CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Wheel Shakes When Braking

Not alarming, yet noticeable shake when braking even after replacing pads and rotors (x4).

Installed new rotors hoping it would resolve the issue. I was careful to torque the nuts properly to spec using a torque wrench instead of an impact. Only thing I left out of the process was bleeding the fluid. Would degraded fluid cause uneven pressure on the pads somehow? I’m not sure. That’s why I’m asking you!

No.

Did you check the hub flanges for rust prior to installing the new rotors?

image

Tester

Yes! Took a wire brush and did a pretty good job cleaning them up. Painted rotors didn’t suggest any grease, but I put a thin layer of high-temp grease on anyway. Is that where I could have messed up?

Where did you apply the grease on the rotors?

Tester

Possibly. Adding grease to something that shouldn’t be greased could have disastrous results.

I applied grease to the hub flange.

Maybe better not to go over the top, eh? Next time I’ll skip the grease.

That’s fine.

I apply a thin coat of ant-seize to the hub flange after removing the rust.

I don’t suppose you have a dial indicator?

image

Tester

1 Like

That’s exactly what I did on the flange.

I don’t have a dial indicator. What are you thinking of measuring?

Rotor run-out.

Tester

Sometimes new rotors warp right away. Especially cheap ones.

Did you tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern and not a circular pattern? That can also warp brand new rotors.

1 Like

How much did you pay for the rotors?

Tester

Star pattern. 100 ft/lbs

1 Like

Duralast Gold Rotors. $60ish/rotor

That sounds like OEM grade.

Tester

Maybe I’ll get in there and polish off the flanges and be extra careful with the grease. Might even get myself a dial indicator.

Best

And THAT may be the cause of the problem(s) in my opinion

I’ve never had as many problems with brakes . . . pads AND rotors . . . as with Autozone brand

What do you go with?

Definitely not Autozone . . . that’s for sure

Here are some thoughts

Factory brakes . . . usually very expensive, but I’ve never had problems right out of the box and certainly no noise complaints or scoring of the rotors due to junky ceramic brake pads

do NOT get Wagner Thermoquiet. they are anything BUT quiet

Centric brakes are often pretty good

Bendix is also pretty decent

But don’t get the “budget” lines of any brand, no matter what the particular brand happens to be

I would also avoid NAPA brakes . . . ESPECIALLY the ceramic brake pads. They are noisey, score the rotors AND the brakes also don’t grab very well. A lose-lose situation

Yeah took a quick look, about twice the price for OEM parts. Centric might be a nice middle-ground for cost. I’ll have to weigh out performance and how long they last to see if it’s worth it. That shake is very annoying, though. Thanks for the ideas!