Chevrolet Avalanche Brake Questions

KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
Stop here to discuss stopping your Av!


  • jpringlejpringle Member Posts: 2
    I own a 2002 Chevy AV and the braking coming downhill or on an incline at a somewhat high rate of speed seem to be very spongy where the pedal is pressed almost on the floor. I 've taken my AV to two dealerships and they did not find any problem. I read a service bullentin last year about the braking sensor needing to be replaced? Does anyone else have the same problems with their AV? :D
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    The 07 Av's have pretty much ironed out "sponginess" issues, with nice solid progressive brake pedal action. But my 04 Silverado had spongy brakes pretty much from the beginning. It's one reason the 1/2 ton trucks switched back to front disc / rear drums on 2005. I think the brake systems on the SUVs (and Av by relation with the 'burb) are / were the same for the 02-04 models as the trucks. If so, the spongy feeling is normal (the first time I had to make a short stop with my 04 Silverado it about scared the crap out of me!), and speaking from experience with that Silverado, the brakes will still stop you well- the pedal feel itself is just scary at times.

    If on the other hand your brakes haven't felt like this before I'd wonder at the dealerships finding nothing wrong. Except for in vehicles like the 04 Silverado, the spongy feeling usually means air in the brake lines. This requires that the brakes be bled to remove the trapped air. Since that's something that they could charge you money for I'd be surprised if this is actually the case with your Avalanche though. Dealerships seldom miss a chance to make money off of us sheep, er, customers.

    As far as the braking sensor thing goes- I only know of two sensors related to the brakes (there may be more- I'm definitely no expert):
    1) Brake-shift interlock. This doohickey is what keeps you from starting the Av or taking it out of "Park" unless your foot's on the brake pedal.
    2) ABS sensors. These detect when one or more wheels loses traction during hard braking and automatically pulse the brakes.

    I've heard of problems with both on 99-06 GM truck-based vehicles. But if you had problems with 1, you'd most likely be having issues either starting the Av or getting it into gear to actually take off. While problems with 2 range from a light on the dash informing you that there's a problem with the ABS system up to the brakes "pulsing" in situations where the ABS shouldn't be activating, as the sensors incorrectly "read" a wheel slipping. But trust me, speaking frome experience with my 04 Silverado, spongy brakes feel nothing like the pulsing of the pedal caused by the ABS system.
  • cmarleycmarley Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Chevy Av that has had brake issues since 2005. At a stop sign I went to apply the brakes and they were not there. The ABS does not work and Chevy attempted to fix this problem. Recently the truck has started to do the same thing and Chevy can not seem to fix the problem whatever it might be. At the time this problem occurs, the pedal goes to the floor and the brakes smell very hot. If any one has a solution to this problem, please e-mail me. If there is anything we can do to get Chevrolet to realize there is a serious issue with this brake system?
  • juanscubaskijuanscubaski Member Posts: 1
    I am having th same problem with my 2002 Avalanche. When I changed my disc pads, the back discs were completely gone and the front pads were almost new. I don't think it is using the front pads. How can I check this or what should I try to replace. Stopping down hill or at speed is scary. I think this problem has been progressive. I drove the vehicle all the time and did not really notice the decline in braking until my wife drove it and said they were terrible.
  • sgt_blackhawksgt_blackhawk Member Posts: 1
    Did you every figure out what happened with your breaks? I have a 2002 Av that I just changed the breaks on and had the same issue. Front pads look new, rear completely gone!! I have 36K on the truck and this was the first set of pads. Please let me know if you got any useful information on what the problem was.


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  • slvimpalaslvimpala Member Posts: 14
    Hey i'm and owner of a 2002 Z66 avalanche and it has done very very well cept the brakes where just flat out Bad i Almost made this one guy in a New Bmw have a heart attack when he pulled out in front of me so since i have a baby on the way i dip into my Saveing and put some Very High Performance Brake Disc and pads from Brembo and this truck will stop on a dime if i have to stop it the kit cost me close to 500$ Ebay Gotta Love them the Labor maybe hell but its worth it
  • chadxchadx Member Posts: 153
    The brakes on my 03 Ave are excellent and have been from day one. I have 72k miles now and am still on the original brake pads. Very even wear front to back. I had the same experience on my 01 Silverado. 60k miles on it when traded and brake pads were still in good shape. Oh, and unlike what someone mentioned about trucks going back to rear drum brakes around '05 (I find that hard to believe), both these trucks were disc brakes all the way around.

    No complaints with either and night and day better than the '98 Dodge Dakota I had which would activate the ABS even on dry pavement and when it did, it felt like I had totally let off the brake pedal even though it was to the floor. The dealerships response? They all do that and they are known to have bad brakes. My boss went through a stopsign out here a couple days ago because he couldn't stop". They did nothing to fix it. I loved the truck, but it was the last Dodge I bought because of that and other problems.
  • bialke24bialke24 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Avalanche and Just the couple of lasts weeks I have had problems when I put the truck in reverse it doesnt want to move at all and when I push on the gas the truck will jerk back and forth hard and wont move. It acts like the brakes are locked up is the best way to discribe it. Wondering if anyone knows if there is anything I can do to fix this problem, without having to bring it in.
  • bialke24bialke24 Member Posts: 2
    I just changed my brake padsa week before Christmas and they are fine it just when I put thetruck into reverse when I have the problems.
    Has anyone had problems stating their truck in the morning? Cause when I go to start it it doesnt want to start so I turn the key and wants to turn so I shut it off and turn the key again and it fires right away I havent had this problem since after I changed the brakes.
  • gar6gar6 Member Posts: 1
    I have been having brake problems on my 2007 avalanche 4x4, In an attempt to change the rotors I could not get the calaper bracket removed. The bolts seemed to be almost welded, I broke a braker bar and socket trying to remove this. Is there something special about the Avalanche and changing the rotors. Please help
  • erickplerickpl Member Posts: 2,735
    Avalanche brakes are no different in conceptual design than any other rotor setup. Remove caliper, lift away, remove rotor.

    The bolts may be tight or a bit rusted. May have used loc-tite on the original bolts at the factory.

  • bauchaikbauchaik Member Posts: 1
    I'm not wanting to go buy a whole set but just want to purchace the required size torque wrench for my 2002 Avalanche front brake pads.
    Anywone know that size? Thank you.
  • erickplerickpl Member Posts: 2,735
    Um, the wrench itself is not a specific size. you use sockets, just like you do for any other socket set. A standard socket set SHOULD have the size you need. I don't think it is an overly large one. I was to say about 17mm - assuming you're talking about the bolts for the calipers vs the caliper mount bracket.

  • pickup_400pickup_400 Member Posts: 2
    i have a 03 z66 avalanche, im having issues with it when i stop . when almost a stop it seems the abs engages weither its dry or not. i have changed one hub, n cleaned the other sensor n replaced. has anyone else had this issue?im other wised pleased with truck but is ticking me off. ony other thing i can see wrong is i need to replace rear rotors, pads all look great. any help greatly accepted. ken
  • jchujchu Member Posts: 18
    I have some problems with my 2700 avalanche breaks. It feel bump back when the breaks are stepped, kind like ABS kicked in. I have it checked in the service of the dealer, and was told the pads are thin and need to be replaced. The truck only has less than 40k miles on it (~39,700), and just very short (10 miles) commuting every day, no big load most of time. Is this problem normal or the parts are defeated? Who can I claim this? Thanks for any advices.

  • alga_designalga_design Member Posts: 1
    I just replaced front pads on our 03,they were squeaking and grinding.I replaced with OE ceramic pads.Stepped on the pedal after putting the new pads in and it goes to the floor????????? Do I need to bleed the brakes now?? :confuse:
  • erickplerickpl Member Posts: 2,735
    You shouldn't have to if you did the change correctly. You can change the brakes w/o having to open the line at the brake. I just open the reservoir in the engine bay and when I push the calipers back to load the new pads, I keep an eye on the reservoir and take fluid out as needed with a suction device (turkey baster).

    If you opened the line at the caliper, you will most likely need to do a full bleed at LEAST on the lines you did that on.

    But if you have an 03, I'd be willing to bet the fluid has never been changed. Brake fluid absorbs moisture and looses effectiveness after a while. Follow proper brake bleeding techniques (easy to find) and start at passenger rear, driver rear, passenger front, then driver front and put all new fluid in. You'll have better lines and fresh fluid.

  • jcandccjcandcc Member Posts: 1
    Whenever I am going forward and getting ready to apply the brakes I hear a popping sounds. This only happens when I go forward and never in reverse. Can someone please help. Thanks
  • erickplerickpl Member Posts: 2,735
    Had a similar issue. Took it to GM to look at and they greased something in the front suspension. Stopped it. Not sure what good the grease did (I looked where they applied it), but they must have done something to stop it.

    You may also want to check to ensure your calipers are securely attached to the caliper mount on the hubs.

  • townman750townman750 Member Posts: 1
    Looking to replace my brakes/Rotors on my 2007 LT 47000 miles. I would like to know what people are using?
  • bad130y2bad130y2 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    ebc brakes are topic have you guys noticed severe rusting on the brake lines?my trailblazer is 02 and its not rusted like my avalanche brake lines.anyone tried anything to stop rusting or maybe minimize?
  • 02avey02avey Member Posts: 1
    I have an 02 av 140,000 miles and the lines are pretty rusty. Thinking about replacing them but can't seem to find anyone on here that has done it. Any advice from anyone would be helpful.
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