Question about 1999 GMC Suburban

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Breaklights keep coming on

I have a 1999 GMC Suburban and the breaklight keeps coming on and the breaks lock when I turn left and hit the breaks.

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  • elfiallison Nov 25, 2008

    the warning lite says, anti-lock. at first, the lite would just come on whenever I made a hard turn to the left while using the brakes. Then it progressed to the problem I have now ; the lite is on and the pedal becomes hard, fully up, and until I pump it once or twice,there is no stopping .

    The fluid level is good but there is so much brake dust on both front wheels and it makes a weird noise.

  • elfiallison Nov 25, 2008

    Thank you very much for your answer, I will try your suggestions and report back to you how it works.

    Again, thank you very much.



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Hi elfiallison,
By brakelight I am going to assume you mean the warning indicator on the dash. Not sure if you are planning to do the work yourself or if you are just looking to find out the probable cause. Here are some things to look at to narrow down the exact problem but you are definitely going to need at least a front wheel brake job. I would suggest that you replace the pads, calipers and rotors when doing this since the problem has gone this far.

You most likely have a leaking front caliper that is causing these problems.
Is the brake fluid low in the master cylinder?

Remove the front tires and do a visual inspectioninspection of the braking components.
1) Check for any visable leaks, a leaking caliper will cause the brakes to grab and lock up.

2) Spin the rotors, they should spin freely without grabbing, there will be a slight drag from the brakes. Both sides should be equal. Grabbing rotors can indicate a warped rotor which can also cause the brakes to lock up.

3) Is there plenty of bake pad remaining? You need to have a minimum of 1/4" pad remaining though more is prefered. Low pads can allow the piston to come out of the caliper farther than designed and not allow the piston to retract properly.

If you would like assistance on how to do these repairs just reply to this message and I will help you out.

Good Luck

Posted on Nov 25, 2008

  • John Epps Nov 25, 2008

    After reading some on this issue seems GM has had several problems and recalls concerning thier ABS system. Many with the same complaints that you are describing here. Some cures have worked but seems as temporary only to have the problem return later.

    Remove the fuse to the ABS for a minute and allow the system to reset. Replace the fuse and without moving does the ABS lamp return immediately?

    Clean all wheel speed sensors with a brake parts cleaner. Check front wheel bearings, this would be the only thing causing a difference in braking while turning. If you are unsure how let me know and I'll walk you through it.

    I would recommend a Chilton's manual for your model vehicle for easy to follow instructions.

    If you do not want to purchase one you can get one at the library and make copies.

    I will do some more research after work, Keep me posted.

  • John Epps Nov 26, 2008

    OK, I have made mutliple phone calls and asked many questions and it all comes back to the basics.

    Let's check the brake booster first.

    Most surburbans came with the vacuum booster. Here is how we check the booster.

    1) With the engine off press the brake pedal until it becomes hard. Full up, this should take several applications. Then while pressing on the pedal start the engine The pedal should drop momentarily and then press back against your foot. Shut the engine back off and you should have a normal pedal for 2-3 applications.

    If this did not happen the we will need to diagnose the engine vacuum and booster system.

    This should be the only thing that causes a hard pedal with little brake responce.

    Lets get the brakes safe then we will work more on the ABS light.



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