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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,664 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

problem #20

Apr 052006

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. The contact stated that fuel fumes emitted into the interior of the vehicle. The contact stated that the ABS warning lamp flashed randomly and the brake pedal became extremely difficult to depress to stop the vehicle. The seat belts failed to work properly to secure and retract. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop and the fuel lines were replaced; however, the failure recurred. The dealer replaced the cables associated with the tailgate. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 06E043000 (fuel system, gasoline), 05V163000 (seat belts), 05V043000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and 04V129000 (structure). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000. Updated 8/17/15

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #19

Sep 042011

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 46,442 miles
Rear metal brake line burst while maneuvering in parking lot, losing rear service brakes. Brake fluid was gushing from burst line onto ground. A quick examination revealed burst brake line is completely rusted. Vehicle passed state inspection and 27 point safety inspection performed by GM dealer this past July. During the first week of August, I towed my son's disabled vehicle back from central pa.(140 miles). With the tow dolly and his car - I was pulling close to 4000 pounds. Can you imagine if this line burst on interstate 80 at 55 mph" when does this horror end" this vehicle has previously encountered sudden and unexpected brake failure due to metal brake lines rusting to the point of sudden failure. See NHTSA ODI number: 10268917. Additional detail and pictures regarding rusting brake lines on my vehicles can be seen at:

- Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #18

Mar 122011

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 44,800 miles
Anti lock brakes intermittently but suddenly engaging at low speed stops, on dry pavement, such as when slowing down for a stop light.

- Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #17

Mar 152011

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


I own a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. The ABS activates almost at every stop, even on dry pavement. In researching this problem I have found that there are many complaints on-line for the same problem. I also found that there is a recall for this problem for earlier model years but not for 2004. It seems apparent that the 2004 model year should be included. I have already paid a great deal of money to have the brakes, wheel bearings and speed sensors replaced. And the problem persists. I have to exercise extreme caution every time I stop for fear of rear ending the vehicle in front of me. Any help you can provide will certainly be appreciated by myself and all those affected.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #16

Jan 232010


  • 69,500 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while attempting to stop, the brake pedal extended to the floorboard. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who inspected the brakes and informed the contact that the brake line needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified. The failure mileage was 69,500.

- Littleton, NC, USA

problem #15

Jun 032010


  • 74,974 miles
A few weeks ago the ABS and brake service light came on while driving at low speeds. It stayed on for one day and then it happened again a week later. It has gradually happened more frequently and more randomly as well. The shop has not found any structural problems and suggested that the ABS module be changed. The problem is random within the same kind of drive. Sometimes, if I stop the truck and restart it, on the third attempt the ABS light doesn't come up. There have been recalls for the 2002 models but not this year. I believe the problem still exists with other models.

- Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 262009

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 49,999 miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) brake failure Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 VIN [xxx], model year 2004 due to corrosion as described by grossman Chevrolet service manager brent turchi ( rotted and leaking brake line ) - owner [xxx] brake pedal went all the way to the floor - Mr. Turchi advised that brake line from master cylinder to ABS module rotted and leaking - event happened at under 50,000 miles since line is bundled with all other front lines it was necessary to replace 2 lines from master to bas, line from front ABS to left front and from ABS to right front, bleed and replace fluid $608.28 charge.

- East Haddam, CT, USA

problem #13

Feb 122010


  • 71,000 miles
Brake line failure due to rusty lines along frame on drivers side of my 2004 Chevy Avalanche. Line broke and brake pedal went to the floor. There was a slight amount of rear braking power left but the truck would not stop in normal driving conditions. The lines were repaired at the dealer. Luckily this happened in my driveway when I went to put the truck in gear.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #12

Jan 252010


  • 15,800 miles
I filed a complaint last week, and read what was written today. The info that was put in your system is incorrect, the ODI number is 10305220 the vechice does not stop short, it takes alot longer to stop, as the brakes fail during anti lock failures also, the vehicle was involved in an accident do to not stopping properly.

- Ontario, NY, USA

problem #11

Jan 172010


  • 15,800 miles
When coming to a stop on clean dry pavement, the anti-lock brakes begin pulsating, tripling your stopping distance.

- Ontario, NY, USA

problem #10

May 152009


  • 38,916 miles


Letter from congressman carney on behalf of constituent re his concerns about rusted brake lines in GM vehicles. The consumer experienced sudden and unexpected brake failure due to a metal brake line that had ruptured and was rusted. The brake pedal went all the way to the floor. Fortunately, the consumer was able to bring the vehicle to a slow and safe stop. An inspection revealed all the brake lines under the drivers side door were severely rusted and were leaking braking fluid. The dealership replaced the brake lines to the front brakes, the master cylinder, ABS control module as well as the rear backing plates and right rear caliper that were severely rusted.

- Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 012009


  • 61,500 miles
Antilock brakes are engaging during stops on dry roads. Causing vehicle to pull to the right.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #8

Oct 062009


  • 40,000 miles
Unwanted ABS activation on my 2004 Avalanche which started at 40,000 miles. The problem is constant and could be dangerous. There is currently a recall on the 1998- 2002 for the same problem but not on 03-04 etc.. I know of an 03 with the same problems and he hit a pole. I contacted GM and a pat O'brien dealership in medina Ohio and they will not repair this problem unless I pay for. It effects trucks only in the snow belt areas, I live in Ohio. I hope you can help me with this.

- Ohio, OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 172009


  • 57,500 miles
Contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche. While driving 55 mph the brakes failed completely while trying to slow the vehicle down. The contact was able to drive the vehicle into the grass to slow the vehicle down. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic who stated that the C-clip was missing which disconnected the brake shaft from the pedal. The C-clip has been repaired. The contact is aware of the safety risk since the brake failure could have caused a crash. The current and failure mileages were 53,000. Updated 10/06/09. Updatd 10/08/09

- Minntonka, MN, USA

problem #6

May 152009


  • 38,916 miles
Sudden and unexpected brake failure coming to a stop. Brake pedal went to the floor, brake fluid was gushing out from under driver's door. Later examination revealed brake lines severely rusted and one failed due to extensive rusting.

- Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 202008


  • 80,000 miles
I am unable to drive my 2004 Chevy Avalanche due to the hydraulic brake system going out which makes the power steering go out as well. Prior to the system going completely out it occasionally it would be hard to turn the steeri ng wheel upon starting up the vehicle I contacted the recall department in referenced to this but they stated that even though my vehicle is the year and model fitting the recall my VIN does not fall in the batch. Why is this when I am having the problem which almost caused me to have an accident due to the brakes going out. Can this be rectified. I had the problem repaired but it started again.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #4

Oct 062008


  • miles
When I slow down at low rates of speed, occasionally the brakes began to pulsate as if in the ABS mode. I was told that it was because of the corrosion on the ABS speed sensors, located within the wheel bearing assembly, formed by road salt. This problem just appeared without warning or provocation. When operating the vehicle and low speeds, stopping distances are lengthen by 10 to 30 percent. There has been a recall on this type of vehicle for several years in other states. For some inexplicable reason, it does not pertain to Wisconsin. Even after all of these years, the part to repair my truck remains on backorder. The dealer/manufacturer can only provide them if I purchased the whole bearing assembly which is quadruple the price of the part that I need. Of course, I feel that this is unfair and while I wait for the appropriate part to repair my truck, I am putting my safety, as well as others, in jeopardy (this is sad to say but I am not using prudent decision-making skills). I believe that it is fair to say that if there were not others in the area having this exact same problem, the part would not be on backorder throughout the dealerships in Wisconsin. I believe that this matter should be look into and addressed and refunds given to those who have paid the enormous price of this repair simply because it is a known defect and because this defect is a safety hazards.

- Milw., WI, USA

problem #3

Sep 052008


  • 69,124 miles
I have problem with the brake system, and the transmission fluid came out from the from front passenger side. I took it to the Chevy dealer, but I was told that the transmission clutch was burned out, maybe it an defected transmission or recall, im not sure, but I do know that the transmission and the brake system are not in safe conditions, nor workable. Not to mention the cracking noise in the front of the suspension, while turning.

- Norwalk, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 092008

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 46,003 miles
2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 2wd had not been driven in 10 days, no prior problems noted. Drove vehicle, noticed ABS light was on, parked vehicle, turned ignition off, heard loud humming noise coming from under vehicle. Traced noise to ABS unit mounted under drivers side floor board, had to disconnect battery to stop noise, when battery is connected noise immediately starts.

- San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 232008

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
Poor breaking at 8500 miles. Dealer turned front rotors. Poor breaking again at 9500 miles, dealer replaced rear pads and rotors. Breaking almost caused serious accident, as stopping distance was about 3 times normal. GM would not cover 2nd repair. Front pads were still good, and truck driven gently about 200 miles per month. I believe inferior steel used in manufacture, and all should be recalled.

- Ontario, NY, USA

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