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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'02 Chevy Suburban, Brake Recall

Q: Jim , I saw that you had information about the GM recall on the brakes. I just found out about this. I have an "02 Chevy Suburban and without warning three days ago, the brakes started grinding . They are working into the rotors. I have called around about getting them changed and turned but all the shops say they seem to think that it may be in with the recall (with the corrosion). Can the issues with the recall, lead to my problem if left unattended? I called the GM dealer near me and they did not mention the recall (before I learned of it) but instead starting quoting me prices of a brake inspection, parts and labor (even though I know they are not suppose to charge me to check it for the recall). I never got a recall notice and I live in Michigan. Can you tell me what I want to hear, that it can be due to the recall and that it should be covered? Please? Bad news or not let me know what you think.


A: The first thing, I want you to do is get your vehicle into a shop and have the grinding noise checked out! Don't wait! When brakes are grinding you are at the point of a braking system failure! Your Suburban is a big vehicle and no safety recall or ABS system repair will make a difference if the brake pads are worn out. There's just too much on the line to continue driving the vehicle without having a brake inspection. Get to a dealer or a nearby repair facility to get your brakes checked now! Once you know you have safe brakes then you can address the recall for the ABS system.

ALLDATA Information Systems shows the following GM recall information for front wheel speed sensor corrosion problems #05068 released September 23, 2005. "General Motors has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in certain 1999-2002 Chevrolet Silverado, 2000-2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, 1999-2002 GMC Sierra, 2000-2002 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL vehicles located in the areas listed below. These vehicles may have a condition permitting corrosion to occur between the front hub/bearing assembly and the wheel speed sensor. If the brakes are applied while the vehicle is traveling at a speed of greater than 6 km/h (3.7 mph) but less than 16 km/h (10 mph), the corrosion may cause an unwanted anti-lock brake system (ABS) activation. If this condition occurred where stopping distance is limited, a crash could occur."

The states listed are, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia.

We started seeing this problem in our shop about 3 to 4 years ago and this is how our customers would first describe the condition. Most often they were pulling into a parking space and while turning the wheel and stepping on the brake the ABS system would activate. You know, the drop in the pedal, the buzzing noise and a vibration that occurs when the ABS system is operating. Except, the pavement would be dry, no ice or snow. It seemed to start off as a once in awhile thing, resulting in a lot of husbands falsely claiming their wife's didn't know what they were talking about. This condition progressed to the point that they, vehicle with passengers, were bouncing off the curbings to stop, at which point the wives would hand the keys to hubby and refuse to drive the vehicle. Hubby would go out for a test drive, jump on the brakes and it would stop just fine, but hubby was driving too fast. It is a low speed braking problem. But in an effort they indulge their wife, you know the happy wife happy life thing, they would take it to the repair shop to only bounce off the curbing as they pulled into a parking space. So if you're driving any of the vehicles listed above and the ABS system is turning on for what seems to be no reason, you may just need some rust/corrosion removed by GM. As a side note, we're seeing this problem occur in other manufacturer's vehicles as well. It's not just a GM problem.

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