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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    East of Branson, Missouri
    Blog Entries

    Default My truck doesn't stop anymore - it slows down.

    AAaaaaand here we go again!


    For the past while, since owning the Suburban, I've replaced the front pads 4 times. I've never had great luck braking and stopping this truck - but I drive it like a bus so it's all good.

    The past few months have had the truck pulling to the right on braking.

    The past week I started to grind my rotor(s). I made an appointment, went and got my rotors turned at the dealership (none of the shops around here can turn the rotors from my suburban..!) and went and got the pads replaced, yet again, today.

    The Problem

    As I said the truck never has stopped quickly. I understand it's a big truck, and that it's not an uncommon complaint about the braking system on this truck.

    On my way home I wasn't able to stop. I mean literally, I stomped on the brakes and I slowed down to a stop...I didn't stop. Had there been a car in front of me, about 5 or 6 car lengths, I wouldn't have been able to stop in time going about 30mph.

    W. T. H?

    What I Understand and What I Know

    Like I said, I know it's a big truck.
    I did a quick look around as soon as I got home and found the brake system is not an uncommon cause of disappointment to a lot of people - straight from the factory.
    The pads were wearing unevenly - so side, I think(?) were wearing down, but not the bottom. (Caliper problems I'm guessing)
    I have a wheel bearing going out on the right side (passenger).
    My rear brakes look brand new.
    When I drive on gravel and try to stop, my front wheels' ABS kicks on and my rears don't seem to do much, still, no matter how hard I push.

    So on the way home I got kind of fed up and decided to see just how bad the braking was. So I went about 30 and, with both feet, slammed on the brakes.

    The truck slowed enough for my phone to fall on the floor from the center console but I slowed down. I didn't stop.

    I know the brakes have to seat and set correctly with a new set of pads being put on, but this just shows that there is almost 0% rear braking.

    Almost Done...

    So I had a quick look around the forum, saw that it may be the proportioning valve. Also I caught that there's a chance it's electronically controlled.

    So now I'm at a loss.....what do I do now?

    Thoughts, comments, ideas?

    My only thought right now is to go to the dealership in the morning and have them check everything, front to back, have them tell me what's wrong, (if they find guess is that they won't see a problem..) and then bend over and take it like a man.

    I apologize for the long post. I guess I'm half venting, half wondering if anyone has any ideas.

    "The Sarge"
    1999 Chevy Suburban LT- K2500
    7.4 454 Vortec, 4WD
    305/70/16 on Eagle Alloy

  2. #2


    From the sounds of it by you saying that your rear brakes are hardly working it may mean that the whole braking system isnt bled properly. That can cause extremely fast wear an tear on the front...obviosly lol. But take it some where or get a friend to help you do it yourself if you know how...not sure if you do or not. But try that because that can be a major problem and does the rear have disc brakes or drum?

  3. #3


    Yea make sure the whole systems properly bled first.
    Then look for ABS codes, if it isnt happy it will give some codes.
    Next check for leaks.
    And finally check your boost system is correctly working, this is a weird braking system and has been known to have gripping issues and leaks due to the Hydro Boost.

  4. #4


    I agree with the others, sounds like the rear brakes aren't working.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    East of Branson, Missouri
    Blog Entries


    Rebel- The rear are drum brakes. Sorry, should have stated that. Front has....well, these huge monstrous disk brakes that no one but the dealership, it seems, can turn!

    Tim- Funny you should say that. I just took it around the corner about ten minutes ago and the ABS light came on for the first time ever.

    I'll look for a post on here about bleeding the brakes, see if I can find one.

    As usual, thanks to all those that take the time to answer!

  6. #6


    Well okay since I know the rear are drums now go ahead and bleed the whole system and then if that doesnt make it right replace the wheel cylinders on each drum back there. But bleeding them correctly should be the first thing done most of the time you normally need to replace wheel cylinders on older vehicles but like i said bleed em then hit the forum back up an let us know how it goes.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Springthing View Post
    Tim- Funny you should say that. I just took it around the corner about ten minutes ago and the ABS light came on for the first time ever.
    I have that affect on vehicles!

  8. #8


    Yeah, I'd say bleed the brakes, ABS check, and prop valve too. Are you not working on your trucks because of time, tools, age, etc? However, brakes are definitely something you want done by a pro, or at least someone who knows what they're doing.

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 277K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  9. #9
    murdog94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cloquet, Minnesota, United States
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by tbplus10 View Post
    I have that affect on vehicles!
    What you make them break.. Had give ya a little ribbing.

    Another thing to check is the rear pads.. Since you didnt mention the last time they were replaced.. I have seen them do that.. But for sure run the codes, seeing as TB willed the light to come on.


    1997 Chevy S-10 Blazer 4X4 with 330K miles and counting (Hunting rig).

    2009 Saturn Aura XE (wifes car)

    2011 F-150 Crew 4X4

    "Hold it to the floor till you see God.... Then Brake!!!!"

  10. #10
    Sr. Engineer
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Manitowoc, WI


    Have you ever replaced any of the rubber brake lines? When the rubber lines get old they can start to expand when you press on the brakes instead of moving all the fluid into the calipers. Since you said it pulls to the right it could be the left side hose expanding on you.

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