Steering wheel shake when braking but it is NOT the rotors


Asked by Jun 30, 2015 at 10:53 AM about the 2010 Cadillac CTS 3.0L Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When braking anytime above 35-40 mph the steering wheel shakes just like a warped rotor, however I have replaced the rotors, pads, had the tires rotated, had them balanced (twice), had two shops (one of the Cadillac) check the front end and found nothing loose.  My next thought would be an ABS controller but there is no pull at all when stopping, only shaking in the front end.  I even had the old rotors turned to see if they were warped on the outside chance I could have bought a bad rotor and they were not warped at all.

7 Answers


Did you check or change the front bearing when the rotors were changed?


Hubs were checked and deem ok. We have not found anything loose in the front end at all


There is really no way to check bearing other then pulling on the wheel when the wheel is off the ground, anything more then an 1/8" play and they should be changed. taking then out and looking at them will do nothing.


The hubs were checked by Cadillac, so I assume they actually did it. I had also checked movement in wheel with car off the ground and felt nothing but had them check entire front-end.


Ok let’s assume that the rotors, brakes and tires are all OK at this point. Let’s look at other probable causes, how about the calipers, maybe they are binding when you apply the brake. How about the hoses going to the calipers, maybe they are collapsed on the inside on the hose somewhat not allowing enough brake fluid to get to the brake. Do you have electric steering on the car, if so I have seen them go bad and show the same symptom as a bad rotor


FIXED IT!! I'm not 100% sure which of these was the actual problem but I decided to back up to a known spot and start over. I had the old rotor resurfaced and put them back on with the new pads, but that did not fix the problem. So, then I put the old pads back on the driver side and bled that caliper and more shake at all!! I drove it for a few days to make sure the shake was gone.


cont.... With the shake complete gone, I put the new pads back on the drivers side. The shake did not return. What that tells me is that either the Pistons on that caliper were stuck or air in the caliper was not allowing them to work properly.

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