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Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking


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comics10
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May 31, 2012, 6:44 PM

Post #1 of 9 (1298 views)
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Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking Sign In

Year: 2001
Make: Saturn
Model: SL
Engine size: 1.9
Mileage: ~180,000 miles

The steering wheel of the car shakes when braking, especially if I've been driving for a while and they brakes have had a chance to heat up. I had them looked at by a mechanic when I got my oil changed. He informed me that the calipers were bad and I'd have to replace them and both the rotors and the pads. Is there any way to avoid this? Could changing the brake fluid help this at all? Or perhaps I could just change the calipers and leave the rotors and pads? I had the pads replaced about a year ago and have put about 30,000 miles on them since then. The rotors and wear left on the pads seemed fine when I removed the tires to take a look. I don't really have any experience with the calipers though so I'm not sure what I would be looking at to tell if they're beyond saving or what. Any and all help is much appreciated. Thank you.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 31, 2012, 6:57 PM

Post #2 of 9 (1273 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In

There is no way to avoid the pads and rotors because they are wasted. The calipers may be a bit of overkill though. I'm not there to inspect it so I can't say for sure but warped rotors are usually caused by aggressive driving that overheats the rotors. Rapid cooling as hitting a puddle when they are hot will cause much faster and worse distortion.




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 31, 2012, 7:02 PM

Post #3 of 9 (1264 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In

Rotors are probably too thin now and warp a bit with the heat of some use.

Quote-"Is there any way to avoid this?"

Not really unless you like it the way it is. No point in saving pads on new rotors and fact a real bad idea. Calipers if dragging a bit will warm up or even hot by themselves. Consider doing flex hoses also,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


comics10
Novice

May 31, 2012, 7:05 PM

Post #4 of 9 (1259 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In


In Reply To
There is no way to avoid the pads and rotors because they are wasted. The calipers may be a bit of overkill though. I'm not there to inspect it so I can't say for sure but warped rotors are usually caused by aggressive driving that overheats the rotors. Rapid cooling as hitting a puddle when they are hot will cause much faster and worse distortion.


Thanks for the replies. How would I be able to tell if the calipers are in fact bad? I'd really like to avoid replacing them if possible because I can do the pads and rotors easily enough but I'm a little hesitant to do the calipers (and spend the money).


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jun 1, 2012, 6:32 AM

Post #5 of 9 (1212 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In

Calipers on a 2001 if original and subject to anything harsh are probably ready. They totally hate being exposed to salts if applicable and water. If submerged in some deep water they don't have much chance. If one set of pads is even slightly worn more than the other there's an issue.

Thin rotors that most don't have enough metal to machine/turn will warp with heat. That silly couple mm's means a lot. One wheel might even be warmer than the other.

Lots is going to depend on conditions and how it is driven. Not so unusual for a vehicle to need brakes at 30,000 miles. Slides or slide pins can lose lube too.

Flex hoses can act like a reed valve unseen and not return fluid well or at all unseen from the outside. They are just HD hydraulic rubber and are always twisting a bit and flexing a bit and must because of course then must work with the wheel which is not suspended and body where mounted is. That meaning the wheel is riding the road and suspension is dampening road defects so it's not a coal cart.

Careful inspection which can require measuring, taking it all apart for total inspection, lubing up slide pins again are all in the cards,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


comics10
Novice

Jun 1, 2012, 3:50 PM

Post #6 of 9 (1191 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In

Thanks for the replies guys. One more question. Is it possible that its JUST the rotors causing the issue? Replacing just them might solve it perhaps?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 1, 2012, 4:13 PM

Post #7 of 9 (1188 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In

The rotors are what you are feeling bur you can't use the old pads on the new rotors. The are worn to the contours of the rotor and glazed over from the heat. Pads and rotors are minimum.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



comics10
Novice

Jun 1, 2012, 4:20 PM

Post #8 of 9 (1181 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In

So if I was to replace just the pads and rotors, is there a way for me to determine if I could "get away" without replacing the calipers? The car is pretty well worn and I'm not sure if it would be worth the extra investment if its not completely necessary.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 1, 2012, 4:49 PM

Post #9 of 9 (1178 views)
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Re: Saturn 2001, steering wheel shakes while braking [In reply to] Sign In

Look, we can't tell you what is good or bad on your car, only what is common. It needs to be inspected by someone that knows what to look for.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.





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