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Chevy HHR Brake Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
If an issue is coming up when youput your foot down, this is the place to discuss it!

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  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,240
    Ok, So its not really an engine problem, just seems like the best place to mention it.

    Winter temps have finally arrived here in Ct and with them I get a brake fluid warning and red brake light warning plus 'ding ding' to make me look. Problem is really a false indicater of fluid level (in my case, DO NOT ASSUME ITS FALSE) and there is a fix available and dealer is ordering new part to correct. It only shows up when temps are in low 20's or less and only when brake peddle is firmly pressed and held for 20 secs or so. I am just posting this in case someone else should see it and wonder.
  • I bought an HHR (the higher end one) recently and it now has a little over 5000 miles on it.

    The other day, I was driving and saw the vehicle in front of me slow to turn off. When I pressed my brakes, I heard a horrible grinding noise that reminds me of when you try to wind up a toy in the wrong direction. My pedal would not depress and the car would not even slow.

    Since that day was cold and there could have been a bit of ice, I pumped the brake to see if the ABS had just locked up. Mind you, I live in KY, so there is rarely ice on the road... but I'm originally from OH, so I did it instinctually. The brake pedal felt like it was locked in the up position. Luckily I had been about 6-7 car lengths behind and by the time I got up in his rear, my brake pedal released (still with resistance) and I was able to slow enough not to hit him.

    I took it into the shop and they said everything was working fine. Fine? I asked what they did to come to that conclusion and they said they took a computer read and nothing unusual had happened. I asked if they were able to tell when the ABS had been engaged (because this would have been the only time) and they said the computer doesn't track that. They explained that since the car was stopping fine for them, everything worked properly.

    Does anyone have any advice to share here? I don't have any warm fuzzy knowing the car dealer dismissed the fact that I almost rear-ended a pickup truck while going 45 mph. I saw a another posting about "something" rotors, but I don't know enough about cars to even know if that could be related.

    I'm also a bit leary of this dealer because after I signed the papers to buy the car, they informed me that while they were a Chevy dealer, they were not recognized by GM and could not give me the special financing. Does this mean they don't meet GM standards? They've been the only car place in town for ages.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,240
    I looked around here and there and only found one instance similar to what you are describing ('brakes not working'). In that case I believe ABS light was on and they replaced sensors (presumably code was set)
  • After my post, I found an identical complaint filed with ODI (www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov). It was ODI10178165.

    I decided to file a similar complaint ODI10179551 so someone knows it has happened more than once.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    I've moved your post on your missing problem to the HHR Engine Problems discussion and you may continue there.

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  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    During a snowstorm I slammed on the brakes to test the ABS, it was an unsettling sound that's made....but it did seem to be anti-lock braking? Sounds like a box of rocks between the pads and rotor and the brake pedal sort of does it's own thing ..you can feel the pulsing up-down.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,240
    Hehe is a little unsettleing feeling and sound, but it does let you know ABS is in play and working. Just have to get over the thoughts of taking you foot off pedal because you think there is something wrong
  • I have a 2006 HHR that we gat a month ago and I was just wondering about when I put my foot down to brake it is not a smooth brake but it feels like the brakes are pulsing and I can feel it in the steering wheel..Is it normal? or could it be the rotors?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,240
    If it happens on dry road during normal braking I wouuld guess rotors. If you have ABS and it happens on slick roads it could be the ABS working (pulsing felt mostly in pedal)
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    rotors may be warped...should be turned under warranty and insure the wheels are hand torqued back on..not use the impact wrench to tighten them ..GM rotors are notorious for this......
  • I have a 07 HHR. Have had since 9/06. It is in the shop for the 3rd time due to braking issues. Terrible vibration in steering wheel and you can feel it in the seat when brakes are applied. 1st time in shop they turned the rotors at approx 5000 mi. 2nd time in shop at about 9000 miles replaced rotors. I now have 14,500 miles and am having the same issue. Everyone is nice at the dealership but I am ready for lemon law.
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    the wheels should be hand torqued on and not tighten with the impact wrench...GM OEM rotors are infamous for warping if the wheels are mounted this way.......had the same problem in my 04 chevy malibu....ever since I began hand torguing them on.....havent had the problem...
  • smogdungsmogdung Posts: 349
    I don't get it, what would the tightness of the lug nuts have to do with the rotors warping? I put way over a 100,000 miles on a 90 Bereta GTZ & never had to do anything to the brakes...not even pads....
  • hhrprobshhrprobs Posts: 13
    I got 7000 miles on my 2006 hrr and now when i go to put on the brakes it shakes really bad,and the car jerks.Feels like the moter is goin to come out of it.anyone had that problem?
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    does the steering wheel shake...sounds like the brake rotors are warped..probably needed to be turned..should be done under warranty......and insure the wheels are torqued to specification with a torque wrench vice an impact wrench when they are remounted...
  • jenmikejenmike Posts: 11
    i just had my 2006 HHR with under 4000 miles in for the rotors being warped...The service guy blamed it on the heat and the hills here...bull crap. He also said I just made it under "a window" to have the rotors fixed. I dont understand how a car with under 4000 miles just makes the so called windowto get fixed. Arent they covered under the 3 yrs warranty?
  • hhrprobshhrprobs Posts: 13
    they should be 3 yrs,What was your hhr doing when it was the roters?mine when i apply my brakes,jerks and feels like the moter is coming out ,and i live in nc,where there are no hills.I feel like i got a :lemon: .I never had so many probs with a new car.
  • jenmikejenmike Posts: 11
    When I would press down on the brake..the stering wheel would shake and the was alot of vibration in the front of the car. This is pretty much the only problem we have had with the car. The one other problem was a driver side mirror defect that was fixed quickly. I really love my HHR and I am glad we bought it.
  • bertvbertv Posts: 6
    Same issue on my 06 HHR. Had rotors turned at 25,000km and 50000km. Now at 73000km (out of warranty) and they need to be replaced. Design is obviously crap! Called the GM Customer Service Center - same old BS....they really don't have a clue at times.....
  • hheroldhherold Posts: 2
    IM GLAD TO SEE IM NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH BRAKE ROTOR PROBLEMS, I HAVE 7,500 MILES ON MY HHR, I ALSO WOULD HIT THE BRAKE AND THE STEERING WHEEL WOULD SHAKE THE WHOLE CAR. THE DEALER TURNED THE ROTOR, IT STOPPED BUT WHAT I HAVE READ IT WILL START AGAIN. I WAS TOLD IT WAS FROM HARD BRAKEING AND HEAT AND COLD, THIS IS COMPLETE B.S. THIS IS A 2007 AND THEY SHOULD OF REPLACED THE ROTORS, IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN, THEY WILL WISH THEY NEVER SOLD ME MY HHR.
  • barbannabarbanna Posts: 6
    Hi,

    SAME THING! I bought a new '07 HHR-LT in early May. The VERY NEXT DAY the steering wheel began shaking violently whenever I braked from any speed higher than 40 MPH. Brought it back to the dealer and they said the rotors were "out of round" - this is a NEW car! Six weeks and 2,400 miles later the shaking returned whether I was braking or not. It was like the front wheels were not balanced. The same service mgr. apologized for the recurrence, stating that the original repair person was not terribly experienced (wow, what a confidence builder for me to trust THAT dealership!) He said they turned the rotors again and the problem was fixed. The car drove fine for about 24 hours, then it developed a distinct clicking sound whenever I applied the brakes at any speed. I'm fed up. I'm getting rid of it!
  • paopao Posts: 1,867
    much of the wraping problem has been linked to over torgueing the wheels.....dont know what its a problem..but had the same issue with my 04 malibu and 03 sorento.....once the rims where hand torqued on...after they were removed...I have experienced the problem....again rotors turned and the wheels hand torqued back on....over 50K on both cars since it happened....
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    It's unfortunate that it appears that they aren't following proper procedures. I know someone that had the same issues but even worse so after their Pathfinder was returned after having new tires put on and it wouldn't drive straight. Turns out the wheels were over-tightened with the air wrench and the rotars were indeed warped/bent.
  • pennyopennyo Posts: 1
    I have Had my HHR in the shop multiple time with the same problem, I was told by the dealership that on the third shop visit that they changed my rotors. Few months past and shaking again. I am at 39,000 miles now and they called to tell me the car needed new rotors. Found out they didn't replace them after all just resurface them. The car has been shaking since it was 2 wks old. They say I must pay for them since car not under warranty! My car shift system also went out at 6mo old. I need help with GM! :lemon:
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Unfortunately it is common for OEM brakes to wear out faster then aftermarket brake pads. Quite a few auto manufactures buy from the same company supplier at a cheap price. Manufacture warrantees do not cover brake wear because it is considered normal wear and tear, and who knows who drove the car and how it was treated. If your problems as you say are shaking or vibration that started during the warranty period then this should likely be covered or a reasonable explanation in what is wrong should be given. If this problem started after a tire rotation or some other service that required the wheels/tires to be removed, they are at fault.
  • hhrprobshhrprobs Posts: 13
    yes im in .I think chevy should take the hhr's bk and start a new line because mines been nothing but trouble ever since i got it.I got mine in june of 2006,and it has 11000 on it. :lemon:
  • MY 2006 HHR WAS IN THE SHOP 6 MONTHS AGO WITH BAD ROTORS AND WAS FIXED BY THE DEALERSHIP AND NOW THEY ARE WORSE THAN THEY WERE 6 MONTHS LATER. THEY ARE SAYING DEFECTIVE PARTS. THE CAR IS NOW OUT OF WARRANTY WITH 20,000 MILES ON IT. THE STEERING WHEELS SHAKES EVERYTIME I BRAKE AND WHEN APPLIED THE BRAKES MAKE A TERRIBLE NOISE. THEY NEED TO RECALL ALL THESE CARS. WE LOVE THE CAR BUT I WORRY ABOUT THE SAFETY OF IT.
  • I agree the car looks good.but i dont even want the car anymore.Mines 2006 hhr and i have had your problems and more.I've had it in the shop for roters,witch they turned.In witch its done it again since then.and get now its got this thing when you crank it makes a crazy sound.I've had to call the rd side service 10 times,Because the car wouldnt crank.Took it in and they said it was the swith,and ordered one.the car is a lemon anf i think they should take them all back.and start over.The cars are suppose to be american but there built in mexico.My car has 13000 on it.i cant listen to the radio with out it cuting off in less than 5 mins.Im argry and i wish i had never bought the car.i could go on and on but i will stop.Sounds like we all got ourselfs a :lemon:
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Some PT Cruisers come from Mexico as well. Many cars do nowadays because of economics.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Ok, I never realized that. Thank you for setting me strait. I will see you back on the Toyota forum.
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