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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,775 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 1 of 2)

problem #23

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 #22

Jan 172013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph and depressed the brake pedal but the brakes would not respond. The contact applied excessive pressure to the brake pedal before the vehicle responded. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing where the mechanic advised that the hydro boost would have to be replaced because brake fluid and power steering fluid was leaking from the vehicle. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 05V043000 (service brakes, hydraulic) but was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 138,000.

- Springhill, TN, USA

problem #21

Jun 292012

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban. While parked, the driver depressed the brake pedal but the brakes would not respond. The parking brake was applied in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician advised the contact that the brake lines had corroded from the inside and would have to be replaced along with the brake pads and rotors. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 39,000....updated 10/17/12 the consumer stated the vehicle did not show any warning lights. GM offered a credit towards purchasing a new Chevrolet vehicle. The consumer declined. Updated 10/17/2012 the consumer also stated the calipers were severely rusted, along with the front caliper hoses and front rotors, which caused the brake pads to crack and wear unevenly. Updated evoq 10/24/12 updated evoq 11/21/12

- New Canaan, CT, USA

problem #20

May 052012

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 50,135 miles


Driving on small residential street. As I approached a stop sign I applied brakes and pedal went to the floor and I steered into the curb to stop vehicle. When I stopped shaking I called my husband and he came with a friend who is a mechanic. When they raised the hood they saw brake fluid everywhere. When we got the car home and inspected it further the mechanic was horrified to see that everything under there was corroded and rusted. Including bushings gas lines, nuts and bolts etc. He claimed he had never seen anything like it in his life. This is the third Suburban I have owned and I am very upset that this would happen. I was all set to have my 20 yr old son take this up to school so he could move out of his dorm. He could have been seriously hurt if this had happened on the New Jersey turnpike.

- Holmdel, NJ, USA

problem #19

Apr 062012


  • 149,000 miles
Was driving at a very low rate of speed; trying to stop when what felt like the antilock brakes kicked on and the message "traction active" appeared on my console. This made it very difficult to control and stop the vehicle. Then when trying to accelerate, vehicle would lug down and not want to go. There was also a noise, like a pump or something when trying to brake or accelerate. Turning off the stabilitrack seems to stop this from happening, which in turn means I do not have antilock brakes. This is a huge safety issue, especially if trying to merge, pass through an intersection or while driving at a high rate of speed.

- Albany, OR, USA

problem #18

Mar 162012

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,905 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact stated that the brake lines fractured while the brakes were applied on the highway. The manufacturer was notified, but denied any assistance with repairs of the failure. The dealer was not notified. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 84,905 and the current mileage was 85,049. Updated 5/7/12 the consumer stated her husband discovered the front brake line had ruptured. There was a hole in the brake line in the engine compartment near the driver's side front wheel and the brake line was severely corroded. Updated 05/25/12

- Churchville, MD, USA

problem #17

Dec 092011

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 121,690 miles


I was traveling North on rt.1 in Delaware I seen a car rolled over on its side and off the road I applied my brakes hard to stop and help that is when my brakes failed. After checking on the driver I limped my truck to the nearest gas station and discovers my brake line had rotted out under my truck by the front wheel. The clips that secure the brake line to the frame seem to be the problem.

- Clayton , DE, USA

problem #16

Nov 302011

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Steel brake lines on vehicle are severely corroded with obvious section loss. Based upon my experience with a similar vehicle, a line failure due to rupture is imminent and all lines need to be replaced. This will be neither an easy nor an inexpensive task. Adding insult to injury is that GM does not offer replacement line sets; it's roll your own or buy an (incomplete) aftermarket set (no one offers complete set for JL4 rear brake arrangement). This really is ridiculous given the cost, age, mileage and otherwise excellent condition of the vehicle.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #15

Nov 112011


  • 49,000 miles
Failure of brake line and loss of fluid with no warning light until pedal went all the way to the floor. Mechanic has reported severe corrosion of the brake line, calipers, spare tire assembly and no access to the brake line area above the spare tire without cutting the spare tire holder assembly out. Estimate is over $1000 to repair. Brake failure without a warning - very scary.

- North Granby, CT, USA

problem #14

Nov 132011


  • 63,200 miles
While approaching a stop sign, I tried to brake and the pedal went to the floor. No brakes!! I was able to coast to a stop. Upon checking, all brake fluid was gone and the brake lines were rotted through. All brake lines had to be replaced along with the front calipers. Corrosion was the problem with the lines and calipers.

- St James, NY, USA

problem #13

Oct 012011

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


Backing up snowmobile trailer when brake pedal went to floor. Large puddle underneath truck right below where the 4 brake lines exit the ABS and go over the frame rail.

- New Brighton, MN, USA

problem #12

Oct 082011

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 51,250 miles
My 2004 Suburban is extremely well cared for. The vehicle has only 51,000 miles and is kept in perfect running and physical condition. On 10/8/2011 I was performing an extensive visual check of the brake line on the vehicle after reading of some issues with similar vehicle. Upon inspection, I saw that the braking systems hydraulic lines are severely corroded in multiple areas. These lines must be replaced to avoid catastrophic failure. On a vehicle of this age and limited mileage this is highly worrisome. I have multiple other vehicles of considerably greater mileage and of older vintage that have not had this corrosion issue. I mention them because they have spent their entire service life, to date, in the same weather/driving conditions. There is no question that the materials used for these brake lines are of an inferior material. A recall is absolutely in order as this is an expensive and time consuming repair that is the result of poor quality parts.

- Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #11

Sep 142011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 2500. While driving approximately 50 mph up an incline, the brake was applied and suddenly the pedal traveled to the floorboard. The vehicle failed to slow down and the emergency brake was engaged to slow the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a nearby independent mechanic who advised that the four brake lines ruptured due to rust and corrosion. The vehicle was left for repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Glen Cove , NY, USA

problem #10

Jun 032011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,920 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. While driving approximately 35 mph the contact depressed the brake pedal and the it fell to the floor board. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technicians stated the brake line failed due to an environmental climate damage. The brake line was replaced with stainless steel brake lines. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 71,920. Updated 08/05/11 updated 3/02/2012

- New Richmond, OH, USA

problem #9

Aug 132010


  • 70,000 miles
Forward brake lines completely rusted throughout which led to a leak and subsequent brake failure. Other brake components were also found to be rusted somewhat prematurely.

- Manchester, CT, USA

problem #8

May 202010


  • 105,000 miles
My wife owns two GM Suburban, 2002 and 2004. Both experienced brake failure due to rotting brake lines within a week of each other. I have paid over $2,000 to have them both repaired. The 2002 failure sent me out into the street in front of my home unable to stop. The second failure of the 2004 occurred while on a cross country trip with most of my family in the car. This is the one that spurs my efforts to complain. I could lose it when considering what could have happened to my family due to these failures on two very expensive cars which I would never have expected to fail like this. I would like very much not to have this happen to anyone else and if I can get a refund for the costly repair that would be great. I have preserved the rotted brake lines. Please let me know if you need any further information.

- Weatogue, CT, USA

problem #7

Dec 072009


  • 79,200 miles
Slowing down coming to stop about 7to 4 mph the ABS sensors tells the ABS pump to turn on making a growling noise this is the same problem the older models had there fix was to bring them in to a dealer and pull and clean the ABS sensors or replace if found bad. I took mine in for an ABS sensor light on and they told me that the right sensor was bad but the left needed to be pulled and cleaned but they said if the went to pull it and it broke I would have to pay the cost of the replacement sensor instead of the cleaning cost which is about $250 to replace part and labor this was in Dec 2009.

- Elizabeth, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 032009

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,400 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban. While driving approximately 35 mph, the steering wheel required greater effort to turn. There was a low power response when the brake pedal was depressed. In addition, the service brake booster warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign id number 05V043000 (service brakes, hydraulic), although the failures were identical. The failure and current mileages were 23,400. Updated 08/28/09. Updated 08/31/09.

- Baldwin Park, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 192008


  • 118,200 miles
The top nut which holds the right rear brake caliber bracket came out on my vehicle. The result caused my vehicle to abruptly stop severely jerking the passengers in the truck. The bracket also punctured several cracks to the inside of my rim causing my tire to deflate. I have never had the caliper nuts removed on my vehicle. The only thing I can think of is the nut must have vibrated loose. The lower nut was loose as well. The loose lower nut was discovered after removing the wheel to repair the deflated tire. The incident occurred on Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 1:30 am. My vehicle was towed home for repair. A new rim and brake caliper nut had to be purchased to repair my vehicle.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #4

Sep 162006

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles
: the contact stated while traveling 5 mph, the power steering failed, then both feet were used to stop the vehicle. It was taken to an independent repair shop who determined the power steering and brake booster system failed and both components were replaced.

- Belleville, IL, USA

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