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2008 Chrysler T&C & Dodge Caravan brake life expectancy!

usavetusavet Posts: 9
edited March 18 in Chrysler
Please share your stories about brake issues you have had with your van here, I have had issues with my 2008 town & country's brakes!!!
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Comments

  • We have had to replace the front rotors, brakes and pads for our 1 yr old 2008 T & C Limited in Oct.Then recently we heard a crunching noise in the left rear and upon taking it to the dealer they found out that the caliber in the left rear was
    malfunctioning and so the dealer is replacing it all at not cost to us! Still, having to replace rotors,brakes and pads (front and rear) for a year old van seems excessive. We've owned several T & C vans (most recent 2001 & 2002 AWD) and didn't have the bake problems at all when they were only a year old. I now know that rotors in new cars can't be 'turned' and so the van owner is going to have to put out more money for repairs earlier.No mass transit is available as we live in a rural area.The cost of operating a van in a area that has small mountains and curvy roads has increased dramatically!
  • ....we purchased the van in December 07. Since our first oil change, we have questioned the brakes. They have ALWAYS squeeked. The service manager tells us it's because they are no longer permitted by the government to use asbestos in brakes any longer?? Is this true?? Well I think we've complained at every oil change and at the last one, when we had the tires rotated, to my surprise at 21,000 miles the service manager tells me I need all new front brakes. I laughed! Surely he was trying to get-over on me since I am a woman. Even the men in the waiting room laughed after he left the room and asked me how many miles were on the van. WELL! 2 weeks later, we were down to the warning level on the brakes. I went to Sears for replacment----after checking my car, the manager asked me, are you ready for this????? DID I HAVE A PAPER ROUTE?? Since he couldn't believe the breaks were like this on a new car with only 21K miles!

    Come on Chrysler! What the heck is going on here?

    Anyone else???
  • ann58ann58 Posts: 3
    I was wondering if we were the only one with a problem like this, but I see we aren't. Our 2008 Town and Country is HORRIBLE! We too, have only 22,000 miles on it and when we had our oil changed, we too had our brakes checked because of noise. At first we were told it was probably just dust on the pads because it only had 22,000 miles on it. But just like you, they then told us we needed new brake pads and warranty did not cover them, even at this low milage. We had a Grand Caravan before this and had over 60,000 miles before first brake pads. Then they came back at us, that it is because of the ESP braking system on it and it isn't unusual for them to only get 8,000 miles before needing new pads! COME ON. Something is wrong here. Plus, we have a roaring in the right rear side, poping in the steering column and they claim they can't find anything wrong, several times it has been reported. A/C leaked in the floor and took 5 times to get that straight. This van came straight off the lot at a Chrysler dealer. We can't even get the pads at a parts place, has to come from the dealer at the tune of $92.00 plus cost of them to put them on and lord only know how much that will be. And they don't even keep them in stock! We had to order them 12/26/08 and now they won't be in until 12/30/08 and we can't even drive it till then for the fear of having to buy rotters. So we will NEVER, EVER but a Chrysler product again and we still have to pay for this lemon!!!! :lemon:
  • We've had our 2008 Grand Caravan since 12/07. It had only 15,000 miles when we found out it needed new brakes and rotors!!! Not covered by warranty after 12,000 miles. Are they kidding?? They wanted $350 to replace. With a 3 year lease, I'd be paying this every 3 years until I turned it in... I refused! My husband also went to parts shops to find the brakes.... no doing. They don't carry them becuz they shouldn't go bad this early! Tell me about it. After searching 8 car part shops he finally found them, now they squeak worse than ever, but don't grind. This sucks. I've been buying these Chysler/Dodge vans for over 12 years and usually don't have problems (this has to be a recall in the future).The lease loyalty usually brings me back, but who knows after this lease???
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    We have over 40,000 miles on our 2007 DGC (bought used at the 20,000 mile mark), and the brakes have still not been touched (though I'm going to be inspecting them sometime in the next couple of weeks or so).

    Our '94 Dodge Caravan only needed front brake pads every 60,000 miles or so.

    But, my 2005 Dodge Dakota PU truck needed the front rotors replaced at the 10,000 mile mark because they were "warped". I replaced the pads at the same time, but the original pads were still good and had hardly been worn at all.

    So go figure. Brake pad/rotor life in recent Chrysler products seems to run all over the chart. I have no idea why :confuse:
  • We just drove our 2008 Town & Country off the lot today. It had only 87 miles on it and we hear and feel a thumping below the driver's seat and a vibration in the pedal when braking at 40 MPH or greater.

    The steering wheel also tends to have a little vibration feedback as well.

    Anybody have any ideas what it might be or experience the same?
  • Getting my van back from the dealer tomorrow. The van has 15500 miles and needed new front brake pads and rotors. I cannot believe it. The dealer told me it is normal wear and tear and could be the way the vehicle is driven. My wife drives it most of the time. Her last vehicle was traded in with 45,000 miles on it with no brake problems, so I have a real hard time faulting her driving habits. I contacted Chrysler Quality hoping they would take care of me. They did nothing for me. They also told me it was just a wear item and couldn't be warranteed. I told them they were selling vans with insufficent brakes, but they didn't want to hear that. The worst part of it was that you can't buy parts at your local auto part stores to fix it yourself. The van is to new for the parts to be available aftermarket. This puts you right back at the dealer. What a monopoly!
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I replaced the front pads on our 2007 DGC, maybe 2 weeks ago for the first time. This was at the 43,000 mile mark. That's acceptable mileage from front pads, IMO.

    On the other hand, I had to replace the front rotors on my 2005 Dakota at the 12,000 mile mark. Pads were fine, but replaced them anyway. That was not acceptable!

    See my earlier post, #6.
  • Well, I don't know whether I should be glad or disappointed we're not the only ones experiencing brake issues with our '08 DGC. The dealer replaced all the pads and rotors less than a year ago due to excessive run-out (Warping), which they did under warranty right around 12k miles. They, too, tried to blame the problems on my wife's braking habits. She doesn't brake hard or late, doesn't drive through puddles, doesn't drive in hilly terrain where the brakes can overheat. Just your standard suburban driving. So now, 5k miles later (17k on the van), it's back at the dealership again to have them check the run-out. Yes, Chrysler only covers the *original* brakes for 12/12k, but if they replace the parts then the parts are covered by their own 12/12k warranty. Don't let the dealer try to pull a fast one on you if your brakes have already been replaced within the past year and within 12k miles! Also, don't let them screw you over by turning the rotors. That is not a fix and will contribute to more warping now that the material thickness isn't consistent, which means heating and cooling at different rates and this will cause warping. The only reason they turn the rotors is to prevent fixing them under warranty, get you out the door, and then get you to pay through the nose for repairs that should have been covered under warranty. Does this make sense? No. They get paid for warranty work, so you'd think they'd be happy to do the work. Problem is, they get paid warranty book time for repairs which is less than customer-pay and brake work is gravy.

    Anyway, this really is a problem that needs to be addressed. Some of you may be aware of the issues Nissan had with the Titan and Armada when they first came out, what a fiasco THAT was. Tons of vehicles bought back under the lemon law because they couldn't correct the brake issue for good until after the '05 models came out.

    Dodge could be in the same situation here if they don't correct the issue soon. The brakes are obviously insufficient for the vehicle and overheat way too easily under normal driving.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    There are a number of things that could cause rotor warping or runout (which is more likely a transfer of material from the pads to the rotor, causing a microscopic high spot of the rotor).

    1. Rotors running hot (say, after a long run down the side of a mountain), then having to stop with your foot on the brake at a stop light at the bottom. This keeps the pads in contact with the hot rotor and encourages pad material transfer to the rotor.
    2. Light weight rotors and other brake componets, which are more prone to overheating.
    3. Brake pad material. Some types run hotter than others, and other types are more prone to the pad material transfer phenomenon.
    4. I have also read where improperly torqued wheel nuts/bolts could exacerbate the problem by allowing the brakes to run hotter than desired.
    5. On the other hand, I do not believe that driving through a puddle of water should cause the problem. If it does, the brakes are woefully inadequate to start with and, if the dealer or manufacturer tells you that, maybe it's time to get the NHTSA involved and push for a recall.

    I would look into a good aftermarket rotor instead of going with what the dealer offers, warranty or not.

    Also, don't let them screw you over by turning the rotors. That is not a fix and will contribute to more warping now that the material thickness isn't consistent, which means heating and cooling at different rates and this will cause warping.

    I agree. I would not turn today's rotors. As you said, they are on the light side to start with, and by removing some material you just make them lighter and more prone to overheating.
  • Here's an update some of you might find useful, however I cannot seem to locate any information on it.

    So basically 7000 miles ago all the pads and rotors were replaced in my wife's '08 DGC and a couple months ago they started warping again. The local Dodge dealer initially said they wouldn't be covered (17k on the van now), but I basically told them warped rotors after 7k miles under normal driving conditions was unacceptable. A couple of days later we get a call back, they spoke to Chrysler corporate who agreed to do a good will repair if we paid $50 and they covered the rest.

    Anyway, on to the juicy bit. The RO says "Install updated rotors and pads per TSB #05-006-08."

    I can't find any record of this TSB and didn't see it until the wife got home. I'd like to see the details on this if anyone can find them.

    For those of you experiencing repeated brake issues, I'd call up your local dealer of choice and ask them about this TSB.
  • kalenakalena Posts: 1
    In June 2008, I purchased a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country minivan. I and my 2 young children often take driving vacations, and as a result, my van turned over 16,000 miles this month. Let me say first that I have been very happy with the van thus far, and am still pleased with it overall. But I think this brake issue is something that Chrysler needs to address immediately.

    Two weeks ago, one of my tires was low, so I took the van in to the dealer (my tires are filled with nitrogen). My father is retired and works part-time at the dealership, so they know me there. I brought the van back home, and discovered over the past 2 weeks that the tire had a slow leak, so I took it in today to have it repaired. I was told that yes, there was a nail in the tire and they repaired it. However, they had some distressing news for me... I was informed that I needed new front brakes AND rotors, to the tune of $330. I was shocked. The brake pads were gone and the rotors were scored at only 16,000 miles???

    I told them that I was surprised to hear this, because there was no noise, no squeaking, no grinding - no warning whatsoever. And at 16,000 miles?? I would never expect brakes to wear out so quickly. The technician responded that he didn't hear any brake noises either. I was wondering then, what made them check the brakes...? My leaky tire was in the rear, so it wasn't like they found it by accident while changing the tire. They knew they needed to check those front brakes. Sure enough, the technician informed me that they had been having this problem with the brakes on the 2008 minivans with 14-19K miles on them, and that improvements have been made to the new brake pads, so hopefully I would get more mileage out of the new brakes. My brakes were apparently in such bad shape, they didn't let me take the van home.

    I was pretty angry about the fact that the brakes wore out so quickly, that there was no warning, and that Chrysler knows this is happening.

    People are apparently being told that it's the way they are driving, or else it's normal wear and tear. But I have a personal connection at the dealership, so I was told the truth about it.

    I am certainly no expert on vehicles, but it could be a dangerous situation if Chrysler underrated the brakes for its minivans. If I didn't have that leaky tire, and if the technicians didn't take it upon themselves to check the front brakes, then when - and how - would I have discovered that my brakes were worn out??? This is specifically a family vehicle, designed to carry more people!! And why am I having to pay $330 when Chrysler is well aware that this is an existing problem with the vans, and is making changes only to the vans that are brought in??

    Is this a recall situation?? I think it at least needs to be addressed before someone with low mileage discovers in traffic with a vanload of children that their brakes are gone. It's most certainly a quality issue, and Chrysler is going to hear about it from me.
  • usavetusavet Posts: 9
    JUST GOT BENT OVER FOR ANOTHER $200 ON BRAKE PADS AGAIN AFTER ONLY 12K SINCE BRAKE AND ROTOR JOB ON 2008 T & C!!! THIS VAN HAS 32K HIGHWAY MILES ON IT!! I WENT IN FOR AN A/C PROBLEM TO BE FIXED UNDER WARRANTY AND THEY CALL AND SAY THE PADS ARE ABOUT SHOT! THEY ALSO TELL ME NO ONE IN THE AFTERMARKET MAKES PADS SO I HAVE TO TAKE THE FACTORY ONES AGAIN!!!!!!!!! CHRYSLER HAS THE WORST QUALITY OF ANYTHING I HAVE EVER OWNED, I HAVE HAD BETTER CHEVETTES AND CAVALIERS!!!!! CAN ANYONE SAY LEMON LAW?!!
  • ann58ann58 Posts: 3
    We have a Dodge Ram 4X4 and We have owned a Grand Caravan in 1986. The Grand Caravan beats this 2008 Town & Country all to pieces! Have never had problems from the Ram and it has almost 200,000 miles on it. But like you, I have regreated ever getting this Town & Country. And they tell me it is the Cadalliac of the Chryslers? Excuse me but I would hate to see the junk of that line. We also are having to foot the bills for break pads about every 21,000 miles. But I am lucky, we do have to buy them from the dealer but my husband can put those on. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • abutcherabutcher Posts: 33
    Go to:
    Rock Auto

    They sell ceramic pads for these vans now, by many different makes.
  • usavetusavet Posts: 9
    Looks like the dealer's service department played me hard, what a bunch of a holes at charlie zook in sioux city iowa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lemon: :lemon:
  • I have to replace my front brake pads and rotors after only 25K miles. The rotors were heavily grooved. I didn't even hear the warning tab squeal before the rotors were damaged beyond repair. I noticed all of this on a Friday afternoon when I had to travel 150 miles home. I called the dealer and bought the rotor and pads at dealer pricing since the OEM is the only source at this time. I had to do the work myself Saturday morning. I never thought that I would be reparing a new car within a year of buying it . . Shame Shame.

    My tires have also been wearing down earlier than expected. My Dodge GC has the Yokohama tires. After 33K miles, they are ready for a change. Again, the dealer just has blank stares, and Chrysler customer serivce keeps on telling me how the dealer has "High Tech instrumentation" to check these things. I think I need an accountant to tell me that Chrysler went cheap on the OEM wheel parts . . .But then again, I already know that.
  • abutcherabutcher Posts: 33
    OEM is not the only source any more. Go to rockauto.com, they have pads and rotors available, including many makes of ceramic pads.

    I called several national chain stores in the Detroit area, many have or can get in 1 day pads and rotors including Pep Boys, Murrays, NAPA, Advance Auto and Autozone.
  • cwilchercwilcher Posts: 4
    Purchased a 2008 Chrysler T&C in Sept. of 2007. In August of 2008 the van began vibrating & shimmying when the brakes were applied. The van had 17,562 miles on it. We were informed that the front brakes were about 1/8 inch think & that the rotors had a large lip wore on them. The rotor was too thin to resurface so we needed to replace front brake pads & rotors at a cost of $338.96. We complained to the service department, who provided us a 1-800 number for Chrysler Customer Service. We called & spoke to a representative in India who immediately asked if we wanted to file a Lemon Law Claim. We called our dealer back & asked for a local Chrysler rep. They were unable to provide us with the regional reps name & number because of a vacancy in the position, but within a few weeks we did speak to a local Chrysler rep. They finally agreed to pay for the parts if we paid for the labor. So we did in August of 2008! We took the van back in Sept. 08 after the brakes & rotors were installed with 18,891 miles on it due to a pulsation in the steering wheel when the brakes were applied. They resurfaced rear rotors but front brakes were still ok. The van went back in again in Feb of 2009 with 27,293 miles on it for that same pulsation, brakes were ok but no mention of the rotors! In April of 2009 we took the van back in with 30,456 miles on it for that same pulsation and guess what??? The vibration, pulsation, whatever you want to call it returns and the front rotors are out of round and too thin to resurface. Brake pads are ok but they recommend replacing the brake pads when the rotors are replaced. We called the owner of the dealership, who called his service technicians who told him that Chrysler brakes average no more than 12k miles! They don't advertise that now do they! Where do I go to get service work done now that the Chrysler franchise has been taken away from my dealer? Maybe that is the plan close franchises so consumer can't get work done! Now that will save Chrysler lots of $$! No wander Chrysler is out of business, their product is a piece of sh--!
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    The brake problems appear to be more frequent with the redesigned vans starting in 2008. I own a 2006 Dodge Caravan. Front pads lasted 35,000 miles. I had them replaced at Sears last fall. Original rotors still on van. No problems with rear brakes. Overall, very satisfied with Dodge Caravan.
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