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Arench, Master Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 1490
Experience:  30-years experience auto and truck repair.
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98 silverado 2500: cab..the brakes grab, sometimes locking..wheels

Customer Question

I have a 98 silverado 2500 xtend cab long bed. When it is cold in the morning and I back out of the driveway, the brakes grab, sometimes locking up the wheels, but after a block or so, they smooth out and work fine. If I park it all day it will happen again in the evening. I had the mechanic replace both front and back brakes with all chev parts - pads, rotors, drums, disks, everything - the mechanic even replaced the brake fluid reservoir. The brakes work great, but they still lock up the first few times I step on them when it's cold, the mechanic was stumped, what could be the problem?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Arench replied 7 years ago.
Greetings. My 2000 does the same thing! We determined since I don't drive the truck every day and I live right on a river the fault was rust building up on the brakes. Once I drive a short distance the light rust is knocked off and it won't happen again until the truck sits and has a chance to re-rust. Is it very damp or humid where you live? Could be the same thing going on. My brakes last about 25,000 miles in the front so I don't think I have a real problem here. The brake rotors are pretty large and there is a lot of exposed surface area and I am pretty sure that is the culprit.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
don't think it is rust. Like I said, everything is new, $12, 1300 dollars worth, and it happened the day after getting all new brakes, and every morning since. If I drive someplace and let it sit for all day, it will happen in the evening. I live in a very dry climate (desert) actually my mechanic has a truck like mine, and it doesn't happen to him, but he can't seem to find the prob.

my truck does occasionally carry a large heavy camper, could it have something to do with the ABS?
Expert:  Arench replied 7 years ago.
No, ABS is not going to apply the brakes. If it were applying the brakes you would have to hear the ABS pump run. Since the problem surfaced after work was done, logic would make me conclude the problem lies with something related to the workmanship or the materials.

We all know that brake work is pretty easy and there are not many ways you could do it wrong.

So that leaves the materials.

All chevy parts? Lets examine that for a moment. ACDELCO brake parts are not the origninal equipment parts like may be implied. ACDELCO is an aftermarket parts line sold through independent distibutors and are NOT made by General Motors. By now you can guess where I am going with this. I would request as nicely as possible to your mechanic that you replace the pads with a different high quality brand SEMI METALIC brakes like the vehicle was built with. The first choice from ACDELCO for brake pads is part number 17D369CH (4WD) which are ceramic brake pads. Maybe these pads are the cause? I haven't heard of ceramic pads causing this kind of problem before but if the problem is not likely to be workmanship then your best action is going to have to be looking at a parts problem.

Expert:  Arench replied 7 years ago.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry if I was not clear in my original question. The grabbing problem has been happening as I described for at least two years! I replaced the back brakes last August. The mechanic recommened only orig chev parts and that's what he said he used, I went to a different brake place in September, and told them all chev parts, and did the front brakes. I know a lot of people in town and like to spread my business around. The grabbing happens the same now as it did before so can't be related to the recent work done.

Both mechanics were stumped by the grabbing problem, but the otherwise old and loping brakes now work smooth. I've consulted a third mechanic, my brother-in-law, and good friend (for thirty years owned his own shop) who is also stumped by the grabbing, but has verified that I have original chev parts, and that the work done in the past few months was good.

I still haven't received an acceptable answer with information that will help me fix the grabbing problem...
Expert:  Arench replied 7 years ago.
Hello again! You are reading the words but you are not getting my message. You are looking for a fancy answer to a simple problem. I hear a lot of specualtion but don't see any action being taken. I own 2 of these trucks one gas and one diesel as well as a 99 Tahoe diesel. I know about brakes. I have campers, car trailers and haul wood for heat. You need to take some action like replacing the brake pads and making sure the caliper slides are clean and putting new hardware. No one including you, me or any one you spread it around to is going to figure this one out without some parts changing. You are going to have to take the bull by the horns and look at a parts or contamination related issue. Is anyone spraying silicone on the wheels and its getting on the rotors? Like that tire shine option at the local car wash?