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Auto Q&A with Tom Torbjornsen: Brake calipers may be sticking

Also check for a blocked rubber brake hose.
Also check for a blocked rubber brake hose.

Dear Tom,
I own a 2006 Toyota Avalon with 81,000 miles. I had the brakes changed to long-lasting heavy-duty brakes about 20,000 miles ago. When I step on the brakes the car stops fine, however the front end shimmies. What is causing this shimmy?
Mark from Lancaster, N.Y.

Check the brake calipers to see if they are sticking; also check for a blocked rubber brake hose that would allowing the brake to release after the pedal has been released. Both of these could cause the brakes to stay applied with your foot off the brake pedal, resulting in a heating up of the rotor(s) and warpage (causing the pedal pulsation).

Tom Torbjornsen is an automotive expert of 37 years. An automotive journalist in good standing with the IMPA (International Motor Press Association) and MPG (Motor Press Guild), Torbjornsen is the Repair and Maintenance Editor for AOL Autos, At Home Portals and many other websites. Please send your car questions to his website at


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