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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
116,722 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chevrolet Avalanche brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments (Page 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Dec 292012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


This is second failure of brake line. No indication other than severe rust under vehicle. Loss of stiffness in pedal when attempt to brake down hill in snow/ice. Brake light came on, needed to use transmission to control speed. Vehicle did sustain damage when unable to control speed enough it crashed into a structure. This also caused damage to structure. No injuries because most people in vehicle were able to get out. This vehicle has had both wheel sensors fail and entire hub assembly fail. The brake line has failed at about 40,000 miles but was covered by warranty by manufacture. No injuries at that time because of experienced driver behind the wheel as well as this incident as reported.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #15

Dec 072012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph and depressing the brakes, the brakes failed and the pedal abnormally traveled to the floorboard. The contact coasted through an intersection before applying the emergency brakes to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis where they advised him that the brake lines were rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the brake lines. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 120,000. The current mileage was approximately 143,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Elysburg, PA, USA

problem #14

Nov 132012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
Approaching a traffic light and going about 35 mph, I was planning on stopping so I was coasting at a slow speed, however as I pushed on the brake pedal to begin braking the brake pedal went right to the floor and applied very little braking. I did stop in time however if there were a car in front on me I am certain that I would have rear ended that vehicle. Upon inspection it was determined that the left rear brake line broke and depleted the system. The break was caused by corrosion to the brake line. All the brake lines had considerable corrosion. The repair cost $1400 because all the brake lines had to be replaced. I feel that I am very lucky that this failure occurred where it did. I also feel that GM has a very serious problem on their hands and should be doing more to prevent this failure. I did call Chevrolet customer service and received no help what so ever. I have to hope that there is a recall to get any reimbursement. This problem has the potential to hurt or even kill people. I hope the NHTSA is paying close attention and can somehow take action sooner than latter. I am more concerned about preventing injuries than getting my $1400 back.

- Southampton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Nov 112012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 168,613 miles


Getting ready to leave home and noticed a leak near the left rear tire. I crawled under the truck and noticed a drip from the brake line. At this time, my wife was going to move the vehicle from out in front of the garage and I advised her not to hit the brakes to hard as there was a leak. When she hit the brakes to start the vehicle the petal went to the floor and fluid sprayed everywhere. I feel fortunate it happened when it did versus out on the road.

- Mineral Wells, WV, USA

problem #12

Jul 022012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
Was going to dinner and when we were coming up to the entrance, I hit the brakes and they went to the floor. Luckily I was able to get stopped in time and no one was in the way. The 2nd time was coming back from the outer banks. I haven't seen a truck rust out so bad before in my life.

- Vienna, MD, USA

problem #11

Oct 142012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 97,065 miles
Complete brake failure due to brake line rupture near rear left tire.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #10

Oct 042012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 104,000 miles


While backing out of driveway, I hit brakes, pedal went to the floor and I hit my dumpster. Found that a rusted brake line burst.

- Berkley, MA, USA

problem #9

Sep 192012

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
As I was about to park my Avalanche in the street in front of my home I pressed the brake pedal to come to a stop and the brake pedal was firm and then became soft and depressed quickly quite farther than normal. The Avalanche continued to roll and I had to pump the brakes to get it to come to a full stop. After getting out of the vehicle I inspected the underside of the vehicle and found a great deal of brake fluid on the under body and puddled on the ground. As I inspected the vehicle I found that the brake lines were heavily corroded and flaking off rusted material. The brake line failed because of weakened tubing caused by excessive corrosion. The brake light did not come on and there was no preliminary warning of brake failure. The failure of the brakes caused the vehicle to have an excessively longer distance to stop than normally would be acceptable. I frequently tow a 6,500 lb pull behind camper with my Avalanche and if this brake failure had occurred during towing and in traffic during a stop it most likely could have caused an accident.

- Huxley, IA, USA

problem #8

Sep 112012


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while stopped at a traffic light with the brakes applied, the vehicle continued to move forward. The contact inspected the vehicle and discovered that the brake fluid reservoir was completely empty. The contact added more brake fluid to the vehicle and noticed later that there was an abnormal increase in stopping distance and time after the adding the brake fluid. The contact later discovered that the brake lines were rusted. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic to have the brake line replaced. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #7

Aug 062012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 154,200 miles
Rear brake line had completely rusted and caused brake line to rupture. Causing no brakes and had to put truck in ditch to stop vehicle. Rusted line was above frame rail just above left rear tire. Found other area where line was rusted severely.

- Springfield, WV, USA

problem #6

Jul 212012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


Im getting ready for a trip, from Texas to Ohio in Sept. Pulling another vehicle. I decided to get the truck ready before such a long trip. It started fine, no signs of problems, I pushed on the brake before changing gears, and my pedal went to the floor. I could hear squirting and air. I knew I had a leak. I investigated the issue and found hydraulic fluid under the driver side seat. I found one of the lines had split above the ehcu unit, spitting fluid all over the under body. This line was severely rusted. The other lines have some surface rust but nothing like this line. It is no longer tubular looking and looks more like a wet stick with a lot of missing branches, and is much larger looking than the others. Also, I found a leak on a line that runs to the rear axle, on the driver side frame that was severely rusted like the one described above. Im pretty sure this is the line that is split, but its hard to tell, I cant find a diagram to help trace the lines. After investigating the issue, I rechecked my dash lights to see if an ABS or a brake light, none are on. I have contacted dealers and brake mechanics for repair, and have to have it towed as there is not enough pressure in the line to stop the vehicle. The truck was purchased in Ohio. I would have imagined that they would be coated or stainless since it is a salt belt state, and im not sure why only one line degraded like it did.. this is a 2002 Avalanche 1500 4WD with Z71 off road package, it is expected to get dirty and wet. I believe better standards are in order to improve safety, and that there should, with this many people affected, definitely be a recall on the lines. Had it decided to hold up until my trip, this could have been very disastrous.

- Roman Forest, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 162012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 149,100 miles
I was traveling at 45 mph when the car in front of me slowed down to turn. I attempted to brake and the pedal felt soft then went right to the floor. I began pumping the brakes in order to slow the vehicle down. I was only able to stop the vehicle after manually shifting the transmission into 1st gear and pressing on the emergency brake. When I inspected the vehicle, the rear wheel and undercarriage were covered in brake fluid from a corroded steel brake line. Upon further investigation all of the brake lines in the vehicle that were installed in locations unable to be routinely cleaned were severely rusted.

- Mcafee, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jun 272012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Attempted to stop at a stop sign. The brakes were working until I had slowed to about 5 mph. Then the brake pedal went to the floor. The car in front of me had already started moving forward so no accident occurred.

- Roxbury, CT, USA

problem #3

Jun 092012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
I noticed that by brakes felt like I was losing braking power. I suddenly was able to push my brake pedal to the floor and my braking was reduced. I got home an noticed that my main brake line was severely rusted and fluid was squirting out of a pinhole of my brake line. I searched the internet and found that this is a common occurrence among Chevrolet truck owners.

- Pitman, NJ, USA

problem #2

Apr 282011


  • 210,500 miles
Brake pedal suddenly went to the floor. Resulted in crashing into car stopped ahead.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #1

May 172012


  • 103,000 miles
I was traveling at approximately 35 mph when a car in front of me stopped short and I was forced to apply heavy brake pressure. The brake pedal went almost all the way to the floor I was forced to steer off the road in order not to hit the vehicle in front of me, the Avalanche had almost total brake failure. Upon inspection of the vehicle it was found that the brake line had burst due to severe corrosion and the brake fluid was pouring out of the vehicle right above the rear axle.

- Sharon, MA, USA

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