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Chevrolet Blazer Brake Problems



  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Nah, it is an easy job. You pull the calipers just like you would do the fronts, then the bracket that the caliper came out of is removed. It is held on with two big metric bolts (15mm, I think. It has been a while) and then comes off, freeing the rotor. The emergency brake assembly is not touched.

    Just remember to chock the front wheels and DO NOT apply the emergency brake or you will never get those rear rotor/drums off. It really is no more complicated than the fronts.

    Have fun,

  • dbatedbate Posts: 1
    I drive a 2002 S-10 2 door rear wheel drive Blazer. About 5 days ago my brakes started squeaking, seems as if only the rear driver side is making the noise. However, sometimes if I let off the brake and let the car idle forward there will be an on and off squeaking noise that seems to correspond with the rolling of the tires. I was wondering if this is common with brake pads problems, or if anyone had heard of this before.

    Thanks for your help.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    First off, you need to pull the rear wheels and check the pads for wear. I am betting that it is time for a rear brake job.

    Second, when you do that brake job, you should replace the rear calipers. Don't faint, they are pretty cheap and easy to find. Unlike the front calipers, the rear are made of aluminum. When you push the piston back in to accomodate the new, thicker pads, the pistons have a nasty habit of binding in the cylinder bore and sticking, causing major heat build up. And big time fuel economy loss!

    Now, the little squeak/chirp you are hearing is due to a rotor being slightly out of true. Also no biggie. Pull the rotors when you do the brake job and have them "trued" at the parts house. This involves putting them on a brake lathe and taking off a very small amount of metal, just enough to get the two sides in perfect parallel with each other.

    With regular hand tools, the total time for this job is about 1-2 hours. You will need some help when it comes time to bleed the air bubbles from the rear brakes after changing the calipers.

    You can try to get by without changing the calipers, but if you have over 70K miles I would bet money it won't work.

    BTW, Wagner calipers with pads run $82.99 each at O'Reilly's. If you get the caliper by itself, rebuilts are ~ $40 exchange. But good pads are going to run you about $50.

    Have fun.
  • My wife drives a 2000 Blazer w/4WD and less than 100,000 miles. We picked up the vehicle after a NYS inspection. I drove it home, and upon reversing it into the driveway, I stepped on the brakes and had none! I rolled into a tree! I checked the brake fluid (full) and drove it up and down the street and had it happen one more time. I had the car towed back to the shop. They inspected it, test drove it, and said they couldn't find anything wrong. HELP!
  • duntovduntov Posts: 133
    I thought GM solved the brake problem by 1994 but I suppose they did not. That was a problem with early ABS brakes. My 1991 S10 Blazer 4x4 had the same problem but it was a soft pedal and it went to the floor. The problem appeared to be a by-passing master cylinder. They had recall on the 1993 -2000 S10 Blazers with ABS brakes and replaced the electronic selector switch. That was NOT the problem. A congressional hearling was held and GM wiggled out of the ABS problem by telling the congressmen "customers who purchased their GM vehicles with ABS brakes were not accoustomed to how the brakes operate". That is total nonsense.

    The Kelsey-Hays ABS (EBC4) modulator is the culprit. I tried to purchase a rebuilt modulator for my 1991 S10 Blazer 4x4 but the only way I could get a rebuilt one is to send mine to a rebuilder and get it rebuilt for about $700. The modulator must be kept clean of any debris or dirty fluid. A tiny speck of dirt or a piece of rubber seal can cause the ABS modulater valves to by-pass and the brakes get spongy and sink to the floor. Many master cylinders have been replaced thinking that was the problem

    I solved my braking problem by replacing every component of the entire braking system (except the ABS modulator) which was unnessessary. The main problem was old dirty fluid. The brake fluid in my 1991 S10 Blazer brake systen was the original fluid. I bled the sytem with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid by foot bleeding and it took six hours. A pressure bleeder attached to the master cylinder will work a lot better than foot bleeding. There is a special procedure you must follow and it5 is still difficult and time consuming to bleed ABS brakes including the ABS modulator. If they don't have a pressure bleeder that fits the GM mastercykinder, some auto repair shops merely give up on the job after a couiple of hours and never get all the air out of the system.

    1. Bleed the brakes and be patient because it takes time to bleed ABS brakes. .
    2. If that fails, replace the ABS modulator and bleed the brakes again. A rebuilt ABS modulators are available at local parts stores for a 2000 Blazer.
  • cact34y,

    Did you ever get your back rotor off? I have a 98 blazer 4x4 with 4 wheels disks. I have the same issue with the back rotors. It took me a good 2 hours to get the back wheels off. I had to soak around the hob and inside the studs with wd-40. after an hour I took a hammer to the back of the tire and it finally came off. Both sides were stuck.

    Now that I have the caliper and bracket off, I cannot get the back rotors off. I also removed the thin lock rings around the lugs and the rotor still will not come off. I took a few bangs on the back of the rotors and front center, still no luck. Any suggestions?
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Lots of WD40. The rotor/axle is steel on steel, and if you had that much rust between the rotor and the wheel, you can figure on the same for the axle/rotor. Just keep soaking it around the lugs.

    I have had a case where I knew I was going to have to replace the rotor, so I soaked it for half a day and then dislodged it by tapping with an 8lb sledge. I don't mean beating on it, just a firm tap, a little more than you would use to seat a finishing nail. The mass of the sledge will impart a high amount of mass/force on the rotor and dislodge the rust adhesion.

    Another trick you can do is reinstall the caliper and brackets. Put the wheels back on, but leave a small (1/16") gap on the lug nuts. Move the car a couple of feet and hit the brakes. Do this forward an backward, and the force of the brakes without the wheels being tight can break loose the rust adhesion. You can usually hear it when they break loose, and with all the lug nuts on, but loose, nothing will come apart.

    Both of the procedures above can be performed without damaging the rotor. Good luck!
  • Thanks for the reply. I managed to get the rotors off and replaced the rotors, calipers, and brake pads. I went out and bought a heaver hammer and had to beat the rotors pretty hard. I wasn't worried about breaking them b/c they were being replaced any ways. I took a hammer and hit both sides of the rotor inward pretty hard. After about 4 or 5 really hard wacks, they came loose. Thanks again man!
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    You're more than welcome. Glad it worked out (or at least your workout was productive!)
  • duntovduntov Posts: 133
    Having a autro repair shop bend straight tubing to fit your 1998 Blazer will be labor intensive and at $70 to $90 per hour, it would be serious money. The cost of the parts is nothing compared to the labor cost which is usually the case at auto repair shops. Except some of the electronic components that only take a few minutes to replace.

    It would be best to purchase preformed brake lines ready made from GM. LMC Truck offers a preformed stainless steel brake line kit for 1982-1994 S10 Blazer 4WD for $229. It consists of 10 preformed lines with fittings attached. There may a few of the lines in their kit you can use for a 1998 Blazer 4WD and toss the lines that you cannot use. The best option is to go to a Chevrolet dealership that has a parts counterman who will cooperate with you and let you examine his computer screen so you can pick out the lines you need to replace and only order those parts along with any associated, bolts, clips, brackets, etc. Never let a parts counteman pick out the parts you need because they will be the wrong 50% of the time.

    I noticed that most of the 1998 Blazer 4WD and 2WD OEM preformed brake lines have not been discontinued by GM and they will fit your calipers, chassis, master cylinder and the ABS modulator without any major bending. LMC Truck does not offer brake line kits for 1995 and later S10 Blazer because the parts are still avalable from GM at the dealership parts departments. When they are discontinued by GM, the aftermarket suppliers will start making them if there is a large enough demand to make it profitable. I have noticed in my dealings with doctors, plumbers, electricians, home repairmen, and auto repair mechanics that they usually turn a minor job into a major and more expensive job every chance they get.
  • I have a 2000 Chevy Blazer 4WD and took it to the shop to replace rotors and pads on the rear. While driving it home, the rear drivers side wheel started to smoke bad! Had them tow it back. At that point they replaced the calipers and replaced the lines as well. Went to pick it up and now the pedal is going to the floor even after I watched them bleed the lines. They seem to be at a loss. So am I. Of course this is not my expertise. Cam someone shed some light on my problem?
    Would be greatly appreciated! THX
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Well, I can tell you now that the rear calipers have to be replaced *almost* everytime the rear brakes are replaced. As far as the pedal going to the floor, they need to bleed the brakes again. It sounds like they may have gotten air into the master cylinder while bleeding the calipers. It takes a good bit of fluid to fill the new lines and calipers, and if you aren't watching carefully you can let the fluid level drop too far in the master cylinder and suck air into the system.

    Nothing too magical about bleeding the system, just takes time to be sure and get all the air out.
  • Hello did you end up replacing the brake lines yourself? i have a 96 blazer and need to replace the front to rear line but have no idea where to begin if you could help me out that would be appreciated
  • ezdaysezdays Posts: 1
    I had my brake pads replaced 13 months ago and I hardly drive my car. I have a noise in the rear passenger side of the tire that can be heard when driving slow (25-40 MPH). When I apply the brakes it stops. It sounds like a scraping noise. What could be the problem? Thanks for your help.
  • duntovduntov Posts: 133
    I had a similar problem with my 1991 S10 Blazer front disc brakes. The person who replaced the front brake pads over torqued one of the caliper bolts and pulled the threads in the steering knuckle. The brakes worked fine for about about two weeks and finally the caliper bolt fell out and the brake caliper was being held on by only one bolt and it became so loose I could hear in rattle. I took the caliper off and managed to save the steering knucle bu using a caliper bolt with oversize threads (NAPA) which cut new threads in the steering knuckle threaded hole. It is tight and works fine after about 5,000 miles. However, I don't know if that will be a permanent repair until I replace the front pads again.. When I remove the caliper bolt that has the oversize threads, it may take out the damaged threads in the steering knuckle with it. Then I will have to heli-coil the steering knuckle or replace it.

    Those caliper bolts require only 37 lb. torque and not a ounce more. !!! Many so-called auto technicians do not uise a torque wrench to tighten those bolts (they must supply their own tools where they work) and will use "More's Law" (if the correct amout is good, "More" is better) They will use their "armstrong" torque wrench and tighten the bolts as tight as they can which will usually ruin the threads in the steering knuckle. After they damage the threads in your expensive steering knuckle, they usually do not say anything about it because it would be their responsibility to spend 4 hours replacing your $300 steering knuckle.

    Check your rear brake caliper for looseness. The bolts could have been over torqued or not torqued enough.,
  • kimchockimchoc Posts: 3
    Unicorn, so what is the result? I have the exact same problem? Did you ever get it fixed??
  • unicorn333unicorn333 Posts: 3
    Hi Kimchoc,
    As it turns out, They needed to bleed the brakes more is all. I'm back and running normal.
  • kimchockimchoc Posts: 3
    Thanks for the reply. In my case the, Autozone had the part numbers backwards and the calipers were on the wrong side. With the eagle eye of a friend and nothing to loose, we swapped them and all is well. Thanks for returning and posting.
  • duntovduntov Posts: 133
    Bleeding ABS brakes is a sore spot on the Chevrolet S10 Blazers. Most auto repair shops give up trying to get the correct brake pedal travel after about 2 hours of foot pumping. The shop then will tell the customer that the ABS modulator is bad and needs to be replaced. The ABS modulator costs $700 for a rebuilt unit for the 1985 -1994 ABS brake systems. Rebuilt modulators are not available anymore and the customers old ABS modulator must be rebuilt by some company that rebuilds auto parts for auto parts retailers. The cost of rebuilding and replacing the ABS modulator usually causes the owner of an older S10 Blazer to junk the vehicle. Most auto repar shops will not attempt to replace a ABS modulator a 1985 - 1995 S10 Blazer unless the customer puts up a $500 deposit before the work begins. Auto repair shops are afraid when the job exceeds the cost of the vehicle value, the customer will walk away from the job and give the S10 Blazer to the auto repair shop.

    Most of the time all that is wrong with the ABS brake system is air in the lines. It takes an extraordinary amount of time, a special procedure and a l;ot of patience to bleed those brakes especuially if you don't have the proper tools. . If a auto shop technician tries to foot bleed the S10 Blazer 4WD ABS brakes he may never get correct brake pedal travel because his is merely pushing air back and forth in the brake lines. . A pressure bleeder is required to maintain a constant pressure as the air is pushed out of the system and most auto repair shops don't have a pressure bleeder that fits an S10 Blazer master cylinder. A special reverse pressure brake bleeder is available that pressurizes the brake lines from the wheel cylinders to the master cylinder and expells the air out of the master cylinder. . That special brake bleeder kit cost about $300 and most auto repair shop technicians will not invest that much money in a brake bleeder kit that they may not use but once every five or ten years.

    About 1995, the NTSB had a hearing about the earlier ABS brake systems on the S10 Blazders but GM fooled the NTSB and blamed the failures on the drivers not knowing how to use ABS brakes and got out of an expensive recall.

    You are fortunate to have a 2000 Blazer because GM made vast improvements to the ABS brake system since 1996 and the later model ABS modulators are much more reliable..
  • After pressing on the brakes the rear calipers do not release causing the back tires to get extremely hot while driving for some time.When I am coming to a stop I feel brake grab. I do not know very much at all about what causes this, if I need to replace calipers and hoses or what. I would really like some feed back before I take it to the shop and spend alot more than nessesary. Thank you...
  • Just go get a couple rear calipers and install them. This is a common problem with S10 rear disc..
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    S10 rear calipers just don't lend themselves to being reused. The good news is that they are not that expensive, and rebuilts work fine and are readily available.

    Pick a good parts house and replace both. Quick and easy fix.
  • Feel that back wheel after driving on it for a little bit and see if it's hot. If it is I would check to see if your back brakes are dragging a little. Might not be the problem, but it's definitely worth checking.
  • zzzroczzzroc Posts: 1
    edited July 2011
    I have this thump thump with I apply my brakes makes the car rattle, but when you drive it is smooth sailing no problem. The car did this before I did anything to it. I have put new tires on it, had them balanced, front alignment, put all new rotor's and pad's on the car and still have the same problem. Now I don't know?? :cry:
  • My 2002 Blazer has developed the same problem at 74,000 miles. I did a visual inspection of all components and checked all calipers to see if they were properly "free floating". One of the rear calipers (drivers side) appeared to be somewhat sticky whereas the other passenger side floated smoothly. I have not changed any parts yet since I want to check out other possibilities like wheel bearings, warped rotors. I did check tires by moving the spare to each wheel with no change in the thump. Maybe the rear caliper drags on the disc, overheating it, causing it to warp, resulting in uneven friction on the disc's surface. I wonder if the warping could be permanent even on a new replacement disc if the caliper is not replaced? At this point I'm not sure what the problem is.
  • My 2001 LT with 4 wheel discs has dragging right rear, after changing pads and rotor. Can the mechanic do something about this or is new caliper needed? Has 174k miles with original front pads and changed both rears and r r rotor 25k ago. Now rears had to be changed again w/ l rear rotor new. Now r rear is super hot and strong smell. Suggestions for me and my mechanic??
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Change both rear calipers with rebuilts. This is a very common problem and good quality rebuilt calipers are available for ~ $40-$60 each. The caliper body is made of aluminum instead of steel.

    I have owned several Blazers. Each has had this issue.

    Good Luck!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,471
    new calipers, both sides.

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  • my friend had his ABS light on he changed the abs on his own no more light

    the blazer brakes are skipping
    things i changed already
    front rotors ,pads and calibers
    rear rotors and pads

    and the brakes still skip
    does anyone know what this is from
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