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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,700 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.

2004 Chevrolet Avalanche brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Oct 202014


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated while driving 25 mph attempting to engage the brakes, the vehicle failed to stop and the pedal pressed to the floor. The contact had to engage the emergency brakes in order for the vehicle to stop. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the brake line needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000. The VIN number was unavailable.

- Doyles Town, PA, USA

problem #29

Oct 212014

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 112,400 miles
Applied brakes and brake peddle went to the floor. I swerved to the right to avoid an out of vehicle and saw the brake lines were rusted and had ruptured.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #28

Oct 022014

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 92,134 miles
I was traveling West on wendover avenue in greensboro, North Carolina approximately 8:20 am on Thursday October 2, 2014. While traveling a traffic signal was turning red and I began slowing. As I was attempting to slow down the brake pedal continued to travel to the floor and the brake light warning and service brake system light came on. I was quickly closing in on the vehicle in front of me and reduced my speed by standing on the braked and using engine speed shifting from drive to 3rd to 2nd and then to first gear. I was able to stop within a foot of the car in front of me. After this I pulled over to inspect my vehicle. I located a blown brake line that was severely corroded on the drivers side along the frame of the vehicle. Brake fluid was leaking out. In addition, the other brake lines appear to be extremely corroded as well. This is a major concern considering brakes are such a critical component to safe driving. It appears the brake lines are not made for a suitable quality for such a critical system. The exhaust pipe, which is under the vehicle as well, is not corroded and is made out of suitable quality material. If there are other vehicles out there on the road with similar materials the results may be injurious or deadly. Please help to address and rectify this situation with Chevrolet.

- Whisett, NC, USA

problem #27

Mar 152013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


While driving in town locally, the braking system failed while trying to stop at a traffic light. I was able to eventually stop the truck by applying extreme pressure on the brake pedal. I pulled the truck over safely & noticed brake fluid on the ground under the driver's door. I had the truck towed to a local mechanic who inspected the braking system. All of the brake lines under the driver's door were severely rusted along with the one line that had failed.

- East Northport, NY, USA

problem #26

Sep 202014

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
I use my Avalanche only in the summer to tow a small trailer in my community. I used it in the winters from 2004-2008. I was backing the truck up and applied my brakes and smelled smoke and my brake light went on. I looked under the truck and it was leaking brake fluid. I got down under the truck to get a better look and noticed the brake line was completely rusted through causing all the fluid to leak out. My wife drove the truck to the grocery store that morning and I am so thankful this happened in my driveway because the brakes were fine one minute and it only took a second for the fluid to come out. In seconds I did not have any brakes. This is the first truck I have owned and I am shocked that something like this could happen. Brake lines should be much stronger than what I have on the truck. This is not something that you check on a regular basis. I don't use this truck for off road, plowing, driving in the snow. This is supposed to be a strong vehicle that cost me $44,000 in 2004. I would have been killed if this happened while I was on the road.

- Brunswick, MD, USA

problem #25

Aug 162014

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 199,000 miles
Driving in heavy traffic on I 95 South on the way to vacation, brakes failed when I attempted to slow down. I rear ended another vehicle. Had truck in shop for week and found several problems with lines and 2 leaks. I heard that there is a known metal defect with 2001-2004 brake lines. I can't find any recall information.

- Powhatan, VA, USA

problem #24

Jul 292014

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 143,219 miles


While pulling out of driveway, pressure was applied to the brakes to stop at the end of the driveway. The brake pedal immediately went straight to the floor with the alarm then coming on in the vehicle to service brakes. There was no resistance or stopping power to the brakes. Using the emergency brake the vehicle was stopped before it went across the street into the ditch. The vehicle was backed up into the driveway and a puddle of brake fluid was found under the drivers side door area of the vehicle. Upon inspection, it was noted that the metal high pressure brake lines had rusted and ruptured leaking brake fluid causing the failure.

- Mineral, VA, USA

problem #23

Jul 242014


  • 85,000 miles
On the above listed date at approximately 0730 hours, I was running errands after getting off work and before returning home. I started to drive down a sloped road approaching a traffic light at a four way intersection. The traffic light turned red as I was approaching it and I applied the brakes while traveling at 30 mph. Upon application of the brakes, the pedal went straight to the floor with zero functioning of the brake system. The brake light then illuminated and a notification came across to "service brake system". I down shifted down from "D" to "3-2-1", all the while pumping the brakes. It wasn't until I reached around 5 mph that it seemed that the brakes had any affect, and I came to a stop in the middle of the intersection. Since I was roughly a mile from my house at this point I limped my truck home, mostly using gearing "2" and "1". I parked the truck, entered my house and informed my wife as to what happened. Then I returned to the truck to find a puddle of fluid under and around the drivers door. I checked the master cylinder reservoir and it was completely drained at this point. There is no doubt if someone would have been in front of me or coming through the intersection at the time this incident occurred I would have been involved in an accident. At no time prior to this have I had any indication of the brakes going bad, ie: Brake warning light or ABS, soft brake pedal or fluid loss. It seems as if this happened all at once. The vehicle was then towed to a mechanics garage later on that day to be repaired.

- Cumberland, MD, USA

problem #22

Jul 172014

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Rear brake likes blew out due to corrosion. Brake lines corrode at each point that they are fastened to the vehicle. No other major corrosion on the vehicle. Front brake lines also corroded but not yet to the point of failure. Stopping the truck was almost impossible.

- Bridgewater, MA, USA

problem #21

Aug 052013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Traveling appx 35mph applied brakes to make left turn, peddle went to the floor. No traffic in front of me or we would have hit them. Brake fluid pouring from under truck, under driver side door area. Brake line ruptured due to rust. Local mechanic replaced ruptured line. I inspected all line few months later and found they were also in bad shape due to rust. Took to local GM dealer $550 to replace all brake line. GM should have picked up cost for not using non-corrosive brake line. Very luck me and my kid didn't get hurt.

- Belton, KY, USA

problem #20

Jul 122013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


I came around a curve and there was road work going on and had to stop real quick. The brake pedal went to the floor. All the brake lines were rotted. I had to change every brake line on my truck.

- Iva, SC, USA

problem #19

Nov 242013


  • 126,000 miles
Was hooking up my trailer to tow. Had my daughter step on the brakes to check the lights. The pedal went to the floor and alarm went off. Found brake fluid squirting onto the ground. Had to have all the brake lines replaced due to rust behind the drivers front wheel. Found out this is a common problem with this type and all the Chevy trucks. All in the same area.

- Erma, NJ, USA

problem #18

Mar 022014

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 92,910 miles
I was approaching an intersection where the light was changing and when I applied the brakes, the pedal went to the floor and I couldn't slow down. I ended up going through the red light with my son in the car; luckily we didn't get struck. I had to utilize the emergency brake to stop on the shoulder of the road. I looked under the truck and saw brake fluid pouring out of a rusted brake line under the driver's side. I had to have the truck towed to a dealership. I had a full inspection on 12/23/13 at hudson Buick Pontiac GMC in poughkeepsie, NY and asked them to specifically check the brakes, which they said were fine; I guess they don't check the lines during an inspection. I have read that this has occurred on several GM vehicles. Does someone have to die before there is some sort of action taken to correct this problem?

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #17

Sep 182013


  • 153,000 miles
Going down my driveway pushed on my brakes an it went to the floor, underneaththe truck by the drivers door the frame was very wet with brake fluid, the brake line had blown.

- Bethel, OH, USA

problem #16

Oct 302011

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 58,137 miles
Both brake lines from master cylinder to ABS module failed resulting in no brakes due to excess rust on failed inspection 1 and second year due to rotted rotors. Also recently fuel leaking from top of fuel tank and fuel lines from fuel pump module badly rusted. Worse yet frame is disintegrating. Due cheap steel. My 1998 Chevy astro is driven and stored in like conditions and yet doesn't show the rust like the Avalanche. Thankfully I was not on the highway when lines blew. Avalanche is the first vehicle to have so many safety related problems due to defective materials. Didn't report earlier thinking it was an isolated case.

- Monroe, NY, USA

problem #15

Aug 062013


  • 120,000 miles
Brake line ruptured from rust. Chev dealer wanted $2600 to replace/fix 2004 chev Avalanche brake lines.

- Ringoes, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jul 252013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 170,170 miles
My son was going to the store and when he applied the brake the pedal went to the floor and he had no brakes. After he parked the truck he noticed a puddle of fluid under the drivers side in front of the rear wheel. When I returned home I filled the brake reservoir I had my wife push the brake peddle and I found the leak in the rusty brake line.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #13

Jun 272013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 49,500 miles
When backing out my driveway I stepped on the brake and pedal went to the floor leaving brake fluid all over driveway. Group of brake lines along side of frame were totally rusted into a glob of rust.

- Oakville, CT, USA

problem #12

May 052013


  • 65,000 miles
I was approaching a stop sign on a residential street, pushed the brake pedal and lost braking ability. The pedal traveled to the floor, when that happened the service light came on with an audible alarm. I was able to get the truck stopped on the side of the road. A large amount of smoke was coming out underneath the hood from the spraying brake fluid. Upon inspection it was determined that there was a hole in the right front brake line. Further inspection revealed all brake lines to be in similar condition with a potential failure imminent. All brake lines need to be replaced and will cost over $1,000. The truck is not used excessively and has low mileage.

- Douglassville, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 032011

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 52,341 miles
While moving the truck around in the driveway we noticed fluid on the ground. Upon further investigation we noticed inside the drivers wheel well that some lines had fluid on them. I brought the vehicle to the dealer and they said the brake lines had rusted out. Luckily we had not had an accident. I had to have two of the lines replaced. This was not covered by the extended warranty because lines of any kind are not covered.

- Tinton Falls, NJ, USA

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