ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.

Print this page


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,839 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 Suburban brakes problems

brakes problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Chevrolet Suburban:

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

2003 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Dec 082010


  • 93,800 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph in reverse the brakes failed. The ABS warning light illuminated while the contact applied the brakes. The vehicle was inspected by the owner when he noticed that the brake line was corroded and there was also a leak. The vehicle had not been inspected by a dealer nor had it been repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 93,800.

- Huntingtown, MD, USA

problem #15

Nov 262010


  • miles
On 26oct. 2010 I had a throttle body replace on a 2003 Chevy Suburban at a local Chevy dealership. A day later my wife and I took the Suburban out to go shopping. I returned tothe parking lot to pull up to the door to load up. As I was ciircling around in the parking lot the engine of the SUV red lined, this caught me totally off gaurd. I applied the brakes to thi SUV, it did not stopped. The end result was that I hit a light pole in the parking lot. I reported the accident to my insurance company. My in insurance company sent a investigator out to look a the SUV, he started the vehicle and it redlined, he gave me a call and said I had a issue with the throttle body and that it could have been improperly installed or it could have been a manufacture defect. Later on I called the dealership that installed and proformed the work.they said that it was definitely a defected and that they are not responsibile for the acccident. They said that GM was responsible for this accident.

- Sprin Grove, PA, USA

problem #14

Oct 112010

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
While driving with my family on NY state route 23 East (55 mph zone) toward the intersection of NY state route 32, the traffic light turned yellow. We were about 500 feet away. Steady pressure to the brake pedal was applied as would under a normal circumstance. The pedal suddenly went to the floor. The traffic light was now red at about 200 feet away and we were still traveling about 40 mph. I tried the pedal again, however, it went to the floor. Without a way to stop, we had no choice but to barrel through a red light with cars in both directions. I repeatedly flashed the head lights and held the horn down to avert catastrophe with the traffic. By the grace of god, we hit no one. Over the next half mile, I was able to down shift the automatic transmission and utilize grass on the highway edge to stop the vehicle. Upon exit of the vehicle to check it, there was a steady stream of brake fluid coming from a brake along the frame rail by the driver's side front door leaving a 12 - 16" puddle. The vehicle only has 89,000 mostly highway miles and has always been well cared for. Luckily no one was killed. This never should have happened.

- Acra, NY, USA

problem #13

Aug 292010

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 79,900 miles


1) sudden loss of braking power during stop with no warning. 2) pedal travels almost completely to the floor. Braking force is much less than normal. This is not an intermittent condition. 3) examination shows that a hard (steel?) hydraulic brake line has corroded and ruptured.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

problem #12

Jul 252010


  • miles
After an initial failure of the hydraulic brake (line ruptured about two feet behind the ABS valve) while the car was moving, and after this line was replaced, I inspected the rear wheel brake lines and noticed extreme corrosion on both lines that run from a junction connection above the differential to the hoses on each caliper. While checking the fittings and inspecting the left line it literally crumbled, broke and started leaking. I replaced both lines and bleed the system. The car had been into the dealer within last year (approx.) for brake line inspection after observing a lot of rust. The dealer claimed that lines were ok and that a lot of rust was normal and ok. I had to pay for this inspection.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #11

Jul 092010

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 109,685 miles
While driving my 2003 K2500 Chevy Suburban, another vehicle pulled out in front of me from a side street while I was traveling about 35 mph and I pressed the brakes very hard - hard enough to lock up at least one wheel, but avoided an accident. I continued on, but just a few seconds later, I approached an intersection, and the brake pedal went to the floor, with very little braking power. I was able to get the vehicle stopped by pumping the brakes quickly and ran slightly into the busy intersection. I pulled into a parking lot to inspect whether I had damaged something. I decided to return home about 1/2 mile away and slowly drove home, with very little braking power. When I got home, I crawled under the vehicle to find brake fluid splattered and leaking all over the underside around the ABS unit. The brake lines are extremely corroded, and I suspect one has blown out. The vehicle is in very good and well maintained condition otherwise, but the underside seems particularly rusty. If I were traveling more than the 30-35 mph I was, there would have been no way to stop the vehicle. A serious accident would have occurred. These are very common vehicles, if this is typical, a safety recall must be initiated.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #10

May 292010


  • 79,000 miles


While attempting to stop my 2003 Chevrolet Suburban, the brake pedal went to the floor. Fortunately there was no traffic and I was able to slow the vehicle using the transmission. I took the car in for repairs and was told the brake lines had corroded and sprung a leak. The service station showed me that all the lines were so corroded that they all needed to be replaced. The total cost for this was about $1500. This truck is kept in southern Indiana where snow and ice are not extreme and salting of roads isn't done to the extent as in more nothern climates.

- Georgetown, IN, USA

problem #9

Mar 142010


  • 100,000 miles
2003 Chevy Suburban requiries too much pressure on brake pedal to stop.

- Duncansville, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 102010

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 35,241 miles
When applying brakes to avoid hitting a deer, the pedal went completely to the floor. No ABS, no partial pedal, straight to the floor. Vehicle was towed to Chevrolet dealer where it was determined that both front and rear brake lines needed to be replaced due to brake line corrosion. Dealer provided rough estimate of $1500 plus tax to repair.

- Darien Center, NY, USA

problem #7

Jan 012008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. When approaching a stop sign and depressing the brakes, the anti-lock braking system would engage unnecessarily and the brake pedal would fall to the floorboard. Whenever the failure would occur, the brakes would not engage and the vehicle would fail to stop. The dealer was notified and would offer no assistance. The contact has experienced the failure for approximately two years. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 59,000.

- Pentwater, MI, USA

problem #6

Dec 012009


  • 80,000 miles


ABS would incorrectly engage when stopping at low speeds (< 5 mph). Increases stopping distance since ABS starts pumping instead of just applying brakes. This happens on ideal road conditions and at low speed/non skidding stops. Mechanic replaced wheel hub assembly on both front left and front right wheels (wheel hub included new ABS speed sensor). Problem was fixed. This is obviously a safety issue. GM has already recalled 99 - 2002 (mine is a 2003) Suburban for this. Mechanic indicated that ABS sensors were badly corroded (presumably) from salt getting into contact with the sensor. Mechanic also indicated that he has fixed this in *many* Suburban and in many cases that came after owners had unsuccessfully tried to get dealers to fix the issue. Mechanic said dealers were replacing the ABS computer, at a cost of thousands of dollars, and problem still wasn't fixed. Important note: It appears that regardless of whether a recall is done, dealers should at least be aware of this common safety problem with Suburban from this time period.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 012009


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 2500. While approaching a stop or slowing down to make turns at low speeds, the ABS activates without warning. The contact is unable to safely come to a complete stop. The manufacturer stated that her VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 05V379000 (service brakes, hydraulic: Antilock). She will take the vehicle to the dealer for repair. The current and failure mileages were 88,000.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #4

Jun 102008


  • 68,250 miles
Based on NHTSA #05V379000, our 2003 Chevrolet Suburban has exhibited the same problem of engaging the ABS system when coming to a stop at a light or intersection. This only happens on a slow stop. The referenced recall does not include year 2003 and Chevrolet will not repair at no charge. This problem happens intermittently, sometimes three times in one day and then not at all for a couple of days. My auto mechanic has confirmed the problem is a corrosion of front wheel speed sensor.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jul 252008

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban. While pulling out of a parking lot, the contact approached a stop sign. He depressed the brake pedal and it extended to the floor. All of the instrument panel lights illuminated, which indicated that the brake system failed. The contact had to engage the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the entire brake line system was rusted. The repair would cost $3,000 to replace the entire brake line system. The failure and current mileages were 94,000. Updated 10/16/08 brake fluid was leaking from the left front of the vehicle. Updated 10/20/08.

- Putnam Valley, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 012007


  • 50,000 miles
Recall number: 05V379000 summary: Certain pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles may experience unwanted antilock brake system (ABS) activation. This condition is more likely to occur in environmentally corrosive areas. This recall will be launched in the "salt belt" states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia only. My 2003 Suburban experienced the same exact defect when my wife was driving to work and almost ran out into a busy intersection because of low speed ABS activation. Immediately I took the car in to have it looked at, that cost me over $500 to fix. The problem resulted from excessive corrosion because I live in one of the listed snowbelt states. Chevrolet would not assist, acknowledge or help me resolve or fix this issue. I also had to replace the hydo valves discs and rotors all costing me close to $1000. I feel that the 2003 Suburban should be added on the recall list mentioned above because the same exact thing happened to my Suburban. Thank god my wife and know one else was hurt!

- Luckey, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 292003

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Doing normal braking, the consumer experienced a soft pedal application which caused extended stopping distance. The dealer has inspected the vehicle and a manufacturer service rep. Both informed the consumer that was the normal characteristic of that vehicle.

- Bloomfield, CT, USA

Not what you are looking for?