Vibrations after new brakes

Before changing pads and rotors, I had terrible vibrations. After changing, the vibrations went away. Well I screwed up the install and didn’t get the rotors clean before hand so there was constant burning smell and smoke. The shop took it all apart and cleaned the rotors and sanded the brake pads but there was still a bad smell about a week later. I went ahead and changed everything again and now the vibration is back. I give up on this. Any thoughts to what it could be? Possibly a warped rotor? I’m about to take it to the shop and let them deal with it.

The vibrations are not while braking, just while driving. They start around 30 mph and fade out around 70 but never go completely away. I drove the car after new pads and rotors and it wasn’t vibrating. It started the next day the first time I drove it.

It would help if you describe when the vibrations happen. Suspect 1 a sticking caliper.

Just edited the post. Sorry. I don’t think the calipers are sticking.

On what do you base that opinion?

For what it’s worth, “unclean” rotors will not give off any particular smell or smoke unless there’s some really weird contaminant on them, but stuck calipers can, even when you aren’t using the brakes, because a stuck caliper keeps squeezing on the rotor after you take your foot off the brake.

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Nissan said they weren’t sticking, and there’s no signs of it sticking. The smell/smoke didn’t start until after I changed pads and rotors the first time. Nissan said there was alot of oil/grease on the rotors that came on them to prevent rust I guess. The smell and smoke is gone now after changing everything again. Oddly, it was just the front driver and passenger side that was smoking on the old set. The back was perfectly fine.

So life is good? No more smoke or vibration?

Still have vibration.

So what kind of Nissan do you have? How old? How many miles, was it rusty? Does it have 4 wheel disk brakes? Or disk drums?

Did you just replace pads and rotors on the fronts? Front and rear?

Makes it really hard to help if you give us info in dribs and drabs instead of the whole picture.

2017 Nissan Altima. Replaced pads and rotors front and rear. 48k miles. Has 4 disc brakes. The old rotors which I’m assuming were factory we’re really rusted. They were in terrible shape. The rest of it wasn’t terribly rusted.

Time to look somewhere other than brakes since you seem happy nothing more to be done there. I suppose next would be wheel balance, tire check and alignment. Is it based more in the front?

I would say the front calipers were sticking and the smell was the hot brake pads. Once you stopped and the pads cooled they left a deposit on the new rotors that you now feel when you drive.

The sticking could have been in the calipers, the slides, the master cylinder or less likely the brake hoses.

I hope you bled the old brake out and replaced it with fresh. After 4 years, it is time.

Since it has cleared up, sanding the front rotors with 100 grit paper might clean them up and remove the vibration.

It’s in the steering wheel. Problem was it was gone when I changed front and rear pad and rotors the first time and now it’s back after changing everything again

Did you clean the hub surface where the rotor makes contact?


It sounds to me like a runout issue caused by rust and corrosion on the hub face. This could also be compounded by improper torqueing of the lug nuts. I would pull the rotors and really clean the face of each hub, around the center bore, and around the outer edge of the hub face. I use a wire wheel and wire cup brush on my cordless drill and get everything nice and smooth. Then I install the new rotors and make sure all lug nuts on the wheel are torqued to the proper spec.