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Chevy HHR Brake Problems



  • dyoungmdyoungm Posts: 2
    We have a 2006 we love with 30K miles and the rotors were turned last fall. Last week the shudder of the braking started again and the rotors were turned again. Now there is a audible roar when braking even gently at anything over 30MPH. We did not do hard braking or mountainous driving before either event. The dealer tried to get me to pay for the second turning but I argued that my son in law is a GM dependant and has had 6 Chevys in the last 10 years and never once had to have his rotor turned or had the shudder when braking. Why should this car be any cheaper built than the Tracker he once owned? They thought it over about 3 minutes and agreed to shove it under warranty. Tomorrow I take it for the roar.

    So far the only complaint other than brakes was that the fools at GM tried to sell me a roof rack without cross bars. When we got the car home we looked for the cross bars all under the seats and in the boot. The dealer said they were extra. I asked for the section of the user manual that explains how to use it without them and they could not tell me how to put a small boat up there or anything else. I told them I was bringing the car back as defective and they gave me the cross bars. ;)
  • have a issue with my hhr
    is the brakes.. made very funny sound grind then klunk... after making way home slowly... taking the front wheels off .. discover that the inside pads of front rotors are gone on the passenger side.. and on drivers side are 1/2 the thickness of the outside pads... it appears that the calipers are not engaging properly...
    any one know of this
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Haven't heard of that issue being common. I am assuming yours is still under warranty and this doesn't sound like a normal wear and tear issue.
  • acmechacmech Posts: 2
    I purchased my HHR in Feb 2006. 1 week later I had it in the shop for surging when braking. They ground the brakes and all was well for a month.
    When it started again I was resigned to the belief that they (the brakes) were just to light for the vehicle. Mine is a LT2, so I have 17 in wheels. At about 26k my wife took it back and they ground them again and all was well again.
    It started to wander on the freeway around 32k so I went back again to have the alignment checked, and was told that the tires were half worn and that was the problem. I was born at night.... you know how that goes.
    I wanted new tires anyway so off to Sears for Goodyear Assurance treads. Great tires by the way.
    At 41k they started to surge again and finally exiting the highway I experienced a violent shaking. Back to the dealership to be told that the wheels were over torqued by Sears. Now I'm an aircraft mechanic and I kind of know maintenance and I know a line of crap when I hear it. The only problem is I’m out of warranty at this point, and they want $500 to correct the problem.
    I believe the problem is caused by over generation of heat from larger wheels and the inability to cool due to the design of the rotors.
    Other than the brakes I love the car, so I'm going to invest in cross drilled and slotted rotors that are treated with corrosion inhibitors and ceramic brake pads, and I believe this will cure the problem. I'll get back to ya!
  • tim08hhr1tim08hhr1 Posts: 7
    There is a TSB for that problem. The number is #08-05-23-003. That will take care of your brake problem.

    FYI also the is a TSB for the Front of the vehicle to protect the radiator. You need this done ASAP because you could get a rock that will damage the radiator.

    RECALL on the headliner for each side of car.

    Check this out.....

    Hopefully this will help you

    Because you have had this problem several times in the past........ the dealership should take care of this. If they do not.... and you have records in the past that this has been done with the brakes. CALL GM. They know this is a problem
  • tim08hhr1tim08hhr1 Posts: 7
    There is a TSB for that problem. #08-05-23-003

    Also have them check for the Radiator guard. If you do not have one... YOU NEED IT. A stone will come in below bumper & damage your Radiator.

    Also have them check for the RECALL in headliner.
  • tim08hhr1tim08hhr1 Posts: 7
    There is a TSB out for this. #08-05-23-003 Take your HHR back to the dealership & have them run that number & do the work

    Also there is another one out there for the Front of the Radiator. It is a Stone Gaurd to protect the radiator. You have a 07 & it does not have it.

    Have them check the RECALL out as well. Headliner for non-airbags
  • tim08hhr1tim08hhr1 Posts: 7
    There is a TSB out for this #08-05-23-003 This should fix your problem.

    There is also one for your from radiator. It is a Radiator guard to protect it from stones.

    If you do not have side airbags there should be a RECALL on your vehicle as well.
  • hheroldhherold Posts: 2

  • barbannabarbanna Posts: 6
    I traded in a two-year old 05 PT Cruiser for a new 07 HHR in May of last year. Shortly thereafter (the next DAY) my new HHR developed the troublesome front-end brake vibrations like those described by several others in this forum. Over the next two months I brought the HHR in THREE times to have the brake rotors repaired under the warranty.

    The dealer here in CT said the problem was warped rotors but had no clue as to why the problem kept recurring. He said they had heard nothing from GM. (A customer of my small business is an out-of-state Chevy service manager. I trust him. He, too, had not heard anything from GM about this problem.

    When, once again, the front end of my HHR started vibrating when braking for the FOURTH time, and after reading about the HHR owner who was told it would cost him $500 for another brake fix because his warranty was expired, I finally decided to get rid of my HHR.

    I'm now back happily driving a new PT Cruiser again and I do not have to worry about if (when) my car's front end will start shaking violently. The irony for me is that the day GM issued their TSB regarding the warping rotors on HHRs (5-23-08) was the same day I traded in my HHR.
  • saiyan1saiyan1 Posts: 1
    I'm sorry tim08hhr1, but what is a TSB. I am having the same violent shaking in my braking also. Thanks
  • clevageclevage Posts: 2
    I have a 08 HHR SS Turbo with 200 miles on it. my brakes have failed to stop.
    I start the engine, put in gear and it will start to move with 2 feet on the pedal.
    Just as it comes to a stop the ABS kicks in and it will than slow to a stop,with a rock hard pedal. no warning lights or codes.
    After a fey hundred feet of driving the problem has gon away.
    Dealer hasn't found any problems and they are ready to give it back to me.
    this has happened 3 times in 50 miles.

    Thanks for any input
    MARK ASE Certified Master Tech
  • clevageclevage Posts: 2
    The dealer called me back on the "NO BRAKE" problem and they say my brake problem was due to the turbo taking away vacuum that would supply the power brake booster. They say I need to idle for a little while befor taking off.
    THIS SHOULD BE A RECALL !!!! Let the world know now.....

    I had traded in a 06 HHR LT2 I purchased late 05. fully equipt . Chrome, 17 wheels,2.4L DOHC,6 disc CD, burgondy ( matches my Harley) ,pin striping...very sexy car. Never had a single problem. Lots of power!. I couldn't be happyer.
    But I wanted the 265 horse power.
  • crdavecrdave Posts: 3
    Say, tim08hhr1, on that rad guard, do you have aTSB number for it. The local dealer says nothing shows(I'm in Kanuckistan- formerly known as Canada), but I'm not too happy with these guys. I tried getting into the GM tech/service page, but a connection to a dealership or shop is needed to access the good info. I have an 07 LT- so far so good- only has just over 3,000 miles on it. Sure is a fun vehicle.CR Dave
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,652
    TSB for radiator guard is 08-06-02-001. The part number is 25829960. I think the part is around $25 LIST PRICE, GMPARTSDIRECT retail is $13 (plus shipping of course). I can't find it listed yet for other gm parts places online.
  • vtm1937vtm1937 Posts: 1
    I have had the same problem with the brakes. The 1st time with about 15k they pulsated extremely bad resurfaced rotors and did not replace pads and the 2nd time at 30k took to shop on 6-17-08 they did resurface the rotors but wanted to replace the pads at a charge of $140.00 that I told them no. If your already removed the rotors what's the big deal in replacing the pads in about another 15 Minutes. I have owned about 40-50 GM cars in my life and never had a brake problem. I called the GM customer assistance line on 8-4-08 and was told then do not have any technical knowledge they go by what the dealer tells them if that is not useless what is. I also asked where is all the testing info of the pre built models but guess what they have no Idea. Do they work for GM! yes but they do they know anything only the standard answers.
  • Guys, excuse me for venting but it is a beautiful Saturday here yet I am one angry HHR owner. I have a Chevy HHR 2006 with 31,000 miles and several weeks back I went to my local Chevy dealer in Wheaton/Glen Ellyn, Illinois when I noticed that the slight brake pulsating that I always had from day one with this vehicle had grown into the violent shaking that has been described in this column. They told me my brakes were "shot" and that my brake warranty was expired because brakes on all Chevy's are only for 12 months or 12,000 miles. When I explained that I always got 45,000 - 50,000 miles out of my brakes with every car I ever owned, they told me that the brakes were "really shot" and that they have seen this on many HHR's. The bill to fix this: $500.00+.

    Was I pissed off? I am a former Chevy mechanic from the 70's and I could not believe that these brakes were "shot," so I told the Service Writer to take a hike. Today I finally had time to look at the brakes and lo and behold, the front pads and rear shoes have at least 20,000 miles left on them. They're not "shot" and putting a dial indicator on the front rotors indicated that the left front was really out of round. The right front wasn't too bad, but since I have everything apart, decided to have both the front rotors and rear drums cut and replace the pads and shoes.

    I am in the middle of this project on my day off and I now see that there is a bulletin on this warped rotor issue. Can someone tell me what this bulletin says and any ideas why my Chevy dealer was not aware of this bulletin? Do I have any recourse on getting my money back for the brake parts I purchased today along with the machining of the drums and rotors?

    You know, I am from the Chevy era when they made former mechanics like me work on the worst pieces of junk; the Chevy Vega and Chevy Chevette. I purchased this HHR because I started to believe the hype that GM had really gotten their quality back up to the Japanese. Don't believe that crap for a minute. This issue has me so mad I am tempted as the previous writer to get rid of this thing and stay off GM for the rest of my life. Buy American? Yeah, I did and got it thrown back in my face...and they wonder why their sales are down.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Actually the Chevette was a descent car. We had the first year model 1976 that we inherited from my grandmother in California and brought it back to Illinois. The car was still running when my sister and her husband got rid of it at 18-years because it was wore out. I used it as my winter car and it got very good mileage. The only issue with this car was the one barrel carborator needing replacing once or twice. Very reliable. I knew other people who had later models with no issues.

    I knew three people with Vega's with no issues other than being way under powered. Nice looking sporty 2-door.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I agree with you. only thing I didn't like was at highway speeds it was quite noisey. I had a Citation (X car) and those had a bad rep but ours ran and ran.
  • i have a 2007 hhr premier edition it is a great car when it not shakeing me out of the drivers seat because of the junk rotors that gm uses. thay were cut at 4000 miles again at 8500 miles and needs it again at 13500 miles my dealer claims its my driving habits.but according to this forum i don,t think thats the need to step up to the bar and make this problem right
  • I also have a 2008 Turbo charged HHR. My car spent 22 days in the shop and after an "inspector" for GM looked at it he said he could find nothing wrong. I have let car idle and the brakes still fail. It has happened going forward and backward. I let car warm up and drive 200 feet and brakes fail. They have told us it was a computer glitch and fixed it once, within 2 weeks it was back to the same thing, the brakes failed and I bumped into a car in my driveway. After 3 visits to the dealer they are still saying there is nothing wrong. This is a serious problem and not only should there be a recall, but GM needs to held accountable.
  • warvinwarvin Posts: 10
    I have had my HHR 2007 for 11 months and about the third month I was coming down the highway and getting off an exit when I stepped on the brakes the car started to vibrate. I took it back to the dealer and they said they took it for a test drive and no problems. It happened again a month later and I took it back and suggested that it might be the rotors. Again they insisted that it couldn't be that because my car was only 4 months old and no way that could happen. I insisted that they check the rotors because in addition the brakes started to squeak.

    The sales guy finally check the rotors and had to admit that I was right and so he adjusted the rotor or so he said. The vibrating stopped but the problem that I am still having is squeaky brakes. It is driving me nuts. Anyone else out there have this problem. I have taken it back so many times that when they see me coming they run in the other direction. I love my car though.

    Would love to hear from anybody who seems to be having this problem.
  • Yes, I did. And so have a lot of other HHR owners. Go back to May of 2007 to read my posting. I had exactly the same experience as you - so did a lot of others. My first vibration episode happened the first day I owned the car. The dealer gave me the same runaround - four times. I understand that in May of 08 Chevy finally put out a service bulletin about this problem, that seems to affect only HHRs. Your dealer should have known about this problem. Good luck. (I finally dumped my HHR and went back to a PT. I never have to worry about its brakes not working.)
  • warvinwarvin Posts: 10
    Thank goodness I am not going out of my mind. My sister said they probably arent' listening because you are a woman. I know some basics about a car no mechanic by a long shot but I married into a family that all the guys worked on their own cars and pretty much gave me some of the alerts I should be looking for.

    I will go back to your post. I am taking the car in again for an oil change and a brake squeak check again.
  • I own a 2008 HHR SS with serious brake issues. GM refuses to admit there is even a problem and sent me off to drive away in an unsafe vehicle. If you are one of the many people having brake problems with your 2008 HHR SS (auto) please contact

    Green Welling LLP - National Class Action Attorneys

    They are evaluating the 2008 HHR SS brake issue. They have not yet decided to take the case, but they are gathering information. They need additional information so if you too are experiencing problems with your HHR SS brakes, please contact them and provide them with information. GM needs to fix the problem or work with us in finding a solution, not send us away driving unsafe vehicles. Not everyone is experiencing this problem. If you are not, disregard. If you are, help may be at hand.
  • own a 2008 HHR SS with serious brake issues. GM refuses to admit there is even a problem and sent me off to drive away in an unsafe vehicle. If you are one of the many people having brake problems with your 2008 HHR SS (auto) please contact

    Green Welling LLP - National Class Action Attorneys

    They are evaluating the 2008 HHR SS brake issue. They have not yet decided to take the case, but they are gathering information. They need additional information so if you too are experiencing problems with your HHR SS brakes, please contact them and provide them with information. GM needs to fix the problem or work with us in finding a solution, not send us away driving unsafe vehicles. Not everyone is experiencing this problem. If you are not, disregard. If you are, help may be at hand.
  • dethdeth Posts: 2
    I was in total lust with my car when I got it, until the break sqeak started!! 2008 HHR w/under 4000 miles on it. When I slow to stop, rather than "hard stop" my brakes squeak so bad that I cringe. It's embarassing and ear peircing. I've taken it in and was told it's the ceramic brake pad surface becoming slick because of how I slow to stop. Well I live in downtown Phoenix, AZ and drive mostly city streets. There's alot of slowing to stop. They suggested that when I'm in a parking lot, do a bunch of hard stopping to roughen up the pad. This hasn't worked.

    I'm so annoyed. I've called and emailed GM. This is supposed to be a "lifetime" brake pad according the the service guys. Frankly I'd rather pay money for new pads every few years to not be constantly embarrassed and sounding like my brakes need replacing.
  • GM fixed the problem. they add a vacuum pump to it. it fixed mine. 2nd one in the undited states to get fixed.... i was mad
  • dethdeth Posts: 2
    Does it matter that mine isn't an SS Turbo? How did you manage to get it fixed by them?
  • Does anyone have an idea where I can find a front stabilizer bar for HHR LS 2006? Do the pads for the stabilizer bar can be bought separately?
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