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Chevy HHR Brake Problems



  • barbannabarbanna Posts: 6
    You are fortunate to be one of the lucky ones with a non-vibrating HHR. I wish mine could have been in the same category.

    Yes, Chrysler's last PT Cruiser came off the line in 2010 after 11 years of production - a very good run. Chevy's HHR still has five more years to go to tie the PT.

    If the HHR is still in production in 2016, perhaps GM will have fixed the vibration problem.
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    I had bad vibrations with my 2005 Equinox when I applied the brakes.
    My rotors where always warped, had to get them machined every 5 months and after 4 times had to change the rotors and still doing the same.
    I used to call it my Equijunk until I fell in love with the HHR.
    The HHR has the same platform and engines as the Cobalts (coupe/sedan) and never heard no one complain about the Cobalt?
    The designer that drew the PT Cruiser quit his job at Chrysler and went with G.M.
    Shutttttt! I work in a Dodge/Chrysler dealership and see lots of PT Cruiser's coming in. Very hard to sell on the lot.
  • jhicks2jhicks2 Posts: 2
    I am a proud (lol) owner of 2008 Chevy HHR. My first problem was the brakes. at 20,000 miles had to have rotors turned and new pads put on. At 36,042 miles went back for same problem was told it was out of warranty and needed to pay for myself. Then 3,000 miles later my struts went bad, which also at the same time my swaybar links went bad also. Then at 44,ooo miles my engine light came on and my vent on top of my gas tank wasn't working so they had to replace it. Now Im starting to hear water sounds in my dash and starting to smell antifreeze still have to take in to see what it is. Now not sure about anyone else but I have put more money into this car than its worth. I have also contacted GM about all my problems and all they could tell me was sorry. BIGGEST P.O.S. I have ever owned and I am a huge fan of Chevy's but this one car has got me thinking about Honda
  • I hear your frustrations.I bought my HHR after seeing it at the LA car show at the end of 2005. So when the first arrived at the dealerships I was on the list to purchase...How I wish that list was lost.. :) I too had brake problems with a horrible shuttering of the steering wheel not even 4 weeks after my purchase. I was coming home from a camping trip near Lake Arrowhead I pulled over to let my husband drive it down the hill. I could hardly control the shuttering of the wheel and the grinding sound coming down the hill. The more you pressed on the brakes, the harder the steering wheel shuttered. Needless to say with our daughters in the car, it was pretty scary. I was thankful it was summer.I know I wouldn't be here today had it been a slippery road. Of course I brought it straight to the dealer and they said rotors..well that became the standard answer for over a year.....My car at that point had maybe 400 miles. So in the last 5 years..I can tell you I had at least 20 rotor turns on the lathe...4 sets of new brakes, a new rack n pinion..steering rack, swaybar links.The classic part is the dealership up and closed and they were the ones helping me to try and get this hunk of junk classified as a lemon..48 hrs prior the manager of the dealership asked me to bring in all my paperwork so he could look at things.. well being that I saw them on a twice a week basis..didn't think of making photo copies. So, when the closed, they took my paperwork, and my written proof with them. GM has no idea where they have gone...And each time I have called GM they make it seem as though I am the ONLY person out there having these issues..My car to this day has 42k miles as I am terrified of driving it with my little ones in the car..My friend has the water sounds in hers...after a while the passenger side floor was soaked, and continues to have all the same issues that we all are having. Its so frustrating, and even more so that GM doesnt care nor will they listen..I have heard from many on this site wanting to start a class action lawsuit. I will be the first to jump on that. I think Chevy needs to stick with trucks..I know if I could afford it I would get rid of this.. I have put thousands into a car thats not worth it. :lemon: :mad:
  • ernestogernestog Posts: 2
    At 34700 miles I had a front brake pad kit, front brake rotors replaced and new brake fluid added. I now have 39400 miles and have driven on Colorado mountain highways many times without a hint of pulsation or any other problems associated with the brakes. I can only think that the brake problems that I have had since 25000 miles were caused by the OEM brake pads and rotors, and resurfacing them did not solve the problem. Signing off.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,051
    >I had a front brake pad kit, front brake rotors replaced and new brake fluid added.

    Were the calipers replaced?

    Yours is certainly the idea. Even the fluid is replaced in case it's vaporization of water-contaminated fluid causing problems.

    With the others who have posted complaining about brakes, there seems to be a question in my mind about whether they're thoroughly being checked.

    I suspect there is a problem with the pads and the type of rotor used new. I believe those are lighter in weight for fuel economy concerns. If they are abused, the pads can affect the coating of resin that's on the rotors and it becomes uneven. That can cause a grabbing effect. This is something I read about on sources about properly breaking in new pads. So starting with new pads and new rotors is a good step.
  • leah5leah5 Posts: 6
    yup sure does as well with a lot of other problems too. i'd love to know if there is going to be a lawsuit on this issue...or if everyone who has a HHR with all these simlar problems are going to get new cars FREE of charge? only because we have all had major problems with these wonderful cars that your dealership wants to repersent? And now thats its raining where i live, my sunroof is going to leak yet again, and now that my door handle on the passenger side broke i'm going to have to roll down my window in the RAIN causeing i'm sure even more water damage and even more mold. tell me please why do you care when the chevy dealership doesn't? honestly i don't get it.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,057
    Can you please email me with your complete contact information, VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer? I would like to look into this for you.
    GM Customer Service
  • jhicks2jhicks2 Posts: 2
    Christina, I have delt with GM customer service in the past on all the issues and you guys act like I am the first person to ever have these problems. When I can find 20 other forums on the web with hundreds of other people with this vehicle that are having the same problem. Now when you find a pic on the web of a red chevy HHR and it has written P.O.S all over it you will know its mine. I'm tired of getting my hopes up that you guys are actually going to do something or actually care about the crap you are selling to the customers. Now when I start hearing you (GM) want to make an effort to correct the wrong to all the customers that have encountered the same problems then I will start talking to you guys again. If you want to find more out about my Vehicle all you have to do is contact Coughlin Auto in London, OHIO and they can tell you all about me and my car. So start looking for my car on the web and my mission to keep as many people as possible from buying this car as possible. Its not fair to the consumer when people who build a car don't stand behind their product. Thats how I feel anyway and sure many other people do too.
  • witz1976witz1976 Posts: 2
    I too have been sharing the woes of the HHR brakes. I have a 2006 HHR and once a year I need new rotors & brake pads. Last year I installed drilled & slotted rotors thinking it would solve the issue...nope. I am still getting infrequent shakes. It is very annoying because my mechanic & I cannot find any answers to why this is happening. I have not tried the semi soft pads yet, but has anyone else have any good answers?

    Thanks! :cry:
  • Try having the bearings checked, I had the dealership replace the bearings and no more shimmy and shake far (20K Miles ).
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,057
    edited April 2011
    I am here to help get our customers concerns to GM. Can you please email me with information on what you are currently experiencing, VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer?
    GM Customer Service
  • brkdrvrbrkdrvr Posts: 4
    edited April 2011
    Here the final post on for my '07 HHR's brake troubles. At 85,000 I am selling the car at a huge loss due to the plague of suspension and brake issues we've suffered through, including two sets of drums, rotors & pads and four additional turnings of the the rotors and two turnings of the drums and two complete system flush/bleedings. This car absolutely cannot make it 5,000 miles w/o the rotors failing/warping & causing the brakes, steering wheel and in some cases the entire car to pulsate. My dealer who sold us the car has tried to make good but once the car was out of wrnty GM's not helpful. Besides I think all my good will was used up getting the wheel front bearings, both of which failed by 15K replaced (we called to complain about a faint grinding/scuffing noise on the way home from buying the car). The brakes on these cars obviously have some type of design or manufacturing problem that is not cured buy changing brands of rotors & pads. I changed to top of the line NAPA pads, rotors & drums @ 50K & two turnings and have now given up after replacing everything.

    I am a "car guy" have been driving legally for 34 years and doing a lot of my own work for most of that time & I have never had a car go through brakes like this. I used to think 30k for pads was bad & could normally squeeze 80 -100k out of rotors if they were turn-able (my 2005 suburban Z71 just got re-shod @ 90k - old rotors & pads were original). The suburban has been a great car but may be my last GM. We'll be getting a used '06, '07, '08 VW Jetta, what we were looking at before we decided to buy American, save a few bucks and get a fun car. I kick myself everyday for not spending the extra 8k and buying a VW TDI instead of this POS. If not for the suspension & brake problems I would keep this car and feel like I got my moneys worth, but GM has to know the brakes are defective an simply refuses to correct it.

    I strongly suspect that the problem could be solved by an retro fit or upgrade to calipers, rotors or replacing rear drums w/rotors. My GM dealers offer is to replace the front rotors & turn the rear drums for $500 and they'll warrant that for 12mos/12k miles, but who the hell wants to go back every 4k and have rotors tuned for a year and then spend another $500 the next year. Like your grandparents always said buy quality (think American).
  • snowmomansnowmoman Posts: 20
    I have followed this blog for well over two years. All I hear is the same old story. Christina, GM knows there is a problem. So do you. Endless documentation, calls to the dealers, requesting VIN numbers, etc. is a waste of time and is a delay tactic. How about a recall and get it done right? Does anybody out there agree with me? Don't pee on my shoes and tell me it's raining....
  • witz1976witz1976 Posts: 2
    I am planning to, just because it has happenes like clockwork every 8 months (around 8 - 10K miles) the car shakes violently. So I am sure the bearing are nice and loose now too.

    A shame too...I wanted to try American made stuff...but now I cannot wait to get rid of this piece of crap!
  • I totally agree to the recall idea. !!!!!! :D
    I'm with the guy who is getting the Jetta. My son-in-law has one and it is really nice. TDI is the way to go 42-45 mpg and loads of low end torque. That thing really goes up the hills.
  • Here is what solved my problems with the constant brake replacements, rotors being turned..steering wheel shudder...I did so much research and found many that have our same problems and frustrations...this guy fixed his on his own thanks GM ;) Here is his post..I copied and pasted it below. It's now been six months...this is the longest my HHR has stayed out of the shop..No shudder in the steering wheel, no more rotors being turned..or replaced..this is the first time in 5 years I haven't wanted to drop it off the end of the Santa Monica Pier... It's posted below... is Clunking issue: Solved!
    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 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.

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,057
    My job here is to speak with customers experiencing problems, evaluate their situation, and pass the information along to GM through our Customer Assistance cases. As every company we have standard operating procedures and gathering this information is one of the first things I need to do. This allows me to look into information on your vehicle, as well as set up a case with customer assistance. I understand that seeing many posts on the same concerns on this forum makes it seem apparent that there is a wide spread problem with this; unfortunately GM does not see this forum. This is why I am here. I am here looking through your posts and working on getting customers with these issues heard by GM. Recalls and widespread concerns come to light and are formed through cases to Customer Assistance. So, if you are experiencing any issues and care to send me some generic information I would be happy to set up a case for you.
    GM Customer Service
  • chevygirl123chevygirl123 Posts: 4
    edited April 2011
    I just had the POWER STEERING light come on my 2006 chevy hhr Lt when I pulled off the free way the power steering went out. I read the manual and it says the POWER STEERING is ELECTRIC and when I looked under the hood in the fuse box there is a fuse for the POWER STEERING? I dont know if it isnt the fuse what it could be.I have never dealt with a chevy that has Electric POWER STEERING before? I really want to know if this has happened to anyone else and if so what did you do to fix the problem??? Does anyone know about electric power steering?? P.S I have had this car 5 months and it has been one thing after another. Cute car but is a horrible money PIT!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,051
    edited April 2011
    > I dont know if it isnt the fuse what it could be.I have never dealt with a chevy that has Electric POWER STEERING before?

    There's a recall on the steering motors in Cobalts for replacement. You need to ask your dealer about that recall. Call the dealer with your last 8 digits of the VIN number and ask if your vehicle qualifies.

    Is the steering working normally after the car is turned off and then restarted?
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