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Chevy HHR Brake Problems



  • pmahargpmaharg Posts: 1
    I've been a GM service consultant for 25 years and I own a 2006 HHR. I have had my rotors machined and have experienced pulsation. The pulsation comes from heat build up usually due to driving conditions and/or customer braking habits. People who drivve in hilly areas or are more agressive drivers and brake late have the pulsation most. A couple of suggestions: you can try to change your braking habits. Try to focus on traffic ahead and anticipate traffic slowing. This will allow you to start to brake earlier and minimize heat build uo. If you do not want to change the best alternative is to purchase a set of aftermarket drilled and/or slotted rotors. These dissipate heat much better than the solid rotors. I have seen peolple have outstanding results doing this.
  • hatemyhhrhatemyhhr Posts: 7
    I took my car for the engine light, service airbag light, and the AC not working. I explained to the guy the temp. gauge on the dash goes flat and the AC goes out at the exact same time. He was not beleiving me for some reason. He said he could run the diagnostics on the engine light & if it was the engine it would be covered by warranty - he suggested I run diagnostics on the AC aswell & airbag but that was not covered and I would have to pay for the fee - 96.00 - So, i do it and the results was the thermostat was not working properly. So I did not have to pay for that BUT to fix the AC, which he said was NOT related to the thermostat would be 200.00 and to fix the air bag light would be 293.00 ( for air bag it says tech found need sir coil ) They also said the light has been on since i got it " says the code " ?? but I would still have to pay. I declined. I cant afford that. I do not feel like I should have had to pay for the diagnostic with the AC b/c since they fixed the thermostat the air is working fine & has not stopped working. Thank goodness i dont have any money or I would have paid for something to be fixed that did not need it.
    The GM guy drives my car w/ me in it - he hears the clunky noise and tells me its the tie rod but says it is not covered. He says my rotors need turned, not covered, then he also tells me even if they are turned they will warp again. He was driving my car and he got right on the highway - of course hardly any braking until he goes off highway only to get back on and straight back to the dealer shop. I said " drive it in the stop and go traffic " It bothered me as I saw it was a deliberate move to avoid really seeing how bad the car is.... but what ever. I got the thermostat fixed & i really feel like I should not have been charged for the AC diagnotics because that is clearly the reason for the AC not working because since the thermostat has been replaced the air is working fine - just fine ! They had my car for 2 full days and fixed the thermostat.They said they were going to fix the recalls but did not fix them. I appreciate your advice. I will get some rotors and shoes or whatever they are called at advance auto parts. I went down there and a parts man that works there has an HHR - has the same breaking problems too. He said soft shoes fixed his problems. I swear it is not my breaking, it is not my driving. I can assure you without even knowing the others with the rotor problem it is not how there driving. I have drivin the way I drive with every car i have had. Even when i was a teenager, and im sure i wasnt the best driver, I have never had this problem with any car. i had tires put on a company truck and i asked the tire/brake guys about it and he said the parts they ( GM ) are JUNK. I know he is right. I also have a 1980 Z28 Camaro with drilled/slotted rotors but thats a whole different class - They sure do not make them like they used to.
  • snowmomansnowmoman Posts: 20
    Do you know how ridiculous you sound? I've driven cars for 41 years. You've
    just admitted your rotors suck. Incredible arrogance from you and GM. I've worked in an auto plant for 22 years--and your brakes are no good. Way to go GM!
  • drv4fun2drv4fun2 Posts: 2
    Really?! You are a GM service consultant for 25 years and you are going to make patronizing comments alluding that it is the fault of the DRIVERS that there are so many brake/rotor problems?! I find it ironic, that I have owned many new cars (Pontiacs and Chryslers) and even though I drive them in the same driving conditions and employ the same driving and braking habits, I have NEVER had a problem with any other car, like I have had with this HHR! I look forward to the day when a class action law suit is filed for this known problem and GM has to own up to the fact that they installed incorrect rotors and their arrogant refusal to do the right thing....instead of posting insulting comments to denigrate the intelligence and driving skills of their paying customers.
  • barbannabarbanna Posts: 6
    The violent pulsating that I experienced when braking my 2007 HHR began less than one day after I drove it off the lot in May 2007 (with less than 300 miles). If you check this website, you can read my May 2007 postings about this chronic and dangerous problem. After one year, and the dealer attempting to fix this problem a FOURTH time, I gave up and traded it in on a new '08 PT Cruiser (and I LOVE it!).

    I can't believe that GM hasn't done something about the pulsating brakes of their HHRs by now! Hopefully they will come up with a remedy before someone gets killed.
  • snowmomansnowmoman Posts: 20
    Already been there with you guys. Your solution was for me to pay to have the dealer diagnose the situation.
  • hatemyhhrhatemyhhr Posts: 7
    I know - i think it is so wrong on so many levels.
    The GM service guy says to me when I declined to have my "service your air bag light " for 200+ dollars --- " Isnt your life worth more then 200 bucks "

    I said yes it is & I will sue you if it doesnt go off -- He says " you cant, you declined to have it fixed "

    I have no words that I can post on here for the way I feel.
  • rstruthersrstruthers Posts: 29
    I do not agree with you mr. GM. I have driven a hundred different cars in my 40 plus years of driving and have never had a car (my 2006 HHR) exhibit so many defects. This car drives like it is 20 years old and has 200,000 miles on it. From day one I have had to repair and replace componets on it at my expense. GM is of no help and I will NEVER buy another GM product. And hopefully my family and friends will not either. I tell everyone I deal with about this junk car and I hope GM loses many, many customers.

    Why don't you get with the rest of the competition and recall the junkers? :mad:
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Thanks for the info. I think there is also a suggested break-in after parts are replaced isn't there, like being easy on then for the first few hundred miles? I went with aftermarket also (nothing special) and mine have been fine. Problem fixed.
  • hatemyhhrhatemyhhr Posts: 7
    Well --- I had to post this -
    I took my car to the dianogstics - cost me 96.00 -
    A WEEK later the engine light comes back on - AC quits working all at the same time again.
    Then another problem ( shocking ) the key gets stuck in the ignition and wont turn back. It wont do anything - its like the whole car is locked up.
    I call GM service where I just had my car a week earlier - I speak with the guy who " helped " me. I told him they did not fix the the problem. The engine light is back on -- blah blah blah --
    I said I am NOT paying for another diagnostic !! I am pissed at this point.
    I have MS , i am in severe pain & im on my way back from doctor in the 100 degree weather, afarid cuz the engine light is on, im sick and very hot. I couldnt wait another second to call this fool. I put my windows up ( surprised that worked ) call the guy, talk loudly that it is not fixed, nothing is fixed. I ask why didnt they even fix the recalls ? No answer from service man.
    He tells me i can bring it again but i would have to pay for another diagnostic.
    Now how is this fair ????????
    Also, how can they not fix the air bag thing when it is listed in a service bulletin ?
    Im so confused how they can be such complete jerks. :mad:
    I just cant take it.
  • lainieclainiec Posts: 3
    I did love my 06 HHR......reading all the posts on here, I'm beginning to think purchasing it was a huge and very costly mistake. I took mine into a service center this evening (not GM) for an oil change, tire rotation, and for a quick look at the front end to see if they could determine what was grinding/dragging and causing vibrations. First I was told there's nothing wrong with it-brakes and suspension are just fine....then they informed me that it was starting and running 'rough'. Really? Funny that wasn't happening when I took it in--no engine issues at all. When I tried to start my car to leave the service center, it would barely turn over, the traction control light was on, the service engine light was that point they took it away again and then informed me that I need a new fuel pump and probably a new drive shaft and a new drive shaft sensor. Also claimed that both lights had been on when they took it. Now they think I should bring it back tomorrow so they can look at it again........My plan was to find a GMC dealer somewhere close and get their opinion on what the other place might have done to cause problems during the oil change and tire rotation, but from reading all the posts on here, I'm now very reluctant to do that. (and to think this all probably started with dust/dirt buildup on the rotors)... Suggestions anyone?
  • Is the vibration in your steering wheel?? I have had new sensors, drive shaft, multiple turns of the rotors on the lathe. Just to have the vibration in my steering wheel come back. I read on another blog that many have the same issues. If you can tell me about the vibration and if its in your steering wheel I will tell you what I was told to do to fix it..and thus far it has worked. But, along with my vibration was also a clunking noise. Do you have that?
  • lainieclainiec Posts: 3
    It may be affecting the steering column, but if it is, it isn't bad enough that I've noticed it yet. The noise and vibration in the gas pedal are the 2 big symptoms for me right now. Happy to say that when I started it up a few minutes ago, the traction control system was back online........It did have a terribly clunking noise when I test drove it--made the dealership replace the front brakes before I purchased it 7 months ago and haven't had a recurrence of that issue.
  • snowmomansnowmoman Posts: 20
    The only way you are going to stop this brake shudder is with aftermarket rotors. I recently installed drilled rotors onto my 2007 HHR and now it is flawless, no shimmy, no shake, stops on a dime. The stock rotors are junk. As far as the traction control problem, consider this. About 2 months ago my wife was driving the car and it went crazy, clunking, braking problems, with the Traction Control light on. I checked things out and noticed that the emergency brake lever was just slightly on. When the hand brake is on the TC light is on. When the brake is on and you drive it apparently it faults out the system. This may not be your problem, but it's worth a try. Get in the car and engage the brake and disengage it a few times. Shut the engine off, restart and see what happens. Sounds minor but its real--trust me.
  • lainieclainiec Posts: 3
    Not the emergency brake--although the cable could have bin a little wonky and may have caused one of the sensors to mis-read. When I started it late last night, the traction control system was back online.....haven't driven it yet this morning, so who knows what today may hold. As for the brake system--the car is vibrating whenever it is in motion, not just when the brakes are applied. I'm not sure if it currently has the standard chevy parts on it or not--the Dodge dealership I purchased it from last October put new brakes on the front.
  • warvinwarvin Posts: 10
    Thanks so much for the recommendation. About a year ago I took it to a local car shop that took cars under warranty and they actually fixed the problem. However, the warranty on this work was good only up to June, 2011. It started shaking two weeks ago. Go figure...thanks. I will take it to another mechanic who comes highly recommended by my sister to fix this problem one more time. I do love my HHR thought.
  • Well, I have had this problem on and off since I got the car in 2008. I know it is the Rotors getting warped. GM dealership explained that the rotors are made with cheap metal to keep costs down. They cannot handle the excess heat and warp. I believe that the real issue is that the rear brakes are out of adjustment. The rear brakes (especially if you have drums) need to be adjusted regularly. Every couple of months. Most people do not due a hard brake adjustment in reverse to have the automatic adjusters do their job. The rear brakes can get dirty and rusty and then don't work properly. Therefore, instead of the brakes being lets say 70% in the front and 30% in the rear when you make a brake application. They are probably something like 95% front and 5% rear. This will cause the front brakes to overheat and warp due to the above mentioned issue of metal quality. Check your rear wheels for rear brake adjustment. It is simple to do and if needed make the adjustment yourself. Otherwise have your dealership check the rear brake adjustment at every service.
  • bstruebstrue Posts: 1
    WOW. I'm sure the info you included in your post was useful, but,geez....

    Have you ever heard of a period?

    :confuse: That's got to be the LONGEST sentence I've ever read.......It's hard to make sense of it.
  • Thanks for this post finally found some real information that i can use!
  • Hi,
    Can you tell me where you bought the power steering motor. Thanks!
  • Hi I would also like to know where the power steering motor was bought -I'm having problems also .I also contacted Chevy asking why the Colbalt had a recall and the HHR did not as they are basically the same car .I also got the run around saying because they are made in different plants . Typical GM . Being a retired GM tech. I know a bit more than the average person ,I am not paying a crooked dealer for something I can do myself . I have searched all the major auto parts stores and no one stocks or knows anything about the GM electric power steering -any help is apprecaited . thank you
  • After reading some of the other comments I don't know if i can take comfort in other's having similar issues.

    My car has been checked and rechecked by a dealer that says there is nothing wrong with my brakes. And now that it is turning cold it has gotten worse. It sounds horrendous. I swear it is waking the neighbors when I hit the brakes as I pull up to my home. And now it also is shuttering. Last year I must have taken it in 4 to 6 times for the brakes only to be told they are fine. And sometimes the noise improved for a while. Well the noise is back any suggestions. Does the shuttering mean that that it is the rotors? I don't have the funds to keep going to the dealer to have them do nothing but charge me for looking at my brake shoes. My car has less than 30,000 miles on it and this seems wrong.

    Maybe I should just trade it in for a FORD.
  • If you are reading the posts then you should know--your rotors are bad. Forget about the dealer who is only going to lie to you and cost you more money. You need to buy a set of slotted rotors that will dissipate heat and a new set of pads. You can buy the set on Ebay for about $125 or less. I did this and have zero problems now. It's easy to do it yourself.

    Don't even listen to anything else. Just do it.

    The stock rotors are cheaply made and are warped.
  • I had a similar problem on my 2005 Equinox and the problem was the "Rotors".
    Every time it happened the dealer had to machine them because they were warped, afterwards everything was fine and then the same thing happened until the dealer couldn't machine the rotors because they were to thin. Had to change them (the originals) and more problems with "warped" rotors. Go Figure!
    Don't spend to much money letting mechanics say that everything's normal...change your rotors once and for all.
  • up_for_lifeup_for_life Posts: 4
    edited December 2011
    i have to agree with the HHR being a total piece of junk.
    i have a 07 LT2,
    its been to the dealer under warranty 8 times sense i purchased it new.
    one time under 5000 miles? no start with the remote start with check engine light on. dealer fix? replace gas cap.
    two times were under 5000 miles? for brake issues. dealer fix? to turn front rotors.
    after 5000 miles? i was told sorry about your luck sucker, you bought it you fix it.
    under ten thousand miles? front sway bar links needed to be replaced. (bad clunking fix)
    under 15,000 miles? no start again, another gas cap.
    under 25,000 miles? gear selector busted, couldnt get the key out of the ignition. dead battery.
    32,000 miles? left front hub and bearing shot, warranty replacement.
    under 34,000 miles? no start with remote start again, (Fix?)all 4 injectors needed to be replaced, ecm reprogramming and left lower control arm bushings. how did they see these from the engine compartment?
    under 35,000 miles? needs right front hub and bearing replaced, will be going back to the dealer soon.
    under 35,000 miles contacted lawyer? you bet, im tired of playing with these people (GM). was told i have a claim
    my girl just had to have this piece of crap because it was sooooo cute.
    i`ll NEVER buy another chevy as long as i shall live. you can take that to the bank.
    so lets see, sold a paid for conversion van for down payment for this junk.
    after a year and a half of payments, lost job and sold a paid for s70 volvo to keep this piece of crap.
    yep im a dumb sucker for sure, why? because i still have this piece of crap HHR.

    did i mention the driver side front door is rusting out where the outer and inner skin was welded? yep clear as day.
    did i mention the bowtie is all but gone on the rear gate? yep
    did i mention im on my 5th set of brake that i bought out of my pocket? yep. 4 new sets of rotor, first set turned once, 2 new rear drums, needs a new set now.
    replaced both rear wheel cylinders twice, and rear shoes twice.
    pulled the main 30a abs/traction fuse, still have vibration from the rotors in the steering wheel, but way less now with the abs off.
    vibration so bad at any speed, but over 45mph it will rip the steering wheel out of your hands.
    with all the vibrations, im sure the outer tie-rod ends needs replaced now as well.
    waiting on drilled rotors and metallic pads to arrive. will try these without the abs/traction during break-in, then will replace fuse.
    if i still get the abs vib, dealer will see me again.

    ONLY +
    i actually get 31mpg in town with the 2.4L motor. still doesnt out way all the bad this car offers.
  • Sorry to hear this. Mine is a 2010 LT2 and went cross contry (east/west) twice = 12,000 miles and (north/south) once = 3,000 miles + local driving in traffic, hills, curves, gravel roads, mud, snow and not a single problem.
    The best G.M. product (because it's my 8th one) that I ever owned.
    Planning to go (north/south) again next summer and (east/west) in summer 2013.
    Yours must have come out from the "lemon" departement and mine surely from the "creampuff" departement.
  • up_for_lifeup_for_life Posts: 4
    edited December 2011
    im glad yours is doing well, i sure wish i could say that about mine.
    i told my girl after the third visit to the dealers for repairs, to just let them keep it. i could see the way this was going to end.
    But NO she just had to have this car, as i said in my previous post. it will be my LAST GM purchase.

    the car actually drives out good, its the stopping and suspension issues that have me at my wits end.

    Just waiting for the attorney to ring my phone as i type, i can not keep throwing money at this car.
    my girl is 5`4", the car fits her perfectly. im 5`11" and its not comfortable enough for me to ride in it that long.
    after a hour, im so sore i can hardly stand. no way i could trek across the country in it.
  • Coinsidence...I'm 5'11" also and fit and feel real good behind the wheel, my wife is only 5'.
    I was realy disapointed when I heard that the 2011 models were the last of the HHR's. I intended to trade mine in 2015 for another one because they're so good, economical and reliable.
    I am looking very closely to the new arrival the "Chevrolet Sonic" as probably being my futur purchase. It not a new name for the Aveo like people think, it's completely a new car and much better than the Aveo.
  • Follow UP.

    My car went from bad to worse. Yesterday the dealer said you have plenty of brake pad it is fine. And since I didn't buy it from them it wasn't their problem. I drove home, they failed, and i had a small fender bender. I called GM they called the dealer. Dealer agreed it was the rotors and they would fix it on MONDAY but as long as i didn't try to go to far i should be able to drive it around town (like to work).

    After work today the break light and traction lights come on, on the way home from work. The right hubcap is covered in something brown. The brakes go to the floor. Bottom line it was TOWED to the shop. I really hate this car. If i wasn't so upside down in it I would trade in a heart beat.

    The upside is GM agrees the bill is on them b/c i have had it in their dealer shops 5 times for same complaint over the course of 18 months and 30,000 miles.

    Hopefully they will be able to fix it tomorrow. I don't know what caused the extensive problems today but I suspect the warped rotor broke the brake pad which broke the brake fluid hose. I will update tomorrow.
  • up_for_lifeup_for_life Posts: 4
    edited December 2011
    Just an update,
    New drilled front rotors and pads installed, and new rear drums and shoes.
    i left the abs/traction main fuse out. so far its better, but i only have a little use on them today.
    I`ll report back in a week, this should be plenty of time for them to show issues if there will be any.
    after a weeks use, i`ll put the abs/traction fuse back in. if the vibrations comes back, off to the dealer i go.
    i need to bleed the brakes tomorrow, for some reason the brake peddle is almost to the floor now.
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