Get 5% off in-app
400k+ download
Open app

Why Your Car Jerks When Braking: Here’s What You Need to Know

  • Cars Explained
  • Silas Smith
  • 4 minutes

Spread the love

Have you ever experienced a situation in which your car jerks when you apply the brakes? This is not how brakes should commonly work, and they’re engineered to provide you with a safe and smooth braking experience. You may experience this if there’s an issue with your car’s brake pads, fluid, damaged ABS wiring, or even dirt accumulation in the brakes or rotors. Today, we’ll look at all the reasons for a jerking issue while braking, how to fix it, and if it is safe to drive with one.  

Why does my car jerk when braking? 

A jerking feeling in your car can be caused due to various faults in the parts associated with the brakes. Let us describe all of that to you in detail.  

car jerks when braking

Worn-out brake pads 

Brake pads are one of those components in constant use, and it is normal for them to wear out over time. So, when the brake pads are unable to bring the axle and wheels to a halt, it makes a jumping or jerking sensation. The only way to avoid this is by thoroughly inspecting the brakes regularly for wear and tear and fixing them when needed.  

How to identify if my brake pads are worn out? 

Your car will give out certain signs to let you know that a brake pad replacement is due. These are a few symptoms.  

  • The braking process takes a little longer than usual, that too normal weather conditions.  
  • A high-pitched squealing sound when braking – ignoring this can lead to severe problems like rotor damage.  
  • Grinding sound while braking – also signals a damaged rotor.  

Always consult a mechanic if you notice any of these symptoms or anomalies in the braking process.  

Low Brake Fluid levels 

Brake fluid, just like any other car fluid, is essential to keep your car in good running shape. It is a hydraulic fluid that facilitates the smooth movement of pistons and pumps. An inadequate level of brake fluid in your car can lead to jerking when braking, as the brake line mechanics are getting affected. However, a periodic inspection of the brake fluid levels on your car and checking whether it is leaking can help your car avoid jerking when braking. It is also possible for the brake fluid reservoirs or fluid hoses to be at fault. Repairing or replacing these parts can also solve the problem. 


Debris accumulation  

Dirt and mud on the road are something you cannot avoid, no matter how careful you drive. Your car can attract them, particularly if you frequently drive through the countryside and bad roads. This dirt can get trapped inside the brakes and rotors of your car and accumulate in a way triggering jerks when braking.  

Damaged ABS 

The Anti-lock braking system or ABS is one important car part that helps the brakes from locking up when hard braking. That said, ABS wiring can run into issues over time, affecting its smooth functioning and causing jerks when braking. However, ABS faults are easy to detect as they are indicated by a telltale dashboard light. The only thing you need to do in this regard is to take your car to a qualified mechanic as soon as you spot the warning light.  

Air trapped in the brake line. 

Properly functioning brake lines are essential for your car to work perfectly. But it is essential to understand that air can trap inside these brake lines if there is a leak, which can lead to a jerking sensation while braking.  

Is it dangerous if a car jerks when braking? 

Yes. Anything that leads your car to lose control is dangerous, and a jerking sensation while braking is no exception. It means that a component of your car’s braking system is at fault. This can be dangerous as it can lead to accidents.  

How long can I drive a car which jerks while braking? 

It’s better not to drive a car that acts weird, be it while braking or any other mechanical issue. Mechanical issues may lead you to lose control over the car and can end up in accidents. Therefore, it is always better to tow your car to the nearest mechanic and get it resolved before you run into much trouble.  

Way.com, the all-in-one App, helps you find the best auto insuranceauto refinanceEV charginggas discountsbest parking, and car washes near you. 

Own a car in a smarter way using the Way App! 

Related Posts


Press ESC to close