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

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  • 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.
  • gunksnygunksny Posts: 12
    Hi bennett4

    Would the dealer put the ceramic brakes on your van for you or did you have to use an indie shop? How much more did it cost?

    thanks!
  • gunksnygunksny Posts: 12
    Here is the link to file a complaint with the NHTSA:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • A local shop installed them. They were about $30 more than a "stock" pad/rotor package.If I recall, the manufacturer of the components was "Centric." The dealer only installs Chrysler/Mopar parts.
  • fpeckfpeck Posts: 7
    We also purchased 2008 T&C in May of last year, had to have ALL new brakes at 15000 miles, we had to pay 400.00, then another set of brakes this summer before we could go on vacation at only 28000 miles, now, guess what at 34500 miles, we have to have another set. I contacted Chrysler directly and put in a complaint. they gave me a reference number and told me to take it to the dealer. This time the dealership said they were going to give us a "goodwill" repair and a free rental car until they could get our brakes parts in a couple of days. the lady at the main Chrylser complaint center said she had not heard of brakes being a complaint. Look PEOPLE, THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF COMPLAINTS ON HERE!!! not counting the other websites with complaints. we paid over 45000 for this van, and now the blue book price is 22950. we couldnt even trade it in to get rid of it. what can we do. somebody has to be able to help us, we cannot let this company get away with extortion and that is what it is..plain and simple!!!
  • Just found this group. My 2008 needed new brakes and rotors at 18k, I installed them at 24k for inspection, and have had another set of brakes and rotors installed since at 31k (dealer did them for free), and am back at the dealer with 35k on the van. After calling around to several dealers the service departments all know it's a problem, but all say that Chrysler isn't coming up with a updated option. I love the inside of the van, and some options, but hate this issue, and rough idling and engine noise. Has anyone had success fighting Chrysler? I was told I could receive half of my cost for the first set, and am preparing to send over that info to recoup my loss. Anyone buying another brand name replacement? I put 35-45k on a year, and am ready to leave the Chrysler family where I've owned vans since 1999 (my best one btw - 235k). John
  • mhumemhume Posts: 1
    I have had to replace both a transmission pump and a fuel pump. I literally had to get out of my car and push my baby to the dealership in a stroller because it wouldn't drive...it was only 4 months old at that point! Then are 6 months, it had to be towed from my driveway. The dealership wouldn't come and get it because they said the battery was dead...but of course, that wasn't the case...it was the fuel pump."> Now, the brakes are completely shot. What a total rip off. No wonder why they are in financial trouble...they are selling crap.
  • Just an update. We wrote a letter to the dealer from whom we purchased the vehicle and subsequently, met with one of the owners. He agreed that he has heard of more problems with the brakes on later model years. He stated their dealership is not able to reimburse us any $ but recommended we call Chrysler and specifically ask for reimbursement. He also suggested we advise them that the 12 to 15K coverage in the warranty is not acceptable and ask that they take some ownership in the problem. I called Chrsyler again since I had called them once previously. I did specifically ask for reimbursement and this time, the CSR gave me information as to how to request reimbursement. I did not receive this information on the first phone call to them, but I had not specifically asked for reimbursement. Here is the info they gave me: send a letter to Chrysler Customer Assistance Center, P.O. Box 21-8004, Auburn Hills, MI, 48321. Include: Name, VIN, Chrysler Reference #, Current Address, Reimbursement Address, Day Phone, Evening Phone, Dealership of Vehicle Purchase and Service, Mileage at time of repair; Requested Action. I am sending it out today and we will see . . .
  • Please see my update #49 to our situation.
  • Please see my post #49 for an update to our situation and info that may be helpful for you too.
  • Please see my post #49 for an update to our situation and info that may be helpful for you too.
  • gunksnygunksny Posts: 12
    Thanks - I'm not optimistic, but I will send a letter here as well and keep everyone posted.

    I encourage everyone here to file a complaint with the NHTSA - it only takes a few minutes and it might force Chrysler to actually do something about this issue. Maybe a class action lawsuit would do the same.

    Again - here is the link to file a complaint with the NHTSA:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I would give my left eye tooth to know what Chrysler changed between the 2007 (my DGC) and the 2008 model years that would have caused such a widespread problem with the brakes. As I said before, I replaced the front pads on our 2007 at 42,000 miles, now have 58,000 miles on the van and rotors and the new pads are doing just fine.

    Is the brake problems with the 2008 and later years really that widespread, or are we just hearing from those who are having unresolved problems?
  • gunksnygunksny Posts: 12
    The redesigned 2008 T&C came in at 300-400 lbs heavier than the 2007. My guess is that they either used the same brakes/pads as they did for the lighter T&C or inferior ones to save $$. But who knows.
  • metoo5metoo5 Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 T&C Touring. No brake problems (other than that black dust). Fixed that by replacing OEM pads with high quality ceramic pads from NAPA. Did that at 10k - now at 50k and still fine.

    On our recent trip to Florida, the right front started making loud "crunching" type noise with a sharp right or left turn. Took it to an Orlando dealer and found the "drive axle" needed replacement. Dealer says we were lucky, "they usually don't make noise - they fall off". They had the part in stock (it's a popular part) and started right at it. While working on that they had anti-freeze drip on them. Found the water pump was leaking - so they changed that. Then they gave me a "23 point free inspection" and told me to see my dealer when I get back to Cleveland. The rack and pinion was seeping and the power steering fluid was burnt - signifying the internal of the rack was under stress. Chrysler extended warranty won't allow a change out until there is an actual leak - seeping don't count. He said it has to be watched - it will fail. I find it hard to believe that a van with 50,300 miles could have so many problems. My other vans surpassed 150,000 miles with fewer problems. I'm thankful that I bought the extended warranty - and pray that Chrysler continues to honor it and the lifetime warranty for the engine / drivetrain.

    Seems to me that Daimler squeezed every penny out of Chrysler and didn't give a damn about quality. This is my 4th Chrysler mini-van and by far the worst. It looks good but the quality is gone. I bought this as I entered retirement - this would be the last vehicle we would purchase. What a piece of junk. Very disappointing!
  • I thought this forum is for 2008 Chrysler minivan brake issues.
  • The 2007 is totally different, the issue in this thread has to do with 2008 and newer T&C/Grand Caravans and their brake issues.
  • presently 05 T&C LTD
    previously 96 Voyageur

    Same problem as everyone life expectancy is vey short and apparently very profitable. That is until their out of business.
    Find a reputible independent and dont use OEM.
  • My Chrysler dealer admitted to the 2008 brake issues and said he has found that 20,000 KM= brake job for front and or back. Both bad, and the worst he has every seen for a caravan year yet.
  • Everyone, I am experiencing the same issues with the poor brakes on my '08 T/C. I am getting ready to put my 5th set of pads on the vehicle with 50K miles on it. I have called and written Chrysler with no results toward the problem, so I am urging all of you to please register a complaint with NHTSA. Only if enough complaints are registered will Chrysler step up and do the right thing and issue a recall. Everytime that I spoke to a Chrysler customer service rep they stated that they had not received many complaints regarding the brakes. Please, Please, Please, let's stop complaining amongst ourselves and start registering the complaints with Chrysler and NHTSA.
  • dimsumdimsum Posts: 3
    Like others on this forum, our 2008 T&C LX required full brake replacement at 17K miles. Of course brakes are considered "wear" items and therefore not fully covered by 3/36K manufacturer comprehensive warranty, nor even some extended warranties.

    However, after reading the other posts from owners in similar situations, and getting nowhere with the dealer, my wife spoke at length to Chrysler corporate and we had to pay "only" $250 for replacement. Somehow she remained calm on the phone with the rep -- I would have not been so kind...

    I am fine having to replace brakes around 30/40/50K but not every year. Who knows how long this $250 "deductible" will be around. Throw in a previous AC/fan blower failure @ 13K and I don't want any more to do with this car, even though we purchased in January.

    This past weekend, we traded in the vehicle and are switching brands. Sorry Chrysler -- we tried.
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