Whether you’ve got a stock 55 Chevy Bel-Air, or a 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan, a vibrating brake pedal is a sign that there’s a problem that needs to be taken care of fairly quickly.
Normally, a vibrating brake pedal doesn’t signify a huge problem, but it can. This is especially true if you ignore the vibrating pedal for too long.
The Short Answer – You Have a Brake or Suspension Problem
If the brake pedal on your Volkswagen is vibrating, the problem is either in the brake system or the suspension system. The usual cause of a vibrating brake pedal in newer cars is normally a brake rotor that is no longer perfectly flat.
Damaged Brake Rotor
Mechanics call this condition runout and it’s where the thickness of the brake rotor is uneven around its circumference. Brake rotor runout, if left alone can become fairly severe, causing uneven braking. You should have the rotors checked out as soon as you notice the vibration in the pedal.
Loose Suspension Components
If the brake rotors all measure fine, your mechanic will start looking for loose suspension components. This can be a loose steering rack and pinion body mount, allowing the steering rack to vibrate, however this will normally also be felt in the steering wheel.
Loose of Worn Inner/Outer Tie Rod Ends
Loose or worn inner or outer tie rod ends in the steering system can also cause a vibrating brake pedal, although, again, you should also feel this in the steering wheel.
Loose Mounting Bolts
Loose mounting bolts on the MacPherson struts can also sometime cause the brake pedal to vibrate. Again, this should also cause the steering wheel to vibrate as well.
A Wheel that is Bent or Out of Balance
Finally, a wheel that is either bent or out of balance can cause a shaky brake pedal, although you should also feel the vibration or shake in your feet and through the car seat.
You’ve Got Antilock Brakes
Volkswagen now produces all of its cars with antilock braking systems. For those that aren’t accustomed to the feel of these, they can cause a feeling in the brake pedal that feels like a vibration or pulsation. However, this vibration is simply the pulsation of the brake hydraulic system and is perfectly normal.
If you are feeling unusual vibrating in your brake pedal, and you live in or near Halifax, please give us a call…we can take a look and let you know where the problem is. Our Service Department: 902-453-2790.
Image Credit: morebyless on Flickr