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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2011 Volt with 131K miles on it.

Within the last 4 months I've had the brakes completely go out on me 4 times at random. Each time I received either a Service StabiliTrak or Service Brake Assist message.

It usually happens when driving relatively slow (under 30mph) and I had to shift to L to slow down... Happened on Clear days on dry pavement without rain or snow.

It also happened while driving and not braking. When I turned off car and turned back on... The messages were gone and the brakes worked again.

It's been at the Dealer now for a week and they are telling me that the messages are not producing codes for them to even see that this happened and are having a hard time duplicating.

I'm curious if anyone else is having this same problem? I've attached a picture of the message the last time it happened on Feb 12th, 2016.

Volt - Service Stabilitrack.jpg
 

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That is the same message you get when you lose traction when slowing in 'L' on a slippery or bumpy surface. You have not lost all braking, but it does seem that way at the time as you have to suddenly use a lot more pedal.

It also does not trip a code, and goes away after a restart. I'd be surprised if this is not the same issue.
 

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That is the same message you get when you lose traction when slowing in 'L' on a slippery or bumpy surface. You have not lost all braking, but it does seem that way at the time as you have to suddenly use a lot more pedal.

It also does not trip a code, and goes away after a restart. I'd be surprised if this is not the same issue.
The difference is this is also bringing up the amber ABS and red BRAKE warning lights.
When these come on there will be codes
Someone is missing the boat here
The next time it does this call OnStar immediately so they can get the DTCs from the braking system
WOT
 

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The difference is this is also bringing up the amber ABS and red BRAKE warning lights.
When these come on there will be codes
Someone is missing the boat here
The next time it does this call OnStar immediately so they can get the DTCs from the braking system
WOT
It's true I didn't take notice of that. When i had a similar experience my attention was elsewhere, on the truck in front of me. I'm also not sure from the way the OP is worded if this happened in 'L' or if he shifted to to 'L' to slow the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello... This has been happening while in Drive and not in 'L'. I've seen in past forums that say you still have brakes but I can assure you that I'm pressing down very hard and I am a 250 lb man and the Car does not slow down. I've had to shift into 'L' after it happens to stop the car.

It's happened four times.

First time was the scariest as I was on the highway but luckily was in slow heavy traffic. Roads were dry... going around 20-25 mph and it happened while I was driving with my foot off the brakes. Turned off car and back on... No more issues.

Second time was around a month later... Was on side street right after a red light... Indicators came on... dry roads... In 'D' Drive... foot was on gas... not brake... Turned car off and on... No problems

Third time was in parking lot right after I got in car to leave work... Was going 5 mph in parking lot... Almost hit someone walking in parking lot...

Last time and most recent was in a School parking lot when I was dropping my stepson off at highschool... was probably going 5 mph but luckily I know to shift to 'L' immediately as this has been happening so frequently. Before taking my Volt into service I have come accustomed to driving with my hand on the Automatic Shifter like it was a manual waiting to hear the message indicators to shift it into L... It's a very freaky feeling...

Volt is still at Service Dealer for 10 days now... Nothing identified yet...
 

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Sounds suspiciously like antilock brake solenoid(s) stuck in release position for some reason, or some component of the ABS/Traction control system. You will let us know the resolution. I hope you can get your car back soon.
 

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I just had this happen to me about 30 minutes ago, which then led me to this thread. I will say that I have the "low traction" message come up weekly when I hit gravel or something while braking and I have what feels like a perceived loss of power. This is NOT that.

This happened to me this morning when I was approaching a 4-way stop and lost traction in the snow. The ABS kicked in and was working like it is supposed to, and then about about a second or two, boom, all power lost in braking, the "service stabilitrack" message came on, along with the brake light and traction control lights. I rolled through the intersection because I couldn't really stop, nor did I have time to think about trying to pull the e-brake. It was scary for sure.

Any word on whether they found a solution for you??
 

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I just had this happen to me about 30 minutes ago, which then led me to this thread. I will say that I have the "low traction" message come up weekly when I hit gravel or something while braking and I have what feels like a perceived loss of power. This is NOT that.

This happened to me this morning when I was approaching a 4-way stop and lost traction in the snow. The ABS kicked in and was working like it is supposed to, and then about about a second or two, boom, all power lost in braking, the "service stabilitrack" message came on, along with the brake light and traction control lights. I rolled through the intersection because I couldn't really stop, nor did I have time to think about trying to pull the e-brake. It was scary for sure.

Any word on whether they found a solution for you??

Anyway you can get to a dealer? There is definitely something wrong. Again, I am suspecting ABS/ Trraction control module or related componentry.
 

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GM really should investigate this further - this "loss of braking function" is not a random rare event.

It has been posted on this forum more than a few times.
My 2014 Volt did this a couple times; fortunately not on the roadways, but at slow speed when I backed out of the garage, rolling backward down my driveway.
Brake assist was completely gone, pedal went to the floor, pushing very hard on the pedal (as human instinct kicking in), but with very minimal stopping power available.
The pedal did not fall just flat to the floor, there was some little resistance on the pedal and the car did slow eventually. I could have done much better slowing down using the e-brakes, but this happened in a few seconds time in my case.
 
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Hey everyone,

I know brake problems are one of the scarier vehicle concerns and I do want to extend our apologies to anyone who has experienced this. If anybody would like to further discuss their specific vehicle and would like my assistance in further researching this situation, please do not hesitate to send me a private message.

Customer safety is the top priority for Chevrolet, and I want to make sure we’re doing all we can to repair any possible concerns you may be experiencing.

Best Wishes to All,

Amber G,
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just got off the phone with the service department. They advised they could not replicate the problem after having it for two weeks and putting 60 miles on the car. I didn't expect them to be able to reproduce since this happens about once a month and I put about 600 miles on the car a week.

They also advised that there is no history of a code being created for the brake failure (which it must do) even though I sent them a picture of the red brake light failure and the metadata of the picture for when the photo was taken.

Since they can't reproduce it and don't have a code to work from... they are giving the car back to me. They said it could've been related to my check engine light being on which was from a Catalytic Converter needing replaced.

They said if it happens again that I should call them before turning my car off and on so they can scan my car for the code since it is not being produced. I asked if I should call OnStar for the code as has been mentioned in other posts and he said I could try that but if it's not producing a code... Onstar wouldn't see it.

This makes me extremely nervous that GM is giving me back my car after I have reported an extreme safety issue with photographic proof of the problem (red brake light) and no safe assured solution.
 

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Whenever the RBWL and amber ABS light are both illuminated while car is ON - there is at least 1 DTC set
Usually the DTC will remain in the EBCM memory for 40 "fault free" drive cycles without it resetting when it would be automatically cleared. So getting the car to the dealer BEFORE that occurs is quite important. You didn't really indicate how long it had been before you brought it in.

However there are a handful of ABS DTCs that will clear immediately when the diagnostic routine for the faulted condition detects a PASS. (It's a hardware/software thing) That COULD be what is happening here and therefore imperative that the technician be able to recreate the conditions that triggered it AND be ready to immediately extract the DTC BEFORE the ignition is shut OFF. Often it's a good idea for them to road test the car with YOU driving so you can show them exactly what you do to create the issue. When just telling the service advisor, something often gets lost in the translation by the time it gets to the technician.

But there is another possibility which unfortunately is all too common. That would be a technician that uses "old school" diagnostic techniques and routinely CLEARS CODES as their 1st step, then checks to see if they reset. If the technician didn't bother to write down the DTCs present and couldn't recreate the DTC then it's "No Fault Found" and the actual DTC is lost.

Unfortunately what a lot of technicians don't realize is that the GDS2 software actually records each and every session of use. So the 1st pass check of DTCs could be reexamined in case the above scenario occurred. To access the original DTC check they merely have to enter into the stored data section (on the PC or laptop originally used with your car) and locate your VIN and the original DTC check session.

Only other choice might be for you to obtain some sort of device able to read DTCs (ELM327 + Torque Pro?) so that you can capture the DTC for them the next time you experience the fault and then provide the dealer that DTC #.

Sorry but that's about all I have to offer at this point.

WopOnTour
 

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I work at a college and was just pulling in to campus when this happened. I needed to get to class so it has been parked ever since. I was going to go out and turn the car back on and see if the codes have cleared and if it has returned to normal after sitting for a while....I'll report back later today.

*UPDATE*

I just went out to check the car and when I turned it on the "service stabilitrack" message has now gone away. So have the traction control and brake lights. The check engine light however is still on. So I am hoping that it has registered and recorded some sort of helpful code. Hopefully I can get it to the dealership to get checked out sometime after my last class today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks WopOnTour for your very detailed analysis. I will share this with my Service Rep.

The last event happened Friday, the morning of February 12th in a school parking lot... talk about worse place to happen around kids walking in front of your car... I immediately made an appointment and brought it in that Monday morning. I probably had 4 to 6 drive cycles in between the failure and handing it over to the dealership. I'm not sure how many drive cycles the service department made over the last two weeks to see if it is still there but I will share the info and see about getting a response.

I'm also interested in Iowa_AL's case to see what his vehicle shows. Thank you Iowa_AL for your post and continued updates.
 

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Alright. So just an update. I got into the dealership yesterday morning. I was a bit nervous because by the time I got it to them the check engine light had gone off. I was really hoping they would still be able to pull some code. They were able to pull a code: "C1236 for ABS switch circuit on." They said that they found a wire in the ABS system that needed to be replaced. It wound up being about $99 after tax. I'm hoping this will permanently fix the problem.... in case you are curious, here's what the service paper says:

Verified concern. Scanned for codes found C1236 for ABS switch circuit open. Checked 60AMP fuse. OK. Checked for voltage. OK. Repaired wiring, cleared dtcs, cleared codes. Vehicle operating normal at this time.
 

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This just happened to me. Service Brake Assist & Service Stabilitrak. BRAKE on left side DIC on, ABS off light on, TC off light on. No CEL.

Drove home without the brake assist - wow you really have to push hard on the brake pedal.

Turned the car off and back on when I arrived and everything starts up normal.

I had noticed that for the last week or so sometimes during regular braking, as I came to a complete stop, it seems like my car would lurch forward. The braking was not consistent and a little bit hard to predict.

Should probably take it to the dealer soon.

edit* should mention I have a 2012
 

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I had these same warnings five months ago to my 2013. In my case, it turned out that a brake harness had come out of its clip somehow and had laid to rest on the disc brakes. This cut through the harness and started sending bad signals to the car. It cost me about $450 to repair.
 

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Messages that have popped up for me in last couple days. For awhile they'd disappear upon parking for some time. On left side BRAKE would be constantly on.

Gonna take it to dealer on Monday.

I couldn't get any faults from car using Torque Pro but I think it doesn't have the ability to diagnose ABS problems in the first place - if that's even it right now.
 

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Messages that have popped up for me in last couple days. For awhile they'd disappear upon parking for some time. On left side BRAKE would be constantly on.

Gonna take it to dealer on Monday.

I couldn't get any faults from car using Torque Pro but I think it doesn't have the ability to diagnose ABS problems in the first place - if that's even it right now.
Yea, I'm not so "up" on TorquePro but it's possible it won't read DTCs from the EBCM. So you need to go to a dealer. This could be as simple as a wheel speed sensor code.
WOT
 
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