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2001 Chevrolet Suburban brake problems

Hi, I am having trouble with what seems to be the brakes on my suburban. After driving it for some time the brakes seem to be locking up. If on the highway, it will start as a vibration in the steering and escalating to shaking and slowing as well as not maintaining speed. In the city it happens after applying breaks a few times. At this point, the brake peddle does not go far to the floor before full braking happens. When this issue is in full effect you and you are moving slow, you can feel a slow/fast rotation. Also, hot stinky brake smell by back wheels when I stop. If you stop and sit in idle and try to go again, the problem is still there.If you turn the car off for a few minutes and restart, it goes away. Our mechanic is perplexed by this. In an effort to find a solution, he took the fuse out of the ABS system and drove it a bit. Thinking it was solved, we took it home. This did not solve the problem. It seems to be getting worse. Any thoughts.

This is not good , you need a real brake shop and soon .

Heading to Brakes Plus ASAP thanks

This is usually a collapsing flexible brake hose or if it involves 2 wheels at a time, a bad master cylinder. If they do replace the M/C have the brake fluid changed so crud from the old fluid doesn’t clog the ports in the M/C.


That is good info to take to my regular mechanic (Farmer). Truly would rather he repair the prob. The engine is good but rest is getting crusty. Hard to let a vehicle go after lots of good years. Thanks for feed back!

If this is the one who was perplexed then you really need someone else or a brake specialist. He may be good at a lot of things but it appears this is not one of them .

Advice well taken. He genuinely knows his limits and did do diesel engine schooling. My father is a retired mechanic 92yrs old and I will share all this advice with him. He mentioned a “vacuum” regarding the system as well. How ever this turns out it is a great educational opportunity.

The brake hoses on these trucks often fail internally. They act like a check valve and don’t let the brake release. If you have experienced this on one wheel, replace ALL of the rubber lines in the system. There might be 3 (with rear drum brakes - not sure if this Subby has disk rears) or 5 - one at each corner and one in the middle of the axle. If one has failed the rest are close behind so just do all of them.

Carefully check the metal brake lines as well because these lines tend to rust apart right near the ABS unit. A full line set is available for a few hundred and a clever mechanic can replace them without dropping the gas tank and leaving the old, disconnected line in place.