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Username Post: Soft Brake Pedal        (Topic#228923)
Forum Newbie
Posts: 20

Reg: 04-09-09
11-03-09 11:23 AM - Post#1798948    

I have a 2003 silverado. It has 85,000 miles on it. I bought it used and from what I gather has been well taken care of. The problem is that the brakes just feel too soft. At times it feel like I have to push them too far down. The truck stops fine just a soft pedal. I have checked the brake fluid on top of the master cylinder and it is full. There are no signs of a brake fluid leak anywhere that I can find. This is my first Silverado. I have had S10's before and had the same problem out of a Blazer. Is there is real issue or are these truck brakes just soft? Thanks for the help.
2003 Silverado Ext Cab

Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 5628

Reg: 05-27-08
11-03-09 01:58 PM - Post#1799012    
    In response to Trenchdog

Wioth the engine off and the vacuum to the booster depleted, the brake pedal should feel solid when it hits the pressure in the brake lines. Rock hard. If not then you should bleeed the brakes to get the excess air out of the lines. Also check the rear drums for proper adjustment if the pedal is low.
If the pedal is high and rock hard, that is just what the system is going to do. Power brakes, by design are more position than pressure systems.

Bad Bowtie 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4524
Bad Bowtie
Age: 42
Loc: TX
Reg: 07-04-03
11-03-09 02:20 PM - Post#1799025    
    In response to 52chevybob

Some different brands of brake pads can cause this slide "feeling" too.

I also wonder if you might need some of those higher quality steel braided brake hoses...?

GMC. We are Professional Grade.

Senior Member
Posts: 494
Loc: Little Rock, AR
Reg: 10-15-02
11-04-09 11:44 AM - Post#1799524    
    In response to Trenchdog

Welcome to our world.. If your truck has the 4-wheel disc/4-wheek anti-lock brake system on it, soft pedal feel is a common complaint (long with with crappy parking brake). As long as the actual stopping of the truck is good, and you checked the basics, there is probably nothing wrong, thats just the way the pedal feels...generally as good as you're going to get unless you retro-fit with some aftermarket stuff.
2000 GMC Sierra SLE 3Dr. X-cab

Edited by Alan_W on 11-04-09 11:45 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

Senior Member
Posts: 656

Loc: Naperville, IL
Reg: 04-05-04
11-04-09 03:01 PM - Post#1799616    
    In response to Alan_W

I was thinking of swapping out the lines for the stainless steel ones. Do they make that much of difference in pedel feel?
If it ain't broke open it up and make it better 03 Silverado 5.3 Z71

Senior Member
Posts: 494
Loc: Little Rock, AR
Reg: 10-15-02
11-06-09 07:44 AM - Post#1800582    
    In response to mwright1

I haven't done the steel lines on mine, so I don't know how much difference it makes. I'd also be interested to hear from some one who has. I use some brake pads that stop a little better than the stock OEM pads, and my truck stops pretty good, pedal doesn't feel great, but it's OK.

And I just noticed the original poster has a 4-wheel drive truck, which I believe has drum brakes in the back, making it a different system from my 2WD truck.
2000 GMC Sierra SLE 3Dr. X-cab

Senior Member
Posts: 1151

Loc: Grayling, MI
Reg: 10-23-03
11-06-09 08:32 AM - Post#1800606    
    In response to Alan_W

All 1500 4x4 GMT800 trucks up to and including 2004 have rear disc's 2005 went to larger front brakes and drums in rear.
When a ABS system is bled you must use a Tech 2 or similar scanner to toggle the ABS module.
K1500 04 Silverado EXT

Super Senior Member
Posts: 13551
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
11-06-09 04:38 PM - Post#1800860    
    In response to redvett01

My 1999 has 4 wheel discs. I just changed a caliper on the rear and bled the brakes with no problems whatsoever. I even only bled the new caliper because the other rear one felt like the bleeder screw was going to snap (familiar feeling over the years). The pedal feels fine to me. The truck stops fine and my parking brake holds the truck when in gear (it always did in the 8 months I've owned it). I guess I got lucky with mine.

The stainless braided lines will make a bit of difference. I don't know if you'll feel it in your pedal, but they swell less than the rubber lines so more of the brake pedal pressure goes to the caliper.
Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon

Forum Newbie
Posts: 20

Reg: 04-09-09
11-09-09 04:48 PM - Post#1802507    
    In response to wagonman100

Thanks for the input everyone. I will try bleeding the brakes this weekend and take it from there.
2003 Silverado Ext Cab

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