When you depress your brake pedal, do you feel a shimmying in the steering wheel and the brake pedal? If so, there is a good chance that the brake rotors are warped. Is this not the first time that this has happened to your vehicle? Brake rotors become warped if they become overheated. This can be caused by five different issues.
The Brake Pads
If the brake pads on your car were not installed properly, are warped, have cracks or other damage to them, they will cause the rotors to overheat when they are compressed. Imperfections in the brake pads increases the amount of friction between the pad and rotor and the heat created will eventually warp the rotors.
Damaged or defective rotors can also be the problem. Many manufacturers offer a defect warranty on the brake rotors they produce, so if this is the issue, you can likely get them replaced at little cost to you. You will likely be responsible for covering the cost of labor, but the parts you need for the repairs will be free.
The Brake Calipers
The brake calipers play an important part in how your brakes work. This component compresses the brake pads against the rotors and causes the car to slow or stop. If the calipers do not work properly, they do not compress and release the brake pads as they should.
Malfunctioning calipers cause the rotors to overheat because the pads are not lifted off of the rotors as you drive. If this is a problem, you could smell burning brakes from time to time. Anytime you smell burning brakes, it is important to have your car looked at by a mechanic to ensure further damage is not done and that the car is safe to drive.
The Hub Assembly
The hub assembly in your car is the rod that anchors the wheels to your vehicle. When it becomes damaged, the balance of the rotor can be set off. This causes an imperfect rotation of the rotor. As you drive down the road, the pads can rub on the rotor and overheat.
Your Driving Techniques
It is quite possible that your driving techniques are what are causing the problems. If you are heavy on the brakes, they will overheat and the rotors could warp. Decrease how heavy you are on your brakes by slowing down sooner and going slower down steep grades.
If you feel the shimmy in your brake pedal or steering wheel when you use your brakes, contact your mechanic and make a brake repair appointment today.