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Chevy HHR Brake Problems

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  • vickiovickio Posts: 1
    I bought an '06 HHR LT 1 1/2 years ago (it was a lease trade-in). It had 60,000 on it when I bought it, and about 20,000 later it started shaking when I would brake. I figured the rotors were warped, and I was on-line searching for prices when I found this blog. I had no idea there were others with this problem and it could potentially continue after I replace the rotors, or I may have to regularly replace the rotors. I hoped it was just a matter of cheap rotors.
    Also there is a weird clunking under the car - only sometimes. It seems to be noisy when the car is cool but once it warms up it stops. Sounds like maybe the heat sheild rattling?? The warranty has already run out because of the miles I put on it so I'm not going to pay GM to fish around under my car.
    A neighbor of mine works for GM in Oshawa, and said the HHR is being discontinued.... reading all these problems I am beginning to understand why!! :(
  • Hello.. Yes, the shaking may still continue..and as far as the clunking noise...well that too seems to be a huge huge problem. My car when purchased had under 20 miles on it...at 200 miles the shaking started and about 1,500 the clunking..yes it too is way worse when cold. The car now at 30k has been in the shop more than out..and it is in the shop as I write and has been for the past week. For the clunking..the dealership has put on a new rack and pinion, front end ball joints, steering box, shocks struts,calipers, hmmm...and so much more..and the clunking is still there. I am working with GM Executive offices..with little help. And, of course the warranty has long since run out..so out of pocket thus far.... at least 3k...I am not happy about this and have expressed my concerns. GM is now going to pick up the next 600..I know how kind.. hehe. If I left this car on the side of the road, keys in the ignition, nobody would take it.....or if they did...they would drive it one block..pull over and park the damn thing. I have become more than frustrated..and feel very unsafe driving it..I have two daughters, and drive carpool and it is scary.
  • I also have a 2006 HHR and have been having the same problem with my steering wheel-it shakes after braking. The dealer told me the rotors needed turning, so I had them turned, and had a brake job. It felt fine for awhile, but living in Colorado I drive mountain roads once in awhile. Coming down I-70 my steering wheel shakes like the front end is going to fall off. I went to the dealer again and they replaced the steering column. Driving to Vegas, again on I-70, my steering wheel started shaking again. The good thing is that once I'm on level ground and braking normal, the shaking is minimal, get that-I'm feeling good about the shaking being minimal! I like the HHR styling, and I was thinking about getting a pro series braking system, but after reading some of the other comments, I'm not sure anymore. I'm hanging in there.
  • Well..my car comes home tomorrow from spending an entire week at the dealership..replacing many parts. I will let you know what those are tomorrow...as they have assured me that the front end clunking noise is gone.. I've heard that before..so after I drive it, check it out, I will post what was changed. I am hoping that this fixes the years of ongoing problems I have been having with this car.
  • myhhrmyhhr Posts: 2
    Hi, I also have the same problems with the pulsating and vibrations. My husband took the car to the dealer at 24k miles complaining that it doesn't seem normal the breaks should be giving us problems at this stage, well after charging us $300, new pads, re surfacing the rotors, all seemed fine until now at 32K miles. Mind you thats only 8K miles and the breaks are bad again?. Now I am beyond irate, My son who is a certified tech advised me to have them look up the service bulletin which mentions about torking the bolts all the same. Seems if the tech does this wrong it adds to the problem.. which stands to reason. We should have not paid for the first time, and I will be the car in tomorrow armed with my yakking self. mentioning the fact if I am not satisfied, I will be driving around with signs plaster on my car about this problem and how this dealer seems to care less about the customer after purchase. We r retired and simply cannot absorb the cost of Chevys error. I too am ready for a class action, or all hhr owners going to Chevy headquarters together. Power to the people. Numbers do matter...2007 HHR
  • myhhrmyhhr Posts: 2
    Hi, if I knew that GM guy you know, maybe copy ALL these complaints or give us his email to forward complaints to. My husband is about ready to sell the car at a great financial loss. I am ready for any plan that will get us relief from this disaster. Funny thing is I love the care and my only other complaint was the design of the window button on the dash . Still have a hard time remembering where the hey it is to open a window. LOL. Seriously though something needs to be done. as a group not individually.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,187
    I can certainly understand your frustration as mine (bought in 05') had the same problem. I lived with it and kept an eye out for some magic fix until the rotors could be turned no more.
    I tend to view things differently and bottom line I wanted the problem resolved so I had my independant mechanic replace the rotors (likely no GM) and have added quite a few miles without any additional worries. Its fixed and I'm a hppy camper and can just enjoy the ride.
  • Your problem is dealing with GM. Go to a good private mechanic to have the work done. He should install quality pads and rotors. Have the rotors turned even tho they are new. Then he should be sure the calipers are sliding on the two supporting pins smoothly so they don't bind and drag the pads. This dragging will heat the rotors as you drive. Quality parts and install is the key.
    I did all this myself over a year ago (29k miles) and have no problems yet.

    I wrote a note to ABC news on this a month ago as they had done a story on BMW's problem but have heard nothing yet. Maybe try the Press as a way to force GM to fix this.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,731
    The cure is using high quality replacement rotors, not cheap ones in the aftermarket.

    These new rotors do NOT have to be turned; it's better if they're not touched.

    The calipers need to be perfectly lubed again and completely free. If any question, replace with rebuilt calipers.

    The original GM rotors are a type of lighter weight metal that does not age well under some conditions and starts giving unevenness. The caliper slides are never cleaned and lubed when GM techs work on the rotors.

    Turning the original rotors is fatal.

    This message has been approved.

  • Well this help came to me from chevyhhr.net. We are not the only ones out there with the rotor turning...clunking in the front..steering wheel shaking..And, believe it or not..after seeing the blog and what this guy did to fix it..I brought the info into the dealer mechanics...and low and behold it worked. Well it's worked for the last week...and I am hoping that the problem stays gone..Below I have posted what he as well as many others are doing for the same problems many of us are facing..below I cut and pasted what he did..... There are also photos to see exactly the tiny little piece that nobody..no dealer mechanic..has found..so he went by what I printed out...

    "SO tonight I set out to find exactly, what was clunking. Alot of us have the mystery clunk, so I will fill you in on what I found. I don't trust a shop to 'find' it for me, so instead of them throwing parts at it, it was easier to find it myself.

    I out my hands on everything underneath that car that had a bolt, nut, or bushing. Inside of the fender well's behind the caliper bracket there is a bar that attacked to the upper middle of the strut, down to the sway bar. I assume this is GM's idea of a sway bar end link. I had a friend rock the car as I found out I could recreate the noise by rocking the car back and forth. On the bolt that mounts it to the strut I put my hands on it and griped it firmly and low and behold no more clunking noise. My assumption is that there is some type of bushing, that has gone south.

    I highly advise anyone with the mystery clunk in the front end to grab ahold of that bar while someone is rocking the car and see if that silences the noise.

    I recently replaced my stock squeaky sway bar end links with MOOG #K750012 end links with zerk fittings. The new links are much quieter and have tighened up the feel of the steering."

    Here's the stock end links, you'll need to jack up the front end and remove the wheel to get to this part. The green arrows point to the two bolts that will need to be removed. The outside one is easy to get to, the inside one is not too difficult to reach.

    http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i1...s/DSC09063.jpg

    If by chance the nut spins there is a small area on the inside face of the link where you can get a grip on the bolt. On the new end links this piece is a full size nut that is much easier to work with.

    http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i1...s/IMG_2289.jpg

    Both end links side by side. The MOOG is a larger diameter bar than the stocker. Note the 90 degree zerk fittings, once the end links are installed you may need to rotate them a quarter turn or so to reach them better with your grease gun.

    http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i1...s/DSC09066.jpg

    Here's the installed end links, be sure to remember to grease them up before your test drive.

    http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i1...s/DSC09067.jpg
  • Hello..

    actually that wasn't a fix it for my car... I will post below what another gentleman has found when his car did the same thing..

    SO tonight I set out to find exactly, what was clunking. Alot of us have the mystery clunk, so I will fill you in on what I found. I don't trust a shop to 'find' it for me, so instead of them throwing parts at it, it was easier to find it myself.

    I out my hands on everything underneath that car that had a bolt, nut, or bushing. Inside of the fender well's behind the caliper bracket there is a bar that attacked to the upper middle of the strut, down to the sway bar. I assume this is GM's idea of a sway bar end link. I had a friend rock teh car as I found out I could recreate the noise by rocking the car back and forth. On the bolt that mounts it to the strut I put my ahdns on it and griped it firmly and low and behold no more clunking noise. My assumption is that there is some type of bushing, that has gone south.

    I highly advise anyone with the mystery clunk in the front end to grab ahold of that bar while someone is rocking the car and see if that silences the noise.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,731
    The links for pictures in this post are dead. Photobucket says they're all removed or moved.

    This message has been approved.

  • I have a 08 HHR that has been in for service several times for steering problems. They have replaced the steering column, power steering assembly, shaft insulators, etc.... There continues to be a marble rolling sound when accellerating from a stop, and when turning. has anyone else had these same problems?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,005
    kgp0271,
    Please e-mail me with your complete contact information (mailing address, phone, first & last name), VIN and current mileage, and the involved dealer. I would like to look into this further.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    Ernesto, please email Christina, do not post personal information in the forums. You can reach her by clicking the green "gmcustsvc" in the heading of her post, which will bring up the user profile and the email link.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • cmyrecmyre Posts: 4
    We have a 06 hhr and its first brake job was done at 20,000 miles at the local dealership under warr. The second brake job was done at 36,000 miles I did this one turned teh rotors replaced the pads with the best i could find locally . And at 63,000 miles I'm doing the brakes AGAIN this time i bought new rotors and pads from NAPA . They said the rotors are way better then OEM and the same with the pads. Each time i made sure that the rear brakes were properly adjusted . If i have to do brakes again I will Scream !!!!!!! Get this the Dealer said to use the " I " mode on the Trans. shifter when going down Hills and this will Help the brakes from getting hot as this mode will act like a brake by slowing down the car.
  • Good work. Just remember to follow the "break-in proceedure" for the pads you bought. THis is really important.
  • chevy_suckschevy_sucks Posts: 5
    edited March 2011
    I'm happy to report that I fixed my HHR problems for good:
    I traded this piece of junk in for a Japanese car!

    After this horrifying and nerve wrecking experience I had with this car, I'm done with GM products; I will never ever buy any GM brand anymore!!!

    Selling inferior products with chronic issues is one thing, but the even worse part of it is the lousy customer service behind the product. I strongly feel that the people at Chevy/GM still do not understand a very simple and basic truth: we as the customer are the ones actually paying their salary by buying their products!

    Since not a single person involved with my problems delivered any form of service which would have made me feel like they deserve some of the money I've spent, I simply will not spend any money anymore with Chevy/GM!

    Oh, by the way;
    Since I didn't want any of my friends or family to have a similar experience, I made sure to spread the word how BAD Chevy/GM is. I can say that I'm very proud and happy to announce that so far I successfully managed to keep about $500,000 worth of business away from Chevy/GM! ...and I'm not done yet...!

    Well, here's some simple mathematics for the Chevy/GM people:
    Taking care of the customer would have cost you maybe about $1500 in my case. I would have been happy and would have told my friends and family about how well you're taking care of your customers.
    Your initial investment of $1500 would have brought you $500,000 in referrals = your gain $498,500

    Pissing off (sorry my language...) a customer and watch how that $500,000 is going to your competitors.

    So, I think there are only two possibilities:
    1. Either Chevy/GM management is too educate to understand basic milk book calculation
    2. Or they just don't care.

    Personally, I think it's the latter...
  • barbannabarbanna Posts: 6
    Good for you! In May 2007, I traded in a beautiful 2005 PT Cruiser factory woodie that I bought new for a new 2007 HHR. What a stupid mistake!!

    The brake vibrations on my brand new HHR began THE FIRST DAY! After numerous attempts to correct the vibrations over the next 12 months, and lots of doubletalk from the dealer, I traded the HHR lemon one year later for a new 08 PT Cruiser - still like new after almost three years of no-problem driving.

    I still miss the 05 PT woodie that I traded in for the 07 HHR - it was the worst decision I made in well over 40 years of car buying.

    BTW, for years GM has been well aware of this chronic problem with HHR brake vibrations!
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Well, I guess you guys weren't lucky.
    My wife has a 2006 HHR and loves it, no problems at all.
    I bought a 2010 HHR and so far after 1 year...no problems. My wife is thinking of trading her HHR for a 2011.
    If the PT Looser is soooo good, why did they stopped production and the HHR is still going?
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