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Chevy HHR Brake Problems



  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    You're welcome. Thank you for getting back to me.
    -Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Mariah,

    I've just emailed you the requested info not too long ago.

    However, I forgot to mention that last Friday I experienced such heavy vibrations when I had to hit to break on the expressway, it scared the mess out of me.

    Due to that, I couldn't wait any longer for somebody at Chevy to finally step up to their responsibilities and I went to fix the brakes; new rotors and pads on both sides.

    While taking off the caliper bracket, my friend (a certified mechanic) immediately noticed that one of the sliding pins was dead froze in the bracket; it was completely stuck due to rust. Being this froze/stuck, the problem must have been going on since day one, but the GM certified & trained mechanics didn't manage the fix this although the car was at the Goodwrench service center four times.

    We also noticed that on this bracket/brake pads (back) was so much grease it wasn't funny anymore. Which is another indication that your mechanics only tried to patch the problem rather than fixing it for good.

    Considering that due to this frozen bolt there must have been at least some constant pressure on the brakes, it's not surprising that this triggered the traction control warn light which then triggered the check engine light - which is another often reported issue in this forum.

    As there wasn't any auto parts store around that actually had caliper bracket for this car on stock, we broke free the sliding bolt, sanded off all the rust on the bolt and inside the bracket, greased it well and put it back together.
    The brakes are working just fine for now, but this "work around" can't be a permanent solution especially since the plastic boot on this one pin/bolt is broken; a brand new caliper kit is needed.

    Now there are some questions to be answered:
    - who's gonna reimburse for my expenses I had to fix one problem GM mechanics failed to fix?
    - who's gonna cover the expenses to fix the problem with the Traction Control Warn Light / Check Engine Light?

    If Chevy / GM is finally stepping up to the plate and do what should have been done from the beginning on - taking care of the customer - I'll be happy to report it here and everywhere else....
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Re caliper problem:

    See my reply in post #157: "Brake problems might need replacement of the calipers with rebuilt calipers."

    The people with grabbing or shaking feeling when the brakes are applied will often have a caliper that's not working correctly. The other cause is a warped rotor which will often be felt at relatively low speeds as a pedal vibration.

    Rotors warp from abuse such as overheating, driving through puddles of water with the brakes very hot from a recent stop, or dragging calipers that don't release fully.

    Once a rotor is overheated or warped, in my opinion, it's done and needs to be replaced.

    To those who have come here and complain loudly that their disk brakes are shaking, replace the rotors, calipers (and caliper pins), and put on new pads. Your problem will be gone.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Thank you for getting back with me. I did send you an email back requesting some more information. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • edesimoneedesimone Posts: 1
    I, too, have run into a string of Chevy dealers with lousy sales and maintenance departments in my years of moving around the country in the military. I started using GMC dealers and found they were better service departments for some reason. Presently I am using Tincher's in Plattsmouth, Nebraska and Joey Whistler has done right by me on a number of occasions. Last Fall I purchased a used 2008 HHR with 25,000 miles. The brakes were fine. At around 37,000 miles we started getting the front end shaking the steering wheel while braking. Took it in and he turned the rotors. The problem was back the next day. I went online and saw horror stories in these forums regarding these brakes. I immediately began to consider unloading the car. I told Joey what I found, and that most people are saying the problem is unfixable and grounds for a recall. He said he's done the brakes on multiple HHRs for returning customers at his dealership and has had no problems. He dug into it and found out that Chevy instructs them to turn the rotors with them still on the car to save the costs of removing calipers. That's what he followed the first time and the rotors appear to turn true using that method. However, he had his guys remove the rotors and turn them off the car to check them and they were in fact still warped. This trued up the rotors and he threw in new brake pads and so far it has been smooth as silk. I hope the problem doesn't persist, because I would unload the car and scrap plans to buy a new Equinox as well. It sounds like other people have tried new rotors and brake pads and still haven't fixed it, but maybe this information will help someone if they share it with their dealer.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    > found out that Chevy instructs them to turn the rotors with them still on the car to save the costs of removing calipers.

    That would explain why others had their rotors turned and the problem returned. I still surmise that caliper slides and their lubrication especially in super hot climates and super salted climates is a problem.

    I also am not a fan of turning brake rotors, off or on the car. Medium quality replacements are relatively inexpensive, especially if you are able to replace them yourself. And highest quality, such as Raybestos Super Technology or NAPA Ultra rotors with a rust proofed powdered coating on the nonworking surfaces to keep them from showing rust, cost not a whole lot more for the extra quality they offer.

    By GM not having the calipers removed to remove the brackets holding them, they probably missed a lot of binding caliper slides and bolts that needed work.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • imdisgruntledimdisgruntled Posts: 6
    edited June 2010
    I have the exact same issue, Actually I started searching today after booking an appointment for service to see if there might be something else ... I have had an alignment done, tire balance, brakes done, rotors turned and had come to the conclusion that it must be bearings. I was about to go get them done but remembered a friend said he bought a HHR for his wife and had the same issues.
    I have been a faithful Chevy owner / leaser for the last 6 cars but have been seriously considering dumping this HHR and getting a Japanese car (Sounds bad i Know). I have had my front end shaking pretty much since I bought it and have tried everything and the dealers and I have tried a few just go with what I think ... they don't tell me there is a serious issue. There definitely should be a recall for these cars. :mad:
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Imdisgruntled,
    I apologize that you are experiencing issues with your vehicle. Can you please email me your VIN and current mileage so I can look into it further? You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Thank You Mariah,
    All Issues I have had are now satisfied by the dealer. I appreciate your help.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    You're welcome Andy! :) I am glad that everything went well with your dealer.
    - Mariah GM Customer Service
  • We have a 2006 HHR LT and from month 3 of ownership we have had a terrible shaking of the steering wheel, and horrible front end noise. I have taken over and over to not just on dealer repair, but two to be told " turn the rotors". I have tried to deal with three separate District Specialists all of whom seem to quit the company. I've gone through being assigned many case numbers which really doesn't matter because GM has no intentions of helping us anyways. I have had leaking front struts, rear shocks not looking so hot, now my steering rack is going...I've turned the rotors ( the answer I am always given by GM mechanics) at least 15 times. Now basically my car is not safe to drive, and will GM do anything about it?? Nope. My car has just 30k miles on it..the noises that come out of the front end sounds like the car is going to break in half...and the shuddering of the steering wheel continues to get worse. With no answers from anyone,...and me not having the luxury of dumping this and buying something else. Very disgusted with how GM has handled this... You watch... our Chevy HHR will be the next Toyota's I am all for a class action lawsuit... OOPS failed to mention Chevy covers none of the repairs needed to make my car safe to drive.....I have already put in over 1,000 for it to now need another 1,800 dollars worth of work.
  • ya-hey!
    Welcome to the "Gee,these HHR's really suck" Club!
    I'm upside down in mine or I would sure get rid of it! Good luck!
    Anybody hear of any class action suits yet?
  • snowmomansnowmoman Posts: 20
    Careful the moderator doesn't like mention of class action suits! I have been warned twice and had my posts pulled. Are you now very afraid like I was? I......thought so.
  • kymmbkymmb Posts: 8
    Ok, so I took my 2008 HHR to the local Chevy dealer and explained what was going-on with the brakes...(i.e., 2 new sets of brake pads, my mech says rotors are warped..etc....),..a few hours later I get a phone call "the front brakes are fine; a little brake noise is normal". You rear brakes need to be cleaned and adjusted and this should take some of the load off of your front brakes...of course I had to pay $39.95 for this service. I went and picked up the car, drove the less than 10 miles home and had no brake noise...I thought ok..they did something and are going to try and play it off. Drove the car to work the next day (13.5 miles) and screeched to a halt at the gate...nothing repaired, no difference in the braking at what's next...of course I'm only about 800 miles away from 30,000 and the warranty running out. Guess they will decide it needs the rotors replace as soon as I roll over the magic 30,000 miles...I'll all for a class action suit...may be the only way to get the thing fixed. Oh yeah, the dealer is aware of the problem...there was an article about noisy brakes attached to my vehicle file but disappeared from view real quick while I was checking out.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 1,969
    edited July 2010
    If your are referring to the original warranty it is 36mo, 36000 miles. You should still be fine unless you exceed 36 mo. If you have had a bad experience with the dealer you normally have service your car, if possible, try another. I agree you shouldn't have to...

    2010 Pilot EXL-RES, 2013 Accord EX

  • Here's an update on my ordeal.

    Mariah who contacted me via this forum in regards to my problems, actually managed to have Chevy/GM Customer assistance contacting me.
    They advised me to bring the vehicle to an authorized GM repair shop for diagnostic/inspection and to tell them that I have an open case with Chevy/GM when making an appointment.

    Now here's the deal; both repair shops I went insisted on charging about $120 inspection fee and when I told them I have a case open with Chevy, oh boy, the expression on their face sure changed.

    I contacted my "case worker" who confirmed that I would have to pay the $120 out of my pocket. However, he could NOT guarantee me whether or not Chevy is going to assist me further, all depending on the result of the inspection. He said if result shows to be a manufacturer problem they'll take care of it, else not.

    I think Chevy is missing the point here: their authorized dealer/repair shop failed to fix the problem despite of 4 appointments. So it doesn't matter if it is a manufacturer problem or a "wear&tear" problem. Fact is this repair shop did not manage to fix problem so Chevy needs to step up!
    Oh, considering all the posts here from people having the same issues, it's pretty save to say that this is a manufacturer problem, yet there is no sign so far that Chevy recognized this or that a recall has been issued.

    Basically, Chevy wants me to take a $120 gamble on a 50/50 chance. Guess, just another way of screwing money out of people in a half-hearted attempt to (supposingly) trying to help.

    Well, were I live I haven't seen money growing on a tree yet, so I can't afford gambling with $120.
  • I have gone through 3 District Specialists...many case numbers and so many times at a Chevy dealer/mechanic... only to be told "normal wear and tear".Or, "we dont know whats wrong" The minute my warranty expired magically they found thousands of dollars worth of problems.. I said you mean the same ones I have been bringing to you now for 3 now are able to figure it out...Well I am not paying for something I have been bringing to you while my warranty was valid. Cant imagine normal wear and tear when the first time I brought the car in to one of their shops my car was less than 2 months old and had 800 miles. I noticed the problem coming home from camping and going down the San Bernadino Mountains. The steering wheel was shaking so bad that I was thankful that my husband was driving, and it was summer. Had there been snow on the ground..I would bet money we would be all over the road. I have complained about this since 2006...with zero help from Chevrolet. I sent a letter yesterday to both the North America VP Mark L. Reuss as well as one to Edward Whitacre CEO. I also attached other complaints from various HHR blogs all with the same problem. I told them that God forbid I am driving with my children when the steering rack snaps..I will hold them personally responsible if anything happens to me, my children or others on the road due to a problem they refuse to take care of.. I also mentioned Toyota to them.. :) :) ..The sad thing is..although I have mailed it return receipt requested...I doubt anything will be done. I too have called into the World Headquarters asking to speak to one of these gentleman. I am not giving up!!!!.
  • Amen,I hear you!
    We were ALWAYS Chevy people--no more! We have had 3 Corvettes in the last 10 years--NO MORE! I'm upside down now-but will get rid of this car as soon as I can and because of the way I was treated I'll buy a Ford(spit,spit) or an import. Damn thing rides like alumber wagon now,too. Beautiful bright shiny red,tho!!
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
  • glennzglennz Posts: 1
    I have an HHR panel truck for work. I've had it about 10 months it has 13500 miles on it and the rotors seem like they are warped. At this point when I stop the wheel almost shakes out of my hand. I had the same problem on my girl friends Honda civic when I put NAPA rotors on it. Now that I put on original Honda Parts the breaks are working fine.

    If I may stand on a soap box for a moment. The ONLY way to solve Americas problems is for us to buy products made in America. But America need to start making stuff worth buying... I think Ford may be on the right track.
  • rstruthersrstruthers Posts: 29
    I have a 2006 HHR and have had the same problem until I put high quality aftermarket rotors on it. I agree with buying American, but until GM admits to this and other problems they are hiding I will not buy another GM product. Too many people have been thru this and with no help from GM. I was a GM fan for a long time but no more.
    I'm looking at Ford and imports that will take care of the problems they create. Also not going to buy a the latest craze, some new fad car. Stick with the old long time production models that have been proven.
  • AMEN!! We have bought our last GM product. At 26k our rotors went out. The thing shakes on the highway and makes weird sounds and RIDES like a lumber wagon. We are so not happy with this thing. If we weren't so upside down we'd trade it for something-anything else!! We are SERIOUSLY thinking of letting the repo man pick it up!!!!!!!
  • I am so disgusted by GM and how they have NOT handled this problem that I wrote to the CEO as well as the VP of North America...Wouldn't you know that I got a call from the CEO's Executive Secretary who shared with me that this must just be MY problem as there have been no other complaints. I almost hit the floor..and had she been in front of me..I would have hit her. I told her to check blogs, websites etc etc. Her reply..." you cant believe everything you read online". I told her this was a Toyota waiting to my rotors, brakes, steering wheel shudder, rack and pinion, power steering, shocks, and struts are all needing work...and the cost of over 2k...and the car has 30k miles on it....None of this should be happening...and being that it is GM should be held responsible. She is supposed to get back to me this afternoon. But I will bet money, they will say..."no we are not going to issue a recall, and you are the only one complaining" Yea right!!!!. I am so frustrated and don't know what to do??.
  • I would love to let the repo man pick mine up... I am waiting for the power steering or the rack to give while I am on the freeway... If you hear about a Chevy HHR going out of control on the 405 fwy in LA... you will know it was me.. I shared with them I am a single mom. I have two daughters and if something happen to me, them, or someone else that is driving next to me when their piece of crap car falls apart they will be held responsible. Of course I am dealing with corporate america..let's bail GM out so they can continue producing unsafe cars. The shudder in the steering wheel gets worse. I was coming home over Topanga Canyon and the steering wheel was shaking so badly I had to hold it with both hands to keep it on the canyon road. And the sound in the front...was awful. We need to bombard the Corporate offices, the CEO and the President of North America GM/Chevy with ongoing letters.

    If anyone is interested here is the info. General Motors World Headquarters 300 Renaissance Center Drive Detroit, MI 48265. CEO is Edward Whitacre and the North America President is Mark Reuss.. I wrote both and did get a call within 4 days...waiting to see what happens this afternoon...
  • Taking my 08 HHR to dealer this week. It shudders badly when braking, 22K miles on it. I'll let you know what they find
  • I wonder why "Mariah" only responds to individual posts and in secret. Anyone can see from the number of posts that this is a recurring issue that needs to be addressed overall. Let's hear from Mariah! What is Mariah's and Chevy's answer to this? Post an answer to everyone and let us know what Chevy's stance is on this KNOWN problem, so we know for sure that they are not going to stand behind their product and we can start a Class Action Lawsuit. Let's see: 1) Don't admit you have a problem so you don't have to pay to fix it - and in the process anger and thereby lose longtime customers or 2) Stand behind your product, man-up, fix the problem in a timely manner to satisfy customers who will then remain loyal to Chevy -- Which do you think is better business practice? I still refuse to buy a foreign car, but my next car wil be a Ford.
  • When Braking I hear a popping noise in back, wondering if anyone else is dealing with this and also my dash lights will dim and get bright for some reason. This is the first time I have had a Chevrolet, it has 31000 miles and I have had it 10 days, it drives like a dream and I am taking to dealership tomorrow. I love the HHR.
  • Please read all prior messages on HHR's! Hopefully you will love it 10 years from now,too.
    Mine is the LAST Chevy I will ever buy.
  • While you're there get the brakes checked. Chances are they're shot. Sorry! Dimming lights sound like a ground problem to me.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    I would have the dealer check,popping sound may be something unusual. The dimming of dash lights my be it switching from daytime (bright dash lights) to night time (dimmer) lights because the sensor is detecting low light situation.
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