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Author Topic: 2001 FWD Aztek, pulsing brakes  (Read 2031 times)
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fraggable
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« on: August 07, 2011, 01:34:02 PM »

Here's the history (there isn't much of it); I bought this 2001 Aztek about 3 weeks ago from a GM dealer, with 83K miles. It's in pretty good shape and overall I really like it. Fun to drive. It's an 01, FWD.

When I test drove it I noticed pulsing in the brakes and knew there would be some work to be done - I assumed new rotors and pads in the front and that would be it. I've done that before on a few cars and never had any toruble with it. I used that and a missing lever on the luggage rack to bargain the price down quite a bit. I just got done putting new rotors and pads in the front and took it for a drive and it's still pulsing. Maybe a little less, but still doing it - particularly noticeable around 40MPH when slowing. I notice no wobbling or feedback in the steering wheel when not applying the brakes, it feels rock solid until I hit the brakes. I didn't know that drum brakes could go out of round, or have much of an idea how they worked until the last 15 minutes doing some research. I've inspected the drums as much as I can without disassembling them and they appear to be all but brand new - very clean, though I'm not sure how worn drum brakes can look considering all of the wear would take place inside the drum.

I also just adjusted the air in the tires on the test drive and found that the passenger's front tire was inflated to about 45PSI (way too high) and the drivers' was down to 25PSI. I adjusted all 4 tires to about 37PSI (tires say 40 max). That seems to have helped a tiny bit too, though that could be my imagination at this point. The tires are nearly new as well, though having just bought it I don't know when they were last rotated. I would hope the dealer did it, but you know how that goes.

How likely do you think it is that this is the drums and not some other issue I haven't thought of? If it is the drums, new ones appear to be only about $30-50 each - does that sound like the right price for the whole assembly? It seems too cheap to be right. If so, how hard are they to replace on my own or would I be better off having someone do it?
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97drexelgrad
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 06:21:33 AM »

Hello and welcome to the AFC.  Rear drums could be a problem, but usually not as noticeable as front discs.   A bad spot in a tire, along as a poorly balanced tire could also cause an issue
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Brian, NJ
Current owner of 2011 GMC Sierra SLE Crew Cab 4x4 6.2 l
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Former owner of a 2003 Aztek Yellow, McCullough HID 6000k Headlights, Xentec HID 3000K Yellow Fog Lights, LEDS on all 4 Markers and Reverse Lights, Recon Strobe Lighting, Pioneer 10 speaker stereo, Infinity BassLink2 Sub, Precision Interface Electronics GM12-AUX, XM Roady XT, Helo Tease Rims with General Exclaim 245/40ZR20 tires, EBC Dimpled & Slotted Front Rotors, EBC Yellowstuff Pads, K&N Air Filter, Remote Start, kids car seat, Custom Dual Exhaust , Recon Big Rig Amber Running / Signal LED Lights, Side mirror LED Signal Lights, Line of Fire and Ice Brake Light, Monro Air Shocks in Rear, B&M Transmission Cooler, Garmin NUVI 350 GPS,  LEDs everywhere, Rear camera with night vision and 7 inch color monitor, GM Hood Deflector, Diehard Platinum Battery, American Flag / Bald Eagle on Rear Window, Fleetwood Camper,with LEDs and camera also, towed behind Tek ,
 2006, 2007, 2008 International Aztek Rally Organizer.  Email me @ 97drexelgrad@aztekfanclub.com
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 11:07:07 AM »

Welcome fraggable! Sorry, I'm not the break expert... Best of luck with the breaks - keep us posted on what you find out.
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jaskispyder
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 12:31:02 PM »

I had a set of new drums to put on and they were out of round.  I recommend taking the vehicle to a shop to have it properly diagnosed.  Rear drums are easy to work on, but can be hard to fix if something isn't right.  Let the shop worry about getting it right.
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fraggable
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 12:48:03 PM »

Thanks for hte replies so far, I called a local garage that had good reviews online and they quoted $43 to round out both drums, or $150 to round them out and replace the shoes and springs (he called it a maintenance kit). Hopefully that will take care of it... I'm planning to have them bleed the lines to all 4 weels as well to make sure it's pressuring things evenly.
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