpage.

You can have the axial runout, surface condition, and thickness variation measured by a brake technician to see if this is the problem.


My experience with this type of shuddering where rotors and brakes have not been neglected is that resinous buildup occurs and needs to be removed be the occasional hard application of the brakes at highway speeds to really heat them up, Especially pads that have organic material and not much metallic conponent. It isn’t the ABS vibration or rotor warpage in many cases. Just be sure when you apply the stoppers that you aren’t going to create panic behind you. Do this a couple of times and if the shuddering disappears you have your answer. Lots of city driving with light applications can tend to create buildup. Then the occasional hard stop will be shuddery and grabby.


I’m sure it’s the front end shuddering. I feel it within the first few seconds. It lasts until it slows down.

I had new rotors and pads installed 10K miles ago.

I don’t have ABS.