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Buick Regal Brake Problems

:mad: Three years ago I purchased my 94 Regal w/112K. I love the car, it runs great except for one major problem, every year I need to replace the rotors and brakes all around plus at least one of the rear calipers. In October I replaced the rear again but by the end of November I was back to grinding brakes in the rear so I did it once more but lucky for me the caliper was replaced free. I finally got fed up and wrote to GM and received a letter asking me to call them so they could assist me with my problem. I called the lady and she more or less said the letter was just a courtesy, there is nothing they can do. I asked why GM has not found a way to solve this problem and she said there has not been enough consumer complaints to issue a recall then she said since I bought the car used and it is so old that no one knows how well the car was cared for before I got it. I am so mad, despite the nice letter offering help she said there is nothing that can be done.
I want to ask all GM owners who experience this problem to write to GM demanding they fix this problem, if enough people get involved they have to do something. It is a safety issue after all.
The address is: General Motors Corporation
Customer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 33136
Detroit, Michigan 48232-5136
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Comments

  • :mad: Well here it is the middle of March and my rear brakes are going bad again. I hardly drive my car anymore, I am disabled and only use it for doctors or groceries, maybe 3 times a week. I don't ride the brakes either. Does anyone else have this problem? What can be done to solve it?
    I really like my car, it is just a good size for me, easy to park, runs strong, handles good and only has 133K on it. I thought about trading it off but no one will give me what it is worth, I have only been offer $200 on a trade. I noticed other posts about rotors and someone is also having trouble with their power windows, mine is the drivers window, been out for 2 years. My AC also quit at the same time. I can handle those problems but this brake issue is getting expensive. HELP!!!! :sick:
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    At first I was going to suggest that your 12-year old Buick was ready for retirement, but it doesn't sound like you want to give it up quite yet and spend the money for a newer car.

    The trick is to find the underlying cause of the brake problem. It could be a faulty proportioning valve that is giving more braking action to the rears than to the front, or maybe it is as simple as flushing the brake lines and filling with new brake fluid. Who knows?

    Take it in. Before you authorize anyone to fix anything, make sure they explain what the root problem is so that YOU can understand it. Write it down if you have to. Then decide if the car is worth keeping.
  • I am willing to give it up even though I love it but I can't get enough on a trade-in and I don't have any down money to spare. I hate to keep putting money into something when I know it won't get me anywhere but at this point I don't have a choice.

    According to the garage that does all my work this is a typical problem for these cars plus 4 other GM models but I have to wonder. I haven't heard anyone else complain about this exact problem and there are thousands of this model on the road, some look worse than mine. I will see if they can find the problem other than caliper next month when I take it in again for the same thing.

    Thanks for the reply
  • yoakemyoakem Posts: 2
    I have owned two regals 2000 & 02. Both go through rear rotors in less then 12000 miles. Dealer says its is normal. What gives? They do not appear overheated, but they always show signs of Metal spalding. Anyone have a solution? Sounds like another class action law suit for faulty rear brakes like the grand prixs went through.
  • jpstax1jpstax1 Posts: 197
    Your rear rotors should last at least 20-30K miles. Question: Do you always use your emergency brake while parked? The reason I ask is because I had to have the rear rotors on my '93 Lumina replaced at 10K miles. The dealer said I was supposed to use the EB every time I was parked to keep the rear calipers aligned properly. If they go out of alignment (by not using the EB) it puts excessive wear on the rear rotors. It didn't say anything about that in my owner's manual, and after pointing it out to the service manager, the Chevy dealer called GM and got them to pay for new rotors and pads.
  • yoakemyoakem Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply! I believe your 93 P brake was the style that used a screw actuator to apply the caliper piston to apply the P brake. That was the reason they got a class action law suit against them. The regal uses a set a brakes shoes like a rear drum inside the rotor hub.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I've been getting a little vibration from braking(in the brake pedal) the past 3-4 months. Is more noticeable now...most noticeable between 25-45mph. Almost no vibration lower than 25 mph. Yesterday I felt the vibration in the steering column at around 45mph. Also, seems more noticeable the longer the car is driven.

    I've only put around 14,000 miles on my 99 Regal LS in the two years I've owned it. The lady who previously owned vehicle(whom I called from dealership) stated she had recently paid for a $900 brake job. Which I assumed to be rotors and brakes.

    Any ideas? Have these particular models had problems with rotors warping prematurely? Thanks.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    To answer your question regarding Buick Regals having problems with premature warping of the brake rotors, I don't believe so.

    For someone to pay $900 for a brake job sounds incredibly high, unless for some reason the dealer talked the customer into also replacing calipers.

    The key to any good brake job is the quality of the parts. There's lots of cheap junk out there that retailers mark up to improve their bottom line.

    Years ago NAPA was well known for the brake pads and rotors it sold, and to my knowledge they're still good. In fact, I just bought and installed a set on a Buick Century for one of my twin boys last weekend. He bought the car used a year and a half ago from a dealer who had installed new brakes on it. The old pads I took off were a joke. The NAPA pads had at least 25% greater braking surface area than the pads installed by the dealer.

    Rotors are the same way. You get what you pay for.

    Another idea: It might be wise to check the torque on the lug nuts holding the wheels onto the rotors. If they are too tight they can cause premature rotor warping. On these cars they should be tightened no more than 100 foot pounds. I always check the torque when I get the car home after having the tires rotated. On one occasion they were tightened to 125 foot pounds despite my exact instructions.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I took my 99 Regal LS into Big O Tires today to have them look at my brakes. I mentioned the vibration from the brake pedal when braking. Well, the service advisor didn't really check brakes thoroughly. Came back and said my pads were fine but the rotors,"may be out of round" and that I could come in and have them checked sometime. Well...DUHHH, what did he think I was in there for...the coffee?

    I asked if he could check the rotors. He went out and looked at them with another advisor or mechanic.They used some type of metal protractor device to check the rotor specifacations. Then called me in to show me where the rotors were worn/scratched on one part of the rotor and smooth on another part. Suggested I have front rotors turned. Which I did for $60 plus brake adjustment. Well, that seems to have done the trick as they brake fine now. It is curious though as to how a bunch of tiny microscopics scratches in a rotor can cause vibration in the brakes.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,376
    My opinion is that turning the rotors will be a temporary fix. Cutting them makes them thinner and have less metal so they will heat and warp easier the next time especially if they get splashed while they're hot (puddles, car wash).

    I recommend getting a good quality Raybestos rotor-top line, not the cheap line and putting on remanufactured calipers for the next time you fix it. It may be the calipers are not sliding on the bolts like they should. So they drag and heat up the rotors.
  • jdpinajdpina Posts: 4
    what are some of the causes that would make my abs light come on. I have replaced front and rear disc brakes. The abs light would come on and stay on till I turn off car. Then on my next trip it would stay off.The light turn on every once in a while. I have a 1996 Buick regal custom
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    Perhaps a faulty ABS sensor on one of the wheels. Best bet is to get the codes scanned by someone with a scan tool. That should narrow it down.
  • hay evey one i have a 1992 buick regal with brake issues and i can't figure out whay thay are bad i got new rotors and brake
    pads but its still messed up when i brake. :confuse: :sick:
  • chuckiejchuckiej Posts: 1
    Does anyone have this problem I have a 95 Buick Regal the brake light on the spoiler comes on when you hit the brakes but the lower brake lights do not, I've changed the bulbs twice it has grease in the sockets all the other lights work the turn signals work can anyone help me?
  • I have a 1995 Regal and the ABS light stays on. It started out just coming on sometimes. Now it stays on all the time. I have replaced all the pads on all four wheels. I did not see any sensors on the rotors. I flushed out the lines and put in new brake fluid and bled the lines. I did find two sensors on the master cylinder. How do you check the sensors? Does anyone know what is the most common problem with this brake system to cause the light to stay on?
  • I have been plagued by various sensors on my 95' Buick Regal for approximately 2 years now: camshaft sensor, crankshaft sensor, throttle position sensor, low coolant sensor and now I assume that this light from my dash is from a faulty abs sensor. My suggestion would be to either place a card or piece of tape on the dash to cover this annoying light or get rid of this planned obsolescence and buy a [non-permissible content removed] car.
  • hi, i recently purchased a 1991 buick regal ltd 3.8L. this is my first car and it only has 141,000kms on it, everything is in excellent condition the only thing that isnt is there is a very strange noise that is coming fom the dash area that i believe has something to do with the abs as the abs light is on aswel. the noise sounds almost like a motor it a loud kind of buzz or turning noise that comes on when i press on the breaks or sometimes when im not even pressing on the breaks. im really hopeing i did not waste my money on it as it is my first car and i am very happy with it other then that. the breaks still work but the noise is there and also a second issue is the break peddal will not stay up i am currently having to use a spritn top hold it up so the break lights dont stay on. if someone could give me some ideas as to wha this may be caused byu that would eb greatly appreciated. also if i jsut disable the abs completly will the breaks still operate correctly. thanks for your time on reading this and i hope someone can anwser my questions:)
  • I have an 04 Regal, I have over 63K miles on it, and haven't touched the rear brakes or rotors once since i bought the car. The car was used, had 13K miles on it when I bought it, but it's been perfectly fine. I do use the Emergancy brake though quite a bit when parking on slight inclines and declines in parking lots that I have been to, maybe that is the reason, but I just looked at my rear pads on my car the other day and they still have 65% of the pads left and the rotors look great.

    I have to change the rotors on the front brakes but the backs are still perfect. I would suggest using the parking brake more to help with the rear rotors and brakes.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    An update. It's been about 2 years since I had my rotors turned, thus far I have had no further problems with them. I had my brakes checked about 4 months ago by the dealership, they said everything was fine. :)
  • oldwinooldwino Posts: 20
    My son has a 96 regal with 4 wheel disks. Went to put new pads on all 4 wheels. Had no problems with the front. The caliper pistons easily retracted with a c-clamp. Got to the right rear and could not get the piston back at all. The parking brake was not engaged. Wouldn't of gotten the caliper off, if it was. Is there some trick to retract the piston or is it likely frozen? Should it press straight back like the front calipers? Or does it rotate as it retracts? Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to check the left rear for comparison as he had to go. Had a heck of a time getting it back on with the old pads as the rotor was a little worn and had to pry the caliper off with a screwdriver to start with. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,287
    1. Remove 2/3 of brake fluid from master cylinder reservoir.
    2. Raise and support vehicle.
    3. Mark relationship of wheel to axle flange, then remove wheel and tire assembly.
    4. Remove bolt and washer attaching cable support bracket to caliper body, Fig. 2.
    5. Remove sleeve bolt and pivot caliper assembly up, Fig. 3. Do not completely remove caliper assembly body.
    6. Remove outboard and inboard shoe and linings and two pad clips from caliper support.
    7. Using a suitable spanner type tool in piston slots to turn piston assembly and thread it into caliper body assembly.
    8. After bottoming piston, lift inner edge of boot next to piston assembly and press out any trapped air.
    9. Ensure slots in end of piston are positioned as shown in Fig. 4 before pivoting caliper body assembly down over shoe and linings in caliper support. Use suitable spanner type tool to turn piston as necessary.
    10. Install pad clips and outboard and inboard shoe and linings in caliper support. Ensure wear sensor is on outboard shoe positioned downward at leading edge of rotor during forward wheel rotation.
    11. Pivot caliper body assembly down over shoe and lining assemblies being careful not to damage piston boot on inboard shoe.
    12. After caliper body is in position, recheck installation of pad clips. If necessary, use a small screwdriver to reseat or center pad clips on support abutments.
    13. Install sleeve bolt and torque to 20 ft. lbs.
    14. Install cable support bracket and torque bolt to 32 ft. lbs.
    15. Install wheels and tires aligning previous marks, then lower vehicle.
    16. Apply approximately 175 lbs. of force to brake pedal three times to seat shoe and linings against rotor.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I have the same problem. The brake light by the spoiler comes on but the lowers brake lights don't come on.

    Can anyone help me?
  • It could be in the turn signal switch. On our '94 Regal, if you pull the turn signal toward you slightly (stopping short of switching to high beam headlights) as you press the brake pedal, the main brake lights come on. I can't offer any tips to disassemble the steering column to fix or replace the switch...haven't tried it yet.
  • armesarmes Posts: 32
    I have worked on several Regal ( 1996 ) which had premature wear and bad rotors on one or both sides. From what I have been able to determine, the problem lies with the design of the caliper slide system. All problems I discovered were related to the top caliper slide bolts. This is the one which is covered by the cap and is inset into the caliper.

    Every vehicle which had problems had locked slides due to the top bolt being bent where the threads and shank of the bolt intersect. This bolt is too small to handle any lock up of the brakes and is even more fragile when the brakes are applied and the wheel hops on a rough road or pot hole. The sheer force of heavy brakeing appears to bend this top bolt which, once bent a little, becomes weaker with every braking and bends more until locking the slide.

    I highly recommend replaceing all bolts when replaceing the rear pads. ;)
  • can anyone tell me if there a sequence to follow to bleed 4 wheel disc brakes not abs i can't seem to get a pedal after bleeding them . maybe there's an order of bleeding like r-rear, then l-front, then left rear and so forth ??? please help
  • I had complete brake job (new pads & rotors all 4 wheels) after aprox 1500 mi
    experienced a bad pulsation. Rotors were removed and turned, it was ok for about
    500 mi then started all over. Tech says it is the front wheel brg. is slightly loose
    and this is causing the problem. He says this is a expensive job because it has
    ABS. Help
  • I own a 2004 Regal GS with about 60K miles. I need to know if I can repair the device inside the brake fluid reservoir that triggers the low level switch or if I can replace the reservoir itself without removing the master cylinder. thanks in advance for any help.
  • I have replaced the brake lines on my car and theres still a problem? Brake fluid is still leaking somewhere. I dont know where from though. It goes through a full cylinder every other day. I have not yet jacked it up to find problem. Before i do i would like to know if someone has any advice for me on what to look for or what to fix. oh there is no pressure when i press on the breaks, dont even build up from pumping.
  • have you fixed your issue yet as far as the turn signal. ive read your post and went outside and it was exactly what you said. if thats the case do i have to have the turn signal replaced or can it been repaired?
  • Yes That is correct
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