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Tool Hut
Tool Hut, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 550
Experience:  Owner of a mobile diagnostics company assisting auto technicians with difficult vehicles
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The issue is with a 2003 Silverado 4X4. The braking power of

Customer Question

Customer: ***** *****. The issue is with a 2003 Silverado 4X4. The braking power of the four wheel disc system on the truck is not adequate enough to stop the truck in a panic stop. With the brakes firmly applied, I cannot get the truck to stop fast, ie lock up the brakes, and it will not engage the abs system when doing so. Also, I notice that when stopping normally, especially when cold, when coming to a complete stop there is virtually no additional travel in the pedal before it bottoms out. The vehicle has 56k on it.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 1 year ago.

Hi, My Name is ***** ***** for posting your question to just answer. I am a ASE Certified Master Auto Technician with 20 years experience. I am confident we can resolve your problem together.Please remember I don't know your skill level. I can't see, smell, hear, or touch the vehicle. It may take a few back and forth replies to get to a satisfactory resolution.I also try to give all of the information you may need expecting a positive rating.

Have you had the rear brakes checked for proper operation? They are very common for the calipers seizing up and not working properly causing the condition you have explained.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At the last brake job, 3000 mile ago, one of the calipers had seized. The vehicle was in need of new brakes so a complete brake job was done with all four brake calipers, rotors and pads replaced. With the age of the vehicle and low miles, my mechanic and I agreed that this would be prudent. Prior to this, at @ 44K, the booster was replaced. We are still experiencing a brake pedal feel of not having enough pedal to stop the truck in a panic or hard stop situation.
When just starting out in the am and making the first several normal stops, at the end of the stop I push the pedal down to see how much more travel/braking power I have and am alarmed that under a normal stop I have virtually no more pedal to push. Maybe at 1/4 to 1/2 inch more travel. This situation will get " slightly" better as the day goes or the weather is warmer. What concerns me the most is the lack of ability to slam hard on the brakes and stop when the situation occurs. When this happens it seems like your floating on ice trying to stop. And this happens on dry pavement. I have checked under the vehicle for brake fluid leaks as there seems to be a very real problems with Chevrolet brake line rot outs. There are no leaks anywhere in the lines or at any fitting or hose connections. The brake lines themselves do not show any signs of rust or corrosion. I hope this helps Gary
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 1 year ago.

There is a function in the scan tool for an automated bleed. I would suggest starting here as your description makes me suspect you have air in your system.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does the system self bleed when instructed with the scan tool? I will contact my mechanic tomorrow about this action. thanks Gary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If this process does not solve the problem, where else should we look ? I would like to be prepared when the truck is in the shop for more than one possible solution Thanks, Gary
Expert:  Tool Hut replied 1 year ago.

I would start with the auto bleed sequence and make sure the fluid is completely flushed out. Make sure the fluid coming out is clear and new. The other possibility would be a master cylinder that has failed. Make sure the calipers can move properly and that the brakes are working properly at wall wheels before replacing master cylinder.

Expert:  Tool Hut replied 1 year ago.

It has been a couple of days since I have heard from you. Do you still need assistance? I have also noticed that I have not received a rating from you. If for some reason you question did not get answered please reply. I am only compensated for my time when you leave a positive rating. Your understanding is appreciated.