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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,368 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 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Sep 142011

Silverado 3500

  • 28,000 miles


Complete brake failure due to corroded brake line. Fortunately, it occurred in a parking lot as I backed out of the spot. My investigation revealed thousands of others with the same problem. Hoping someone realizes that someone is going to die if this does not get resolved.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #37

Jul 012008

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,120 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. In July 2008, the contact noticed that the rear rotors were covered with rust causing the brakes to fail. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the rear rotors and brake pads were replaced. In September 2011, the contact heard a loud grinding noise in the vehicle and drove it to a private mechanic to be serviced. The contact was informed that the inside of the rotors were rusted and needed to be replaced. The private mechanic replaced the front brake pads and rotors. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The current mileage was 44,451. The approximate failure mileage was 27,120. Updated 10/21/11 the consumer stated the inner brake pads were destroyed by rust, but the outer pads were still like new. Updated 01/03/12

- White Bear Lake, MN, USA

problem #36

Sep 182011

Silverado 3500

  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500. The contact stated that they experienced a brake failure while driving. The vehicle had not been inspected but the contact crawled under the vehicle and could see that the brake lines were rusted and corroded. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 63,000. Updated 10/18/11 updated 3/30/12

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #35

Sep 042011

Silverado 3500

  • 60,800 miles


On September 4, 2011, I experienced a sudden brake failure while attempting to stop at an intersection. Also, I was accompanied in the vehicle by 10 month old daughter. I had to steer my vehicle away from oncoming traffic as I was unable to stop at the intersection due to the lack of effective brake assistance. There was no prior warning or dash illumination to indicate that there was a brake issue. Thankfully, a tragic accident involving injury or death was avoided. On September 6, 2011, I contacted Chevrolet customer service dept in regards to this matter. I informed customer service of the brake line issue. At this time I was assigned a case number (71984021797) and was advised to have a diagnostic service conducted by a local Chevrolet service garage. On September 7, 2011, a local Chevrolet dealership performed the diagnostic check on my truck and the results of the inspection were relayed to Chevrolet customer service dept. Later that day, I spoke with customer service and I was informed that the inspection revealed that all brake lines were rotted and corroded. She further stated the truck was in good condition with low mileage and that would make it an excellent case for repair assistance. She forwarded this information to a higher dept. And that I would be contacted the following day. On September 8, 2011, I was contacted by customer service. They informed that Chevrolet determined that the truck was out of warranty and no action will be taken. She further stated that brake lines are a wear item. I reminded her that brake lines are not a wear item and they don't fall within the category of tires, rotors, and brake pads. I than asked to speak with a supervisor so I could better understand the basis of the decision to not provide repair assistance. At this point, customer service laughed at me and said they would tell me the same thing.

- Minersville, PA, USA

problem #34

Aug 172011

Silverado 3500

  • 74,581 miles
Full brake system failure. During a panic stop to avoid a multi-car accident all the metal brake lines between the ABS module and the wheel ends burst due to rust and corrosion build up. All the metal lines must be replaced with new.

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #33

May 102007

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • 87,000 miles
Vehicle is a Chevy 2003 4X4 3500 dually with approximately 87,000 miles. Sudden and complete brake failure while driving due to corroded brake line leak I since had fixed. While braking at slow speeds the brake pedal slams to the floor and in reverse there is also a loud clunk that shakes the truck.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #32

Aug 152011

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


Similar to NHTSA campaign id EA11001, brake lines rusted through on frame behind driver side front wheel. Frame/underside of vehicle is very rusted for vehicle's age/mileage. Chevrolet dealer estimating $2,700 to replace with stainless steel lines. Luckily, no cars/people were in front of truck when brake lines burst and greatly reduced braking power/increased stopping distance.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #31

Aug 082011

Silverado 3500

  • 171,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph in rainy conditions, he applied the brakes, but the pedal depressed to the floor. The vehicle continued to move forward until the emergency brake was engaged. The vehicle was then towed home, where the contact examined it. The contact stated that the brake reservoir was completely empty. While adding brake fluid to the reservoir, the contact noticed that the brake fluid was leaking out of the brake lines, which were fractured. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 171,000.

- Manhawkin, NJ, USA

problem #30

Jul 202011

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Brake failure on my 2003 Silverado with 66000 miles due too rusted brake lines. Chevy dealer doesn't have parts(pre-bent brake lines) and gave me a price of 2500 bucks cause they have to bend each line by hand. I baby this truck. It still smells like a new car and was dealer serviced all its life. I don't know what I'm gonna do. This ain't rite. Looked under my friends 2002 and his looks just as bad. If I didn't slam on the emergence brake when I did it could have bin bad. I have it parked, don't know what to do.

- Neptune City, NJ, USA

problem #29

Apr 012011

Silverado 3500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. The contact stated that the brake line tubing ruptured while driving 40 mph as a result of excessive rust. Approximately two months later, a second brake line ruptured. The dealer informed the contact that there were no related recalls to the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure yet the vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 140,000. The approximate failure mileage was 137,000.

- Point Pleasant , WV, USA

problem #28

Jun 052011

Silverado 3500

  • 131,350 miles


Brakes failed on my 2003 Chevy truck. Rusted lines were the problem. GM wants $1650. To fix problem.

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #27

May 222011

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 73,972 miles
Brake line failure. Brake line is corroded and rusty. I registered a complaint about the rear lines in the past and had it repaired. The front lines have failed this time. Fortunately no injuries or property damage occurred either time.

- Blairstown, NJ, USA

problem #26

Mar 292011

Silverado 3500 8-cyl

  • 32,218 miles
Brakes failed due to ruptured brake lines on my 2003 Chevrolet Silverado while driving. Chevrolet dealer informs metal brake tubing has corroded and ruptured causing loss of brake fluid. Truck has 32,000 miles. No injuries were sustained when brakes failed. Cost to replace brake lines, $ $1633.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #25

Jan 282011

Silverado 3500 8-cyl

  • 96,450 miles
Brake lines rust through with no advance warning. In my case it was at highway speeds while the truck was loaded with approx. 1000 lbs of material. Fortunately it was just the rear lines so I still had front brakes to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. When researching this event I found cases that the front and rear brakes rusted through at the same time. Due to the amount of weight these trucks can haul or tow I believe the chances of a serious accident are great enough to warrant NHTSA to investigate this farther.

- Elizabethtown, PA, USA

problem #24

Jul 152006

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I have a 2003 Chevy K3500 Silverado truck, with about 60,000 miles. As of December 2010, I have suffered two brake line failures due to corrosion, wherein a steel rigid brake line rusted completely through, resulting in brake loss. I live in Ohio, and salt is used on roads, however, in my 30 years of driving, I have never had another vehicle, regardless of age or miles, which suffered a catastrophic failure of the steel brake lines. In both cases of failure, I was lucky in that I was not in a heavy pressure situation, and luckily avoided accidents. I have now largely replaced the entire brake line infrastructure of the truck, at considerable personal time and expense, however, problems still include the fact that corrosion continuously affects the performance of the front wheel speed sensors as they input to the ABS system. They constantly fail to sense wheel speed at lower speeds which results in erroneous activation of the ABS action. The sensors were replaced once at 30,000 miles, and they lasted about 15,000 miles before going bad again. This compares to a 2004 Toyota sienna minivan which was sold a few months ago at 215,000 miles with zero problems, both with respect to steel brake line integrity as well as ABS sensor integrity. I consider the brake system on the 2003 Silverado truck to be of very questionable integrity.

- Marietta, OH, USA

problem #23

Nov 262010

Silverado 3500

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. While driving approximately 20 mph, the contact noticed that the brake pedal extended to the floorboard when she depressed it. The contact was able to stop the vehicle by using the parking brake. The parking light then illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where it was being repaired. The current and failure mileages were unknown. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 01/14/11

- Oregon, OH, USA

problem #22

Oct 032010

Silverado 3500

  • 50,000 miles
2003 Chevrolet Silverado brake line corrosion and failure.

- Prestonsburg, KY, USA

problem #21

Sep 142010

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Steel brake line rusted through on my 2003 Chevy Silverado pu causing complete brake failure. Good fortune had it that I was at a low speed and no crash occurred. Truck has been garaged and never been in contact with sea water. No other significant rust exists on vehicle except on the other brake lines. Research show this is a common and serious problem on these trucks.

- Manorville, NY, USA

problem #20

Apr 102003

Silverado 3500

  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer at 36,000 miles for a squealing noise. All four of the rotors and brake pads were replaced due to rust which seemed to remedy the noise. At 42,000 miles the ABS system began to pulsate while driving 5 mph. The dealer stated that the hubs needed to be replaced and provided an estimate for the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. At 56,000 the brake lines rusted through while the contact was driving and he lost all braking function. The vehicle had not been repaired. Chevrolet advised that they have had other complaints with rust and corrosion on other model years but the 2003 did not have any problems. The failure mileage was 36,000. The VIN was not available. The current mileage was 58,000.

- Westerville , OH, USA

problem #19

Aug 162003

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 82,400 miles
Sudden complete brake failure while driving due to corroded brake line leak. Vehicle is a Chevy 2003 4X4 3500 dually with approximately 82,000 miles. Vehicle is currently at repair shop. All brake lines are severely rusted and will have to be replaced.

- Caledonia , NY, USA

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