Why Does My Truck Shake When I Brake? (9 Reasons Why)

While trucks are generally smooth vehicles, you can expect a few bumps and shakes now and then. However, your truck may shake at odd times, making you wonder if there’s a problem.

If you notice your truck shakes each time you brake, you might question why your vehicle does that. We did some digging, and here is what we learned about the matter!

Why Does My Truck Shake When I Brake?

1. Worn-Out Brake Pads

A common reason your truck shakes whenever you brake is that your brake pads are worn-out.

That said, brake pads are placed between your truck’s caliper and rotor to reduce the friction between the metals.

If the brake pads are worn-out, the brake pads will not apply directly to the rotor, causing your truck to shake whenever you use the brakes.

Additionally, your brake pads may be dirty due to built-up debris or dirt, so you may need to clean your brake pads or replace them.

Usually, you will know that your brake pads need replacing whenever you hear a screeching noise when you use your brakes.

2. Worn-Out Suspension Parts

Parts of your suspension can get worn out, causing your truck to shake when you apply your brakes.

Usually, you will feel more shaking in your brake pedal or steering wheel if the cause is your suspension parts.

For instance, if your truck has strut-style suspension, the strut assembly may have some issues that make your truck shake when while braking.

3. Warped Drum Brakes

Some trucks, like pick-up trucks, have drum brakes, and drum brakes in the back of the car could make your truck shake while braking, especially if the drum brakes are warped.

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Typically, you press the brake pedal of your truck with drum brakes, friction is created when a pair of brake shoes press outwardly against the drum brakes.

However, if you apply your brakes, warped drum brakes will make a pulsing or shaking sensation throughout your truck.

4. Your Wheel Bearings

Behind every wheel of your truck, a wheel bearing allows your wheels to turn while you drive.

Typically, these wheel bearings serve as a mounting point for the tire and wheel along with your truck’s disc brake, meaning wheel bearings could cause your vehicle to shake while braking.

If one or several wheel bearings are loose, there can be excessive lateral run out to make your truck shake.

5. Warped Brake Rotors

Warped Brake Rotors

Brake rotors are circular metal discs attached to your truck wheels, which can become warped over time and make your truck shake.

Generally, when you press on your brakes, your brake pads will make friction against the brake rotors to stop your truck from moving.

However, these brake rotors can get warped over time since they will be under a lot of pressure and friction with continual use.

When the brake rotors are warped, your brake pads will not press properly against the brake rotors, creating shaking or vibrations in your truck whenever you brake.

6. Brake Calipers

As mentioned earlier, worn-out brake pads and warped brake rotors are an issue, but your brake calipers could also be the cause of your truck shaking while baking.

Brake calipers help your brake pads press against your brake rotors whenever you hit the brake pedal.

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So, if your brake calipers are not pressing against the brake pads properly, you will likely feel shaking when you try to brake, especially on your steering wheel.

Usually, wear and tear can cause your brake calipers not to function correctly, but dust and corrosion can also cause your brake calipers to fail.

7. Unbalanced Tires

Unbalanced or worn-out tires can make your truck shake when braking, which may primarily occur in your steering wheel.

Your tires need to be balanced as possible to ensure a safe and smooth drive, so having one or more unbalanced tires can lead to problems.

Typically, you may notice that your truck shakes more when you drive at faster speeds than when you try to brake.

8. Lack Of Use

Overusing your brakes can make your truck shake when you brake, but not using your brakes often enough can also cause the same issue.

If your truck is not driven often, debris and dirt tend to gather and build up in your brake system, causing your brake system to be harder to use.

Also, humidity, water, etc., can cause your brake components to corrode, which means parts of your brake system will be damaged.

9. Guide Pins

If you try to make your truck make a complete stop and it shakes whenever you try, you could have dry guide pins.

Guide pins are a component of your brake calipers that guide the brake pads to the brake rotors, and these guide pins need to be lubricated and clean to work.

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So, if your guide pins are dirty and dry, the guide pins can make your brake calipers stick or push the brake pads at the wrong angle.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why your truck smells like gas, why your truck shakes when you accelerate, and why your truck shakes at high speeds.


Typically, a truck shakes whenever you brake because of an issue with your braking system, such as worn-out brake calipers, brake pads, brake rotors, etc.

However, other common causes can make your truck shake while braking, such as a lack of use, loose wheel bearings, and unbalanced tires.

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