Question about 1997 Oldsmobile 88

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My car shimmies upon braking from high speeds

When traveling at highway speeds my car will shimmy when I start braking on ramps, at traffic lights or during emergency stops. At these times the car makes an odd noise like the car is grinding to a halt. Is this all brakes or brakes and something else?

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  • kathyOH Sep 26, 2008

    Thanks, I'll have a mechanic check these things

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Sounds like warped rotors and worn pads or a worn front end or both. Most shops will check this for free I believe. If it were something like wheel bearings, or rear end you would likely notice this at lower speeds as well with out the brakes being applied. So the direct answer to your question is "Maybe, maybe not". Gee, that was helpful was'nt it?

Posted on Sep 26, 2008

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In absence of more information, this is usually an symptom of warped brake rotors. A rotor can build up enough heat in a hard stop to be bendable especially with the high hydrolic pressure a brake pad can bring to bear. Simply, If you keep the brake pedal depressed hard after a hard/long stop it can warp the rotor. (NOTE: at a hard stop, as soon as possible let the car creep forward a few inches at a time so the brake pad won't be on any one spot too long, plus keep light brake pressure --only enough to keep the car from rolling). The warped rotor causes the brake pad and caliper to float too far from the rotor and you won't feel the shimmy until you apply brakes. Under brake pedal pressure each time the wheel rotates under brake pressure the rotor and caliper will rapidly vibrate a few millimeters to each side giving the sensation of a shimmy in the sterring wheel. Most of the time this can be corrected by having the rotors resurfaced( aka Turned)

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You could have a problem with the wheels themselves...but it is rare.

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