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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had an odd experience today. I've had my Cruze about 6 months and he has about 6,000 miles on him. Today when pulling up to a red light I braked as normal and the car was very jerky. The pedal vibrated heavily and it felt as if I had lost traction or the brakes were not gripping. There was a little water on the road so I just assumed I had lost traction and carried on.

Later, on dry pavement, it did the same thing. It is hard to explain but it tends to occur when braking when traveling at least 30mph and pressing firmly on the pedal (although not "slamming" on the brakes). The pedal vibrates and jerks and the entire car is jerky and does not stop as quickly as it should.

Obviously, I am taking him into the shop tomorrow morning but I'm wondering what could cause this?

Side note: had the first oil change/tire rotation last week - could anything with the tire rotation have caused trouble with my brakes?
 

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npaggett, is your Cruze a 1.4T automatic? If so there's a very good chance it's involved in a brake recall.
 

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That means your rotors are warped.
they probably got warped by heating up, then you hit a puddle, since you said there was water on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How do rotors warp at 6,000 miles? Is that something that the warranty would typically cover? And while there was water on the road, it was certainly not a significant amount, I was in an inside line and there was no standing water there.
 

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I've warped rotors that quickly. It doesn't even really take water on the road to do it either - just repeated hard stopping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't really stop hard though. Ever since my car accident a few years ago, I am an exceptionally cautious driver. Hmmm...we'll see what they say tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh this was not ABS. I've had ABS kick in and this felt more like when my tire blew a few years ago.
 

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It really has nothing to do with the mileage on the rotors. Hot metal plus cold water = warped/cracked. It can happen with less than 1 mile on them.

ABS does not make the pedal vibrate heavily. You can feel it in the car but not so much in the brake pedal.

No, this is not a warranty issue, TBH, as it is not a design flaw or a manufacturing problem. It is simple physics (assuming warped rotors is the actual issue), but if you have a good relationship with your dealer, they might fix it anyway.
 

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I dunno, pedal vibrating quickly sounds like ABS activating to me. Perhaps the sensors aren't working correctly.

That said, I had warped rotors on the Cruze @ 8000 miles, never braked hard. They were resurfaced under warranty. That's more of the front end of the car shaking/pulling from side to side though.
 

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I dunno, pedal vibrating quickly sounds like ABS activating to me. Perhaps the sensors aren't working correctly.

That said, I had warped rotors on the Cruze @ 8000 miles, never braked hard. They were resurfaced under warranty. That's more of the front end of the car shaking/pulling from side to side though.
while warped rotors can cause the shaking from side to side it is usually more of a wheel balance issue. Warped rotors make the pedal shake rather badly, due to the pads skipping on the rotor's surface, because the pads do not warp. They can be resurfaced if the warp is not too bad, but if it is then they must be replaced.
 

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I'm also with ABS activation. Hard braking in water, sand, gravel and on tore up streets where the tire leaves the roadway for a split second can activate it. My older GM would light a traction lost light at the same stop sign almost everytime when ABS kicked in but the Cruze does not. I'd still take it in and see if they can make it happen again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe it wasn't clear but this was not in water. There were not puddles or standing water. It was just damp pavement.
 

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Yeah the fronts are touchy(especially if you have rear drums that weren't adjusted from the factory setting). I activate it all the time when I slow down on bumpy dry roads at this one stop sign.
 

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while warped rotors can cause the shaking from side to side it is usually more of a wheel balance issue. Warped rotors make the pedal shake rather badly, due to the pads skipping on the rotor's surface, because the pads do not warp.
Shaking the steering wheel when braking is definitely brakes and not a wheel balance issue.

It is rare for rotors to "warp" - unless you hit water or something of the sort while the brakes are hot. Most of the time, it is just uneven pad transfer baked on to the disc surface from coming to a hard stop and sitting with the pads touching the hot rotors.

Unless the discs are severely misshaped, it is also rare to feel much of a pulsation in the brake pedal at lower speeds.

I activate it all the time when I slow down on bumpy dry roads at this one stop sign.
My Cruze is definitely less sensitive to activating the ABS than others I have driven (I have probably hit the brakes that hard 3x ever), but bumps while on the brakes sure do confuse the system and you'll get a couple brake pedal pulses and some whirring from the system. As one wheel briefly stops quicker than another as you're coming over rough pavement, the whole system freaks out.

I think this is kinda what the OP is describing - similar to hitting ABS on gravel or ice and the system makes a lot of noise but doesn't slow down very well. Crud on the axle rings/sensors can sometimes trip up the ABS systems and make them hypersensitive, thinking that the wheels are locking up when they are not in reality.
 
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