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Drivetrain - 2001 - 2010 Discuss front and rear axle, transfer case, brakes, etc. Transmission questions belong in the appropriate transmission forum below. First through fourth generation...

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Old 04-10-2015, 09:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
minnow
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Rusted Brake Lines - NHTSA

Well those of us that have replaced the brake lines due to rust FINALLY got an acknowledgement from NHTSA that yes indeed there is a rust issue with the brake lines. However, no recall so we are SOL. Here it is from GM Trucks.com


Today the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a warning to owners of vehicles in the salt states, particularly the Northeast. Saying in part that "model year 2007 and older trucks, SUVs and passenger cars (should) inspect brake lines and thoroughly wash the underside of their vehicles to remove corrosive salt after the long winter in order to prevent brake-line failures that increase the risk of a crash."

Anyone who lives in these areas already knows this is a good idea, but this time there are facts to back up the truism than "salt eats cars." GM and NHTSA, along with the Pennsylvania DOT worked for four years to determine if a recall was necessary. One will not be issued, but a close read of the full report is sure to get the attention of anyone who has a vehicle from this time span operating in states where salt is used, or even nearby states.

The key parts of the NHTSA Advisory, which you can read here, are the following:
Maintain their vehicle and prevent corrosion by washing the undercarriage regularly throughout the winter and giving it a thorough washing in the spring to remove road salt and other de-icing chemicals that can lead to corrosion.
Monitor the brake system for signs of corrosion by having regular professional inspections and watching for signs of problems, including loss of brake fluid, unusual leaks and a soft or spongy feel in the brake pedal.
Address severe corrosion, marked by flaking or scaling of the metal brake pipes, by having the full assembly replaced.
NHTSA's Administrator Mark Rosekind said, "If you own an older vehicle and live in a cold-weather state where salt and de-icing chemicals are common in winter, we strongly urge you to take these steps.”

The upshot of the report is that studies confirmed that brake tube failure can and does occur in some instances where vehicles are exposed to salt. The complete study can be read here. States listed by NHTSA for special attention are: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West
Virginia and Wisconsin.
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Last edited by minnow; 04-10-2015 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
Tom S.
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and thoroughly wash the underside of their vehicles to remove corrosive salt
That's what people here have been saying all along. Why should GM have to issue a recall because people are too lazy to perform what should be normal maintenance? Salt and rust is nothing new to anyone living in the rust belt, nor should dealing with it be anything new.

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Old 04-10-2015, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Except it's a little difficult to wash salt off the underside of a vehicle when it's below zero for weeks on end. And why is it that GM trucks are the one's mostly affected by rusted brake/fuel lines.
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I remember growing up in Iowa this was just part of maintenance, along with removing studded snow tires on Apr 1st!
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by minnow View Post
Except it's a little difficult to wash salt off the underside of a vehicle when it's below zero for weeks on end. And why is it that GM trucks are the one's mostly affected by rusted brake/fuel lines.
Bull crap. I live in Michigan and we have things called quarter car washes. I use them all the time in the winter.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by minnow View Post
Except it's a little difficult to wash salt off the underside of a vehicle when it's below zero for weeks on end. And why is it that GM trucks are the one's mostly affected by rusted brake/fuel lines.
No truck is immune to rusting brake lines, its not just a GM thing.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by minnow View Post
Well those of us that have replaced the brake lines due to rust FINALLY got an acknowledgement from NHTSA that yes indeed there is a rust issue with the brake lines. However, no recall so we are SOL. Here it is from GM Trucks.com


Today the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a warning to owners of vehicles in the salt states, particularly the Northeast. Saying in part that "model year 2007 and older trucks, SUVs and passenger cars (should) inspect brake lines and thoroughly wash the underside of their vehicles to remove corrosive salt after the long winter in order to prevent brake-line failures that increase the risk of a crash."

Anyone who lives in these areas already knows this is a good idea, but this time there are facts to back up the truism than "salt eats cars." GM and NHTSA, along with the Pennsylvania DOT worked for four years to determine if a recall was necessary. One will not be issued, but a close read of the full report is sure to get the attention of anyone who has a vehicle from this time span operating in states where salt is used, or even nearby states.

The key parts of the NHTSA Advisory, which you can read here, are the following:
Maintain their vehicle and prevent corrosion by washing the undercarriage regularly throughout the winter and giving it a thorough washing in the spring to remove road salt and other de-icing chemicals that can lead to corrosion.
Monitor the brake system for signs of corrosion by having regular professional inspections and watching for signs of problems, including loss of brake fluid, unusual leaks and a soft or spongy feel in the brake pedal.
Address severe corrosion, marked by flaking or scaling of the metal brake pipes, by having the full assembly replaced.
NHTSA's Administrator Mark Rosekind said, "If you own an older vehicle and live in a cold-weather state where salt and de-icing chemicals are common in winter, we strongly urge you to take these steps.

The upshot of the report is that studies confirmed that brake tube failure can and does occur in some instances where vehicles are exposed to salt. The complete study can be read here. States listed by NHTSA for special attention are: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West
Virginia and Wisconsin.
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How long do you thing they should last?
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How long do you thing they should last?
I don't know - how about as long as my Honda?

I have a 2003 2500 4WD Suburban. The brake lines rusted thru a number of years ago - while I was headed home with about 2500 pounds of cement bags in the back of the truck. Thankfully the tow/haul mode will haul the truck down and the braking system is split so ALL of the fluid didn't piss out.

This year - the power steering cooler rusted thru and was peeing out power steering fluid all over the place. It didn't make the truck completely undriveable - I just had to keep filling it up. But now I'm in the middle of basically replacing all the power steering lines and the pump - because they all have rust on them (and I've read in numerous places the pumps have another issue where the shaft breaks).

Since I've been in there pulling stuff apart to fix the rusted thru power steering lines - I see that the transmission fluid lines going to the cooler are also rusted all to hell. So that's next on the list.

Many years ago consumers started giving manufacturers holy hell about the fact that cars rusted thru so easily. I remember driving cars back in the 80's and the damn things would rust thru in just a few years up in this area. I've also restored a couple of cars - so I'm pretty intimately familiar with dealing with rust mitigation and repair.

I've also owned a number of Honda vehicles - and since I do a LOT of my own repairs I become intimately familiar with the underside of the cars - and how badly their exposure to the elements is eating them away.

I have the 2003 Suburban - and a 2006 Acura TL. The truck has about 60k on it for mileage - and the car has 110k. So the car gets exposed to the corrosive winter environment FAR more than the truck does. Yet the truck is rusted 5 times worse than the car. My previous car was a Honda Civic that we sold after about 9 years and 180,000 miles . Before selling I had to crawl around underneath it and fix a number of things. That car had VERY minimal rust on the undercarriage. All three of these vehicles are exposed to same exact roads - every time they're driving.

The truck is by far the worst rustbucket out of all of the vehicles I just mentioned. I'm sorry - but American truck manufacturers do a PISS POOR job of protecting the undercarriage of their vehicles from rusting away. I know this from first hand experience - gained by sitting on my back underneath the damn things having to fix them.

Last edited by calsdad; 04-11-2015 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Joey D View Post
No truck is immune to rusting brake lines, its not just a GM thing.
Agreed. My father has a Ford Expedition that he has had to repair numerous rust induced problems on.

Having to repair rust problems on CARS - is something that has diminished substantially in the last 20 years or so.

It's not like the manufacturers don't know how to make the vehicles not rust out - they just don't do it - especially on trucks.
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I remember back in the 60's and 70's people would get Ziebart undercoating on new vehicles.

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