Print this page


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
89,600 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace brake lines (23 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Silverado brakes problems

brakes problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Chevrolet Silverado Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Jan 022017

Silverado LS 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


chevy claims brake lines are rusting out they are not. anywhere that break lines is touching any thing steel is rusting. i clean the rust off the brake lines rust was easy clean off. rust was just coating there was damage to brake lines under the rust. the damage was clear. i was told look like brake lines look like was pinch not rusted. chevy claims do to road salt brake lines is rusting. these lines are copper alloy they cant rust through. as copper nikel does not rust. i implor your all do a study to find if lines was damage. as i clean the brake lines just with oil there was no pitting or scaring from rust. but clear damage to brake lines where they failed. i like to note my truck all most hit a school bus miss it by few feet. we repair one part of brake line and another would open up. back brake lines going left right is not rusted but is is not agest anything that is steel, the steel is caluse the rust to buld around the brake lines but it can be reinforceing the lines as well. the damage parts of line would fail much sooner with out the rust some the brake lines just broke but was not eaten away by rust the outer wall was thiner then rest the outer coating is still on it. i told chevy about this for some reason they refuse to even look into it. but how can they if the brake lines was damage doing install any and all crashes would be there fault. two points one if they brake lines was coated in plastic this would still happen, damage lines will always fail. i had install stanless steel lines

- Jay B., Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #24

Feb 022017

Silverado LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,564 miles

I have a friend who's brakes failed him due to rusted brake on his 2004 Silverado it cost him just short of $1300 dollars not counting the towing bill and late for work. Well guess what I also have a 2004 Silverado so I had it put on a lift sure enough rusted to hell and back.

The mechanic tells me we do 2 or 3 a week and says don't drive it till you get it fixed because mines is ready to go at anytime.

I'm 68 years old and had lots of cars & trucks this Silverado has been the worst of them all. If your truck has this problem please make it known it might just cause a recall ( haha ) any how I'm going to look els where this time. By the way I will get it fixed before I trade it off it would really bother me if someone got hurt in it.

- Steve W., Danville, IL, USA

problem #23

Jun 242016

Silverado Z71 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles

Preparing to go racing for the weekend, backing truck to trailer. Brake pedal goes to the floor and truck collides with trailer tongue causing little damage to tailgate. Get out to investigate the issue and brake fluid just pouring from under driver side of truck. Until now I've never heard of any issues about brake lines on Chevy trucks. I do for another truck soon but i don't think it will be another Chevy.

- Bobby H., Owings, MD, US

problem #22

Oct 042015

Silverado LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


Same Chevy with rusted lines. On Thursday I hauled an enclosed trailer to the fair grounds that we use as a supplies trailer. Went to hook up Sunday evening and while getting lined up lost brakes again due to rusted lines for the second time in three months. Tow and repair bill was $140. Truck had to be towed twice because the first brake shop said they would not tie up there lift to replace the lines for the repairs. So had it towed again to a place that would, Non Dealer. I have been lucky all of this crap has been at Stop or barely moving so Far. Read the next Occurance

- jdg1014, Wawaka, IN, USA

problem #21

May 212016

Silverado LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

On this day I went to pick up another enclosed trailer to move to a new location about 4 miles away. I got all lined up dropped ball on hitch and then went to move forward just a tad to seat ball and hitch when the brake pedal went to the floor again with another ruptured rusty brake line. This time I am 35 miles from home and had to have it towed again. Tow bill 150 bucks. Call from mechanic and he said normally it would be 500 dollars but would replace all the existing lines for $250 because this is the 3RD time I had it in there and would cover half of the tow bill. Now that all that has been done I really do not have any faith in the brakes on this truck. I cringe with every application of the brakes. I really have been fortunate that there have not been any collateral damages to personal property or injuries to anyone. STILL WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOE TO DROP !!!!!!!!

- jdg1014, Wawaka, IN, USA

problem #20

Aug 182015

Silverado LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

2004 Silverado at the boat ramp and just launched boat. Pulled up and parked truck and trailer, lost brakes, Line ruptured (Rusted thru). Called my son to come get boat and take it home. He pulls up we put trailer on his 2003 Silverado and he looses his brakes (Rusted Brake Line also). He called his father in law and he comes and gets my boat and trailer with his Ford Ranger and takes them home. Tow and repair bill $160 bucks.

- jdg1014, Wawaka, IN, USA

problem #19

May 262016

Silverado 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,400 miles


I am on low income and see on line that GM use bad steel for brake lines. on line. I am making payments on the truck. and can not afford the kind of price they want to fix it, all brake lines are going to fail soon. Michael

- Michael H., Holt, MI, USA

problem #18

Nov 182015

Silverado Z71 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,095 miles

Driving down the road with family in the truck, wife, GRAND CHILDREN, applied brakes to stop at a RED LIGHT, Brake Paddle with to the floor. I applied the emergency brake to stop the truck.

- drfarrissr, Goodlettsville, TN, USA

problem #17

Oct 152010

Silverado Z71 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,500 miles

I purchased my 2004 Silverado new, in 2010 after only having driven this vehicle 65,000 miles I discovered all of the brake lines under the drivers side door were extremely rusted where they entered the brake module. I called the local dealer and of course they said they had not had any reports of brake line issues and that there were no recalls for the problem. I took My truck to a local garage and had all of the brake lines replaced at a cost of $328.00. I have still have the old rusted lines and the receipt for the repair in the hopes that there will be a recall . ( Probably won't happen until some people die as a result of this defect) By the way I also own a 1998 Cherokee XJ that has never had the brake lines touched and they are still in good condition. My Chevy truck has been a good vehicle other than the brake line issues but if Chevy won't stand behind their products any better than this my next truck will be a Toyota!

- Greg R., Charleston, WV, USA

problem #16

Jul 102015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Another total brake failure to add to the countless others. Whole family was going down a hill toward the end of my drive. Fortunately, was able to make the turn and coast to a stop. If another vehicle were coming, results could have been VERY bad.

- larlane, Lanesville, IN, USA

problem #15

Jun 132015

Silverado Z71 4.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,606 miles


Three years ago I pushed the brake pedal to put it in drive and it went to the floor. Had it towed to the Chevrolet dealer and the lines had rusted. The service advisor said that GM has had a lot of trouble with rusted lines and it is a bit of bad design and salt on the road. just what you want to hear from the dealer. I asked why they just don't use stainless steel instead of steel on the lines and he said cost. Then he proceeded to tell me that these lines are all custom made and there is nothing "off the shelf" and they would have to be custom made with about 10 hours labour. With new pads the cost would be about $2200. Though I am certainly not a mechanic brakes I know are an important part of any vehicle and said fine fix it.

One year later there is a grinding noise coming from the front left wheel and again took it to my friendly GM dealer. He said the hub is gone and the right side is just about gone. So he said you can replace it with a factory hub or an "after market". With the few hundred dollars difference my thinking was if the original GM hub was so great that it would - should not have gone in the first place so said just put an after market on. Probably was the not the smartest thing did that day as it still cost $1700. but I have no one to blame but myself but at the time thought the vehicle is still 10 years old.

So last week, yes the brake pedal is mushy and the "service brake system" light comes on. Hobbled it back to a different but closer GM dealer. Once again yes the brake lines are rusted and the right hub is sending an ABS check code. So replace the hub and brake lines, and parking brake and rear rotors. Total cost $3200 and big thank you for your business from the dealer, not that I had much of a choice. Picked up the truck and driving back and get 1 1/2 miles from the dealer and a big clunk complete with shaking and the all too familiar ABS light. Got out a looked at the front left wheel, and it was bowed out at the bottom. After the tow truck driver showed up he said " yup looks light a wheel hub to me". Maybe I should have just asked him to fix it instead of taking it back to the dealer. So here today I await a call from the Service Adviser to hear from what my tow guy already diagnosed- your left wheel hub is gone. So I will say yes put the GM original part and once again take my lumps. At this point I am past mad and just do not care and will give them the go ahead to fix it. Funny thing happened on the way back from dropping the truck Impala decides to turn on the "Service Air Bag" light. I hardly wait to find out what good news my dealer is going to deliver on this computerized message. I wish there was a re-boot button on these computers.

Getting back to the truck, I am trying to figure out what goes through the peoples minds that design these brake lines. Going on the internet there are all kinds of stainless steel brake line that are averaging about $200. give or take. Detroit from Toronto is about 250 miles and surely they get snow and use salt on the roads and must be aware of the rusting problems that it causes. Thinking back when I bought this truck in 2004 the cost was about $50,000. Now if that $200 was added onto the truck for stainless steel lines and it brought the total to $50,200. instead, I would not have even blinked at the difference as at this point it is incidental. Sometimes for the manufacturers taking the lowest cost route and the vehicle owners doing the same in the case of the hub is not always the best decision.

At least I know how my Monday is about to shape up. Drop the car off and pick the truck up. We also have a Malibu but hopefully posting this message will not create bad Karma for that car.

- John M., Milton, ON, Canada

problem #14

Jul 312014

Silverado Z71 Stepside V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,381 miles

My 04 Chevy Z71 is in great condition. Very Low Mileage. These brake lines should not have gone bad this quickly. I was coming up to a intersection when the brake line blew. I was lucky to have had room to pull off the roadway and come to a complete stop without striking any of the vehicles in front on me. The brake lines should be a recall item, before someone gets killed or injured.

- Gary B., East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #13

Jul 092014

Silverado 4x4 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

NHTSA - Inaction/no action on their part.

GM - Not our problem.

- ridge_runner, Pennsburg, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 122014

Silverado LS 4.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,526 miles

IF you own a 1999-2007 Sierra of Silverado, GET YOUR BRAKE LINES CHECKED! I am writing this article for YOUR SAFETY, my truck is parked until the brake lines are replaced.

A few months ago I read about these brake line issues on these models of trucks, and never got around to crawling under my truck to check the condition of the brake lines and today one brake line failed. I have a 2004 Silverado ext. cab. (about 165000 KM) and the brake line broke under the driver's door on the inside of the frame rail. I almost ran into the back of the vehicle in front of me, I had to steer around the stopped car, I could not stop. The vehicle in front of me stopped at a crosswalk for pedestrians, I needed to stop quickly, the brakes worked till I got about half slowed down, then brake pedal went right to the floor and absolutely no braking force left. When the pedal went to the floor I thought to myself there goes the brake lines as many others mentioned on this site.

The master cylinder is not baffled in these Silverado vehicles so when these brake lines fail there is absolutely no braking, I had to stop with the parking brake a ways down the road. Many vehicles have a braking system that will allow some of the braking system to still work in the event of a brake line failure. Not the 2004 Silverado. I crawled under the truck to have a look at the brake lines after the line failed and the brake lines are all rusted and flaking away, they will all need to be replaced before this truck is safe to drive.

General Motors needs to recall these vehicles, due to the fact that there is no redundancy in the braking system, and a lot of these brake lines are failing. There are two issues that make the brake problem serious, poor quality brake lines, and the non-redundant braking system. I had the truck into the General Motors dealership about two weeks ago for and oil change and asked about all these brake line issues and they said they did not have many fail. I will tow the truck in this week to the General Motors Dealership and we will discuss the condition of the brake lines and how many of these trucks are out there ready to fail, and that they never looked at the brake lines a couple of weeks ago.

I live in eastern Canada, we have motor vehicle annual inspections, you would think one would look at the brake lines with all the known issues. The motor vehicle inspection was done at the General Motors dealership as well. As for corrosion protection, I Rust Check this vehicle every fall and get the underside sprayed again in the spring with Rust Check. I also have a Counter Act rust module installed for many years and the brake lines still rusted out. I figured with all this rust protection surely the brake lines would still be OK but I was wrong. I never wrote a chat line article before but after this happened I figured I could at least warn other truck owners. As I mentioned, don't do what I did and not check the brake lines assuming they were OK, crawl under your truck and see for yourself. I was lucky today, I almost rear ended a small car. General Motor do your part as well.

- Robert G., Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

problem #11

Jun 162014

Silverado 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,000 miles

Brake lines rust out like on every Silverado around this year. Why would Chevy not put a stainless steel brake line on in the first place?? That is just dumb! People are crashing there trucks because of this! Come on GM, you know about this and your doing nothing!

- Brandon K., Drummond Island, MI, USA

problem #10

Sep 112013

Silverado LT V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles

On Oct 23, 2013 I had my 75000 mile service performed by Langs Cheverolet and paid them $127.00. The service invoice shows my brakes about 20-30% worn. It shows nothing about the fact that my brake lines are severely corroded. The service technician said noting to me about the severe corrosion on my brake lines. I drove my truck to Florida on Sept 5, 2013 and my brake lines busted and all of the brake fluid leaked out and my brakes completely failed. Luckily my speed was under 20 MPH when my brakes failed and I was able to use my emergency brakes to stop my truck.

The GM Dealer Parts does not supply replacement brake lines. The GM Dealer Parts place in Florida informed me about a special tool shop which would bend and shape the brake lines needed to repair my vehicle. Under the cab of my truck there is a clamp which holds the brake lines, fuel lines and transmission lines. All of these lines are severely corroded and will need to be replaced. The mechanic will not attempt to replace only the brake lines because he thinks that the other lines will rupture when he tries to remove the clamp. Since all of the replacement lines for the brakes, fuel lines, and transmissions lines will have to be bent and shaped by a specialty shop, I don't know how much it will cost to repair my truck.

I had to leave my truck in Florida and rent a car to get back home in Ohio. On the brighter side, I thank God that I was not driving through the mountains in Tennessee when my brakes failed.

- Ben R., Dayton, OH, USA

problem #9

Aug 102013

Silverado Z71 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,100 miles

Why hasn't the National Safety Transportation Board ripped GM a new one. I blame both (GM & NSTB) for not informing owners of GM trucks of this issue. I guess someone has to get killed and bring a lawsuit against GM. Was a VERY scary event! Almost killed 6 people (stopped within 4 feet of running over 6 people) because the brakes failed. Had to pump the brake pedal rapidly (12 - 15 times) to get the trucked stop stopped (including the emergency brake). Again.. with a few feet of running 6 people over!

This really gives me a distaste toward GM!

- ch9758, Wilder, KY, USA

problem #8

Aug 052013

Silverado Z71 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,100 miles

I have a 2004 Chevy Silverado Z71 5.3 8cyl with only 40100 miles on it and I blew a brake line going down a steep hill, almost got myself killed, I so very lucky to be alive....... the line just below the drivers door went out, the line is very rusted as is all the other brake lines on this truck...Not an easy fix..looks like the 6 ft steel line has a braided line on the end going to the master cylinder...These lines should not blow out at 40,100 miles...Truck has always been parked on blacktop driveway...I cant just buy some line from an autoparts store I need to get this line from a dealer...Close to $200- $300 to repair just the one line.... never buying a F%#king Chevy/GM product again....of all the vehicles I've had since I was 16 years old I never had to replace a brake line....Im 55 now...I had vehicles with over 100,000 miles with no problems...

- Doug H., Saratoga Springs, US-New York, USA

problem #7

Jul 272013

Silverado Duramax

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

I was towing my 3 horse gooseneck trailer, with a horse loaded, on the I-88 tollroad in Chicago area. Normally, this is a fast, heavily travelled roadway, but fortunate for me (and my horse), it was 6am on a Saturday morning. I was pulling into a toll plaza, and again FORTUNATELY, I was now going only about 30-35 mph. Went to apply the brakes, and had very little braking, and the pedal went to the floor.

Thank goodness, there were no cars in front of me, and I was able to pump the brakes, and use my trailer brakes (with the brake controller) to bring the vehicle to a stop.

This could have been a disaster! I travel 65-70mph on the interstates, along with other traffic, and it is common for cars to cut me and my rig off, and I have to hit the brakes. Had it been busy, or I had been going faster and had to hit my brakes hard, this would have been a wreck, that could have injured me and/or my live cargo.

I pulled over to the side of the toll plaza. The brake reservoir had some fluid, but there was a steady leak underneath. By the time the tow vehicle got there (2 hours for the truck, 5 hours for the loaded horse trailer) the reservoir was empty.

NOW, I am learning that this is a common problem with GM trucks. I plan to add this report to the NHTSB database.

I cannot believe GM is ignoring this problem. I already have the truck at my local mechanic, because the dealer 2 years ago tried to tell me the rotors needed replacing, and after getting a 2nd opinion, found out they were fine.

- Cindy L., Monee, IL, USA

problem #6

Sep 142011

Silverado V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

my truck started to make grinding sounds coning frim the rear the past couple of days and the brakes were not working like they should i had them checked and i can not use my truck the brae lines rusting out brake fluid is now coming out i have no way to repair or pay for this i am a single mother without a job thanks chevy............................

- leogrande, Branchville, NJ, USA

Read the next 5 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?