Soft brakes on a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado, 2WD, 104K

I have a 2002 Chevy Silverado I just bought used with 104K miles. Brakes are extremely soft…meaning I have to push pedal in a long ways before pressure. I checked front and rear pads and they all look brand new. Any other reason for the softness?

There could be air in the brake lines or you MAY have a defective master cylinder.

When you checked the brakes, did you take them apart or just look at them? The brake pads on these trucks, front and rear, often fit insanely tightly in the caliper bracket hardware. Many times they fit so tightly the caliper cannot squeeze them together, which leads to lots of problems not limited to a soft brake pedal, including warped rotors, severe rust pitting of the rotors, and the outward appearance of having good pad life left. I often have to modify the replacement pads to get them to work at all. If you take these apart yourself (which I don’t recommend for the average joe), you will need a T50 socket (could be T55, don’t remember exactly), a good, strong socket and ratchet set, a decent sized pry bar to get the pads off the caliper bracket, and probably a propane or oxyacetylene torch to heat the bracket where the caliper bolts attach. GM used one of the strongest, most permanent threadlocker compounds I have ever seen for an undercar application on the calipers for these trucks. As stated before, air in the system is also a possibility, but this is the most likely cause I have seen on these particular vehicles.

The brakes on Chevys always seem soft to me. I currently have a Silverado, have driven tons of Chevys over the years, but if I have been driving something else and then get back into the Chevy, the brakes always seem soft.

Maybe it’s me, or maybe it’s a Chevy thing (or at least the Chevy models I’ve driven), but after awhile you get used to it.

Given all that, there could be something very real wrong with your brakes. The previous posters gave good input. You definitely want to get it figured out.

The simplest cause, as stated, would be air in the brake lines. The fix would be bleeding the brake lines.

However, assuming that’s the case the next issue is HOW did air get into the brake lines…a careless previous job of bleeding, or is there a leak in the system somewhere? Since brakes are the absolute last thing to trifle with on a car (except possibly for the fuel tank), I’d let a shop check the entire brake system out.