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

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  • clubguyclubguy Posts: 15
    TSB# 05-006-08 issued Dec.8th. 2008
  • I have a 2008 Caravan with about 31,000 miles on it. I had to have the front pads and rotors fixed at my expense, to which my Chrysler dealer informed me that there has not been a recall yet, but this has been a problem with the 2008. They did tell me that the issue has apparently been taken care of in the 2009 van but for those of us with the 2008's are pretty much S.O.L. for now. I also had a high pitch squeal about 2 months ago that would go away if I lightly depressed the brake, but would then begin again once I let off the brake. I drove for about 3 miles like this and when I got to my destination I couldn't believe the tire hadn't caught fire. There was so much heat coming off my rear driver side tire and the smell of burning rubber was horrible. I called my local dealer and they told me it was still under warranty so I needed to call the chrysler roadside assistance number. I did so and had a tow truck come out to tow me to the dealer. They were going to tow me by the front and I told him that the problem was the rear tire. He then said he was going to tow me from the rear, put the van in neutral and tie off the stearing wheel with the seat belt. Thankfully my brother-in-law was present and knows a hell of a lot more about cars than I ever will. My bro-in-law said they needed to send out a flatbed tow truck or use a dolly for under the wheels so they wouldn't screw up the transmission. The tow truck driver said they weren't getting paid for that and called back to his boss who said to go ahead and use the dolly even though they wouldn't get paid for it. After the van got to the dealer they determined that the rear brake hose was faulty and was not releasing the brake like it should. This was fixed under warranty at the end of May. Now it is July 17th and my family and I just got done with yet another exciting day of dealing with chrysler roadside "assistance" and the brakes on my caravan. We were driving down the highway about 90 miles from home when we started to hear a high pitch noise coming from the rear passenger side tire area. I pulled off at the next exit (about 1 & ½ miles) and was not very happy. This time the heat and burning rubber stench was in fact coming from the passenger rear tire. I called my home dealer to verify what the problem was before and then I called chrysler roadside assistance. I told them this has happened before and I needed a flatbed tow truck to tow the van and that I was with my wife and 5 year old daughter. They sent the flat bed tow truck and he towed the van in to the dealer about 25 to 30 miles away. I was told by roadside assistance that we couldn't all fit in the tow truck but they could give my the # to a cab company which I would have to pay for myself. I called the cab company and they said it would be about $98 for them to come get us and take us to the dealer. Instead I got ahold of my mother-in-law who drove almost 1½ hours to come and get us and take us to the dealer and then home. The dealer couldn't get to the van today but they have will "try " to look at it tomorrow even though they have shortened hours for Saturday and only ½ the technicians working. So needless to say I will probably not hear anything until Monday. While at the dealer there was only 1 other customer there and she was arguing with them because they had told her that her car would be done and now a different person was telling her a totally different story...last I heard she was going to speak to their manager. This doesn't make me feel that my van is in a very good place right now. I have been a loyal chrysler/dodge owner for a good number of years and even go very far out of my way to purchase and have service done at a small town dealer who has been very accomadating. However, I am seriously thinking I need to consider a different manufacturer for the future. Both times the rear brakes have had problems I was in the van with my wife and daughter on the highway. We are very fortunate that nothing serious happened to us and that we caught the problem early enough. I seriously had pictures of us traveling down the highway and a rear tire gets so hot that it ignites (if you could have felt the heat and smelled the horrific odor you would have the same thought). Dodge/Chrysler please correct the problems with these brakes and any owners out there be very careful and have your brakes checked often (probably every 300 miles would be good -->feeble attempt at humor). Good Luck!
  • jerry109jerry109 Posts: 4
    My van has 17000 and just had front wheel bearing replaced and dealer also told me my pads needed replaced. It is sad that a $34000 van has this kind of problems. I owned two others and no problems. I have had all kinds of other problems also. Need to recall this problem.
  • Bought used 2008 T@C with 9,000 miles. At 20,000 needed front pads and rotors at $400+. I don't tailgate, drive in heavy traffic, ride the brakes, haul heavy loads, etc. Dealer had nerve to charge for tire rotation ($40) even though they had to inspect front and rears anyway. How much time did it take to roll front tire to rear and rear tire to front? They did replace a sway bar at no charge (under warranty) but that's says alot about Chrysler front end and brakes. A $30,000+ vehicle in the shop after one year and 20,000 miles. Ridiculous. I've finally learned my lesson. Time to move on to a different brand.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    I don't blame you; it is amazing how the quality has gone downhill on this model.

    My '98 DGC w/ AWD has 213,000 miles on it now with about 48,000 miles on the front brake pads. I rotated the tires on Sunday and noted that the pads are at about 60%.
  • adc1adc1 Posts: 1
    Hye, I'm from belgium in europe, sorry for my bad english!
    I'm very disappointed about my chrysler voyager ( the name of town and country in europe ) limited year 2008.
    I have a lot of problems : brake have been replaced 5 times from purchase ( 42000 kilometers ),I have a air conditioner leak that caused mushrooms behind the carpet, I have also sometimes a siren like noise when driving and sliding doors problems ( obstacle detection ). Normally the leak is resolved, i hope so but now my garage must change all the floorboard. Biggest problem is the brake. I have done 150 km from replacement for brake and now my wheel is trembling during braking on high speed. I have appointment next week with Chrysler's importation responsible.
    Hoping now solutions... what a pity that there are no lemon law in belgium
  • ann58ann58 Posts: 3
    I know exactly how you feel! Luckyly, I caught the A/C leak. It took them 5 different attempts to get it fixed but I was not going to take "NO" for an answer and my entire carpet was replaced by the dealership. Brakes? They are a pice of you know what! Doors still rattle and they "fixed" them until now my warranty has ran out. And the stow and go? Forget that! I will never own another van with stow and go. It causes the van to be so noisy for the passengers in the rear and Lord help if you go down a dusty road or even have to straddle a dead animal in the road, all of the smell comes into the van! I have always had vans but this is the worst of any type a person can buy. Wonder why they went bankrupt? Crappy workmanship, extremely high wages and we the little guy has to continue to pay their high salaries while they sit back and laugh at us because they know we do not have a choice. Either continue to pay for junk that we have made a conmittment on or ruin our credit and not have a chance to go to a different brand and have a good vehicle. So they have a person no matter which way they turn. I WILL NEVER OWN ANOTHER CHRYSLER PRODUCT!!!!!! :lemon:
  • We have a 2008 Town @ Country van with 18,000 and are in our 60's and do not travel a lot. My husband heard a scraping like from the brakes, so he took it in and low and behold there were no brakes left, it was metal on metal and cost us $400.00 for a leased car. I think that everyone who has had bake problems and had to put money out, should start a Class Action suit against Chrysler. We have driven nothing but Chrysler for 35 years, gues what NO MORE. Chrysler can go uner. :mad:
  • We had to replace both the front and rear brake pads and rotors on our 2008 Chrysler Town & Country van at only 22,000 miles. I have never had to replace brake pads and rotors at such a low mileage on any vehicle I have owned. I have been driving 35 years, have owned many vehicles and am not driving any differently than I have driven in the past. We spent $40K for this vehicle and have just spent $910.00 to replace the pads/rotors. I am furious! I will be calling Chrysler Customer Service to see if any relief will be given and if not, will file a complaint with the NHTSA ODI (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Defects Investigation.) If enough people report, maybe something will be done to assist the entire group. While you are there you can read some similar complaints that have already been filed. Below is info. I copied from their website:

    How to report a safety Complaint
    Select how you would like to report your complaint. See below for information regarding this form.
    • ONLINE: Select the "Begin Form" button to the right.
    • BY PHONE: Call the Hotline, Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm at
    (888) 327-4236 , TTY: (800) 424-9153.
    ________________________________________
    Who we are
    We are The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), an office within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). ODI conducts defect investigations and administers safety recalls to support the NHTSA's mission to improve safety on our Nation's roadways.
    Why your complaint is important
    Your complaint information will be entered into NHTSA-ODI's vehicle owner's complaint database and used with other complaints to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists.
    • If a safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment, the manufacturer must provide a remendy at no cost to the owner. Your complaint is the first step in the process.
    • We do not have to receive a specific number of complaints before we look into a problem. We gather all available information on a problem. Your complaint is important to us.
    How Your complaint is Handled
    • Government engineers analyze the problem. If warranted, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) will open an investigation to determine if a safety defect trend existis. Some of these investigations result in safety recalls.
    • While you may or may not be contacted by a NHTSA-ODI investigator to clarify the information submitted, all reports are reviewed and analyzed for potential defects trends.
    Filling out this form
    Types of safety complaints
    There are four types of safety complaints you can report.
    • Vehicles: All motor vehicles -- cars, heavy trucks, RV's, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, buses, etc.
    • Tires: All types of tires -- requires you to submit your vehicle information as well.
    • Equipment: Non-original equipment -- replacement oil filters, wipers, RV accessories, lights, floor jacks, etc.
    • Child Restraint: All types of child restraints --infant seats, booster seats, convertibles, etc.
    Time needed to complete
    The average time to complete the minimum requirements of this form is eight to ten minutes. It is advised you gather the necessary information for your complaint type before completing the complaint form.
    Information needed
    Below is a list of items you will need for each type of Complaint. Select the "+" button for the type to see what information you will need.
    Vehicles
    • Model Year
    • Make
    • Model
    • Component*
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) (Optional, but very important)
    Found on registration or insurance card.
    * Component -- Part or system of concern
    Tires
    • Tire information needed
    o Tire Brand
    o Tire Line
    o Tire Size, (e.g., P275/75R16 89H)
    o Component*
    o DOT Number (Tire Identification Number) (Optional, but very important)
    • Vehicle information needed
    o Model Year
    o Make
    o Model
    o Component*
    o Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) (Optional, but very important)
    Found on registration or insurance card.
    * Component -- Part or system of concern
    Equipment
    • Make
    • Model
    • Component *
    * Component -- Part or system of concern
    Child Restraints
    • Make
    • Model Number
    • Type (only appears with some makes)
    • Date of Manufacture
    • Component*
    * Component -- Part or system of concern
    Consumer
    We Value Your Privacy
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone Number

    Send your suggestions or comments to webmaster@nhtsa.dot.gov

  • We just had to purchase new brake pads for our 2008 T&C at 17,000 miles. Unheard of! Ridiculous! The Chrysler service rep told the "unofficial" story of how the new pads are the 3rd re-designed brake pads for this van, due to complaints/problems.

    Why hasn't there been a recall? Why weren't my brakes free if the 2nd design was faulty and so many other T&C owners were coming in EARLY to have their brakes replaced on so low mileage???

    We just purchased this Chrysler after owning 2 Toyota Siennas w/o any problems. Years prior, we had a horrible experience owning a Chrysler minivan and stayed away for years but were tempted back w/the 2008. Ha! Lesson learned.

    Can't trust Chrysler products to last or trust the Chrysler company to stand behind their product. They're always dodging responsibility.......

    We will definitely be using the advice from above poster to register our complaint with the government office (see #31). THIS NEEDS TO BE AN OFFICIAL RECALL!!! Heck, our brakes are squeaking already. Back brakes? Rotars? Sheesh - better keep the wallet open. It is a Chrysler, after all......
  • We spent $40K for this vehicle and have just spent $910.00 to replace the pads/rotors.

    Although the brakes wore out sooner than they should have I am scratching my head wondering why the service cost was so high to have them replaced. Did you get an estimate from at least one other shop, like Midas or some independent service center? You do not have to have the work done at a high price dealership since this is not part of the warranty.

    I'm not a mechanic but I've replaced pads and rotors on many of my cars. It's not that hard to do and it takes about two hours for me with hand tools and my car on jack stands in the garage. I don't have all the fancy lifts and air tools, etc. I would guess the parts cost for new rotors and pads would run around $200. It would be even less if the rotors just had to be resurfaced (turned) and not replaced. You can usually have that done to them the first time or two when the pads are replaced and there's still plenty of thickness on the rotors. Did all 4 wheels have to be replaced? Usually the fronts go out more quickly than the rears.

    Anyway, I'm not suggesting that everyone should do their own brake pad replacing if they are not comfortable with taking on such a task. However, to anyone else who did a search for a similar problem they are having and found this thread I highly recommend getting a second or third opinion at an independent shop, especially since this repair is not covered under the warranty. $900 to have brakes replaced is WAY too high.

    Here's a solution to the problem that another owner came up with: Chrysler Brake Problems
  • Yes, we checked with our trusted, personal mechanic before the dealer did the initial work and they agreed that the price quoted was reasonable for the work on the front brakes. We then took the vehicle to our own mechanic for the remaining work. Yes, all four brakes were replaced. Neither my husband or I would have been able to do the work and you are fortunate to be able to do this yourself.
  • I guess I should run an ad for Chrysler minivan brake repair and earn a little extra cash on the weekends if they're getting that much for the service - wow. :surprise:

    I'm sorry for the headaches you've had with this. As a former Chrysler employee I took pride in what I did for them and I tried to help any owners out who needed it. Ironically, I worked as an electrician at the St. Louis minivan plant until they moved everything to Canada last year.
  • I had to replace the same thing on my 2008 Town and Country at 17,000 KMS! This was the least of my problems with this car...I haven't had it for a month because it is getting a new engine
  • I am so sorry to hear that. What size engine do you have?

    FYI - I wrote a letter to the dealer we bought the van from asking for reimbursement for our costs and the owner called us right away. We have a meeting with him Wednesday, October 7th and hope to have some good news to post here. Keep your fingers crossed.
  • I have a 4.0 l engine...Good Luck with the reimbursement!
  • We also had brakes replaced on our 2008 Town and Country with only 19000 miles and were also given the runaround about it being normal wear and tear. I called Chrysler who basically told me tough crap, they were not going to do anything about it. I also talked to the "Sales Manager" who threw me out of his office. . I heard the service man on the phone with another customer who also had to put new brakes on with 23,000 miles on her car, and he was telling her the same thing,it is normal wear and tear. How are they getting away with this? I have also filed a complaint with NHTSA ODI.
  • gunksnygunksny Posts: 12
    Hi -

    Please let us know how this turns out. We first heard a squealing noise about 3000 miles ago at 13,500 - it seemed to be coming from everywhere outside and we never would have suspected the brakes at 13k miles. The dealer couldn't find the source.

    Just brought the car into the dealer at 16,500 and they tell us its the rear brakes totally gone - metal on metal. Of course NO one would expect you need new brakes at 13 or 16k miles! The sevice tech agreed thjis is a major flaw and they have been seeing this alot on the 2008 T&C's as early as 11k miles and yes its a big problem but they have no recourse. They did give me a 10% discount so it came to $300 for the rears.

    The Dealer also said the only way recalls get started is if enough people call (for them to be afraid of a class action or safety lawsuit).

    He gave me a number, 800-992-1997 to get started (and we might even get reimbursed, but doubtful).

    This is not only infuriating, not to mention dangerous.

    .Everyone who has had this problem should call and write a letter!
  • I have had to replace both front and rear brake pads and rotors after only 20,000 miles! This costs a small fortune. If you have had a similar problem I urge you to file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If enough complaints are filed perhaps Chrysler will have to do something to recall and replace this sub-standard product! If you search for NHTSA on the internet, you can find their Office and Defects Investigation. Then under "Safety Complaint" click on "file a complaint". This will lead you through the steps to file an official complaint. It only took me about 5 minutes to complete and hopefully we can get a response from Chrysler. They need to take responsibility for their products!
  • That's right! 3,420 miles and my van needs new front/rear pads and rotors. So much for the "upgraded" brake components for 2009. :mad: I brought it to the dealer for pulsating in the pedal and they tell me the rotors are "blue" all around and the pads are worn down. They covered it under warranty and gave me a loaner. I don't brake with my left foot. It will be on their dime for the first 12K miles as I understand it. After that, I'll install aftermarket ceramic pads and aftermarket rotors like I did on my 06 T&C and be done with these crumby Chrysler/Mopar parts. The ceramics sqeak a lot but I don't care as they provide better stopping power, less wear and much less brake dust.
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