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Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Brake Problems



  • 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: 8,054
    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.
  • 1offroader1offroader Posts: 208
    Jack up a front corner, remove a wheel, and grab the rotor and test for any loosenes or shake due to a bad wheel bearing, or steering components such as ball joints. Then do the same to the other side. It's cheap and fast and might eliminate (or identify) these parts as the source of your problem. Does it have a hydraulic steering stabilizer? If yes, check that too.

  • I have to put the brake all the way to the floor to stop. Dealer says his computer shows no problem. GM Rep drove it and told me it felt fine to him. He is about 5'11",250 lbs,and a size 13 shoe. They had me drive the 2007 with new body style and there was no problem with me using the brake. They then told me that the brakes are different on that vehicle,because they have a different part number. Next week the dealer told me he would bleed the brakes and take off the wheels and check for problems. If they couldn't find anything wrong,I will have to get used to the way these brakes work. I only have 4800 miles on this truck,but it scares me to drive it. Has anyone else had a problem with brakes? I have this feeling that since I and a woman they can say anything and I should believe them. That is why I am asking for any help. Thanks
  • Hi Margeaux,

    The Chevy and GMC (GM trucks)trucks have had break problems since 2000, see my other posts...I am assuming you have read these.

    My take is that the front brakes are okay, its the back brakes that are not functioning properly. This issue "not really great breaking" has to due with the rear caliper manufacturing process and overall design of the rear calipers. They are either not assemble correctly at the factory/supplier or not tested for stopping distances.

    It seams that this issues only effects a few hundred out of thousands, the rear calipers are probably not squeezing their share of the load. This is the exact problem i had and, like you was told to get used to it...

    Thats when i selected SSBC calipers for the rear, and replaced the rear calipers (at my expense)...I have no breaking issues, my wife is 5,7", 130#s says it feels like a nascar and stops better than most cars she has driven..

    Take the car back and ask them to take the vehicle back....hmm i would be interested in hearing their response when you tell them the Toyota-tundra comes with heavy duty brakes...and that's the vehicle you want to be driving
  • Finally some progress.
    I jacked up the front end and checked for looseness, shakes, etc… and no problems.

    Then this past weekend, I had my buddy in the truck with me (he owns a 1997 Silverado).
    He heard the noise and asked what the heck that was. I told him my story on how I already changed the Pads and rotors and still have this problem. Not sure what to do. I said I might have a Caliper, ABS, brake line problem. Not sure. So he says, I have ABS problems on my truck. I just took out the fuse and it went away. No ABS, but no brake problems.
    So I took out the fuse 3 days ago and the problem hasn’t been back since. Bunch of idiot lights on my dash, but no brake problems.
    So on top of that, I had to have my truck inspected. I never said I had a brake problem (sticker was already expired), but started throwing “what ifs” to the kid doing the check.
    He told me Chevy’s have a history of brake problems. Then he tells me a story about how he is in Tech School and at that time, his dads Silverado starts giving pulsating vibrations on the brake pedal on warm dry days at slow speeds. Sounds familiar, right?
    So the dad takes it to GM, and they can’t fix it. They say nothing is wrong.
    The kid takes the truck to Tech school the next day and the instructor shows him how components on the ABS get corroded, but it doesn’t show up on the computer check.
    They clean the components, and problem gone.

    Here’s what makes me mad at my friend. He’s been in my truck at least 5 times before this past weekend. And every time he’s been in the truck the problem happened and he asked what it was. How is it that his ABS problem slipped his mind each time? Could have saved me some money and a bunch of head aches.

    So now I’m going to take it to GM and TELL them I have an ABS issue.
    Who knows what next…
  • Thank you for your help. I am taking it back in on Tuesday for them to look over it again. I did call GM and made a safety report, just to have it on record. I am going to talk to the service manager about the rear brakes. Thank you for your help. I am not going to get used to these brakes, I may have a new Toyota-tundra! I want to enjoy the truck and feel safe.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Make sure you ask the Toyota dealer about the Tundra's failing cam shafts and failing transmissions.
  • My dad has a 96 Silverado from new, this truck has 125k in miles on it and the rear brakes have never worked...does anyone know where to start looking or know what the problem is??

    thank you in advance for your help
  • i belive the 96 had rear drum brakes/front disk?the rear need more fluid to even out with the disk so there is a preportioning valve pretty sure it will be mounted by the master cylinder.if not follow the lines from the will need recentered but it should have set your warning lite off in the dash.if no lite i would check adjustment of rear brakes.if that cks out crack a bleeder open on a rear with pressure on the pedal.just ck for fluid don`t open very far as that screw up the p/portion center.if no fluid look back at the center you will need to open a bleeder on the front.what the valve does if you broke a line on one end it shifts to out of center to keep fluid to the working end
  • i have a 2007 1500 crew cab and i was out the other nite and the brakes got so hot on the front it melted the center caps off and melted the sencers one the inside of wheel which makes the traction control lite come on so i have real problems the truck has 5600 miles.. this is too soon to be having problems i wonder if my warranty covers this major problem
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Warranty should cover it including the towing to the dealer.
  • I've had brake and e-brake problems (soft pedal, ABS at low speeds, no e-brake etc) since 80K miles (now have 110K miles) and am about fed up with spending money and time trying to fix a faulty design with no help from the dealers or OEM. I finally posted a complaint with the NHTSA (URL below). May or may not help, but at least it lets the Fed know there is a problem with the brakes on these trucks. Good Luck!
  • just wanted to say that the dealership fixed the breakes and other things that was wrong from the breakes getting hot cost them 2,000 they even replaced the tires on the front of the truck
  • Hi, I don't know if you still come on this website but I've had the same problem that also results in the locking of the steering wheel. I've been through arbitration with GMC and the arbitrator said it was not the fault of GM. I've posted a newsletter that the State of Utah Department of Public Safety just put out on Nov. 1 2007. If you go to Forums-Pickups-Chev&GMC Steering problems it's #60. I also posted to the same forum under #'s-53,54, & 57. I can't believe so many of us are having the same problem, yet GM won't do anything about it. I hope we can change this.
  • Just so you all know if the dealer installs a lift kit before you buy the new vehicle, it voids the warranty through GM. This is just something that the dealer forgets to tell you if you have trouble with it. The dealer is making approximately $6500.00 profit by putting it on and then they don't want to fix anything on it. They shouldn't be able to put them on vehicles without having them re-inspected for safety.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Usually the installer will warrant any work done regarding lift kits. Seems unfortunate that you picked a winner dealer to install yours. Oh well such is life.
  • Hi Marqeaux, I was wondering what you found out about the brake problem?
    If it didn't get fixed you should file a complaint with the NHTSA, this is where alot of people go to complain about this very problem. Maybe if they get enough complaints they'll make GM do something about it. Let us know what happened. It shouldn't matter if the vehicle is a '97 or '07, this problem has been around for years, they should have to take care of it. Thanks.
  • Here's one for you guys.
    I have a 2000 Silverado, when I go to brake I push on the pedal and it won't go- anywhere- or starts to go down then it's like I hit a wall. the truck won't stop the pedal won't go down, I have to quickly relase then reapply and it will either work or sometime I have to pump again! what is it?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Hmmm best guess would be a bad caliper. Then again could be a bad master. I'd get it checked out though cause it doesn't sound like a good situation to be in.
  • ldsokolldsokol Posts: 14
    I would say it's the Hydro booster. Have your dealer check that out. You can have them perform a brake test on it too.
  • I have really earily simular problem with 07 Silverado, after putting on some after market wheels same size as stock wheels, I began experiencing problem and thought it was rotors and or brakes but I replaced rotors and brake pads thinking it was warping, but to no avail the problem still exist's when I press the brake pedal the whole front end of truck buck's but steering wheel is fine, This truck has 10,000 miles on it the dealership tells me it's the wheel but they are only guessing and they state they cant touch the situation because of the aftermarket wheels but Chevy corporate states otherwise but COX chevrolet and Sunset Chevrolet in Fla. have both refused to deal with this issue. I will try taking the fuse out , thanx for the info.
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