So I was going at 60 mph today, when I had to hit the brakes because the traffic was slowed. The minute I hit the brakes (and it wasn't a very sudden strong hit), the car started uncontrollably switching sides, and I nearly hit a concrete post, which would have certainly killed me. The steering wheel started moving sides all by itself very aggressively.

To make this clearer, when I hit the brakes, the car sort of started driving itself and slipping. Imagine if a drunk driver starts turning the while left and right very fast. It would have certainly injured others as well. The thing is that I changed the brakes about a month ago. Needless to say, I called a towing service, and the dealership will be inspecting it tomorrow.

Any ideas as to why this might have happened?

  • How old is the car? Does it have Antilock Brakes (assume yes unless old car) – JPhi1618 Dec 5 '17 at 20:26
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    A broken contol arm or missing bushing might have this effect. As would a broken strut. All will be obvious once examined. – SteveRacer Dec 6 '17 at 4:15
  • Its also possible that one of your break callipers are rubbing. I had this on my 1973 beetle. Put new brake disks, pads and callipers on and that fixed the problem. To find out, drive around for a bit, hitting the brakes hard every now and then. When you return back home go around and feel if the rim is very hot. If so its rubbing. – Granny Dec 6 '17 at 12:45
  • Would be helpful to know more about your Honda. What year and model? Was the actually turning left to right? Or was it more of a violent shaking? Could you feel pulsing in the brake pedal when it happened? – CharlieRB Dec 6 '17 at 19:50
  • Weather/road conditions? Also a factor... – Tim Nevins Dec 6 '17 at 20:41

I am looking at 2 possibilities of failures here: brakes or suspension.

When one side of your brakes stops functioning, and you hit your brakes, the car will move to one side. The functioning side slows down, the non functioning side does not, so it turns toward the functioning side.

It sounds as if your experience was worse. I believe part of your suspension has become disconnected. At this point, one of the parts that keep the wheels pointed where they should be is no longer connected and at least one of your wheels is not lined up correctly. You might be able to tell this right away by looking at each wheel and seeing if one is not aligned correctly.

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