Question about 1996 GMC Suburban

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96 suburban steering wheel pulls to left when breakes are applied

It is worse during the summer and much worse while trailering.Items checked are rotors not worped,calipers are fine, hoses,no leaks,pads are good. New front hubs with abs sensors. Abs light not on,could it be the the break modulator, what am i missing. Master cylinder, hydro cylinder.

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  • donsdetailin Feb 18, 2009

    96 3/4 Ton 4x4 suburban with 180,000

  • donsdetailin Feb 18, 2009

    TIires are new alignnment checked, pulls when breaking,thanks

  • donsdetailin Feb 18, 2009

    Break grabbing has occured when moisture in air is extra high,like when you first start driving.again only when it is very damp, and that effect both front breaks,and disapates after a few moments,good try rear brakes are drum. At high speed when breaks are applied you actually feel the truch lean down lower to drivers side

  • donsdetailin Feb 18, 2009

    Truck has new hub and bearings installed ,abs sensors included. on the front drivers and passengers wheel. thanks

  • donsdetailin Feb 19, 2009

    breakhoses in front were changed recently last summer,along with new caliper and pads

  • donsdetailin Feb 23, 2009

    Also notice that when sitting still i just turn the steering wheel a little and apply breaks the steering wheels pulls to left a little.

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    You say brake hoses are fine. Does that mean they've been changed? Front & Back?

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    Have you checked rear brakes for grabbing? Drums on rear or disc?

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    Pulls to left, all the time? Only during braking? 4 wheel alignment done, and all tires checked for defects? Air pressures all same.



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Sounds ridiculous maybe, but have you by any chance tried braking hard, at lower speed on a gravel road, just to see if you can pick up on which wheel is grabbing first. I recall a rear wheel cylinder partially seized with slight leak on rear of one of my vehicles, causing front end to whip over on braking. Only after hitting them hard at slower speed on gravel road, was I able to pick up on it.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009

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Sometimes you may have a wheel bearing going bad. It is just a possibilty. I would take it to a general service shop and while the car is on a lift have them do a check of all wheels. If there is to much movement that may be your problem. I had a vehicle doing this, it was all over the road at times and it was a bearing going bad. Hope this helps.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009


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Check the wires to the brakes. From your description it has electric brakes activated by a breakaway system that automatically applies the brakes . Check the brake actuation at the wheels.

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If when applying the brakes the steering wheel shakes then your front rotors are warped and at the least need resurfaced and most likely the brake pads replaced. But more likely the rotors are too thin which has allowed them to overheat and warp which causes the shaking. In this case new rotors and pads are in order. If when braking tou feel the shaking in the seat of your pants then most likely the rear brakes are the issue. Same problem as the front, warpage, but your rear brakes are most likely drums. Again, possible resurfacing and new shoes; but more likely new drums and brake shoes.

But I wonder? Did this vibrating just start all of a sudden or maybe after a near accident requiring you to brake very heavily and possibly overheat the brakes. Or my main concern, to keep this from happening again, after pulling some type of trailer that you intend on pulling again. Pulling a trailer without its own brakes puts a much heavier load on your trucks brakes and just repairing them won't keep it from happening again if you ARE pulling a trailer. Higher quality rotors/pads/drums/ and brake shoes can help but if the trailer is too heavy for the truck nothing but installing brakes on the trailer or a lighter trailer will stop you from warping them again.

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This will depend on how much of the key is left. You could try this:

WARNING: This could cause a worse problem

This assumes that you have the part of the key that is not stuck in the ignition. If the car is not already in "park", turn it to the park position.

Get a tube of superglue and apply a very small amount along the part of the key where it broke off. Try not to get any on the sides of the key. You only want it on the "break line". (If you get too much on, let it dry and then peel it off with a knife or other tool and start over. Don't try to wipe off exess with a cloth or paper, it will just make a mess.)

Immediately after applying the glue, hold the steering wheel hard to the right or left, and then push the key in as far as it will go and hold it as still as you can for about two minutes. Next, start rocking the steering wheel gently back and forth. If the key is stuck in the "Park" position, the steering wheel will only move a little bit.

After you determine how far back and forth you can move the steering wheel, try to hold it the middle and then gently try to extract the key. If the key will not come out easily with gentle pressure, try rocking the steering wheel while you gently pull on the key.

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96 GMC Suburban Started to overheat last summer.

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The truck vibrates when turning

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I doubt it's your 4x4. Most transfer case will start turning the front driveshaft, meaning that BOTH front wheels would try to turn.

Could be a brake pad/caliper locking up on your left wheel. That'll make that wheel turn slower resulting in the veering left.

Could also be a wheel bearing. However usually you'll hear a grinding noise to go along with that. And it'll pull rather consistently in that direction rather than suddenly.

Or, what first comes to mind is that your steering box is loose, or the gear inside the steering box is stripped in one spot. Or your front tie rods could be shifting or possibly ball joints. These would cause a sudden shifting/veering.

All of these things are front end related. And also very dangerous. Take it down to any alignment shop, have them put it on a lift, and diagnose immediately.

Worse case scenerio is that a front end part breaks and sends you out of control and into someone else. Please get it checked. A diesel Suburban could do a lot of damage.

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