Car Jerks When Braking At Low Speed

Your car lurches when you press the brake pedal, and it has been continuously happening now, right? The situation can be problematic for both the vehicle and the driver, and the main reason is the condition of the brake pads.

If you use very old brake pads or have recently installed new ones, you may experience car jerks. First, let’s find some common causes and solutions for these jerks.

Crooked Brake Discs

One of the most common causes of car jerks is that the brake discs bend most of the time. The bending of the discs can occur due to overheating or rapid cooling, and it usually happens during car washing.

When the braking system encounters sudden cold water, it may seize. If the braking disc is exhausted, it will not cooperate. Hence, the result is bending.

Crooked Brake Discs

Replacement of braking discs can be one of the solutions. However, straightening the brake lines can also stop car jerks.

Worn Out Brake Pads

When your brake pads are weary, you can feel the car jerk when braking. Damaged brake pads or warped rotors send vibrations all over the engine.

So, if you feel that your vehicle jerks when braking or the steering wheel undergoes unavoidable friction, you need to see a car mechanic. Of course, the best solution would be to get new pads.

Change In The Shape And Size Of Drum Brakes

The vehicles jerk when their components alter their shape. Like brake discs, the brake drums can also undergo some shape alteration. Therefore, the most viable solution is to replace the brake drums with new ones.

Manual Transmission

Car jerking can sometimes be purely dependent on driving. Particularly in manual transmissions, the car may jerk due to the wrong handling of gears. For example, if the driver does not correctly shift gears, the vehicle could shudder when the brakes are applied.

As a result, the driver must be very familiar with gear shifts, clutches, and the brake pedal in a manual transmission.

In such a case, a driver needs to strengthen their skills and coordinate the clutch and brake pedal simultaneously. Once you get full practice, the car might stop showing signs of shaking when the brakes are applied.

Hydraulic Control Unit Issues

The driver’s use of the brake pedal directly influences the cylinder. In simple words, you can connect it with the blood rushing system.

The cylinder has a hydraulic fluid in it. Although the fluid does not compress under hydraulic pressure, it can create difficulties.

Hydraulic Control Unit Issues

The brake pedal can stop working normally if the hydraulic system undergoes air intake. Hence, it may result in jerks when applying the brakes.

If air has stuck in your vehicle’s hydraulic system, take it to a car mechanic. Since the solution is heavy-duty work, doing it alone may cause problems.

Rusty Brake Discs Or Brake Pedals

A layer of rust may get into the brake discs or brake pedals if you have not used your vehicle for a long time. Rust can cause problems for the braking system. Also, if you drive your car with a layer of rust, it is likely to feel like a car jerk.

You can eliminate the problem by simply driving it 20-24 miles. However, do not ignore the warning signs if the rust remains stiff.

Rusty Brake Discs Or Brake Pedals

Transmission Fluid Level

In an automatic transmission, the fluid does more than simply reduce friction. Instead, it works to avoid wear and tear on vehicles and keeps the components in working condition.

The transmission fluid level is lower than usual, which can cause jerks when braking, especially if the vehicle is in lower gear or in the midst of shifting gears. So, if you feel your car jerk, getting the level of fluid checked might help.

ABS System Problem

ABS, also known as the Anti-Lock Braking System, is a safety device. Cars use it to prevent the jerks from locking up the wheel sensors and keep the wheels and brake system in working condition during high speeds.

Today, all modern cars have ABS installed. However, sometimes the ABS can make your vehicle jerk. If the system starts failing or gets old, it could cause unnecessary jerks.

Dirty Fuel Injectors

A fuel injector is considered one of the most common causes of car jerks when braking. First of all, what is it and what is it responsible for?

An injector keeps track of fuel in cars. If your car has a dirty injector, it may slow down or lose power. So, your car will jerk when at high speed or accelerating. In this case, it is better to replace your fuel injector or get it cleaned up.

Start Simple

A better approach would be to learn more about the problem rather than jump to a conclusion. Examine the issue deeply. Ponder if the car jerks are occurring after you left the vehicle unattended for a long time or because you took it for a car wash.

Understand The Problem

As you break things down into pieces, you will better comprehend the problem. Eliminate things that do not link directly with the braking system. Once you figure out the cause, you can jump to a solution.

Find The Solution

The causes of car jerking when braking are limited, but the solutions are even fewer. Most of the time, the key is the replacement of specific components. If you can not figure out anything, it’s never too late to take your car for a proper checkup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why does my car jerk at low speed?

There can be several reasons why your car jerks at low speed or when you push the brake pedal. However, the most common causes include damaged spark plugs, dirty air filters, or worn-out cylinders.

If your spark plugs are old, they might not ignite the fuel properly in the piston. Hence, it can result in the car jerking at low speed.

The best solution is to replace the plugs with new ones. The plugs are not expensive and are accessible. In addition, once you restore the spark plugs, the car will stop showing warning signs.

2. Why is my car lurching when I brake?

If you feel continuous friction or shock while applying brakes, it is high time to get your brakes examined.

There is a high chance the lurching might be due to the warped rotors. With the passage of time and the use of brakes, the rotors get thinner. Every time the driver leans on the brake pedal, the car generates heat, which can cause the warping of the rotor.

The solution is to get the thickness of the rotor checked. Moreover, replacing old rotors with new ones can also eliminate car lurching.


Why does your vehicle wobble when the brakes are applied? Take your car to the nearest mechanic’s shop to understand what initiated the problematic situation.

80 out of 100 car jerking issues are associated with brake pads or discs. Although understanding the cause of the problem solves half the issue, you still need to replace the worn parts.

It is essential to solve the braking system issues immediately. If you keep lagging behind the problem, it could cause danger. For example, the braking system might fail if the driver does not treat the brake pads appropriately.

The danger is greater in manual systems. The braking systems in manual cars demand more attention than automatic systems. Any fault in coordination can result in sudden car locking.

So, if you feel that your car is not applying brakes smoothly, do not ignore the fact that your vehicle needs some attention. Instead, take it to a professional mechanic and get everything done before the problem worsens!

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