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Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Brake Problems



  • bp21901bp21901 Posts: 2
    I have an '03 Silverado 1500. My ABS & Brake dashboard lights come on and beep when I have my vent fan on setting 2, 3 or 4. When the fan is on 1 they don't come on, when on 2 they come on when braking, when on 3 or 4 they come on and stay on whether braking or not and will go off if I change the fan switch to the 1 setting. I also noticed that when I have my inverter in use it will also light up and beep when on fan position 1 and braking and all the time when in fan position 2.

    The brakes work fine, just very annoying to have the truck beeping at you while the fan is set to more than 1. The wheels have been pulled and brake pads checked, they are fine. Brake fluid level is fine. Brake lines have been bled.

    Any ideas? The local dealer is stumped, but willing to start swapping things out on a trial and error and high $ basis.
  • ttaupier1ttaupier1 Posts: 50
    I had serious break problems; they couldn’t seem to stop the truck. At all ( had no idea what to do after repeated visists). I typically drive in commuter traffic and they have stunk! from day one. Then a friend showed me his Chevy 2500HD his breaks that are practically the same and his truck did not stop either... rear calipers were not greased from the factory or installed properly. Off I went to Google and every GM/GMC forum on trucks, seems there are hundreds and thousands of folks out there with GM brake problems, My brother and father both have GMC truck and they also have problems. Here's what I did. I went to SSBC and ordered the rear caliper and rotor kit, I ordered the Russell SSbrakelines and ordered new SSBC rotors and pads for the front calipers. I installed and bled the lines and install the new gear...Holy Shmoly... The issue that most GM truck owners have is that the rear calipers are not designed to help stop the truck (they were miss manufactured, or mis-installed (not greased slider pins), rear rotors wear funny and pads do not squeeze the rear rotors. Mstcyliners have issues and ABS sensors have issues. Most everyone I talk to all have had issues with breaks. For now my issues are done the truck feels like a track car...until ABS or wheel sensors hit me. I have had the SSBC system for 2 years and 30K miles, my wife loves the feel of the truck despite the fact that its 6000+lbs. Toyota even markets their trucks to the fact that GM has crappy brakes...Hmmm what do they know that GM does not.. Oh yeah...what was the number one American car company in 2006 Bueler, "Anyone"... contact me if you want photos or thoughts :mad:
  • daffypuckdaffypuck Posts: 2
    I havent had any of the problems yall are mentioning. BUT, I have had serious warping of my rotors problems. After about 7,000-10,000 miles on my 05' Silverado, My truck started bouncing up and down when braking. It turned out to be warped rotors, Which I figured. The dealer repaired them and now 12,000 miles later, Theyre warped even worse. I never pull or haul anything. I dont drive like my Grandpa, but Im also not abusive to my truck. Why are they warping so easily? Is it substandard materials or too small of rotors? If the dealer is uncoperative, What are some good aftermarket rotors I can buy?
  • ttaupier1ttaupier1 Posts: 50
    The Warping is caused by excessive heat on the rotors, excessive heat is caused by having to apply too much friction... by the front pads,

    too much friction on the front rotors is caused by lack of brake pressure balanced between the front and back brakes 70/30(is the likely cause)

    You could have MSRCylynder issues...?,

    I know from personal experience from yr2000 and on, GM has always had warping issues, I now have 34K miles on my after market SSBC components and no more warping, is probably your best bet, they have rotors that are coated that resist rust.

    I now have about 45K on my truck and bakes and rotors are fine, dealer serviced said their 10% used, means I will get about 150k miles before the next brake job... see my photos
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    and rotor. Still had a lot of meat on the pads too. Figured 100k was no problem.
  • daffypuckdaffypuck Posts: 2
    Well, Too much friction is the common sense assesmaent that the dealer gave me. You would think that would know that and adjust accordingly. But alas, they didnt. If they fix em again for me, How can I adjust the differential? IMO, A truck should never have warped rotors unless youre abusive or haul a butt load of crap all the time. My truck is just a small V-8 2WD. It never has the load to warrant warping the rotors reguardless of how abusive one is when braking. Thanx..
  • utah2004utah2004 Posts: 1
    Hello ttaupier1,
    I have rotor warping problems also. I own a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500, 2WD. Last July/2006, I experienced brake pulsation. Dealer determined that all 4 rotors were warped. They were machined and this fixed the problem.
    Milage at that time was 67338 miles. Today after only 7723 miles, I again have brake pulsation caused by warped rotors - this confirmed by dealer. Rear rotors must be replaced since not enough metal to machine them; front rotors need to be machined again. I don't feel I should have to pay for this since it shouldn't have happened after so few miles. I think I need some kind of official proof to show my dealer before they will give in to my request. I've searched the Internet but can find nothing that appears 'official' You mentioned you've seen many instances of people with GM truck brake problems. Do you recall anything specific that would help me here?

    Thanks. Clark
  • ttaupier1, did you get the stock rotors or the 14" ones from SSBC? I'm looking at the 14" rotor upgrade. Every GM vehicle I have owned has had marginal brakes,(except my GXP)but these are he worst.
  • I got the standard OEM rotors for the (4 of them)truck, like you my truck had marginal brakes from the start, and i assumed that the front calipers were working well, so i replaced the rears with the triple piston SSBC calipers, russel SSbrake lines and standard OEM rotors....feels like a nascar now!!!, my wife loves to drive it due to the brake feel. I have standards OEM rotors from SSBC all the way around. (note*...the key might be the SS-brake lines to the feel.) I did all the work myself and only extended the complete brake job by an hour for bleeding the new lines.

    my e-mail:
  • tcbin07tcbin07 Posts: 7
    I very recently purchased an 06 GMC Sierra 1500 HD Crew Cab from a reputable? dealer and quickly discovered a braking issue that I'm certain will lead to problems down the road. The truck was a lease return with 35000km on it (may have been a rental, so it seems). Tire wear on the front indicates a fair bit of wear, but I think the dealer rotated the tires as the back ones seem quite good. I suspect that the brake rotors are warped though, because when I brake with medium pressure at higher speeds (80 km/hr) I can feel a pulsation in the front end and the steering wheel shakes a little. I contacted my salesman and he advised me to bring it back for a diagnostic as to whether the thing is a safety concern, or is just the result of normal wear. Like one of their advisors is going to tell me that the issue is all in my head or something, and that what I'm feeling is the result of "normal" wear. The vehicle has 36K on it and I'm feeling a brake problem already? That is not normal, but the situation may not be serious enough yet for them to do anything to correct it. Plus they want me to pay the cost of the diagnostic if they deem nothing is wrong with it. Some dealership! Well, I made an appointment to take it in to see what they say, but I suspect I may be in for a battle with them about fixing anything, in view of the comments I've been reading in this forum about inferior GMC brakes and parts.

    Anyone out there have similar braking problems with their 06 Sierra? Any advice as to how to proceed with convincing them to fix it, at their expense?

    Am I asking for the moon here?

  • tcbin07 If you have to replace anything, go aftermarket. Even NAPA has upgraded rotors and pads. the slotted rotors will be your best bet. The rear brakes have been a problem on these trucks since GM switched to rear discs. Just my.02
  • sweetlbsweetlb Posts: 4
    I have a 2001 Silverado 1500 4wd with 55,000 miles. The past month or so, when I am coming to a slow stop (under 20 mph), when I touch the brake pedal, it starts to pulsate/shudder and press back towards me. The only thing I can do to stop is to start pumping the brakes repeatedly and hard.
    So now, when coming to traffic lights and stop signs, I start braking well before giving myself space.
    I’ve already replaced the rear pads and rotors about 12,000 miles ago because of squealing. Bought after market parts from local Autozone.

    I took the truck to the local mechanic who said he thinks it’s the speed sensor. When I picked it up, he said “the speed sensor is fine and the computer shows nothing wrong. When it gets worse, bring it back and we’ll put it back on the computer.” Not a very reassuring answer.

    Only thing I can think to do is replace the front rotors/pads, but don’t want to waste my money/time if that’s not it.

    Any ideas what I should check/replace?
  • I am not sure its the front rotors and calipers ...are a problem.. but rather the symptom. I have put new rear calipers from SSBC on my 2003 GMC Sierra, not sure it matters what type, but rather the rear calipers are swapped for something that works. I also added brake SS-lines. I drive in Boston traffice weekly and have for about 35-45k miles on top of the 45k i had when i need to replace the brakes. NOT one issue, and often times atleast once a week i use them and I mean HARD.

    Whith this said, the front rotors warp due to too much heat..the back brakes were not pulling their weight. This i suspected because my wifes old car.. Honda Accord ex stopped on a dime. i actually felt the difference in the rear wheels having more stopping power on the honda.

    I saw the on line forums and notices everyone having stopping isses, however the front brakes on the truck created tons of dust, non on the back wheels, I use a little logic, my wife's rear wheels always had to be cleaned disk brakes. Hmmm can you see where this is going..

    a friend had a 2500 silverado..had to do a complete brake job, noticed the rear disks not being used and rusting over, a friend of his the mechanic, in his army unit repairs chevy's, told my friend about the rear break caliper defects, it was talked about in a chevy trainig class....hmmmm ..well here comes rear SSBC calipers...there i go. have you guys noticed the Toyota emphasis on heavy duty breaks...stopping the truck before it goes over the cliff...that is not an accident in Marketing.

    new rear calipers should fix the back brakes, and front, and the warping...not sure the dealer will pay for it...since they have had training for their mechanics for 3-4 years about the issues .... Until some folks die the NTSB won't get involved which means GM will only loose money by assisting the repair. Why loose money when the public will pay for it, and add service revenue to their bottom line.

    This was more than .02, maybe .03,,,was i sick to buy $1500 in brakes...all i know is when i drive my 20 month old son around..i would pay 10 times that for peice of mind.

    MY OLD POST>>>>I know from personal experience from yr2000 and on, GM has always had warping issues, I now have 34K miles on my after market SSBC components and no more warping, is probably your best bet, they have rotors that are coated that resist rust.

    I now have about 45K on my truck and bakes and rotors are fine, dealer serviced said their 10% used, means I will get about 150k miles before the next brake job... see my photos
  • sweetlbsweetlb Posts: 4
    Okay, here’s where I’m at.
    After looking through my receipts, it appears I’ve already replaced the Rear Rotors and Pads ~15000 miles ago. So I went to the local Car Quest and bought after markets Front Rotors and Ceramic brake pads. Lady behind the counter told me any pulsation on the brake pedal is the rotors. Also talked me into ceramic pads (no brake dust on the rims). I hate cleaning my rims…

    So yesterday I replace the Front rotors and pads, and took the truck for a ride. Still have the same problem.
    However, it does this less now. For example, it only used to do the “brake pedal pulsation/shudder” on soft stops under 20 mph maybe 9 out of 10 times.
    After changing the fronts, it seems to be doing this only on soft stops under 10mph. And maybe only happening 7 out of 10 times.

    So the short version is, it’s still doing this, but by replacing the front Rotors and Pads, it seems to be doing this less.

    Could there be an ABS problem?
    What are the symptoms of ABS problems?
    Not sure what else to check.
  • tcbin07tcbin07 Posts: 7
    An update to the brake concerns I have with the 06 Sierra. Took the truck back to the dealer and they were very good with recognizing my brake issue. End result they shaved the rotors on the front wheels, test drove it and sent me on my way - no charge. Got what I wanted, for now. Will wait and see how long this lasts. Makes me think that this is a common occurrence with Sierras. As this is a warranty item, I will be watching it closely near the expiry date of my warranty, in case the pulsation issue needs to be looked at again.

    Should I need to replace anything after warranty, I will probably go with SSBC parts if I can get them.
  • tcbin07tcbin07 Posts: 7
    Could it be your calipers? If not mechanical, a sensor maybe? Not likely ABS. I know I need to hammer my brakes on my 06 Sierra to get ABS to kick in. But from what I'm getting from the forum, it looks like all the GM mechanical brake parts are suspect.
  • sweetlbsweetlb Posts: 4
    Calipers? I’m not sure. I was going to purchase those too the other day, but the lady behind the counter convinced me that it was the rotors. Now I’m hesitant to replace anything else unless I get some sort of reassurance on what it might be.

    I’m also hesitant to take it to the GM dealer. Had an issue with them a while back on a recall that they said they would fix, then decided it was my fault (faulty tail gate cables).
    So I’m still a little bit upset with them right now.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    When I had installed ceramic pads, there were specific instructions on how to burn in the pads. Failure to burn the pads in properly could cause a variety of problems. Course I thought that it was nonsense. But then again better safe than sorry.

    I remember that you had to do almost complete stops from a variety of speeds. BTW, the instructions came enclosed with the pads. Raybestos I believe.
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