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Feelin' a little shaky

I've got an '02 Ford Taurus with 99k miles that's got something loose in the front end but I'm not entirely sure what it is. When under moderate to hard braking there's a quick shaking in the front of the car and the steering wheel jerks in sync with the shaking. Jacked up one front wheel, left the other on the ground, and sure enough the wheel moves when pushed at 3 and 9 o'clock, but not at 12 and 6.

Any advice on where to go from here?


Staff member
I was gonna say warped brake rotors at first... still could be part of the issue. Motion left/right but not up/down says maybe tie rod ends to me? Ball joints are usually up/down and bearings are usually both.


Charter Member
Concur with the possibility of a warped rotor. Depending on how the BJ is loaded by the spring, you may not be able to make a wear determination simply by pushing/pulling with your hands; this is usually true if the spring force presses upon the BJ. In this case, a long steel pry bar is used to pry up on the wheel after it has been lifted off the ground. For good measure and to be thorough, don't forget to check the wheel bearings.


sawmill slave
I would`nt be surprised at all if you have a warped rotor that`s causing the shake while braking, but I also suspect you have a bad tie rod end or something causing the looseness in the wheel end. Put it on a jack stand and crawl under it while your wife/girlfriend/kid/buddy rocks the tire back and forth while you eyefawk inner and outer tie rod ends and whatnot.