hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
110,096 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 3500 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 GMC Sierra 3500 Owner Comments

problem #8

Sep 152014

Sierra 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 74,000 miles


While pulling a camper-trailer, I applied the brakes and the pedal went completely to the floor. I was able to stop utilizing the brakes on the trailer. I was only a short distance from home and I was able to get the trailer back, keeping the transmission in 1st gear and the trailer brakes. I took the truck to a Chevy dealer that was just a very short distance utilizing the gears and the emergency brake. Upon inspection, the dealer found at least two locations where the brake line had rusted through. He recommended to replace all brake lines with a line that was corrosion resistant. The repair was just under $2000. I have not contacted GMC since the truck has 74,000 miles and is out of all warranties.

- Geneseo, IL, USA

problem #7

Aug 022013

Sierra 3500 8-cyl Diesel

  • 131,883 miles
I was traveling on the interstate towing a 5th wheel trailer and traffic came to an abrupt stop. I applied my brakes and had brakes than the pedal went to the floor and I lost braking power. I let off the brakes and reapplied the brakes and the pedal went to the floor with low breaking affect. I pulled the truck over and found brake fluid coming out from above the gas tank. I carefully took the truck off at the next exit using my trailer brakes to stop the vehicle. I took the truck to the first service station that I saw and had them look at it. They found that the rear brake line had corroded at a clip above the frame rail above the gas tank and advised me that they would have to replace the rear brake line. Unfortunately I was stuck away from my tools and service shops that I use and was stuck being gouged by the service center that I was able to get to for a repair. After I returned home from vacation I questioned the mgt of the service center about the bill. They checked with the local dealer about the hours for the repair and the local dealer advised them that they see this all the time on this vehicle. I looked for a recall on this and found none. I contacted GM about this as just about everyone that I talk to about this problem has all seen it. GM advised me that it was an isolated problem and that they could not help with the repair since the truck was 9 years old. I advised them that this is a common problem and they deny it but they did offer me $2000 towards a new GM vehicle. I advised them that was not what I was after as I do not need a new vehicle nor want an new vehicle. What I did ask for was 50% of what the repair was as it was a 9 year old truck and they refused. They will not even put the refusal in writing. This needs to be a recall before this problem kills someone as it is a common problem. I seen an investigation to 03 but mine is 04 with same.

- Kearneysville, WV, USA

problem #6

Feb 122014

Sierra 3500

  • 164,000 miles
Brake line rusted out and failed in two spots in the last month.

- Burlington, WI, USA

problem #5

Sep 202013

Sierra 3500

  • 105,000 miles


This past week, as I was driving to get gas for our camping trip, the brake pedal went straight to the floor with no warning. I was able to get the dually slowed down without incident, but was it ever close. After getting the truck back to my house, I began investigating the issue as I saw no leak and the reservoir was near full. I saw online that this seems to be a GM issue with a few years of trucks in my age bracket. I climbed up under the truck and found the lines to be shot. Not one with a rust hole, but all of them corroded from one end to the other. I know the truck is 8 years old, but it sits most the time and almost always through the winter. I have only had one other car in 30 years that had a brake line rust. It should not be happening in this high end of a vehicle. My dad bought the matching truck. His sits winters in the barn and only has 50K on it. I will check it this weekend.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #4

Aug 022013

Sierra 3500 8-cyl Diesel

  • 131,883 miles
Brakes failed due to a sudden brake line failure. There had been no prior fluid leaks. The rear metal brake line under the bed rusted at a clamp in front of the fuel tank. As I have looked further into this I have several friends that have had this problem and several shops said that they saw this often with these vehicles all failing in the same area.

- Kearneysville, WV, USA

problem #3

Nov 282012

Sierra 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 60,004 miles
I picked my stepdaughter at school and at the stoplight to leave the school there were no brakes. I used the curb to slow the truck enough to the lights to change. It was not a busy time and students were not present otherwise this would have been a disaster. I drove the truck home with flashers very slowly home on a back road downshifting and relying in the allison transmission. When I reached home the light came on to service brakes. That was obvious already. This is a 1 ton dually that usually hauls skid loads, paving bricks, etc. I could not imagine what would have happened if the brake lines blew during this time. There is a small rusted pin sized whole in the front brake line that runs on top of the truck frame. I still have brake fluid in the reservoir, but not enough to stop the truck. There was not warning and those lines are tucked up on the frame out of site for inspection. This incident went to fine to disaster immediately. What would have happened if this vehicle were traveling at 70 mph and needed to stop? this is fatality waiting to happen. This size of truck would have killed me and anyone I would have hit at highway speeds. Shame on you GMC. Brakes and rotors were replaced 4 years ago. Emergency brake was repaired by GMC certified shop also 4 years ago due to fact the vacuum plate rusted off. They did not inform me of any issues of brake lines rusting like this otherwise this would have been repaired!

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #2

Nov 122012

Sierra 3500 8-cyl Diesel

  • 133,000 miles
Approaching a stop. When the brakes were applied, the brake pedal dropped almost completely to the floor and stopping was extremely difficult. Discovered that the brake lines which run along the frame behind the driver side front wheel had corroded to the point where one of the lines failed and blew open. The lines are clamped against the frame in this location, and all the 4 lines at the bracket appear extremely corroded.

- Russell, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 062012

Sierra 3500

  • 81,000 miles
On highway multi-lane, heavy traffic ahead, suddenly slowed and a lot of lane changing going on as some debris was ejected from truck onto roadway. Applied brakes, application had little effect. Stood on the brakes, butt out of the seat standing on the brakes, truck veered off to right severely while ant lock pulsed. Fortunately traffic got out of the way and escaped harm. Exited highway inspected vehicle. Upon exiting the truck found puddle of brake fluid on ground under driver┐'s seat. Brake lines leaking. Sever rust throughout the brake system. Replacement of all brake lines required. This was very close to crash, only the rapid reflexes of the guy next to me averted an accident. Note, repair shop tells me that (and has shown me) all the brake lines must be replaced. As the lines enter a distribution box ( anti-lock anti-skid under the driver┐'s seat) and the clamping devices all had significant rust to the point of failure.

- Monroe, OH, USA

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