Front end shimmy when braking at speeds of 60 mpg or more


Asked by Creditlady Dec 29, 2009 at 11:11 AM about the 2007 Chevrolet Malibu

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2007 Malibu sedan.  I have just replaced the front tires and the front and rear brake pads and rotors.  After all this, the car's front end still shakes badly when I brake at speeds of 60 mpg or higher and especially if it is on a down grade.  It feels as if the shaking is up near the driver's side passenger cabin.  The car does not do this if I am braking at slower speeds. Any ideas what this could be.  I can't continue to spend money of probable fixes in the hopes we hit the correct  fix.

10 Answers

Richard Moore

New pads need some time to bed in so this might be cos your bein to demanding on them to soon.. Other than that! it could be you have a warped disc on one of your front wheels .. Thing is, if it didnt do it before you changed your pads then its almost def your new pads.. ease up and give your pads time to bed or you will screw up your brake disc..

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Clayton Ealey

i would say u didnt give the pads enough time to break in like the other guy said, take the front rotors in to get turned, then reinstal them and let the brakes seat before you pound on them. you can start the initial break in by using the brakes lightly for a half kilometer (or 1/4 mile) at a time repeat several times then be nice to the brakes and onlly brake hard for emergencies for the next 1000k after they should be fine

Not Active

check the tie rods or you bought warped front rotors, it happens sometimes.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem, the pads are fine on mine, the rotors are as well. My wheels just got re-balanced and I have new tires. I hear the same lame answers about rotors and pads, I am going to see if the tie rods are bad, and check into a stabilizer as well. This seems to be a problem on malibu and malibu maxx. If this doesn't fix mine, I am going to trade it off and get a Fusion.


I have the same problem, I replaced the rotors, pads, calipers, and finally the right side cv axle, I am trying the left tomorrow. It feels like the front end is going to come apart as I brake. The car has had several other issues, but most have been easy fixes. By the way, the tie rod ends where fine, the steering control was fine as well. My mechanic said he has actually lost sleep trying to figure out what is causing this. My next step after the cv joints is to buy a Ford...I KNOW that will fix it.


cv joint would not do that . it's either warped rotors or a worn tie rod.


I check all that an I think it's the motor or trans mounts because when I jacked it up a crunk up the car put it in drive an hit the brakes it shook like hell

Slevin Kelevra

i have the same issue at hwy speeds... some general variance in speed and driving conditions produce a shimmy in the front pass side, but most of the time its under mild to decent hwy braking that i get the worst results. it doesnt feel like a warped rotor, i was guessing a control arm bushing or tie rod...?


You're front rotors are defective. Remove them and have them checked on a lathe to find out for sure, or just return them to the store and let them know that they are defective.


this is a common problem on almost all Malibus, Chevy should have made a recall for the brake system, the problem is the brakes are not large enough for the weight of the car, causing them to heat up. When they are hot, they begin to warp and cause the shuddering. When you drive on back roads <60 mph when you brake you don't notice it because they are not hot. If you drive on the highway and get the shuddering and go to a back road and brake you will still feel it due to them still being hot. Visa versa on highway, if you go straight to the high way drive <60 and haven't used your brakes yet you wont feel the shudder. Once they get hot, and begin to warp you do. Only way I can think of fixing it, which i haven't tried yet, is to buy high end rotors/pads, (drilled and slotted) to let the rotors cool down faster. Also ceramic brakes may help as well. I personally own a Malibu, and it has been hell since I bought it. ECM wont even connect to the obdII.

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