Wobbly brakes & wheel rotation

Often the wheels on my car feel wobbly, especially when braking, but sometimes much worse than at other times… what could be causing this? The rotors are still fairly new and the pads are fine.

Sorry, but where is the wobble issue. When does it happen.Always or only when braking. Could be Ball joints, tie rod ends, bad tires, … need more info. Mostly do not drive a car that feels wobbly at all, get a mechanic to fix it.

the wobble is not always noticeable (if always present), but sometimes there seems to be a slight wobble in the wheels and when that happens, it becomes REALLY noticeable when braking. Other times it’s fine and theres no wobble. I’ve had to do some hard braking recently and there is definitely a contrast between two occasions (while driving at different times.) When braking, the steering wheel gets “shaky” (quick short left to right motion) and you can definitely feel that the front wheels are wobbling as thought the rotors are out of round, but this does not ALWAYS happen. I’m concerned that it’s something like a tie rod or something other than the brakes (they seem fine). My tires aren’t the best and I’m looking to get new ones, but they are balanced, and I’d be surprised if it was the tires since this does not happen every time I drive. I don’t understand the mechanical structure of the suspension / tie rods / ball joints, etc. etc. so I need some good advice. This car has over 100K mi. on it and could use some new struts, but money is a little too scarce right now.

The fact that it doesn’t do it all the time is key here.
I think maybe it is a “steering damper” issue. Steering dampers are like a shock absorber for the steering. You don’t tell us what kind of car it is but I would guess it has one. It is apparently worn out. The fact that it is intermittantly manifesting itself is because they are suppose to stableize the steering and it isn’t doing this. It is probably only "wobbeling on rough or unever roads. When a tire nicks a bump, or a groove or irregularity, it will jerk a little sideways and start a wobble because the damper isn’t working. I’d guess it doesn’t wobble on smooth roads. Brakeing on a semi course road only magnifies the problem.

A whole other issue: If this is a rack and pinion car, then I would check the rubber insulators for the rack mounts. You didn’t tell us how old your car is, but I had a 2 year old Nisson that had crappy mount rubbers and I had to make shims to make them tighter so it would hold the rack solid and not allow the wheels, AND the steering wheel to wobble. Apparently they were saveing money and didn’t want to use the necessary material to make them thick enough to make the rack mount tight. It always wobbled when brakeing especially at lower speeds.