Question about 1999 Chevrolet Malibu

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Brakes slipping When coming to a stop the brakes act as if they are stopping on ice and then hitting dry pavement. The seem to slip and then grab just before you stop. This only happens when stopping completely.

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  • norm_teehan May 12, 2009

    Fluid level is fine...I'm leanig towards the sensor or air in the lines

  • billie ramos
    billie ramos May 11, 2010

    you know there could be air in the brake system........

    have you bleed them?.....


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  • 33 Answers

If you have ABS brakes then one or more of the sensors may need replacing on the rotors. Also check the fluid level.
Ken S.

Posted on May 12, 2009

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Cannot engage the 4wd

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part time works only if one or or more wheel can slip.
off road, on grass, on ice, on snow
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Do the brakes slide when they are wet?

Hi Lorraine,
I was reading through your question and noticed you description of what your brakes did when you were (i assume) driving in wet weather conditions.

Jeremy W. is absolutely correct on this one.

However, due to your comment I would like to add this:

What you most likely experienced was a NORMAL activation of the antilock brake system. When one or more of your wheels begin to slip on the pavement, your brake system will go into "antilock mode" This will cause the brake pedal to kick back at you a little and start vibrating rapidly. It feels really strange when this happens if you have never experienced it before.

I would suggest doing this to get to know your car better. The next time it rains, drive your car on a side road away from traffic and while doing 15 to 25 Mph, hit the brake really hard. The brakes should go into antilock mode and you will feel the sensation that you felt before. This way you can get used to it and won't be nervous to drive because it can build your confidence in your brake system and familiarize you with the normal operation when your wheels are slipping.

Some people drive the same car for YEARS and never had this happen because they had not been in a situation where the wheels began slipping. Then totally freak out the first time it DOES happen.

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If you are driving in slick conditions on snow and ice or on wet pavement, this could be NORMAL OPERATION. The lights are coming on to let you know that the Traction Control System (TCS) and the Antilock Brake System (ABS) is actively correcting a wheel slip condition.

If this is happening on dry pavement, and you are not driving like a maniac, (making the wheels slip and slide) then there is possibly a problem with one of your wheel speed sensors that is making your TCS and ABS computers "think" that there is a wheel slipping. You will have to scan your computer system and watch the wheel speed sensor data to find out which one is malfunctioning.

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It sounds like you are driving in 4wd drive on dry pavement. The front drive axles do not work like the rear differential. When you turn, the outside front wheel must travel farther than the inside wheel, therefore they are traveling through the turn at different speeds. If you are on dry pavement, this causes the gears to bind. You don't notice this on slick surfaces because the outside wheel will slip instead of bind up the gears. You should not use 4wd on dry pavement. That's the advantage of push button, or shift on the fly, 4wd. You can shift back to 2wd when you encounter dry pavement. All wheel drive vehicles don't have this problem because they have a limited slip front differential as opposed to a locking differential on 4wd. Hope I didn;t confuse you too much.

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1 Answer

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First, is the ABS light on? Does it come on when it's doing it? Make sure the brake fluid is full, and the brakes are still servicable, ie, pads still have meat on them. If so, the abs control module or a speed sensor might be on the way out. This is a safety issue, and I would recommend getting the truck to a good mechanic to have it checked out.

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