Braking Shudder - '96 850 Wagon

When I apply the brakes at around 30-40 mph there is a "shudder" through the steering wheel. You don't really feel it through the seats, mainly
just through the steering wheel.
By shudder I mean that the steering wheel vibrates and wiggles back and forth quite a bit, once I slow to below 30 mph it stops and the car slows and stops smoothly.
The local volvo mechanic said that this indicated a problem with the brakes. He said to either live with it, or replace the front pads and rotor for about $300.
Any opinions? Does this sound correct?
Could it be something else, like the suspension? I wouldn't want to replace brake parts if they are fine and would be unhappy if I spent the money and that didn't fix the problem.
Thanks in advance for any advice/thoughts/etc...
-Atif
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definatly sounds like warped front rotors, this is common, and your mechanic is absolutely right, saving money on the pads is silly, as they comprise about $25 or so of the cost of the job. Honestly I have had pretty good luck with cheapo rotors from Auto Zone or somewhere, and this is a pretty darn easy job to do yourself. I would imagine if you can get aftermarket rotors, you can do it for under $100.00
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Thanks for the reply....
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Why is this common? What can I do to avoid this in the future? Does it have to do with my driving technique, weather conditions, etc?
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Do you have cheap aftermarket brake pads (read Midas or Meineke or Joe Bob's brake/lube shop)?
Warped rotors are typically caused by the pads over-heating, and fusing a minute amount of material on the rotor. You can either grind the rotors to fix this, or install new rotors. Grinding is more work. New rotors are pretty cheap.
A pair of front rotors and pads from IPD is about $175.
AC
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Atif, go here for info...
http://www.trustmymechanic.com/brakewarp.html
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Wow thanks everyone for the replies and good information...
I'll take a look and see how it goes. I also have to look over my car records because I seem to remember having some brake work done not so long ago.
I'll try to remember to post the outcome of all of this when it is done...
Thanks again everyone! -Atif
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Shudder and pulsing while braking. The never ending quest for solutions. Prior to blaming the rotors read:
http://www.stoptech.com/tech_info/wp_warped_brakedisk.shtml
Then look elsewhere.
What happened just before the shudder started. New Tires, a tire rotation, flat tire repaired, hit a pothole or curb, which is made worse if you're braking when you hit them??
If it shudders enough to move the steering wheel, something is loose.
Get underneath and start shaking and moving parts. Grab the top of the tires and push them back and forth like you're trying to rip it off the car. Then grab the front of the tire and do the same. Have the hub caps off when you do this and look for loose lug nuts. Listen for noise and feel for anything. If you are uncertain about what you should feel, grab the tire of a car that does not shuuder or virate and shake that one. Anything in your auto that does not feel the same indicates something wrong.
I'd hate to see you spend a lot of money just because somebody did not tighten something correctly.
Duane
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First thing to check is that the wheel lugs are tightened at the correct torque (any decent Volvo mechanic will have the correct foot-pound specs for your car --- and the various Volvo models vary --- or the owner's manual has it). I get the same braking vibration on my 940 if the torque isn't just right, and I replaced brakes, etc., before I figured that out. Unfortunately, most mechanics don't seem to pay any attention to torque requirements, they just tighten 'em up with their power wrenches.

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Yep, that's the first think to check, and uneven/improper torque will cause shuddering.
Rick
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I had a problem with my brakes it turned out to be the ABS had a pit of corrosion between the pins or contacts cleaned it up and put liquid silver to take up the air gaps that allow corrosion ,no shudder now as the abs was engaging willy nilly before .

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