Brake pedal shuddering under breaking

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
Sorry i wasn't able to find anything on here by other members on this issue, just a discussion about trailers.

Ever since my last MOT, around 3 months back, i've noticed slight shudder in the brake pedal when braking fast, especially at high speeds. Also only just noticeable but the steering wheel does the same.

I should have taken it back the next day tbh, but life got in the way and it really wasn't that concerning. In the last few days it's gotten worse and at high speeds i don't fully trust the brakes anymore (although i tested them with a hard brake check and they responded absolutely fine).

Anyone have any ideas what i should look for as the cause?

At the MOT i had the front ball joints changed to new ones and four new tires fitted (as i'm considering trying to get it to Vietnam again sometime in the next year ;)

2002 311 CDI Sprinter

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
Khumho. I did wonder if they'd messed up the tire balancing

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
thanks. not really any recent downhill braking of note. i've been pottering around cities for a while now. i'll check to see if its warped rotors, and perhaps take it in to have the tyres rebalanced.


2018 144" Tall Revel
I would start by retorquing the wheels. Loosen all the lug bolts, then tighten them sequentially, maybe 80flbs first go, then all the way up, in a crossing pattern.
Overtightening and out of sequence can warp rotors. Sometimes they self correct if you do what I outlined.
Then, look for bent wheel, hot spot on rotor and actual warped rotor.

Andy at Focallocal

Social Adventurer
For anyone who has this issue and hasn't got the correct tools to check, here's a nice guide i'll be following over the next few days to check for warped rotors using a screwdriver and vice grips


Well-known member
Agree with others on one or more rotors.

Tire balance issues ........shakes, shudders or shimmy all the time but most be speed sensitive.

Rotor issues ........... runout, thickness variations or parallelism issues show on brake application. Surface rust on the rotor and wheel bearing can also be a cause.

In the states parts stores will loan a dial indicator, magnet base and micrometer for free.
The Acceptable rotor runout is a few .001” same for thickness variations.
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