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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,535 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 Silverado 3500 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 7)

problem #134

Oct 222014

Silverado 3500

  • 108,000 miles


Driving through a rural town going about 45 miles an hour, I applied the brakes and they were very soft, brake pedal went near the floor, eased it home on front brakes (as rear line had ruptured). Upon inspection brake line had rusted in two just behind the fuel tank (long section had rusted away). Replaced line going to rear brakes.

- Portsmouth, OH, USA

problem #133

Mar 052016

Silverado 3500

  • 210,515 miles
While routinely driving my 03 chev Silverado truck, the brakes failed. When I was able to safely stop and move to a safe place, I looked under the vehicle and saw brake fluid leaking from one of the brake lines which had failed due to excessive corrosion. As a retired police officer, I have excellent driving skills which helped me to avoid a collision with another vehicle when the brakes failed!

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #132

Jan 012013

Silverado 3500

  • miles
Brake lines, gas line, transmission fluid lines all rusted/corroded beginning at under 50,000 miles. * had near accidents as the brake lines blew while driving on a highway and was decelerating in an attempt to come to a stop..pedal went to the floor, I continued on (foot off the gas) until the truck slowed down enough on it's own, shifted into low gear & was able to come to a stop and get towed. * shortly after brake line incident, the same thing with the gas line, rusted/corroded and leaked gasoline when ignition was on and pump was running... towed * a few, months later, I was parking the truck and fluid started spewing from under the truck - after close examination I determined it was transmission fluid, the lines had rusted/corroded - again, towed. * rear bumper rotted out completely before hitting 35,000 miles- I had it replaced, now the wheels and side quarter panels and everything in between are also rotting out. * currently the dash lights/panel will intermittently begin to flash - the whole dash goes blank, lights off, then they come back on, while driving! * mechanic recently told me after state inspection, that the frame is the next thing to go, it is rusting out more than expected for a vehicle of it's age/low mileage. Personally, I feel that inferior products were used when the truck was manufactured only because I have another Chevrolet product with twice the mileage and 6 years older with barely any rust/rot/corrosion.

- Hunlock Creek, PA, USA

problem #131

Jan 312016

Silverado 3500

  • 129,000 miles


Front brake lines rusted through and spilled brake fluid while moving at slow speed. Had front brake lines replaced. Six months or so later, rear brake lines rusted through and spilled brake fluid while moving at slow speed. Had rear brake lines replaced. ABS is now contaminated and is causing stop time delay, especially at high speed. Almost crashed on several occasions where my heart dropped to my stomach. Decided not to drive truck anymore until I can replace the entire brake system with rust free components.

- Glenn Dale, MD, USA

problem #130

Nov 142015

Silverado 3500

  • 191,830 miles
Brake line rupture.

- Greenfield, IN, USA

problem #129

Oct 302015

Silverado 3500

  • 174,000 miles
The front to rear brakes corroded to the point where they blew out when the brakes were applied while driving on the highway.

- Rockmart, GA, USA

problem #128

Oct 222015

Silverado 3500

  • 154,457 miles


On October 22,2015 while driveing on interstate 75 the fuel pump stopped functioning and resulting in a near disasterous situation.results $751.81 repair cost plus tow. Then one week later, October 29 2015 at wilmington pike and inertstate 675 red light my brake lines burst and I narrowly avoided a wreck. Repair cost $870.17.I was not noteafide of any recall. So be fair warning if I had known or been I would have fixed

- Spring Valley, OH, USA

problem #127

Jul 012014

Silverado 3500

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle lost power and failed to accelerate. The ABS, check engine, and passenger side air bag lights remained illuminated. In addition, the power steering failed. The failures recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed, but a failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- St Paul , MN, USA

problem #126

Jul 152015

Silverado 3500

  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. While driving approximately 35 mph and attempting to engage the brakes, the vehicle failed to stop. The emergency brake was used to stop the vehicle. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that brake fluid was leaking above the fuel tank. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the brake line over the fuel tank ruptured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 82,000.

- Witter , AR, USA

problem #125

Jun 122015

Silverado 3500

  • 160,000 miles
My husband was driving the vehicle at approximately 60 mph on a local highway when he needed to brake to slow down for a vehicle who turned on up ahead when the brake line blew. Pedal immediately went soft. He barely avoided collision and had to pull off into a nearby church parking lot. Now we are out the expense of having the brake lines replaced. The rust issue, which has been complained about in all of the others, is the same here that led to this. Though it has high mileage, the truck has been very well taken care of as it is a regency edition Silverado.

- Pittsburg, KY, USA

problem #124

Aug 142014

Silverado 3500

  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. While driving approximately 55, the brake pedal was depressed and stuck to the floorboard. The contact was able to bring the vehicle to a stop by engaging the emergency brake. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the brake lines corroded, causing the brake fluid to leak. As a result, the brake line and the master cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Champlin, MN, USA

problem #123

Apr 282015

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 50,231 miles
Brake line burst and brake pedal went to floor. At only 15 mph I had some stopping power by pumping brake pedal and got the truck stopped. Thankfully, I have a very long driveway and was still on my property. I was pulling a heavy trailer and do not want to imagine what would have happened with traffic and at a greater speed. I inspected the brake lines and noticed they were all badly corroded. I am having all brake lines replaced tomorrow. I see no recall notice and have since read about others who have had the same problem. I am 66 years old and have had one brake line failure many years ago on a 1963 Plymouth with very high mileage. This truck has just over 50 thousand miles. I was shocked at the condition of these brake lines. Without complete replacement of the lines I do not consider this vehicle safe to drive.

- Stanchfield, MN, USA

problem #122

Mar 242015

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 173,230 miles
While starting the vehicle, the brake pedal suddenly dropped to floor and brakes failed. There was no warning light and all four brakes failed. Fortunately, the vehicle was stopped. Testing the brakes, I found there was a little braking capability, but very little. I have since found that the brake lines were rusted through and the brake fluid sprays out the line below the driver's door hinge. A quick internet search showed this is a well known problem, but I was never notified of the risk. Thank goodness it didn't happen on the freeway! this vehicle has spent most of its life in Ohio.

- Mendon, UT, USA

problem #121

Feb 052015

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
My wife and I got into the vehicle to go somewhere and as we started to move I tried to stop and the brakes would not stop the vehicle. I applied the emergency brake in order to stop. I returned to my driveway using the emergency brake. I checked and found that I had no brake fluid. I got under my truck and found that my brake lines are corroded and one had a severe leak. I researched the internet and found that there have been multiple similar incidents where there have been crashes. I have talked with a Chevrolet rep and I was told that they do not consider this a safety issue. Although they know of this problem they do not plan a recall. Someone evidently has to die before it becomes a safety issue.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #120

Jan 202015

Silverado 3500 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
On January 20, 2015, the brakes on my Chevrolet Silverado failed. When I applied the brakes to make a normal turn, on a residential street around the corner from my house, the brake pedal went all the way down to the floor. I was extremely fortunate that no cars were coming the other way & I was able to maneuver the truck out of harms way until I came to a safe stop. I noticed a trail of liquid on the ground & also dripping from under my truck. The liquid coming from the truck was brake fluid. A later check proved the bake fluid well was empty. Obviously the brake fluid that was in the reservoir was now on the ground causing the vehicle inoperable. Well it was operable, it was all good to go. Stopping the vehicle was another matter. Thank goodness I was driving in a residential area when this incident occurred. Imagine if this had happened on a busy interstate (like interstate 95) where some real damage could have occurred or perhaps worse death.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #119

Jan 102015

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 79,852 miles
Brake pedal suddenly went to the floor with no braking. Dealer confirmed that the brake lines had rusted through and were replaced using a kit from Chevrolet at a cost of $2330.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #118

Jun 242013

Silverado 3500

  • 115,000 miles
Was driving around 35mph and started to put the brakes on to make a right turn at the upcoming light and the brake peddle went all the way to the floor and the warning light came on and I went right through the intersection without slowing down and luckily the light was green. Limped down the street to a pep boys and they told me that both the front and rear main lines had rusted through and they couldn't fix it. Limped it a few miles using the emergency brake to stop to a Chevy dealership and was charged ~$1500 to replace the rusted out lines from the front to the rear axle.

- Owensville, OH, USA

problem #117

Jan 102015

Silverado 3500

  • 155,558 miles
While driving on route 95 my brake line broke. It is completely rusted out. I found thousands of other people online with the same problem. GM needs to recall this. I had to swerve across traffic and drive on the grass shoulder to come to a stop. Very very scary.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #116

Feb 192014

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
While moving forward in line at a drive through my brake pedal suddenly when straight to the floor and would barely stop my truck. By the time I returned home I had to brake with the emergency brake. I then had it towed to 4 different mechanics who would not fix my brakes for under $4000 dollars due to liability reasons. Apparently the "stainless steel" hard lines from the master cylinder had all rusted out completely. If I had been on the road far away from home there could have been a serious accident.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #115

Dec 272014

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 93,185 miles
There was a complete brake failure coming to a stop sign. Fortunately was able to get the vehicle stopped using emergency brake. There was also no other vehicles at stop sign or at cross street. Went through the intersection. There was little or no brake pressure and the brake pedal went straight to the floor. At the shop it was noted there was a complete brake line failure at the ABS module near the driver door of all 6 rear brake lines. The brake lines all rusted through. The shop noted this was a common defect of the Chevy Silverado. This appears to be an issue especially in cold climates where salt and snow accumulates. This needs to be a safety recall to fix this defect. All 6 brake lines were replaced.

- Little Canada , MN, USA

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