really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,123 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 GMC Sierra 1500 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 GMC Sierra 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Apr 012014

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Brake fluid line rusted completely through. Lost brakes with family in truck while at 45 miles an hour and three (3) miles from home. Drove home on shoulder of road with drag on transmission to stop. Very disappointed that this has not be recalled sooner.

- Mount Airy , MD, USA

problem #17

Dec 312013

Sierra 1500

  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact was driving 35 mph when the brakes failed. The vehicle was driven at a low speed to the contact's residence and was not inspected or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 77,000.

- Westbrook, ME, USA

problem #16

Dec 192013

Sierra 1500

  • 129,000 miles
While backing in driveway, brake pedal hit the floor with no pressure. Lost all fluid in system. 3 brake line to break in 4 years.

- West Milford, NJ, USA

problem #15

Oct 292013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


I was backing out of my garage when suddenly the brake pedal went to the floor. After the brake pedal went to the floor the ABS brake warning light and service brakes light came on. I was able to push down on the emergency brake pedal before striking my other truck which was parked behind me. Being somewhat mechanically inclined, I saw a line of brake fluid on the ground in front of the truck extending beneath it. I looked underneath the truck, almost directly below the drivers seat and saw a bundle of steel brake lines that were nothing but a solid mass of rust and dripping brake fluid! the rusting is so bad that I can't tell whether it's one or all of the brake lines rusted through! since I'm retired (and don't have to drive in bad weather) and have another older truck I drive most of the time, the GMC has rarely seen bad weather (I purchased it new) and when it did it was always pressure washed (underneath) at the car wash immediately after the snow or ice had ended! my brother who is a mechanic recently had to replace all the rusted brakes lines on a 2005 Chevy truck.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #14

Oct 082013

Sierra 1500

  • 73,328 miles
04 GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab front steel brake lines corrosion/rusted and burst caused sudden fluid leakage and failure to stop placed me in a dangerous/hazardous situation. Finding a reliable shop, expensive towing and repairs caused tremendous burden and inconvenience.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #13

Aug 232013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
Brakes worked perfectly to stop vehicle on a steep downward hill in order to open a gate at the bottom of the hill of my driveway. After the gate was opened the vehicle proceeded down the hill coasting and there was a total brake failure when trying to slow down. The pedal went to the floor with no brakes whatsoever. The vehicle crashed into a tree to avoid going over a cliff. The vehicle has been well maintained with no warning of brake failure. Front and rear breaks failed at the same time. No warning brake light indicator on dash ever went on. This occurred on my property and driver and a passenger were both injured. Body shop indicated that the brake lines rusted out. This could have been a fatality if the failure took place on the road.

- Woodstock, NY, USA

problem #12

Sep 072013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Frame rust.

- Seekonk, MA, USA

problem #11

Aug 132013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 93,461 miles
This occurred on 8/13/2013 in central Virginia and the truck had 93461 miles on it. While moving my 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 truck in my driveway, my brake pedal went to the floor because the rear passenger side brake line had burst. There was no warning light or chime indicating a brake system issue. The dual master cylinder system only provided enough braking to slightly slow the vehicle down and the parking brake didn't help much. I had it towed to a shop and they said it was due to a corroded steel brake line. They told me that they have had to replace these lines frequently in a large number of Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks. They replaced the line and I had planned to replace all of the other lines in a few months. Two weeks after the repair was done and approximately 50 miles later, another line failed while I was driving approximately 45 mph. Again, there was no warning lights or chimes and the pedal went to the floor. I estimate that there was approximately 5 to 10% braking power and was unable to stop the vehicle. The parking brake did help some but is no a substitute for a real emergency brake that the older vehicles used to have. Additionally, it is not easy to lift your foot up to it as the pedal is mounted somewhat high off the floor. The repair shop said that this time it was a steel line running to the master cylinder and could be seen leaking fluid from inside the engine compartment. I had them replace all the lines. I don't understand why the NHTSA hasn't demanded a recall of these vehicles for the corroded brake lines and the failure of the dual master cylinder system to offer any reliable method of stopping the vehicle. I have had several other vehicles that are much older than this truck and their lines were always rust free and never failed. Although most are not recorded here, there are thousands of GM truck owners reporting the same problem.

- Goochland, VA, USA

problem #10

Aug 102013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
I was parking our 2004 GMC Sierra pick up truck when my foot went right to the floor. After getting out of the truck, I noticed all the brake fluid draining out of the brake line on to the ground. When our mechanic looked at it, he said all the brake lines were rusted out and that the whole undercarriage of the truck was entirely rusted out. What a disgrace.

- Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA

problem #9

Jul 282013

Sierra 1500

  • 60,600 miles
The contact owns a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph uphill, the brake pedal was depressed without any response from the vehicle. The emergency brake was engaged in order to stop the vehicle from accelerating any farther. The contact parked the vehicle and noticed that the brakes lines were completely corroded due to excessive rust. In addition, brake fluid was leaking. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 60,600.

- Marion, IN, USA

problem #8

Jul 242013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 141,030 miles


Got in my car and proceeded to go down the road I was doing about 45 miles an hour I hit the brakes to slow down and the brake pedal went the whole way to the floor after I got stopped and checked it out the brake lines are completely rusted through.

- Coatesville, PA, USA

problem #7

Jul 062013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 126,841 miles
Incident #1 while traveling at 50 mph on a country road I applied brakes to decelerate for a 75 degree right hand bend in the road. The brake pedal went to the floor. I had to column shift down through third, second, and then to first gear, to slow down. I was unable to get to emergency brake. Fortunately it was on a lightly traveled road and there was no on coming traffic as I had to veer into that lane to make the turn. I was able to hobble home, with hazards on, by downshifting to slow down. The truck was towed to local repair shop. The rear brake lines had failed and were replaced. Incident #2 while traveling at 30 mph traveling down hill a raccoon ran across the road. I applied brakes in a defensive manner and the pedal went to the floor. I again had to column shift through third, second, and then hobble down hill in first gear. I was unable to engage emergency brake. I was able to hobble home down shifting through the gears. The truck was again to same shop and I had them replace all brake lines.

- Wawarsing , NY, USA

problem #6

Apr 012013

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 72,423 miles
I was approaching a stop sign driving approximately 45 mph. When I applied the brakes the pedal went to the floor, and the vehicle wouldn't stop. I maneuvered past several vehicles almost striking them. I was able to apply the emergency brake to stop the vehicle after some distance past the intersection. I am a police officer with 25 years on the job. I have attending various driving courses related to my profession. If a lay person was in this situation a serious accident would have happened. I barely escaped the accident due in part to training and a large amount of luck. On the day of the incident the vehicle had stopped normal at three prior intersections without giving any warning of a potential problem. I have read on line the theory about the salt causing the damage to the brake lines. I have never driven this vehicle in the snow since it is a spare vehicle. The vehicle has 72000 miles a large majority of those miles driven on the highway (summer and fall). I bought this vehicle new from the dealership in 2004. The cost to repair the brake lines was $1,100 dollars. A recall should be made in regards to this defect before someone is killed or seriously injured. I had a mechanic shop repair the vehicle since the dealership claimed they had no other reported failures on this vehicle. A quick look on various websites showed that to be a false claim. Anyone driving these types of vehicles please have your brake lines inspected by a mechanic.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #5

Feb 172013

Sierra 1500

  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact stated that while the brake pedal was depressed, the ABS system activated without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnosed performed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 97,000 and the current mileage was 98,000.

- Beaver , PA, USA

problem #4

Nov 222012

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
While exiting the highway driver pressed brake pedal which sank all the way to the floor with approx 5 percent braking power. Driver lifted off and reapplied the brakes in an attempt to fix problem at this point a dash light and alarm illuminated to warn of brake issues; braking power was still only 5 percent. Driver was able to stop before an accident occurred but only because of light traffic and plenty of run off area. Upon inspection of vehicle it was evident that the brake lines had corroded and ruptured under the drivers door. Vehicle was taken to dealership where 6 brake lines were replaces due to corrosion. Vehicle was not driven in northern winters and has not been on any beaches.

- Pace, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 102012

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 64,970 miles
While coming to an intersection the brakes were applied and the pedal became soft and when to the floor, without slowing the vehicle down. The transmission was shifted into neutral and the emergency/parking brake was applied immediately in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle went to the local dealership where the diagnosis was a brake line had ruptured due to corrosion (rust) on the driver side rear line. The other three lines were in a similar state and had the potential to fail at any time. There was no indication on the message center that there was ever inadequate pressure to stop the vehicle with the hydraulic brake system even when it was steered to the side of the road and the brake pedal was applied to put the transmission into park.

- Pepperell, MA, USA

problem #2

Sep 132012

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The brake lines on my truck rotted off and it cost over a grand to fix them. There should be a recall.

- Unionville , CT, USA

problem #1

Aug 242012

Sierra 1500

  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact stated that the brake lines were deteriorating and the material was rusted. As a result, brake fluid ws constantly leaking and the brakes had become hard to engage. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer or a private mechanic. The manufacturer was notified who stated that there were no recalls for the vehicle and offered no assistance. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 78,000.

- Newton, NC, USA

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