Last post on Sep 21, 2012 at 2:05 PM
You are in the Chevy Express & GMC Savana
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Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Chevrolet Express Cargo, Van
#47 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [dasgoob]
Oct 25, 2010 (10:29 am)
I have the same problem. I've got a 2009 GMC Savana 3500 van conversion. I bought the HD model specifically for towing my 7500 pound travel trailer (fully loaded) in the High Sierras. Van is rated to tow 10,000 pounds with its 4.10 gearing. While descending Sherwin Grade, 10 miles, 6% grade, north of Bishop, California, in my new van with trailer, the first and every time since I have had the front end shake severely when applying the brakes. The trailer has its own brakes to assist in braking. The last time in September I had to downshift to 3rd, 2nd, & 1st gears. The grade was too much for the van and trailer, getting up to 40 MPH in 1st, and I had to use the van brakes to assist. The plulsating in the front end/steering wheel, was severe. Once I got off the grade and into town the brakes were fine, not used. Didn't have anymore problems with them on the trip.
When I got home I took the van to the local Chevrolet dealership. The local GMC dealer had gone out of business. I explained what had happen. They checked it out and put the following information on my invoice..."SEE BULLETIN NOTE WHEN BRAKES ARE HOT WILL PULSATE THEN WHEN COOLED NORMAL
#843615 PER TAC NO REPAIRS AT THIS TIME CASE #71-877103556 DAVE COPELAND. Wow, what a cop out. They know these brakes are dangerous and won't do anything about it. The owners manual in section 4, item 15, states that "if you don't shift down, the brakes could get so hot that they would not work well, You would then have poor braking or even none going down a hill. You could crash." Unbelievable, but true. Service Manager says this is all my fault due to the upgraded tires and rims on the vehicle. General Manager looking for ways to blame me for this also. Had the tires checked to see if they were the same size as original tires. They were. He wanted me to take trailer back to the High Sierras and use original equipment rims that he would furnish and see if the problem was still there. Initially I said I'd think about it but after see the acknowledgment in the owners manual I felt that would be a waste of time and called back and left a voice mail saying that wasn't going to happen and I would have to try other alternatives. You should of seen all the bees coming out of the hive when I showed up with my picket sign saying "GM SUCKS". I was told the GM would be calling me today.
#48 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [wheels88]
Oct 28, 2010 (12:26 pm)
I would like to set up a case for you and have someone look into this further for you. Please e-mail me with your complete contact information, VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer. I look forward to your response.
GM Customer Service
#49 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [gmcustsvc]
Oct 28, 2010 (7:20 pm)
I have a 2004 Chevy Express 3500 with the same problem. I have driven the van since new and it now has approx 42,000 miles. I had the discs turned a couple years ago. On only two certain hills in our area, when I have to pump the brakes, a slight vibration will start and increase with each pump until the steering wheel shakes uncontrollably. This is a dangerous and severe condition. I called one dealer one time to ask about this and got the same corporate type response. I do not have time to go through the BS. I just avoid these two hills for now. The brakes work fine otherwise, even on bigger hills. Even before reading this blog I was sure that other people were having the same problem. I am also sure that the solution is known. I am not looking for anything for free. I would just like to know what the solution is so that I can resolve this issue on what is otherwise a great vehicle.
#50 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [wheels88]
Nov 07, 2010 (7:16 am)
Update as of 11-7-10, 0612 hrs: General Manager at Chevy dealership tells me he has been talking with headquarters about the problem. The 2011 trucks are coming out with larger brakes and they are checking to see if they will fit on my van. Will update this post when I hear something..........wheels88
#51 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [wheels88]
Nov 18, 2010 (2:56 pm)
This is an update dated 11-18-10, of #50 of 50. I filed a complaint with General Motors. Their regional representative has called me twice since then telling me they won't correct my brake problems. Gee, what a surprise. Then, later in the day, the service manager at Delillo Chevy in Huntington Beach, CA., called to tell me the same thing. Since they can't duplicate the same driving situation here (6%, 10 mile downgrade towing 7500 lb. trailer) they can't help. (The brakes situation exists even when not towing, per owners manual warning, chapter 4. section 15. When asked about the bigger brakes on 2011 trucks he said that is only for trucks. The last time I checked a van is a truck! I asked if they are upgrading the brakes in trucks because the brakes on current model in insufficient. He said they upgrade things all the time, but wouldn't comment on what I said. He agreed with me that I was back at "square one". I then told him that I would have to start over my "square one" activities by picketing again with my updated picket sign of "GM BRAKES SUCK! " He asked what good would that do. I told him it would let the 1,000+ cars that drive by his location hourly know about the brake problems with GM vehicles. I'll bet he was in a full sprint to the General Managers office when we hung up.....wheels88
#52 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [wheels88]
Nov 29, 2010 (8:25 pm)
We have a 2004 Chevy 3500 15 passenger that is having this same violent shaking while braking at speed going down a mountain highway. However, we've seen this problem at other times as well. We've seen it during general driving at both high and low speeds over flat terrain - though it does tend to be "triggered" by applying the brakes. The only way to stop the violent shaking is to slow down so to < 10mph and it self-resolves and then we can go again. Talking to people that were driving next to us they tell us that it looks like it's bouncing so violently that it's going to rip away from the van. Seems focused on the front left side. We've had wheels rotated, brakes done, alignments from several shops. Still having problems with this. Quite scary when it happens.
#53 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [acts2_38]
Nov 30, 2010 (9:19 am)
Your brakes are getting hot. The rotors are warping when the get hot. When they cool down they (unwarp) and start functioning properly. That's what they printed on my work order, but not in as much detail I have listed here. Slotted, drilled, or dimpled rotors help disapate the heat better than standard rotors. File an official complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Here in California, I'm also filing a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair. Also file a complaint with General Motors. If we can get enough people having this problem file complaints we could get a recall. You can file on line with NHTSA and BAR. You speak with someone at GM. I've picketed a local Chevy location twice because the local GM dealership went out of business. "GM BRAKES SUCK" is a great picket sign, don't you think? wheels88
#54 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [wheels88]
Dec 27, 2010 (12:24 pm)
O4 Chevy Savana 3500 with same problem. Have taken it in and the only thing the shop has told me is warped rotors. That can't be cause I've replaced them twice. It always comes right back within a few hundred miles. Is something causing the rotors to have too much pressure on them when not applied that could cause these suckers to warp? I don't know, but the shake is violent and dangerous. I guess we need a death first?!
#55 of 76 Re: Severe Vibration while Braking on Grade [wheels88]
Dec 28, 2010 (10:41 am)
#56 of 76 Submitted a Federal safety complaint
Jan 28, 2011 (12:07 pm)
Here's the link.
You have to request a "Portable form" that is emailed to you. Weird but whatever.
Upgrading to a heavier brake rotor and new tires does seem to have fixed the issue for us. Not sure which was the "trick" but guessing the brakes since rotating the previous tires didn't fix it (those tires were in great shape - just got paranoid and wanted the wife and kids safe so I traded it all out). No problems for about 3 months now. Maybe it's fixed for good? Pray so.