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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
114,707 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 Suburban brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #34

Jul 012013

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Started driving and within 5 min, I lost all brakes. Was able to get to a local service station where they discovered that the brake lines had rusted and drained nearly all fluid. Had lines replaced with stainless steel lines for mega bucks. Rusted lines burst at one point, however, rust/corrosion was present at several points in the system. Did not see any recall or notice to the defective or substandard brake lines in 2004 Chevy Suburban. Old lines appeared to be cheap pot metal. I am the only owner of this vehicle and have done all required maintenance.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #33

Oct 142014


  • 118,800 miles
ABS light, brake light and parking brake light went on. Also saying check brake system soon came on. Went to dealer 10/15/2014 and was told need two computers for ABS. About $1500 but can't do it because the brake lines are rusty and may break. If they were to break about a $4500 repair bill. Was told ok to drive and the ABS would just disable itself. Brake lines used to be made of stainless steel. Has almost 119,000 miles. Also was told maybe time for a new vehicle. I bought new and have had numerous repairs done and maint on it.

- St Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #32

Oct 072014

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 183,421 miles
While driving in heavy morning rush hour traffic on a northern Virginia interstate, brakes were applied for typical traffic slowdown. After releasing the brake, the warning light alerting driver of a brake issue came on. At that point, I tested the brake and the peddle sunk to the floor while quickly loosing braking resistance. I was able to pull over and stop the vehicle within about a mile. Looked underneath the drivers side and saw brake fluid leaking/dripping out of the brake line which was ruptured. Had to call a tow truck to take this to a shop for replacement of all of the brake lines. All of the lines were corroded. Checked online and saw that this was a "typical" issue affecting 2004 Chevy Suburban but that a product recall was not issued yet. I was thankful that this did not happen the previous day when my 16 yr old daughter drove the car to school.

- Delaplane, VA, USA

problem #31

Oct 022014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 51,098 miles


I was two blocks from home when I applied brakes as I approached a curve. Brake pedal went to the floor boards. Using low gear and parking brake I managed to get the Suburban home with no incident. Brake lines front to back were replaced by service center. Cause, rust thru.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #30

Sep 282014

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Obvious corrosion on brake lines of 2004 Chevy Suburban. By just applying the brake for few times, the brake fluid is gushing underneath the driver side (between the front and rear wheels). Also notice rusting brake lines up to the engine hood (this thing should definitely not happened, I never had a problem like this before in any vehicle I had owned, brake lines should last even beyond the lifetime of the vehicle!). I also informed Chevy (tel: 800-222-1020)about this life safety failure, this is a very serious defect and Chevy must issue a recall on this corrosion problem on brake lines.

- Stony Brook, NY, USA

problem #29

Sep 272014

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 160,334 miles
Driving down highway coming to red light depressed brake pedal, pedal went all the way to the floor. Could not stop vehicle before going through red light, held down vehicle horn to warn other drivers which saved me from injuring/killing someone else or myself. After getting vehicle on shoulder of road noticed brake fluid dripping down the frame rail on the drivers side in front of rear tire.

- Gambrills, MD, USA

problem #28

Aug 302014

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


On 8/30/14 I was driving down the road going about 25 mph when a car came out from a street on the left side and pulled in front of me without looking, I pressed down on the brakes quick and swerved to the right to avoid hitting him, he had no idea as I was swerving out of the way to not hit him, he was making his turn, I got on the horn and he just pulled over to the right and gave me a wave as to say he was sorry. Anyway, when I pressed down on the brake fast, it went all the way to the floor, I had total brake failure, all the brake fluid leaked out from the driver's side near the chassis, there was no stopping this truck. I don't see how they can say you are still able to use the brakes, you can't pump them. It is now sitting at the mechanics getting fixed, so far he told me it would be $600-$800 labor, I have not gotten back the truck yet as I write this. The brake lines were so rotted, it was only a matter of time, and I only bought this 9/17/13, the truck originally came from Pennsylvania.

- Deer Park, NY, USA

problem #27

Nov 122013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I was driving at highway speed just starting to exit off ramp brakes went to the floor and dash lights came on for brakes, also stability loss message came on. Could have been killed or had serious accident.lucky did not but is a very serious issue.brought to shop and was told and shown all brake lines were rusted real bad and one broke open while I was exiting that off ramp.I called GM but they did nothing! I was very upset with this and feel this should be brought to the attention of someone who will really look into this for the safety of all.also my 1997 Chevy conversion van, and my husbands 2005 Chevy Silverado the same thing happened to those brake lines while driving broke open due to rust, losing brakes while driving.van mileage was 70000, and Silverado mileage was 75000.this is so dangerous I urge you to please check into it before someone gets killed.I recently saw on the news that suburu recalled cars in northern states for rusted brake lines same as this.GM should be doing the same.

- Huguenot, NY, USA

problem #26

Jul 032014


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and traveled to the floorboard as a result the brakes did not respond. The vehicle was taken to dealer where it was to be diagnosed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 91,000.

- Warren, NJ, USA

problem #25

Jun 262014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
I had the vehicle in park, on a hill, and when I shifted it into drive, felt a pop in the pedal. Then the brakes would not hold the vehicle. I had a very difficult time stopping the vehicle due to the loss of brake pressure. The brakes pedal would just fall to the floor. My husband came out and found one of the rear brake lines was rusted and leaking fluid. The brake lines have visible rust on the outside of them.

- Villa Park, IL, USA

problem #24

Jun 022014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 97,650 miles


Complete failure of brakes while driving, coasted to stop with assistance of parking brake. Upon inspection it was found that all brake lines are severely rusted to a failure point, the one line that failed was for the rear brakes from the block device under the drivers side inner frame rail (ABS unit or booster) for a very well kept family vehicle with low miles and no substantial rust anywhere else but the brake lines, and this one area that gets constant road spray directly at the lines and block/booster/ABS on the inner frame drivers side. This was a shock to find, and now after looking online that NHTSA has the longest open case with Chevy for 99-02 and seems like it will spread to 07 something needs to be done for public safety. This Suburban weighs like 6000 pounds, a tank, and will crush anything in its way if the brakes do not work. I have had several other makes/models of cars & trucks and the only time I have ever needed to replace a brake line was on my old 1984 Dodge Ram pickup I plow snow with all the time and it was 25yrs old at that time not 10yrs old like the Chevy. We need immediate action to ensure the safety of all of the thousands with this same issue on Chevy trucks/SUV's. purchased new in manchester ct for over $36,000 in April 2004.. I do not have the $1000+ on hand to have this repair completed at this time with 2 children in college and 2 more soon to be.

- Vernon, CT, USA

problem #23

May 082014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The master cylinder and brake line caused a complete brake failure. All the brake lines are severely rusted, compromised, and all must be replaced. Fortunately the failure happened in a restaurant drive through. Moments before pulling into the drive through, I was driving my daughter on a busy roadway with a 50 mph speed limit. I do not feel brake lines should be made of materials that can corrode and fail without any warning whatsoever. The truck is very well maintained. With non-corrosive metals available for brake tubing it is inexcusable from a safety perspective. The government needs to address this to prevent clearly foreseeable injuries and deaths.

- Egg Harbor Twp, NJ, USA

problem #22

Apr 292014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
Brake line failed due to rust corrosion. Depressed brake pedal in the driveway and brake line broke below driver's door and caused brakes to fail.

- Chappaqua, NY, USA

problem #21

Feb 072014


  • 70,000 miles
Brake pedal went to the floor. Cause was corroded brake line that had leaked.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #20

Jun 112013


  • 155,000 miles
I was driving down the road and the brake pedal went to the floor when I tried to apply the brakes. I had to repeatedly pump the brakes to get the Suburban to stop. I am lucky that I was not pulling the boat when this happened.

- Farmington, PA, USA

problem #19

Dec 022013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 44,500 miles
The brake line under the driver's door ruptured and caused a complete brake failure. All the brake lines are severely rusted, compromised, and all must be replaced. Fortunately the failure happened in parking lot and my son was able to get the car home without having an accident but that was merely fortuitous. There is absolutely no reason that permanent brake lines should fail. The truck is used very infrequently and is well maintained. Had I or a member of my family been driving on the interstate someone most likely would have been severely injured or killed. I am 60 years old and have owned cars since I was 17 and I have never experienced a brake hard line rupture. With the non-corrosive metals available for brake tubing it is inexcusable from a safety perspective. The government needs to take action against GM to prevent clearly foreseeable injuries and deaths.

- Monrovia, MD, USA

problem #18

Nov 152013


  • 165,000 miles
I was driving at low speed when I pressed my foot on the brake and it went completely to the floor. Looked under the vehicle and the brakeline had rusted through the line.

- Dunkirk , MD, USA

problem #17

Nov 072013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Severe brake line corrosion under vehicle.

- Farmington, MN, USA

problem #16

Oct 262013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 109,115 miles
I live near frederick, Maryland and today I drove my 2004 Suburban down to the cul de sac at the end of our street going around 20mph, but when I pressed the brakes, I felt them go almost to the floor, so I pumped/pressed them again twice and each time they then went fully to the floor but the truck was not stopping. I managed to put the vehicle in neutral and press the emergency brake to get the vehicle stopped with the front tires just 3 feet from my neighbors lawn. I then got out and looked under the vehicle and there was brake fluid everywhere along with a trail of it about 30-40 feet up the street from where I first pressed the brakes. I towed the truck back to my driveway and looked underneath and can see that all of the steel brake lines are heavily rusted along the frame below the drivers door area. I could see that one of the lines clearly ruptured and sprayed brake fluid everywhere. I started looking on the internet and see the same symptom/problems are already listed as under investigation for 1999-2003 Chevy trucks under NHTSA action number : PE10010. Mine is a 2004 model year but it may have been built in late 2003. In any case, I was extremely lucky that it happened in my neighborhood at 20mph and not on the highway or while towing. Clearly GM has a problem and these trucks that needs to be recalled as this problem could kill people very easily!

- Jefferson, MD, USA

problem #15

Oct 172013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 84,600 miles
Brakes failed while driving....noticed slight brake pedal loss, then total failure within minutes...mechanic said that the brake lines failed because they were corroded and would all have to be replaced..thank you for looking into this and all other brake line failures of any GMC made vehicles.

- Bogart, GA, USA

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