Rotor Distortion and the Hub Flange

Rotor distortion and hub flange surface inspection.

The steering wheel shakes when I apply the brakes. This vibration is probably the most common customer complaint when it comes to brakes. Sometimes this vibration is severe. Lateral runout and thickness variation are real problems and result in rotor replacement and machining. This vehicle requires frequent rotor replacement, indicating that something else is causing this recurring pulsation.

Lateral runout and thickness variation measured

It reminds us of the importance of inspecting components like the steering knuckle, hub, and hub flange before replacing the rotors. Rust, debris or a protrusion on its surface results in an uneven surface between the flange and the rotor. This problem causes the rotor to wobble.

Steering wheel vibration caused by brake rotor wobble.

If the problem rotor is on the front, a vibration will be felt in the steering wheel while braking. If the problem rotor is on the rear, the vibration is felt more in the seat.