• If you currently own, previously owned or want to own an Avalanche, we welcome you to become a member today. Membership is FREE, register now!

Brake Hell


Full Member
Jul 2, 2002
Boca Raton, FL
I brought my truck into the dealer because of squeaky brakes when stopping. They told me nothing was wrong (surprise) but that the pads, front and rear were cracked. I b*tched at them but they would do anything about it cause I had 16k on the odometer. I was told I would need to replace the pads to aleviate the problem. They quoted me over 300 for the front and rear (each) and told me I could go elsewhere.

Long story short, i brought it to a brakes-only place who turned my front rotors, and replaced the pads with what they said were ceramic pads. I later found out they were cheap organic-ceramic pads, and since then ive had nothing but more noise and incredible amounts of brake dust. The brake shop locally, who I trust, said that you "don't turn the rotors, on the new GM's, you just sand them and replace the pads." He recommend replacing my turned rotors, with fresh ones, or they may warp.

I am prepared to replace the rotors and pads in the front and the pads in the rear later. The biggest question I have is if the Bendix SUV pads are as good or better than the originals, or should I only use OEM. They are $155, front, a set from the dealer. Please help!

True Hyper, but if you read the inclusions/exclusions list, brakes, tires, belts and other wearables are often exempt from these warranties as they are worn based on user habits. However, replacing pads or rotors at 16k is a little premature. If you were around 25k maybe...

About 6 months after we took delivery of a 2000 Grand Am, the brakes started to pulsate like the infamous warped rotor feel. I took it in for service. They called to say it was ready for pickup the next day. I was ready for a fight where they would say there was nothing wrong, or the pads were dirty or it was within tolerance. Much to my surprise, they replaced both front rotors AND front pads under warranty. The car only had 2500 miles at the time so it would be pretty hard to ruin the brakes yourself THAT quickly!

I usually do my own brake jobs and I've learned there are big differences in brake pad quality. It is proportional...you pay more, you usually get a better, longer lasting and low dust pad. If you spend $20.00 for a lifetime set, you'll be replacing them every 7K-10K miles if you do a lot of stop and go driving. They will give you a new set pads if they wear out, but you have to pay for the labor to have them replaced $$$. If you do it yourself, they always seem to wear out in the dead of winter when it's cold as hell outside.

I've had good luck with the top of the line Raybestos pads. You even have to register for their warranty. They are serious about their products. As far as not cutting your rotors, I haven't heard of that before.

I've done both routes and learned my lesson. Buy the high quality, more expensive pads and be done with it. These brake shops will say they're giving you a lifetime warranty, when they are actually installing a $10.00 set of pads that wear out quickly and you will be back in collecting on that warranty, but paying $100.00+ labor every 10-15K miles. That is their plan and they wouldn't do it if they weren't going to make money. :8:
Good Luck,

Truckman :B:
I have a friend with the Raybestos Ceramics and he is quite happy with them. I went with brake pads from Stillen for my TA. They are softer then normal pads and thus don't wear the rotors. They also have good stopping power.

Like a lot of other things in this world, you pay for what you get. :cautious:
Hey blue, I hate it when I hear horror stories about dealerships. I used to work as a dealer tech, and I always made it a point to be honest no matter what the case. As for your brake problem, I noticed the brakes to be a little weak on the AV. Partly because of the size of the vehicle. I also drive a camaro, much lighter...
When you took the Av in, you should have asked how much lining was still on the pad. If there was still 10/32-12/32, then they are almost new at 16K. They should have replaced them. If they were closer to 6/32-8/32, then they have been worn and probably won't be covered.
Try not to take the vehicle to an independant, the dealer will give you an even harder time about fixing something they "think" the other guy "broke". Your best bet, talk to one of the guys in the service area and see if they'll do the work on the side. I was always willing to do side work, it payed better and I took home all the money. So get friendly with one of the techs.