Brake Shake

08-15-2016, 11:17 AM
I have a 2003 Mercury Sable with 130,000 miles. Recently replaced the engine with a 72,000 mile engine. My car severely shakes when I need to brake hard, and sometimes when I am gradually braking. I looked at the brakes and the pads and rotors are both in great condition which is a bit confusing. My mom was the previous owner for the past three years, and she said she never had the front brakes redone, and there is no paperwork for that fix either. I was shocked to find the pads and rotors in solid condition, with the pads still having a lot of life, maybe over a centimeter of pad life left.

What could be causing my shaking? Maybe just needs to be aligned? Is this more serious than just needing new pads and rotors?

08-15-2016, 11:41 AM
Unless the steering wheel is shaking when you're NOT pressing the brakes... it won't be an alignment issue.

I'm going to lean towards needing pads & rotors... you may even have a caliper or its pins binding a little.

I'm sure if you jack up the front end, and spin the wheel by hand, you'll hear the "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh", sound due to the rotors being warped and hitting the high spots during rotation. You can sometimes see the pads having uneven wear... as in on one wheel, the one pad will be worn more on the inside or top edge while its pairing pad will be worn on the outer or bottom edge.

Keep us posted & let us know what you find... Goood luck!! :)

08-15-2016, 11:50 AM
If the caliper is binding, would I need to replace it as well? The caliper is the entire casing that holds the pads around the rotor? I would imagine this would be an expensive part to replace.

08-15-2016, 11:59 AM
no, they aren't too expensive at all. You'll only need to replace it if the piston boot is leaking or the caliper pin is seized on it. Most of the time if the pins themselves are binding, a simple removing, cleaning thouroughly, installing new grease, is all that's needed. SOmetimes a contributing factor of binding is if water is gaining entry due to lack of grease or the rubber boots are dry rotted, torn, & worn. Replacing them as needed is also recommended.

BTW, EVERY time pads are replaced, remove the caliper pins, clean & grease them.

Add your comment to this topic!