How To Isolate A Brake Pulsation – Eric The Car Guy

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This is one of those useful tips that can help you isolate where a brake pulsation is coming from, front or rear. Keep in mind this only works on some systems and if you have a pedal type parking brake be VERY careful doing this especially if you’re on a public road as the rear wheels could lock up which would make for a very bad day, also be careful on wet roads for the same reason. Otherwise check your rear brake set up to find out if it’s even possible to differentiate between the 2, remember if it’s a disc brake set up with a drum brake inside the disc this method won’t work so in that case you’re just going to have to go by ‘feel’ and guess where the pulsation is coming from unless you have a micrometer with a magnet attachment that you can use to check for the runout.

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21 thoughts on “How To Isolate A Brake Pulsation – Eric The Car Guy

  1. I drive a Toyota iQ with rear drum brakes (european version) and the brakes are pulsating.. i dont feel it in the steering wheel nor in the pedal, pulling the handbrake no pulsation, changed front rotors and pads and it still pulsates, took it to multiple mechanics and everybodys clueless 🤷🏽‍♂️ anybody have any suggestions?

  2. The brake pulsation on my ‘01 Subaru Forester went away after I reinstalled its rear OEM brake components. The aftermarket rear brake rotors I had purchased came warped.

  3. Hi Eric! I own a 2001 Honda CR-V LX, and I've been having an issue with the brakes since I bought it a year ago. My local mechanic has not been able to diagnose the issue and I am pretty much set on going to my local Honda dealer to have all of the brakes replaced with OEM Honda brakes. I have drum brakes in the rear and disc in the front. The issue I've been having is that when I brake, I get kind of a strange chirping noise that seems to be coming from the rear. It doesn't always pulsate but when it does, I feel it in my seat along with that chirping noise (I have a video on my channel that shows this noise). I've heard of that emergency brake test before, and I tried it but it didn't pulsate for the handbrake (which you pull up), even though I'm pretty darn sure it's the rear brakes. I tested something else — when I'm parked, I've sometimes forgotten that the e brake is engaged and I put it into drive with the e brake on. In other cars, I've felt the car lurch forward slightly and that's how I knew the brake was still engaged, and my car does the same thing, except that the rear passenger wheel seems to go down and lean more than the other wheels with a loud creak. This is also where the brake noise comes from most, is the rear passenger wheel, and I've had two other occurances with that wheel that makes me wonder if there's a bigger issue with this one wheel that's caused me all of these issues, including the following. One night I was driving home from another state and was in the highway when all of a sudden, that rear passenger tire blew out, and when I went to change it, I was confused as to how and why it popped. There were evenly spaced holes going around the tire, which had obviously caused the air to immediately escape. I wasn't sure how this had happened, as I had only been out of my car for roughly 10 minutes before I got back on the road and drove off. I was close to my car and didn't see anyone slash the tire, and if it were to be slashed, why would someone take the time to poke 10 or so holes around the tire when they could just do one slash, and why only one tire? Furthermore, it was 10 or 15 minutes into driving that it blew out, so if someone had slashed it before I drove, it would've been noticeable immediately after I began moving considering how quickly the air would've escaped due to the amount of holes. Then, a month or so later, I was yet again on the highway when I began to notice a slight, constant bumping coming from the rear. Thinking it was just the road conditions, I brushed it off and kept driving, but it only got worse before there was a loud bump and I couldn't keep driving. After pulling over, I found the most bizarre thing — the tread of the tire, and only the tread, had peeled off of the entirety of the tire like a banana. My parents said they've never seen that happen before and were just as bewildered as I was; the tire was the full-size spare that I had put on after the previous incident, and was still full of air with no holes yet was obviously not drive able since there was no tread. I now have four new tires and have had no problems yet. So, the ultimate question is, would you know of anything that could cause that one wheel to have bad brakes AND cause a tire to blow out in two strange ways? Or are the tire issues seperate and just coincidental, and the brakes are a seperate issue? I know that was an extremely long explanation, but I'm hoping you are willing to read all of that and help give me an expert opinion on what the hell is going on with my brakes and tire. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the video. I have changed my front rotors and pads because it was diagnosed with – Offside Front Service brake fluctuating. After the rotors and pads were changed only in the front, I still had a similar fluctuating issue. The steering is not vibrating, it feels like something is stuck on the rotors and has this intermittent braking feeling. I have changed the front rotors and pads again recently and I still have to drive the car to see if the symptoms persist. I intend to change the rear rotors and pads asap. If the symptom will persists even after changing the rear rotors and pads, what would you suspect? My car is a Mazda 3, petrol, from 2016. Thank you.

  5. Helpful thanks. My Vw 1988 t25 didn’t have a pulsating problem until it had both new front and rear brakes fitted. I still can’t find the problem. I had a feeling it was a bleeding issue but likely not then.

  6. What if I have a newer car that doesn’t have a separate parking brake? It has an electric rear parking brake button. Also I feel pulsating or a grabbing/jerking when I stop. I don’t feel anything in the steering wheel.

  7. I got a 2015 civic ex with 30k and when i am going down a hill and i am breaking about 50 percent I can feel the brake pedal shaking a slightly but no the steering wheel vibration

  8. Nice video. But, my car pulls down on one of the rear wheels when I step on the brakes. As if only one wheel is working. And, it stops after I've drive about 500 feet

  9. Definitely feels like it's front end, when I brake the car shakes and the higher the speed the worse. It is the car NOT the steering wheel shaking very loudly. Any suggestions?

  10. I just changed all 4 rotors and brake pads and didn't fix my problem. I get a shaking in the brake pedal at almost stop speed. I have the drum/ pad combo on my 2000 Silverado.

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