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Old 09-19-2015, 08:54 AM   #1
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Rusted Brake Lines

Chevy Silverado pickups have a history of rusted through brake lines and reviewing posts on the internet indicate they go bad around the 7th year.

I just replaced the rusted through. Rake lines on the 2007 Silverado that has less than 57,000 miles on it and driven in Virginia that has very little snow and the undercarage frequently washed. Cost over $2,400.

Have had many vintage cars through the years and presently have a 1974 VW Thing and have never experienced rusted brake lines before.

How many of you have experienced rusted through brake lines on a non GM product.
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:08 AM   #2
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here in the northeast it's common to be replacing brake lines. had to do it few times on an old Ford pickup that I drove for 20 years. Also replaced them on two Toyotas we own, and many other cars over the years
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:14 AM   #3
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I owned and own two 2003 GM truck products both for well over 7 years and never heard of this issue. Is there any kind of a recall notice? .



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Old 09-19-2015, 11:54 AM   #4
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Bob, There was a dismissed case from 2000 to 2005 and nothing after that. My neighbor had the problem on 2 vehicles. On one, he pressed the brake and a line blew then pressed again and the other line blew then he had only the emergency brake. Could have been a life threading moment.

I think getting a recall done doesn't happen until people have to die first.
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:19 PM   #5
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I owned and own two 2003 GM truck products both for well over 7 years and never heard of this issue. Is there any kind of a recall notice? .
Is rust on autos normally an issue in California? I would be surprised if it was.

Was more than a little disappointed to have to replace the rotors & callipers on a 4 year old truck last week when I took it in for what I though was going to be a simple brake pad replacement job. 40,000 miles on the truck. Callipers & rotors where VERY rusty and I have never had to replace rotors on that age of vehicle prior but the suggestion was made by the mechanics (actually had a non partisan party go look at it before the work was done as I at first did not believe it need to be done) that is was due to A) truck spent the first 2 years of life living beside the ocean and occasionally pulling a boat (possible submerging of wheels at boat ramp?) 2) spent the next two years traveling in winter on heavily salt roads in the rockies. Still it bothered me as I have owned other vehicles with similar use history & have not had to replace the rotors when they had their first brake pad replacement
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:29 PM   #6
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My son had a Silverado with rusted brake lines and a friend had the same problem. I've never had a problem and typically own cars for 10 years and +200,000 miles. As well we've mostly lived in snow and ice regions
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:48 PM   #7
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Here in Vt, where they brine the roads, having brake calipers "serviced" each year is common. Basically they pull the sliders and grease them. Failure to do so means the pads will stick and wear quickly. Rotors, which fill with rust, must be replaced when the pads go. I got 25k on my first Nissan before pads and rotors. A little better at 30k on a Toyota I owned. Over the years I had brake lines on 2 Hondas and a Ford ranger fail. Scary. Then there is this controversial court case. Raz

Mechanic charged with manslaughter for approving inspection of vehicle - VTDigger
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:14 PM   #8
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$2400 seems pretty steep for that job
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Old 09-19-2015, 04:31 PM   #9
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Cost over $2,400.
My '04 2500 HD had the front to rear line fail due to rust. GM sells a kit with all the lines pre-bent, I bought the complete set (which are plastic coated) for around $100.00 from my local Chevy dealer.
If they get $2k + in labor for this job I need to set up shop in your area!

Not only do the brake lines fail but pay close attention to the fuel lines directly under the drivers seat......it looks like the same vendor supplied those going by the rust on mine. Pretty sad when a Southern truck that sees little to no severe winter weather has this problem.
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:17 PM   #10
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LOL, here's a good story on the pre-bent lines. Several years ago I bought the front pre-bent lines for my '86 GMC Jimmy that I owned at the time. Thought it was a good idea but found I couldn't get them into position. Apparently they are installed at the factory before some of the suspension components are. Ended up bending my own, they don't have to be routed exactly as from the factory. Steve is right on the fuel lines, I had to replace some of them on a couple Toyotas I owned
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:30 PM   #11
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Rusted brake lines on silverado and other brands of trucks is old new.

At one time in the rust belt of Northern Ohio Ford pickup truck brake lines rusted out in 3 years and everyone knew it.

However with the introduction of the "New Body Style" Silverado in the second half of 2007 the brake lines are nylon coated.
The investigation linked below covered 1999-2003 but the problem went on longer.



There was a study by the NHTSA and instead of a recall they recommend inspecting the brake lines every year and deemed it an maintenance item.

Here's the real deal.
GM Avoids Recall of 2 Million Trucks for Rusty Brake Lines - Bloomberg Business
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:13 PM   #12
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I had the brake lines rust out on my 1999 Ram truck after 11 years of driving in Mn and Wi.
I had all the brake lines replaced for under $400. (Labor & Material)
We've had brake rotors rust so badly in one year that they needed to be relaced.
They rotors are so badly pitted from rust that they can't be turned .
Our little township in Wisconsin goes through over 100 ton of salt and sand each winter.
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:39 PM   #13
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Up here in Ontario Canada rock salt is thrown all over the roads by the truckload all winter long. I take my cars to a place called Krown Rust Control and get them sprayed every October for the first 5 or 6 years I own them. I just got rid of a 12 year old Honda, 600,000 km and no rust anywhere.


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Old 09-20-2015, 08:18 AM   #14
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I just replaced several of the brake lines on my 2000 GMC Sierra. It was a struggle getting them out. Coming to the conclusion that the lines were installed onto the frame before the cab was installed, I decided to buy a number of shorter lines and couplings. I also bought a double flare flaring tool, and made up my own lines, as I went along. It was a tough job. It seemed to me that brake lines should last a lot longer, as the only vehicle I have ever had to replace brake lines on was much older.
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:10 AM   #15
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I read one Internet post that said the bed of the truck had to be removed and the cab had to be unbolted and lifted. Anyway, my rotors and wheel cylinders had to be replaced also.

Here's the thing, I have owned many vehicles and even vi rage ones and it seams that now there are rusted brake lines all over the place. The GM lines we're aluminized steel. Is that something all of the manufactures are doing. My Chevy Tech told me my new lines are stainless steel. I looked and can't tell because they are black - and I assume are powder coated.
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:47 AM   #16
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I read one Internet post that said the bed of the truck had to be removed and the cab had to be unbolted and lifted. Anyway, my rotors and wheel cylinders had to be replaced also.

Here's the thing, I have owned many vehicles and even vi rage ones and it seams that now there are rusted brake lines all over the place. The GM lines we're aluminized steel. Is that something all of the manufactures are doing. My Chevy Tech told me my new lines are stainless steel. I looked and can't tell because they are black - and I assume are powder coated.
After looking at my Sierra's brake lines, and removing them, I came to the conclusion that the only way you would be able to install factory made lines was to remove the cab. So, that is why I decided to try and use shorter lines and do some fabricating as I went.

For those who are mechanically inclined enough to give this approach a try, my cost for parts, tooling, and two liters of brake fluid was about $130.00.
I figured that if I turned it over to a local shop I would probably be looking at well over $1000.00.
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:57 AM   #17
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Gerry, I have been mechanically inclined all my life and know how to do that stuff however being 73, a disabled Veteran with a bad back and all that other crap that creeps up on one at this age, I just can't do it anymore.

I firmly think ALL Engineers that design this stuff should have to go to the maintenance bay and fix these problems so they will learn the correct way to design. Oil filters are another design flaw. I had a Chevy caviler that it was almost impossible to get the filter off and when I did, oil leaked all over everything.
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:20 AM   #18
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Gerry, I have been mechanically inclined all my life and know how to do that stuff however being 73, a disabled Veteran with a bad back and all that other crap that creeps up on one at this age, I just can't do it anymore.

I firmly think ALL Engineers that design this stuff should have to go to the maintenance bay and fix these problems so they will learn the correct way to design. Oil filters are another design flaw. I had a Chevy caviler that it was almost impossible to get the filter off and when I did, oil leaked all over everything.
I totally understand. Crawling around under a vehicle is definitely not my favourite thing to do anymore, but it just aggravates me so bad that these Detriot yo yo designers do not give a fig for people that want to try and maintain their own vehicles.

I also agree, that they should spend some time fixing their badly designed junk.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:18 PM   #19
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I've done the same as you Gerry, shorter lines with couplings. I have a flaring tool from Snapon and a couple different benders. The fun part is laying under a vehicle and having all the rust and dirt falling in your face. Some sections of old line never got removed, and the new lines run in an easier location. Custom made brake lines are available in stainless steel, Classic Tube being one supplier
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:35 PM   #20
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Gerry, I have been mechanically inclined all my life and know how to do that stuff however being 73, a disabled Veteran with a bad back and all that other crap that creeps up on one at this age, I just can't do it anymore.

I firmly think ALL Engineers that design this stuff should have to go to the maintenance bay and fix these problems so they will learn the correct way to design. Oil filters are another design flaw. I had a Chevy caviler that it was almost impossible to get the filter off and when I did, oil leaked all over everything.
I remember some car that, in the days when spark plugs had to be regularly replaced, needed to drop the engine to access the rear spark plug.
I had an '85 Mercury that needed the whole dash board removed to replace the heater core. The year before it was in the engine compartment.
There used to be a cartoon called Hatlo's Infernal that dealt with stuff like this.
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