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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
120,283 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.

2003 Chevrolet Avalanche brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Apr 202013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 63,500 miles


Started driving and the brake pedal suddenly went all the way down to the floor. The vehicle eventually stopped and a warning light finally turned on to "service brake system". I got out of the vehicle to check and see if the brake fluid was low and saw that the brake lines were rusted. Underneath the vehicle, I was able to see brake fluid leaking at a consistent rate. Prior from this happening, there were no warning lights or alerts.

- Joppa, MD, USA

problem #17

Mar 142013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
I was driving the vehicle at 45 mph and the brakes went out without warning or a warning light. It made me almost hit another vehicle in front of me. My pregnant wife and I were in the vehicle at the time. It seems many other people have had this problem, it should be fixed asap.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #16

Feb 232013


  • 136,000 miles
I was about to slow down to make a turn on to a side street and my brakes went to the floor. I had to take back roads and plan my stops while driving in low gear to safely make it to the shop. A brake line burst. I was told that the lines are rusted and rotted. All the lines had to be replaced. It cost me about $1800.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #15

Dec 282012


  • 138,000 miles


I was applying brakes and a front brake line blew out. The truck had a tough time stopping almost hitting another vehicle, I had it towed to a repair facility and they replaced the line $300. The repair facility stated to me that it was very common for Chevy vehicle to have bad brake lines. To replace the rest of the lines it would cost me $ 900 to $1200. Chevy should of recalled these vehicles for bad brake lines.

- Rochester, NH, USA

problem #14

Dec 142012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Brake lines are leaking so I took truck to the dealer and they advised me the lines were corroded and it would cost me $1200. To $1500. To fix and it was not safe to drive. Lucky I noticed the leaking before my brakes failed me. I don't know why this was not recalled and fixed at no cost by GM dealer. Please let me know GM's responsibility here.

- Ewing, NJ, USA

problem #13

Oct 272012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Went to apply brakes and brake pedal went to the floor. A complete failure of the braking system. Immediately shifted the truck into neutral and applied the emergency brake to come to a stop. No prior warning on the instrument panel and brakes failed completely, front and back.

- Lincroft, NJ, USA

problem #12

Oct 192012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


Replaced rear brake line two weeks prior. Went to leave for work and front brake lines blew out.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #11

Oct 082012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • miles
A very good friend notified me yesterday that his same year Avalanche experienced a burst brake line and caused him to have to crash his vehicle to stop it. He told me where the line had burst and stated that Chevrolet uses steel brake line instead of stainless steel. I inspected my 2003 Avalanche and noticed that my brake lines are showing severe signs of corrosion. Lmc truck parts sells a replacement brake line kit for this vehicle for a reasonable price of $379. It is that hard to force vehicle manufactures to use stainless steel instead of regular steel in their braking systems. You forced seat belts, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, daytime driving lights, etc... why not this!

- Callaway, MD, USA

problem #10

Oct 062012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 321,640 miles
I was in ansonia ct on 6th October 2012 at approximately 09:47. Had pulled off the highway to refuel. No issues as I traveled in the morning. After leaving the service station to head back to the highway I went to place on the brakes while going downhill approaching an intersection at approximately 35mph. Brake pedal went straight to the floor. Within 2 seconds dash warning of " check brake system " flashed on information display. Had no brakes, non at all. Pulled into lowest gear and ran thru the red light at the intersection. I proceeded to pull a sharp right turn into a commuter lot using the curb to stop the vehicle. Emergency brake ineffective at reducing speed. Called aaa and discovered ruptured brake lines along the frame rail below drivers side footwell area.

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #9

Sep 192012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
I had just left a store and stopped at a signal light with no problems but when I processed to the next light I put my foot onto the brake pedal and my truck started to slow down and then all the sudden the brake piddle went to the floor and I went through a red light, luckily the other driver on the opposite side of the signal light did not leave to go through the light right away and that gave me time to go through without incident but nevertheless it was very scary and could of been real bad, and now it is costing me $1400 to replace all of my brake lines due to this incident and cause GM does not make the pre-bent brake lines for my truck anymore (which is stupid). As much as these vehicles cost I would of thought that these brake lines would be made of stainless steel and not (probably) china metal.

- New Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #8

Sep 052012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 127,000 miles


While driving the vehicle there was complete loss of the braking system. There was no warning of this happening. When it happened the pedal went to the floor and there was no slowing of the vehicle. When it was towed to a repair shop I was told that a brake line rusted through and 8ft of brake line had to be replaced. Fortunately the car was going slow due to traffic. Had I been moving faster or on a highway this could have been very dangerous. Consider the number of complaints about this issue on GM trucks I firmly believe that the manufacturer is responsible for replacing all the brake lines before people start dieing. I am aware of the NHTSA investigating this problem with number EA11001. This is why I made it a point to write. I am hoping that this problem gets resolved quickly.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #7

Aug 292012

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 95,542 miles
I was taking my 3 boys to school when the vehicle lost all pressure in the brakes. Once again one of the brake lines on the truck has rusted through and is now leaking. This is the second time I have had an issue with a rusty brake line in the past two years. There is no reason that these lines should be rusting out so prematurely. I have lived in the same area my entire life and have never had this problem with any of my other vehicles. I owned a 1988 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer for nearly 20 years and happily put over 228,000 miles on it and never once had a brake line rust through. I am replacing the defective part with an improved teflon coated brake line. I do not want the same inferior original equipment put back in place of the current rusted line. The lines have rusted out because they were not manufactured to proper standards. The worst part is now wondering which brake line will be next. All GM vehicles affected by this issue should have been recalled. You can find thousands of stories just like mine all over the internet. Yesterday I spoke to a GM employee where I bought my truck and he had the same problem with his 2002 Tahoe. GM agreed to replace every brake line on his truck for a flat fee of $250 because they know that the brake lines are defective. This issue needs to be addressed now because four lives were at stake on 8/29/2012 when I lost all the brakes on my truck. I was lucky to be able to handle the situation but no one should die over an issue such as this which has been documented many times already.

- Perry Hall , MD, USA

problem #6

Aug 152012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 140,130 miles
I was backing out of a parking space and as I went to stop the brake pedal went soft as soon as the brake pedal was depressed, going to the very nearly to the floor. (normally the pedal stays several inches further above the floor.) the service brakes light came on along with the truck's warning chimes. I got out of the truck and saw large amounts of brake fluid dripping off the undercarriage near the left side rear tire. About 1 to 1.5 hours earlier, when I was parking the truck, the brakes operated normally. A Chevrolet dealer had to remove and replace that brake line. Approximately 3 months prior to this incident the Chevrolet dealer who normally services the truck alerted to me to extensive rusting of all of the truck's brake lines. They did not think there as immediate danger of a brake line failure, but strongly recommended that all brake lines be replaced prior to the oncoming winter where corrosion might become accelerated.

- Hockessin, DE, USA

problem #5

Aug 072012


  • 190,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. The contact was driving 5 mph when the brakes were depressed to the floorboard and the vehicle failed to stop properly. The contact mentioned that after inspecting the vehicle he noticed that there was brake fluid leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 190,000.

- Oxford, CT, USA

problem #4

Jul 312012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 177,900 miles
On approaching a stop sign the rear brakes failed. The line had rusted thru above the left rear spring. This is the second time a line has rusted thru. The first time I lost both brakes. I had it repaired by a Chevrolet dealership. As you can see they did not replace all the problem lines. I had it done by oakwood service center in auburn, NY. At least now I believe I am safe.

- Ft. Myers Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 222012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Brake line blew when brake pedal was pushed do to rust.

- Seymour, CT, USA

problem #2

Apr 142012

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 61,330 miles
Truck in reverse my foot on the brake pedal, on a driveway with an incline, I was waiting to back out of the drive way onto the street when the brake pedal went to the floor, and the truck started to roll backwards into the street. With some luck, I remembered to apply the emergency brake and stop the truck. After being towed to a repair shop I was shown that the break lines were all rusted very bad, and that 1 of them had blown out with no warning and all fluid was lost. I felt lucky to be truck looks new from the out side and in, I keep it clean and have it inspected for the state of pa yearly. When I looked under the truck at the repair shop I was shocked that everything was covered in rust, it looked like a 50 year old truck. I owned a 1978 GM truck for 16 years - 250,000 miles and it was not rusted under the body like this.

- Upper Chichester, PA, USA

problem #1

May 122012


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the brake warning light illuminated. The contact applied the brakes, but the pedal depressed to the floor. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that all the brake lines were rusted and fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 130,000.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

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