GMC Sonoma loses traction without warning, brakes grabbing

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by Rubber Side Down, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Rubber Side Down

    Rubber Side Down New Member

    Ever since new our 2003 Sonoma 4.3L extended cab 2WD can suddenly lose traction and spins into oncoming traffic on snowy or icy roads. Every time it happens it usually gives absolutely no warning and the rear end always spins out towards the ditch as it rotates around as it loses control. Coupled with this we have had some issues with brakes sticking or grabbing since new as well. At slow speeds even new brakes can lock up or grab in a pulsating pattern. The hotter the brakes get the worse the problem seems to get lately. I have driven a S10 pickup and other vehicles for many years without encountering this problem. New brake jobs, thousands thrown at this problem, different types of snow tires and adding weights in the box doesn't seem to help much either.

    The dealer and all our mechanics since 2003 have failed to be able to provide a solution to the issues we keep encountering. The last mechanic believes the booster pin was made too long which he says is telling system to put the ABS on while driving at speed and actually shortened it which for the first time in 13 years has helped somewhat but both problems continue.

    Does anyone know if the booster pin being too long is a manufacturing defect in this truck and could possibly cause these issues or knows what else might be the problem behind this? Many thanks in advance for whatever help you may be able to provide.
  2. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I had the same problem with my last S10.
    When the ABS was needed, the brakes stopped working
    When ABS wasn't needed, it kicked in.
    I removed the ABS fuse.

    It was my feeling, I was safer without ABS
    xPosTech likes this.
  3. xPosTech

    xPosTech Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    +1 with the ABS on the S10/S15 platform. I had the same problem with a 93 Jimmy 4 door. My truck being the small SUV had a better front to rear weight ratio and was guaranteed to increase your heart rate in a panic stop.

    I think the only reason there were no deaths and lawsuits was because of the low speeds that the ABS couldn't handle. When the ABS cut the brakes off it always felt like you punched the throttle. Wet pavement was bad enough; I can only imagine what would happen in snow and ice.

    Pulling the ABS fuse definitely helps.

  4. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Ted, your right about the feel, truck feels like it speeds up.
    In my part of the world, after a snow storm, or a freezing rain the intersections can get pretty slippery. My '96 might act "normal" as I braked coming into the intersection. The ABS would kick in and "thump" for a instant and the there would be not brakes. It felt like the wheel cylinders/calipers were released but the pedal was pressed and now being pressed harder. I found if you quickly lifted your foot and re-applied brake it worked as it should. But by then your up someone's tailpipe.
    xPosTech likes this.

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