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Old 03-28-2016, 07:52 PM   #1
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99 through 06 GM Rusted brake lines

While returning from Camping World in Nashville for the hour and a half drive home I first made the mistake of assuming my brake controller was set from the last time I towed. Guilty, I did not check it nor reset it to be sure I had brakes working on the trailer.
On the north side of Nashville the right lane ending an 18 wheeler(car hauler full of new Toyotas) moved in front of me from the lane that was ending/exiting. I began backing off of him and noticed down his left side a three car accident happening right in front of him. I slammed the brakes, the 18 wheeler was outstopping me. I pressed the brake pedal hard as I could and pop, it went to the floor, no brakes. I swerved to the right lane forcing a pickup to the emergency lane narrowly missing the 18 wheeler moving to an area I had no idea what was there and thankfully nothing was. I barely missed the corner of the car hauler and proceeded to the emergency lane. Not stopping due to lack of brakes I came back onto the interstate since the accident was now behind me. I spaced from anything infront of me and began adjusting the controller. It was backed way off. No idea how. I'd carried passengers over the past mo, adults, someone touched it but again, my fault for not checking at hook up.
I could push the pedal completly to the floor then barely have brakes on the truck.
We make it home and put the trailer in storage then to the house. I checked both front brakes and lines, no leaks. I checked the rear and found a huge puddle in the garage and still dripping. Further inspection revealed rusted brake lines. The rear line bursted just before the coupling where it switches to rubber hose due to rust.
I come in the house and search silverado 2500hd brake lines, thinking I'd buy a kit.

Instead I come up with law suits against gm and forum after forum over this issue.
I have ordered a complete set of stainless steel prebent lines to install replacing what's on the truck.

My truck I purchased from a friend who stored it inside, I store it inside and it has no other rust. Only the brake lines.

My truck is a 2001 2500hd with 52000 on the odometer.

I have read that newer than 06 are also effected also but 99 through 2006 are numerous on the web. If you own one, check them. They will blow when you need them.

Under the hood mine are all brand new looking. Under the truck they are all rusted.

As info

2015 Forest River Grey Wolf..Traded
2015 Forest River Cherokee 274RK
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:01 PM   #2
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We had the same thing happen to our 1998 was about 4 yrs ago pulling our new to us 2007 Laredo fiver

Stop light turned red, DH hit the brakes and says we got no brakes!!! Blew thru stop light luckily no one tried to jump that light !!

Coasted into a gas station about 1/2 mile up the road using trailer brakes to stop - crawl under truck to check it out and BAM ! Rusted brake line - DH stayed with truck to wait for SIL to come with trailer while friends pulled new camper to our seasonal spot for me

Good ending no one got hurt !!

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Old 03-28-2016, 08:11 PM   #3
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This happens to a lot of cars. Everything from Hyundais to Mercedes! It is the nature of the material. Where I work part of our safety inspection on customers cars is to inspect the brake and fuel lines. We find a lot of rusted brake and fuel lines. That's why it's always a good idea to get under your vehicle if possible and look around. If you can't do it being it in for a thorough safety inspection.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:15 PM   #4
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We've got two 2001 hd's one with 200k and one with 100k and live in the Midwest with no failures.
Kinda weird

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Old 03-28-2016, 08:59 PM   #5
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My 94 suburban did the same thing about 7 or 8 years ago. I was pulling a cargo trailer with snowmobiles and ice fishing gear. Had to abort an ice fishing trip and go home and replace brake lines instead.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:12 PM   #6
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All cars and trucks are susceptible to brake lines rotting. Especially if you live where salt is used during the winter. I wish they used stainless lines or protected them better ( they could) along the frame.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:36 PM   #7
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Thats crazy!
Now granted i kinda live in the south, but after being in the auto industry for a while, I've never ran across rusted brake lines in normal everyday vehicles. (We never really work on cars over 15-20 years old.)
And of all the current vehicles, toyotas are the ones we see the most corrosion on.....much more than all the rest, which rust is fairly rare in Oklahoma.

Op, glad you all were alright, that could have been bad.

Ps. A vehicle of that age and of that low of miles is going to have more issues with corrosion issues or condensation in fluids because of lack of use....basically the fluids won't get warm enough for condensation to evaporate so maintenance of fluids will be more critical than on a vehicle that gets used more frequently.
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:10 PM   #8
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Ho boy. Wild ride. Glad everyone is ok. Up here about the only thing our government seems happy to spend money on is road salt. Between that and cheap Chinese steel brake lines are about as common a failure as the Chinese tires so frequently discussed here.

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Old 03-29-2016, 02:28 PM   #9
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Another reason to flush brake fluid.

Glad you are still alive! Although, with the brakes, as you described them, I wonder why you didn't call for a tow..

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Old 03-29-2016, 04:36 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the input. I've seen old jeeps with old lines but never rust. Can't say I've inspected the 80 model and up lines before. One would assume with lawsuits as they are they'd be copper, stainless, plastic or an alloy that don't rust.
I figured others need to be checking theirs for rust, mine are fine from the firewall forward but underneath they are rust.

And then the other thing....always set the trailer brake control every time I connect.

2015 Forest River Grey Wolf..Traded
2015 Forest River Cherokee 274RK
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