2003 Grand Am brake problems [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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eagle6413
06-14-2005, 08:44 PM
Ok, I have a 2003 V6 Grand Am (not a GT). About a week and a half ago the whole car started shuddering whenever I hit the brakes. It was more prevelant when coming down off of higher speeds, but is still present at lower speeds. The car only has between 21000 and 22000 miles. I took it to the dealer because it should still be under warrenty. They came back and said that the ABS checked out fine, but the pads were worn down the rivets, and as a result the rotors were abnormally worn and both the pads and rotors needed to be replaced. They said it wasn't covered under the warrenty due to the level of wear, and quoted me a price of over $400 to replace the pads and rotors. They said with that much wear after such few miles, I must be riding the brake, which is bull. Well, I replaced the pads, and while the old ones were worn and in need replacing, they weren't to the rivets like the dealer said. And I'm not an expert, but the rotors didn't appear to have any abnormal levels of wear. When I went for a test drive after replacing the pads, it still shuddered like crazy. Tomorrow I intend to take the car to a shop and see what they have to say about the rotors, but everyone I've talked to so far agrees with me that the dealer is full of it and there must be something wrong with the ABS. Anyone have any thoughts?

boost21
06-14-2005, 08:48 PM
i have the same problem i believe my rotors are warped, im thinking of gettin chross-drilled

Panacea
06-14-2005, 08:48 PM
Search for "Warped Rotors" it's a known issue. Get a set of aftermarket pads/rotors. Will solve the issue.

notsoaveragej0e
06-14-2005, 08:49 PM
i have around 12000 miles on my car (same year as yours), and i noticed it was showing signs of the same nature. i took it to the dealership, and they shaved off like...... 1/16" all around on the rotors and problem fixed. i think they told me the rotors were just slightly warped...

atc3434
06-14-2005, 09:11 PM
Stock rotors will just keep warping unless you are VERY good to them, which most people are just incapable of. Wearing out a set of pads in 20k miles seems like a lot of brake wear to me, but everybody drives different. Tell your dealer they need to get their act together, everybody knows GM FWD's suck with brakes and wear, they just can't seem to get it right. I've never driven a FWD GM that had good brakes, I've never driven a GM period that had good brakes. Good brakes are one lesson they could take from Ford. Then maybe GM will tell Ford how to build a decent FWD automatic.

crazypontiac03
06-14-2005, 09:54 PM
Rotors are warped. Its a GM speciality. either have them re-surfaced or just replace all togther.

action
06-15-2005, 12:11 PM
Replace the rotors, I never had a probelm since I ditched the stockers for plane jane aftermarket.

GTLUVA
06-15-2005, 01:44 PM
Yep, my rotors were doing the same thing on my 2003 but mine were going to hell last September somewhere around there but they turned my rotors for me for free under my factory warranty but my car only had 15,000 miles when the problem started occuring :confused: Right now I got 21,000 miles on my ride and my rotors are still doing good knock on wood

Jason E
06-15-2005, 07:15 PM
Its the rotors for sure...never heard of a GA with an ABS issue. When I still had my '02 GT, the dealer WARRANTIED me new rotors (yes, they CAN do that) while I paid for pads. The pads were fairly worn down at 20k, and I was told this is normal for an N body. My girlfriend's '99 GA SE will soon be the recipient of new ceramic pads and cross drilled front rotors...that should keep em from warping again too soon :D

BTW, for what its worth I have 30k miles on my GPs brakes, and there isn't a hint of shudder. When I first bought the car with 22k, the dealer gave me new front pads, turned the rotors (I didn't ask them to, I thought the brakes were fine!) and gave me new rear rotors. Still perfect...so not ALL GM FWDs have this issue :)

crazypontiac03
06-15-2005, 09:19 PM
Cant wait untill i get my Cross drilled/sloted rotors on all the way around with some Nice pads. Ill be stopped hella Good! Just have to fine the time?!?!

jwk3465
06-19-2005, 11:20 PM
Any suggestions for what brand of rotors to buy? Should it be front rotors only, or should I replace all four?

Coop
06-20-2005, 03:36 PM
Then maybe GM will tell Ford how to build a decent FWD automatic.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! Don't they have to make one first? Every FWD GM I've ever owned with a slushbox has had numerous tranny problems, I'll agree with the good engines (sans the 3400 LIM problem), but their auto trannys are junk imo. TH125C's and 3T40's - ALL of them will have the TCC fail sooner or later, 4T65E's - very borderline torque ratings, etc. etc.

Then again I'm biased against autos anyway regardless of who makes them. I'll drive clutches as long as I can, just GM needs to make one besides 4 banger econo-boxes and corvettes/GTO's. There's a ton of cars in between that you can only get with an automatic.

pyro
06-20-2005, 03:49 PM
Any suggestions for what brand of rotors to buy? Should it be front rotors only, or should I replace all four?
you should only need to replace your fronts, the backs dont really have that much stopping power to need them unless you are racing or something. I went with the ones you can find on Ebay and i havnt had any problems with them so far, i noticed a huge difference in stopping distance tho, i would deffinately go with slotted or cross drilled rotors on any car.

Malaclypse
06-21-2005, 02:51 AM
Coop: Appearently every FWD GM with a 'slushbox' you've ever owned was treated badly.

I've put a hard 72,000 miles (104k on the clock) on my 4T60E and it never slips, never disengages, never gives me any problems at all. This use includes numerous 1/4 mile passes, several autocross events, and roasting both tires at stoplights. I've changed the fluid and filter every 30k since I've owned the car.

atc3434: Go test drive an '05 truck and see how the brakes feel. Try touching the pedal like you do in the GA and you've already locked up the wheels. I haven't checked out exactly what GM has done to the brakes in the '05 pickups... but it drives me nuts because the pedal is too sensitive.

Jason E: You're right. Only GM N-bodies have the warped rotor issue. My w-body only hinted at having warped front rotors after a few passes at an autocross track in Corpus. I had close to 30k on the pads and they were toast anyways... The rotors were close to GMs discard thickness. I had the rotors cut and reinstalled with new pads. Not a hint of a rotor warping since then. Brake fade is more priminent but that can be dealt with. (P.S. I use Delco Rotors and Delco Pads)

Coop
06-21-2005, 01:36 PM
Coop: Appearently every FWD GM with a 'slushbox' you've ever owned was treated badly.

I've put a hard 72,000 miles (104k on the clock) on my 4T60E and it never slips, never disengages, never gives me any problems at all. This use includes numerous 1/4 mile passes, several autocross events, and roasting both tires at stoplights. I've changed the fluid and filter every 30k since I've owned the car.

Eh no. The first one I owned was previously driven by my grandfather - TCC went out at a whole 27k miles, again at 60k, again at 100, just unplugged it and dealt with bad mileage after that. That's actually the only (and last) automatic I'll own. The rest are family members, etc. Inlaws GP GTP - slips (9k), inlaws blazer - slips (65k), friends wifes beretta - TCC and slips (sold car after the 2nd TCC). My wife's Reatta - bad converter shudder, really hard shifts (60k) - sold that one when we bought our GAGT which (knock on wood) hasn't had any tranny issues yet. Say what you want, but the ratio of strong GM autos to broken GM autos that I've worked on is greatly askew. Sure there are alot out there that last a long time, same way there are some people out there with 3400's that never have a LIM leak either, doesn't mean there's not a known problem. I'm glad you're having luck with yours but no more autos for me :)

atc3434
06-21-2005, 01:45 PM
I've had three FWD GMs, and each as been great as far as the tranny. I put over 200k on my 89 Buick Century (3300/3spd auto) and that baby never left me stranded once. And I TOWED with that thing. Not some little u-haul trailers or a dirtbike, but a 16ft boat, my buddies 70 challenger and 88 crown vic were both behind that car all the time, 2000lbs worth of pulling tractors, a lot of heavy stuff. Tranny still didn't slip when I donated the car. My GA tranny still rocks at 100k as well, no signs of slipping yet. And let me tell you, I'm hard on that too. Maybe you've had signifigantly bad luck with GM autos, but GM vs. Ford Autos is no contest. Ford trannys put the slush in slushbox, they still can't program those things to feel right.

Coop
06-21-2005, 02:18 PM
I've had three FWD GMs, and each as been great as far as the tranny. I put over 200k on my 89 Buick Century (3300/3spd auto) and that baby never left me stranded once. And I TOWED with that thing. Not some little u-haul trailers or a dirtbike, but a 16ft boat, my buddies 70 challenger and 88 crown vic were both behind that car all the time, 2000lbs worth of pulling tractors, a lot of heavy stuff. Tranny still didn't slip when I donated the car. My GA tranny still rocks at 100k as well, no signs of slipping yet. And let me tell you, I'm hard on that too. Maybe you've had signifigantly bad luck with GM autos, but GM vs. Ford Autos is no contest. Ford trannys put the slush in slushbox, they still can't program those things to feel right.
'89 Century should have been a TH125C, not really a slipping issue there, but they are known to have TCC issues, very common - ask any tranny shop.

atc3434
06-21-2005, 05:29 PM
'89 Century should have been a TH125C, not really a slipping issue there, but they are known to have TCC issues, very common - ask any tranny shop.

You are correct my friend, it was the TH125C I lost the TCC at about 192k miles. That was in 2003, so it made it 12 years. And like you said above, just unplugged it and drove without the lockup from then on, mileage with the 3spd sucked anyways. You do have points that GM has had some issues with FWD trannies, I can give you that. But what company doesn't? Can you think of a good FWD tranny? I have a hard time having something come to mind. GM certainly has the programing down, I hate the way Fords and especially Chyslers trannies behave. I guess I'd rather have a crappy GM tranny than a crappy anything else tranny. Actually, I'd rather have 6 gears and control over them all!

Now, I must apologize for so severly going off topic!

Coop
06-22-2005, 04:39 PM
You are correct my friend, it was the TH125C I lost the TCC at about 192k miles. That was in 2003, so it made it 12 years. And like you said above, just unplugged it and drove without the lockup from then on, mileage with the 3spd sucked anyways. You do have points that GM has had some issues with FWD trannies, I can give you that. But what company doesn't? Can you think of a good FWD tranny?
Nope :D I have a hard time having something come to mind. GM certainly has the programing down, I hate the way Fords and especially Chyslers trannies behave. I guess I'd rather have a crappy GM tranny than a crappy anything else tranny.I'll give you that, but programmign isn't an issue with an '87 Celebrity :D Actually, I'd rather have 6 gears and control over them all!WERD!!! 4, 5, 6 -spd, doesn't matter as long as I'm in control - and manual shifting automatics don't count! :D

SilverEcstasy
06-22-2005, 05:12 PM
I know mine are warped for a fact, but could you guys recommend any Bosch or regular aftermarket replacements? (instead of like Powerslot aftermarket like that) Mine need replacing bad.

atc3434
06-22-2005, 07:37 PM
Brembo makes an OEM set I beleive, I'm sure those would hold up much better than the stockers, I think they were about $50 a rotor, not sure though.

SilverEcstasy
06-22-2005, 08:48 PM
$50 a rotor? Thats cheaper than this off-brand that they offered at Murray's, they wanted like $100 a pair for some "UYC" brand, I don't even know.

atc3434
06-22-2005, 09:09 PM
Like I said, I'm not 100% positive, but I thought it was around that much. Check the net!

SilverEcstasy
06-22-2005, 10:06 PM
Cool thanks! (Sorry if I hi-jacked your thread!)