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2001 GMC: ) 6.0l 4x4 extended cab short box..calipers..rough..rattle…

Hello! I have a...
Hello! I have a 2001 GMC Sierra 2500 (non-hd) 6.0l 4x4 extended cab short box with 160,000 miles. First off the back calipers (rear disc brakes on this truck) have rattled on rough roads for quite some times, and the rattle stops when you press on the brake peddle. Yesterday I backed my boat in the water and the rear axle of the truck was about half submerged for about 10 minutes. When I pulled out of the water the red brake warning light on the dash came on and has been on ever since. I have noticed no difference in the operation of the truck or the brakes. I have looked at the calipers and noticed no apparent visual problems and the bolts that hold the calipers on are tight. Any ideas? I'm an expert in the veterinary category on here and I know how frustrating non-accepts can be so give me a good answer and I will definitely accept! Thanks and let me know if you need any more info!
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
6/28/2010
GMWrencher
GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 439
Experience: 100% GM Certified ASE Master Automobile Medium/Heavy Truck. Licensed State Auto Inspector
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Hello, I will do my best to help answer your General Motors Vehicle questions.

 

Red brake warning with no ABS light is usually 2 things. Low brake fluid or a faulty parking brake switch. Did you happen to press the park brake while you we off loading your boat?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
No ABS light, and I haven't used the parking brake in years. The brake fluid is full as well (just checked). Any ideas on the rattle?

Your rattle, is most likely caliper guide bolt bushings are either very worn or very dry of lubricant. You may can remove the guide bolts and lube them. The possible second source of rattles are the pad anti rattle clips themselves. Commonly aftermarket pads don't come with new anti rattle springs in the package, and these are often neglected and will wear down. When you press the brakes you essentially take up the slack and all is quiet. NOTE OEM GM pads come with new anti rattle clips/springs.

You can give your red brake light a try by accessing the parking brake mechanism by removing the left side kick panel. Find the only wire that runs to the parking brake actuator, I think the wire is light blue. You have to squeeze it to release it. Disconnect it and see if the light is out. If so the switch is bad. If not Id go for the low brake fluid switch located on the master cylinder reservoir. You will need to gently short out the 2 wires without damaging the terminals. Just use a small diameter wire to short the 2 terminals together. If the light goes out then its either a bad sensor or the magnet in the reservoir.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
If the bushings are worn can I replace them without getting new calipers? Also what kind of lubricant should I use to lube them? I pulled the kick plate off and there were two large connectors and I didn't see anything with a single wire... I will investigate that further later. In your opinion is it safe to operate the truck until I get it figured out? ( the light that is) I'm getting close to needing new pads soon anyway so I will pull the calipers and replace the clips and check out the bushings while they're off... Last question I promise and then I will accept. Thanks again! I appreciate your time! I am fairly mechanically inclined but I'll stick to working on critters for the most part! Have a great night.

I don't think the bushings are available separately, I'm almost positive they are either built into the caliper, or on the slide bolts themselves. Id have to do a little research on that. I'm betting on your pads slapping, thats the most common problem. You want to use brake caliper slide grease, available at most auto parts chains. I like a particular brand called STA-LUBE. Its a graphite based grease and works very well. I even use it lightly on the backs of pads and any where the pads touch the anti rattle clips.

 

To find the single wire for the brake switch its up high toward the bulk head next to the electrical junction block. Simple wire with a very crude simple brass switch.

GMWrencher
GMWrencher, ASE Certified Technician
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Thank you sir I hope you get it solved. I forgot to answer about safety. If your not loosing fluid, and your brakes feel normal, I would say its fine to drive it. BUT, this is a safety issue that should be addressed by a professional to evaluate with direct access to the problem.
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