Chevy Pickup K1500 ABS System Makes Brake Pedal Hard

Reader Question I have the same 98 Chev K1500 with ABS which sometimes, only at slow speeds, activates the ABS, actually pushing back on the brake pedal. Its always unnerving and I usually respond by pressing hard on the brake..

Thanking you in advance

Hi Abe
This might be something simple as grease or brake fluid getting on the brake shoes. I would take all four wheels off and inspect the brakes for wear and any sign of a fluid leak which might be getting on the brake linings.


Austin C. Davis

Reader input

RE: The Chevy truck antilock brakes activating at low speeds
there is a recall on this, the wheel speed sensors get rusty and give false info to the abs that causes them to activate
i read your response to a question about this and thought you would want to know.

Posted in: Brakes

2 Comments on "Chevy Pickup K1500 ABS System Makes Brake Pedal Hard"

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  1. Tony Wolpert says:

    I own a 2005 Chevy silverado 1500 v-6 8 ft bed 2 door, work truck. My father in law bought it new, and I bought it from him at 30k It now has 65 and the front brake pads have been replaced 3 times and the back drums and discs once. My repair shop – an independent tire and repair shop has the same vintage pickup. The owner says his truck goes through brakes the same way. He has tried replacing his with N.A.P.A., Carquest and even GM with the same result. I am considering replace the from pads with ceramic? Any thoughts? I even stopped by the local gm dealer and they said there were no generally know problems. I can’t find any mentioned on the internet either. I love the truck- except for the brakes. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • admin says:

      The first thing that comes to mind is are the rear brakes adjusted properly and are they doing their share of the stopping? You have DRUM BRAKES?? If so, I dont think they are. I would jack up the rear end of the truck and in neutral with the engine off and someone inside the cab with their foot on the brake try and turn the rear wheels by hand. You should NOT be able to turn them. I have seen rear brakes installed incorrectly….the shoes installed backwards so much of the shoe does not pull its load.

      If you have rear disc brakes, are they working properly? Are the FRONT brake rotors too thin, have they been machined to many times and are thinner than they should be which is heating up the brake pads and causing premature wear. Are both front brake pads worn evenly on both sides of the vehicle? You might want to replace the front brake calipers on the next change. You can buy “loaded brake calipers” which contain the brake pads and are super easy to install. Some of our wreckers go through brake pads like this but they are under sever load and driver abuse 🙂

      Hope this helps.

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