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 12-09-2002, 18:27 Post: 45936
cutter



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

My wife has a 1/2 ton Chevy 4x4 she uses as a company vehicle for her sales job, and it is used for odd jobs around the business she works for as well. I have noticed strange brake pedal pulses and a lessening of the stopping ability with a pushing back sensation when I have driven it. This morning she was traveling up a slippery hill and a deer appeared on the shoulder of the road. She was traveling approximately 35mph and said she touched the brakes lightly to slow in case it decided to jump into her lane and as she did the anti-lock brakes locked completely and the truck began spinning out of control. It ended up almost on its roof in a shallow ditch. When I arrived she was in the ambulance and fortunately OK, some other motorists had stopped and pulled her out the passenger window. Once the wrecker pulled the truck back onto its wheels (and I checked for fluid leakage), I drove it out of the ditch and noticed that the brake went to the floor. I was able to pump it and obtain enough pedal to drive it out of the roadway but changed my mind about taking it home and opted for a tow job instead. This is not the first GM product I have heard about that seems to have an intermitten anti-lock brake problem. Her business associate has had this truck back to the dealer twice and they insist there is nothing wrong with it (it's her imagination). A friend of mine had (and I say HAD, she couldn't get rid of it fast enough) a late 90's model S-10 blazer that would lose its brakes for no apparent reason. It was taken to the selling dealer numerous times and she was told it was "all in her head". I have a feeling there might be a problem with these systems that GM is not willing to acknowledge and am wondering if anyone on this board might have experience with it. I don't want her to drive the vehicle but the business she works for is going to send it to the dealer again. There actually have been numerous complaints about this very same truck by several employees. This is the first time it has locked up as opposed to losing brake power, go figure, nothing would have happened if they failed to work except a slow stop to the shoulder on the hill.






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 12-09-2002, 19:00 Post: 45939
Jeff Earthwerks Unlimited



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

My buddy had (past tense) a '99 Silverado with brake problems. The pedal would also pulse badly. The rotors would get so hot the truck wouldn't roll. We replaced the two front brake calipers, and the hoses, and the pads to no avail. He was told by the daler the ABS unit was bad and was going to cost him $800 plus labor. He traded it for a '02 Silverado.






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 12-09-2002, 19:58 Post: 45944
cutter



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

At least they admitted something was wrong. The pulsing isn't as bad as the locking up/no brake scenario though!






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 12-10-2002, 07:00 Post: 45955
Jeff Earthwerks Unlimited



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

I wouldn't call it so much an "admission" as they found it to be more of a "diagnosis" as it was out of warranty. Basically it was, "Yep, it's the ABS unit".






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 12-10-2002, 07:49 Post: 45958
cutter



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

Thanks Jeff. I'll see what happens with it this time at the dealer after the fender and box are repaired at the body shop. If there is no repair made to the system, I am going to insist she does not drive that vehicle, even if it means losing the job. The sad part is that the owner is not cheap, he would have spent the $800 if they said it needed it. Myself, if I owned a dealership and someone complained of an intermitten brake loss/lockup problem, I would be calling the manufacturer to see which part would most likely cause the malfunction and replace it if the customer was willing to pay. We are talking brakes/lives/property damage, not a rattle in the trunk. Look what Firestone did with those "bad tires". Were they really bad or were people running them low to make the SUV ride like a car causing a failure, and then losing control when one blew out. Did not matter they replaced them all, even the bald ones on a co-workers Ranger. I think that says a lot for Firestone (although the gov't did have a hand in it), how about GM or the ABS manufacturer stepping up and taking credit for some faulty units and replacing those that are on record as having an undiagnosed brake problem. Or do we just ignore it and hope not too many are killed or the problem is not traced back to a bad part. Just me ranting about ethics again, thanks for letting me take out the frustration and hurt/anger over almost losing a loved one due to what I perceive as seedy business practices by a huge company.






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 12-10-2002, 08:12 Post: 45960
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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

Jeff;
I am not sure I would have bought another Silverado. I guess I am the type that would have forced the dealer to fix a premature failure in a safety item. If the seat belt broke or the airbag went off after 3 years of use, I don't care how many dollars they wanted they would replace it or have a law suit.
I had a Toyota Previa which had an automatic oil feed from an remote oil tank to the engine. One day the switch broke and the oil fill light remained on. Fortunately I was driving and immediately disconnected the pump before it filled the engine with a couple gallons of oil. The van was just out of warranty and they wanted 400$ and labour for repair. Naturally the dealer would do nothing. I appealed to the area service rep. and they finally replaced it. You recieve not because you demand not.






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 12-10-2002, 08:35 Post: 45963
Stan



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

Cutter -
Glad to hear your wife is OK. Thanks for passing along the info about the brakes and potential problem. Appreciate your positiion about your wife's job - had my wife quit one place rather than take unnecessary risks.

Jeff
I've got a 2002 Sierra 2500, w/ only 10,000 miles but several "hard" stops (both empty and towing) without incident. So far I like the dynamic brake proportioning - no sliding when empty, and plenty of brake when loaded. ABS kicked in as needed, more/no less. I had wondered about the reliability of the computerized braking systems, and so far am happy w/the results. I hope there's not a continued problem in the new models, or that GM 'fesses up to a problem if one is there and gets it fixed.

Stan






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 12-10-2002, 08:47 Post: 45965
Billy

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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

I think they ought to warranty something like ABS beyond the initial period. Since it is a safety feature, just like seatbelts.

If they would take care of poor designs like this, it would save them millions of dollars in lawsuits later.

Billy






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 12-10-2002, 09:06 Post: 45968
DRankin



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

Cutter, the NTSB has a web site where things like this are tracked if there is a pattern forming.

Large insurance agencies like State Farm also track such trends.

I also remember our Chevy police cars having similar problems in the mid-90's.

Technology is great when it is properly engineered and applied. If it puts a loved one in the ditch or shuts off our new tractor it goes beyond useless and enters the realm of the counterproductive.






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 12-10-2002, 09:18 Post: 45970
cutter



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 Brake failure in 98 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup

Thanks Mark, I will check with State Farm. The NTSB has only two brake problems listed for the '98 model 1500, I checked that already. I am going to speak to the business owner after the truck is out of the dealership and get his permission to post with NTSB regarding his vehicle. If the problem is discovered, I will list the repair made as well as details of the symptoms for others to reference.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Chevy Pickup Trucks Forum

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