Truck Hops When Braking – Why And What To Do?

It can be a dizzying experience every time you step on the brake pedal of your truck and the vehicle bounces each time. So now you’re wondering why it’s doing that. Also, what can you do to fix it? We researched and consulted with different experts to give you the following answer.

A truck might hop as it brakes because it may be experiencing an underlying issue. These problems may range from warped brake rotors to unbalanced tires. Troubleshooting your truck may help you find the source of this concern. Once found, you can use the appropriate measures to deal with it.

So continue reading as we talk about these possible suspects to your truck bouncing when braking in greater detail. We’ll also discuss some potential solutions to aid you in solving the source of this problem.

photo of a Old pickup on a route from Argentina to the hills, Truck Hops When Braking - Why And What To Do?

Why Does My Truck Hop When I Brake?

Take note that it’s best to troubleshoot your truck’s unknown behavior in a controlled and safe environment. Avoid searching for the source of the bouncing in or near places with heavy automobile traffic.

photo of a Private Isuzu TFR Pickup Truck on the city road

Warped Rear Brake Rotors

Brake rotors are responsible for turning the movement of the wheel into heat. The generated friction helps stop the wheel’s spin, stopping your truck.

But these assemblies can become warped, which can introduce an unwanted bouncing motion each time you step on the brake pedal. A car’s brake motors can warp because of reasons like:

  • Overheating from parking the vehicle in a place experiencing hotter temperatures than usual.
  • Brake dust enters the rotors, which may rub against the material as it functions.

Aside from the bouncing, the rear brake rotors may be at fault if you encounter other issues with your truck. These additional problems may include a burning rubber smell, squeaks heard when braking, and an unknown vibration felt when pressing the brake pedal.

Damaged Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings are balls or tapers that allow the wheels to rotate without encountering significant friction. These components also generally stop when you press the brakes on your truck. But if your vehicle’s wheel bearings become damaged, you may experience bouncing during each brake pedal press because of the parts’ uneven surfaces.

Take note that wheel bearings may malfunction because of causes like:

  • Poor-quality construction
  • Frequent driving on uneven surfaces
  • Improper installation
  • Imbalanced tires

Unbalanced Or Bad Tire

Bear in mind that tire alignment and balance are different. The former indicates the tire's adjustment while the latter denotes the tire's weight distribution. An unbalanced tire can be a likely suspect to your truck hopping, particularly when it stops.

Aside from an improper installation, a vehicle’s tires can become unbalanced because of cold weather. Cold air may permeate through a tire’s rubber material, deflating it in the process.

Also, a poor-quality tire may be the suspect to your truck hopping when you press on its brake pedal. If so, replacing that low-quality tire with a better model may help solve the hopping problem.

How Do I Fix My Truck That Bounces When Braking?

photo of a Close up tail light of the old pick up car

Remember, finish your troubleshooting efforts to find the main reason why your truck bounces during brakes and stops. That way, you can avoid tinkering with your vehicle more than you should, which might lead to additional problems.

In this section, you'll learn some possible solutions based on certain causes of trucks bouncing when braking:

Replace The Brake Rotors

photo of a Car service procedure man mechanic repairing car brake rotor disc

Before proceeding with this replacement project, take note that each brake rotor changing operation is often different for various vehicles. So consult with your owner’s manual or ask the vehicle’s manufacturer to learn how to tackle certain steps.

Still, here’s the general procedure to change the rear brake pads and rotors of Ford F-250 models manufactured from 1999 to 2007:

What You’ll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Socket driver
  • Floor jack and jack stands
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Anti-seize tool
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Replacement brake pads and rotors

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Park the vehicle in a safe location with a flat surface.
  2. Raise the truck using the jack and stabilize it with the jack stands.
  3. Remove the lug nuts from the wheel assembly with the bad brake pad and rotor.
  4. Pull out the wheel assembly and set it aside temporarily.
  5. With the caliper exposed, remove the caliper bolts. Next, use a pry bar to remove the caliper from the brake assembly.
  6. Take the pry bar and whack it against the brake pads to remove them.
  7. Remove the other bolts on the brake assembly to take out its bracket.
  8. Slam the brake rotor with the hammer to loosen it and free it from the assembly.
  9. Install and secure the new brake rotor to the assembly.
  10. Reinstall the bracket, then place the new pads onto the brakes.
  11. Reinstall the rest of the brake assembly.
  12. Return the wheel assembly and secure it.
  13. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the ground.
  14. Test drive your truck to check if the hopping problem persists.

Check out these ceramic brake pads with slotted rotors on Amazon.

You can also watch the video below for a visual guide of the steps mentioned above, along with additional measures for a complete brake replacement job:

Balance The Tire

photo of a pick up truck shiny chrome silver rims wheels

You may invest in a tire balancer for this procedure. But that investment can be quite costly, especially when you only need to use it once or a few times. Instead, you can follow these steps for a DIY approach to balancing your truck’s tires:

What You’ll Need

  • Car jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket wrench
  • Portable wheel balancer

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Turn off your truck and engage its parking brake.
  2. Raise the vehicle with the jack and secure it with jack stands.
  3. Remove the lug nuts from the wheel.
  4. Pull out the wheel assembly and place it on the wheel balancer.
  5. Balance the wheel by adjusting it until the bubble level is in the middle.
  6. Once leveled, reinstall the wheel assembly and lower the truck.
  7. Drive your truck to test if it still hops when you press the brake pedal.

Watch this video if you want to know how a high-precision tire-balancing machine works:

Check out this wheel changer and balancer on Amazon.

Otherwise, the video below will show you a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

How Much Does It Cost To Replace All Brake Pads And Rotors?

Prepare to spend about $230 to $470 to replace all the brake pads and rotors in your vehicle. That cost range often also includes professional labor charges. You might be able to reduce the overhead for this project by purchasing the parts yourself and relying on DIY techniques in replacing the components.

However, it's best to take advantage of the services of seasoned technicians in the automotive sector. In particular, request help from vehicle repair professionals if you believe that you don't have the confidence, know-how, or skill to complete the brake replacement operation without committing significant mistakes.

How Long Do Average Brakes Last?

The typical vehicle will have brakes that generally last around 25,000 to 6 0,000 miles. These assemblies may also last up to approximately 80,000 miles with proper care. However, a brake’s lifespan may also be lower than expected because of reasons like:

  • Poor driving habits
  • Frequent driving
  • Low-quality materials used in production

Final Words

photo of a Old pickup on a route from Argentina to the hills

If you’re looking for the answers to other truck concerns, check out these other posts:

Diesel Truck Shuts Off While Driving – Why And What To Do?

Honda Ridgeline Windows Opening By Themselves—Why And What To Do?