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Car Brakes Rule The Day

Brake Juddering Causes-What is it?

Brake Juddering Causes

Foot pedal vibrations lead to the brake juddering experience

So,one of the first signs of brake juddering problems. Firstly, is when you can feel a vibration coming through your foot pedal. Secondly, when you press the clutch pedal. So, to brake and stop your car. Some of our customers say that it was a long drawn out process. Eventually though the brake began to get worse. Including the vibrations starting to come through the steering wheel.

brake juddering

Replacing warped discs and worn out pads

Unfortunately, some of our customers think that the vibration is a wheel balancing problem! We also have to check out the problem with a correct diagnosis. However a braking problem will usually come through the brake pedal. So then this is a sure sign of a brake problem.

Unfortunately, one of the main Brake Juddering Causes come from elderly drivers. Significantly, who always cover the brake pedal with their right foot. This applies to manual gear changes or automatic, they what I call “ride the brake” some drivers also do this with the clutch but that’s a different article to cover. What happens if you ride the brake? Well one of the problems is that you are applying extra pressure onto the brake pads that are constantly in contact with the brake discs (brake rotors in the USA). These in turn over heat the discs, and the discs then warp and go out of shape.

Brake juddering is a bigger problem in hilly areas

In my opinion though, driver fault is not the main reason for warped brake discs. I think that the main cause is the terrain. We here in Halifax are in a hilly area and we get a high occurrence of warped brake discs and brake juddering faults from our customers.

In areas where there is very steep inclines, then drivers are more likely to keep their foot on the brakes. Some of the hills in the Hebden Bridge area are like alpine passes with 180 degree bends to contend with. When you come down these roads you have to keep the car in a low gear and be prepared for a vehicle coming up the hill, without braking all the time.

This constant braking is what overheats the discs and causes them to warp and vibrate giving Brake Juddering through your brake pedal. Some garages have a machine that will skim the brakes and stop the vibrating, but I think that once they have overheating then they do not work to their full potential and there for a new set of discs is the best option.

Improved brake technology

Over the years car manufacturers have brought in new technology to balance out the disc overheating problem and try to eliminate the Brake Juddering Causes. Including different metals that can stand more heat and also the disc parts

brake juddering

Perforated discs like this BMW disc are designed to dissipate the heat that is built up when braking hard

that now come out with holes drilled in the metal at calculated intervals, for heat dispersal. This can work very well; you can see brake discs actually glowing red hot on some motor sport cars when they have to brake very often at high speed, some can be seen to be glowing white hot in the dark.

This has the same effect as the regular car driven by a regular driver.So, try to avoid heavy braking especially at high speed.  Keep your distance and try not to brake heavily. When you are driving down a steep hill, use a low gear and use the car’s engine as a brake, try not to press the brake pedal constantly.

Have your brakes inspected at regular intervals when the car is serviced. Of course, any worn discs or pads will be picked up by the garage.Importantly,we can even spot a disc that has been overheated in the past.  Because the disc has a blue coloured sheen on it. Remember like many other things to do with a car, prevention is better than a cure.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and Car Brake Repairs to all makes of vehicles.