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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 1 of 3)

problem #50

Jun 202016


  • 141,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. While attempting to stop at a traffic light, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to immediately stop the vehicle. The contact was able to stop the vehicle. The contact noticed that a brake line was severely corroded, which caused a fracture in the brake line. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but was not repaired. The contact stated that several brake lines were previously repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 141,000.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #49

Dec 062015


  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. The contact stated that when the vehicle was turned off, fuel leaked from the fuel lines and a fuel odor emitted into the vehicle without warning. In addition, the contact stated that the brake pedal became extremely difficult to depress as the ABS warning light illuminated. The contact also mentioned that the seat belts failed to secure and retract properly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the fuel pump modular assembly, module kit and fuel tank needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 06E043000 (fuel system, gasoline), 05V163000 (seat belts), 05V043000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The approximate failure mileage was 144,000.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #48

Nov 212015


  • 68,000 miles
Brake line failure. I was approaching a stop sign and applied the brakes. The pedal went to the floor and the ABS activated and I was not slowing. There was no cross traffic so I luckily avoided an accident. The brake line failed due to rust. Braking ability with only the rear brakes active was virtually nonexistent and there was no warnings on the display. I do not understand how the previous investigation into GM brake lines was dismissed.

- New Lenox, IL, USA

problem #47

Nov 042015


  • 67,869 miles


My son had borrowed the truck and was returning it with his 4 and 5 year old sons in the vehicle. He was in a traffic circle and had to brake to avoid an accident. Immediately afterwards the brake failure warning came on and the truck had no brakes. Fortunately he was only going about 25 mph and was able to park it on the shoulder and no one was injured. I was able to get it to a local dealer for repair to the tune of $1,952. They diagnosed the problem as a rusted brake line that ruptured and damaged the left caliper. We got no prior warning of the brake failure. In 2012 I also had a sudden brake failure while leaving a parking garage. There was no prior warning or indication that the brakes were not functioning. Again I took it to a local dealer and was told that there was a leak in the master cylinder and I had to have that replaced. No one mentioned anything at that time about rusting brake lines. Although the truck is 11 years old it only has 67,871 miles.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #46

Sep 172015


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. While driving approximately 7 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and traveled to the floorboard. The ABS warning indicator illuminated. The emergency brake was engaged and the vehicle failed to stop. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake lines were rusted and the vehicle had multiple brake leaks. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- Campton, MI, USA

problem #45

Sep 022015


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that the brake system failed when the brake pedal was depressed and the brake system failed to engage. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the power booster and the ABS system were severely corroded. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 136,000.

- Murfeesboro , TN, USA

problem #44

Jul 012009


  • 39,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. While reversing at a low speed, the brake pedal was depressed but it took a longer distance to stop the vehicle. The brake warning light illuminated and service brake system was displayed across the message board. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact discovered that one of the brake lines had fractured. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,000.

- Belle Vernon, PA, USA

problem #43

Jul 152015


  • 165,000 miles
My family and I was traveling on a busy road at 45 mph, when we had to come to a stop and our brakes did not work. We almost slammed in the back of the car that was infront of us. My husband had to push the brake pedal all the way down to the floor and turn toward the grass shoulder. Thank god no one was hurt. My husband checked under the vehicle and saw that there was break fluid running out of the brake line. There were no warning lights or warning sounds that our vehicle made until after he started the vehicle again and then the vehicle gave a warning sound and a warning light. We are contacting our mechanic tomorrow because this happened after 6pm. I have been reading the other complaints on the Avalanche's break lines and my husband said that I should also file one.

- Elmer, NJ, USA

problem #42

Jul 042015


  • 72,378 miles
Yesterday, July 4th 2015 my 2004 Avalanche; with only 70K miles, the brakes failed. It was due to a rusted blown out brake line. I had no brakes driving on a mountainous road. I thought I was alone in this failure but after internet searching I find this is common problem with this vintage and model. I take very good care of my vehicles; underbody washing during inclement winter conditions, I was appalled at the underbody rust. Having other vehicles of similiar age and mileage with no rust, I felt GM has used inferior materials. GM should stand up and admit their use of substandard materials and offer remedy. They should know that as a consumer if they don't I'll never buy another GM product.

- Charles Town, WV, USA

problem #41

Jul 022015


  • 189,000 miles
The brake line burst as I was shifting into drive could not stop vehicle, shifted it into park and was able to stop before hitting someone. Why are these lines not made of stainless steel" better yet why is this Agency not doing anything about this" they jump all over a key switch that may cause a problem but do nothing for something as important as be able to safely stop our vehicles.

- Continental, OH, USA

problem #40

May 012015


  • 163,000 miles


When braking the pedal was sinking all the way to the floor. I pumped brakes and was able to stop. Had a leak of brake fluid so filled brake fluid and attempted to drive home/closer to my mechanic. I was at a complete stop at a traffic light when my brake pedal sunk to the floor and my vehicle started to roll forward towards cross traffic. I pumped brake pedal but no effect. I shifted into neutral and was able to stop long enough to put vehicle in park. Called a tow to mechanic. Was told my brake line had rusted out. He fixed 2 lines. With in a week (5/8/15) I had another leak of brake fluid. Another tow to mechanic. He fixed another brake line. On 5/24/15 another brake line broke. Another tow. Mechanic is replacing the remaining 5 lines. All in all cost is over $1000 to fix.

- Mentor, OH, USA

problem #39

May 072015


  • 149,904 miles
Catastrophic brake failure when attempting to stop vehicle at 45 miles per hour. Brake peddle went to floor almost causing a major crash. GMC dealer stated brake lines totally rusted out and ruptured causing total brake failure. Dealer stated brake lines disintegrated in the technicians hands when the tech was removing old lines. I have read similar experiences from other GM owners on the internet. This is a major safety issue which if it has not thus far will result in injury and or death. I am one of the lucky ones who was able to avoid an accident. I am sure this wont be the same outcome for others. Dealer info: Ultimate Buick GMC 5150 jefferson davis highway fredericksburg va 22408 tel # 540-898-6200 service advisor ian doughty RO339073 thanks for any assistance in addressing this safety issue.

- Spotsylvania, VA, USA

problem #38

May 142015


  • 91,000 miles
My husband, 3 year old, any myself were driving back from a doctor appointment when we had to make a sudden stop because of a driver 2 cars ahead of us that quickly applied brakes to make a quick right hand turn. The driver in front of us in turn had to apply his breaks on and when my husband applied the brakes on our 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche there were no brakes!! our 3 year old was asleep in the backseat!! we hit him of course because we could not stop (going downhill on a busy highway) we ended up having to coast up the hill in the middle of the lane because there was nowhere safe for us to pull off. There were almost several other accidents due to it being a blind spot for drivers coming over the hill both ways and we were stuck there because we had no way to stop ourselves again. So after all that we ended up needing our truck towed and the brake lines are corroded and had busted!! so not only do we have a tow bill now we are responsbile for replacing them! the estimate is $800!!! thanks GM! we will be selling this one soon! GM won't do a recall on these after all the complaints and accidents about the brake lines on here" seriously" we had no clue about any of this until today! the mechanic that is fixing ours today told us he has 2 more that have the exact same issue and have to be replaced on theirs too! I guess it takes people dying or getting seriously injured before the car manufactures have to take responsibility. And what makes it even worse is that the whole brake line replacement is available (for us to purchase) and it's only about $160!! nice to know the safety of our family, friends, and other motorists aren't worth it to them. Just 2 miles earlier we drove though a school zone!!!!! as the kids were leaving for the day! thank god they lasted that 2 extra miles and no one was seriously injured or killed.

- West Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #37

Apr 152015

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 102,605 miles
The vehicle's ABS and brake lights are on. I took the vehicle in for repair and a state inspection. The part to repair the ABS and brake light are on national back order with no definite availability date. The truck is not usable because of the failed state inspection.

- Yorktown, VA, USA

problem #36

Mar 032015


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle failed to stop when the brake pedal was depressed to the floor. The contact pumped the brake pedal and the vehicle came to a stop. The contact exited the vehicle and discovered brake fluid leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the brake lines were rusted and fractured. As a result, the brake lines needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,000.

- Villa Rica, GA, USA

problem #35

Jun 152012


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. While driving at 8 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond and the brake warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the brake line needed to be replaced due to corrosion. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000.

- Seaford , NY, USA

problem #34

Mar 012011


  • 95,000 miles
Upon start up of the truck, the ABS light stayed illuminated and started chiming at me. Everytime I start the truck this happens. I had my brakes inspected and they were fine. I currently do not have ABS. I took the truck to a mechanic this last week and had it looked into. It is a known problem with the Chevy Avalanche and they informed me that there is a part for this problem but it is on indefinite backorder. What and how does that happen? the ABS system is throwing fault codes stopping it from working properly but there is not a part to replace it. Per Chevy!

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #33

Jan 192015

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 154,211 miles
I was getting in my truck to go shopping and after driving for a short distance I notice my brake pedal went to the floor causing me to head into traffic almost causing a accident. When I got the truck home I notice dripping of brake fluid on driver side door. Further checking I discover my brake lines is rusting and cause a major leaks underneath my truck.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #32

Sep 052014


  • 82,000 miles
After applying pressure to brake pedal, the vehicle failed to stop and the brake pedal was to the floor. Once the truck coasted to a stop, we pulled to the side of the road and found brake fluid leaking underneath the truck. We had the truck towed to our local dealership. The dealership replaced all metal brake lines that left us with a bill of over $2,000 for parts and labor. The entire truck is in beautiful condition and rust free except for the faulty brake lines! GM should recall this issue.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #31

Jun 112009

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 39,245 miles
I just picked up some mulch for around my house with my 8 year old son and I got home and I was backing up to unload the mulch and when I went to hit the brakes the pedal went to the floor and the brakes light came on, luckily I wasn't driving down the road when it happened. The mechanic said the brake line was rusted out, that shouldn't be happening on a 5 year old vehicle with only 39,000 miles on it.. it also happened a second time not long after that, I cant remember the exact date on that one either. There has been lot of problems with this vehicle : heating, brakes sensor, wheel bearings, E brake problems, fuel pump rot, water pump, rusted under carriage, O2 sensor, multiple brake and rotor replacements [4], noise in steering column and front end, gauge cluster replacement, windshield fluid reservoir leaks, power window motors, dome override light, dead battery problems, I went thru 4 batteries in 5 years, it just kept going dead if I didn't use the vehicle for a couple days. I only have 72,000 miles on the vehicle now as of 12/19/2014. Lots of problems for a $ 50,000 truck. Ill never buy a Chevy again.

- Belle Vernon, PA, USA

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