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

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  • fpeckfpeck Posts: 7
    I have an 08 T&C, that we have had 3 brake replacements, only 36,000 miles on it. Have had the 3rd row seat repaired, both sliding doors have had to be fixed, and the latest was the entire electrical system failed. Is in the shop now, and is no under warranty. I filed a complaint with NHST, then called Chrysler 6 times, I asked for a buy back, they denied me without even contacting the dealership to see what was wrong this time. I was told the "district manager" had denied the request, but they would not give me any names or people to contact. The dealership told me the same thing. We would file a lemon law suit, but the attys was 2500 to file the case up front, cannot gaurantee settlement, and may take years. The payoff on the van is 40,000, (yes we were overloaned on it to start with 1 1/2 years ago) OUr only option is going to be to trade it in for a Toyota Venza, and put in about $5,000 cash to get them to refinance over 44000. It sounds like a sad story, but I bet there are plenty others. We just dont know what to do, and we had to borrow the 5000 until income tax refund comes in. DO NOT BUY A TOWN AND COUNTRY VAN AND DO NOT EVER BUY ANOTHER CHRYSLER PRODUCT.
  • I found this forum last week when I was told that at 29k miles I needed new rotors on my 2008 T&C. Earlier at 22k miles we needed new pads but they never said a thing about the rotors. The only explanation I was given was that it was my "driving habits". I told the guy I know that isn't right and he went in to depth about how I shouldn't stop quickly at lights, etc. He doesn't know me much less ever seen how I drive. That was at the quick lube section of my dealership and after a few words he told me I should go to the service dept.-even though they told me to go there. I called them and told them my problems and they made an appointment for today - after they told me I had to pay for another brake inspection, which I politely told them NO, wasn't paying for another inspection.

    Long story short, the manager came out to talk to me. He asked for my story and said "we have seen a lot of T&C with brake problems so I am going to authorize, under warranty, to replace not only the rotors but the brake pads." He is giving me back the pads that we just replaced in Sept. so I can use them in the future (hopefully not too near future). I got a call tonight from the dealer because I was having problems with the gear shifter (started Saturday after I made the appointment-lucky, I guess) and he said he had to order a whole new gear shift assembly so I would have to wait until Wednesday to get it back. They gave me a loaner so it is ok but when you are used to this with 3 kids, a Corolla just doesn't cut it. Ugh.

    That makes brake pads and rotors, gear shift assembly and back auto door actuator that have been replaced.

    So, be persistent. They know there is a problem but they don't give in easily. Like I told my dealership, I bought a NEW Chrysler so I didn't have to worry about safety or repairs but I am afraid to drive it with brakes like this. We paid good $$ for these vans and shouldn't be having these problems. I am writing Chrysler to tell them that my dealership fixed their faulty product. Maybe if enough of them are reported they will do a recall.
  • ahh65ahh65 Posts: 12
    I've been reading complaints for 2 days on the 2008 Caravan and I just can't believe it. All these stories sound like mine. Went for the oil change asked the dealership to check my brakes because they were squeaking at 18,000 miles. You should have seen my face when they told me I needed my rotors turned and new pads. I was appalled!! I could not believe it and I have been and will continue to contact anyone and everyone I can to have this situation fixed. There has to be something said when there are so many people complaing about the life of these brakes.
    Needless to say It really is not the dealerships fault but I blame Chrysler. I called them and pretty much got the "well, the warranty is 12 mos. or 12K, I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it!! I think I'm going to the Attorney General here in CT, and maybe even farther. Imagine how many people do not realize THIS IS NOT NORMAL. I would like to see Chrysler build or buy a better quality product that will last at least 36,000. I paid alot of money for my new van so I would not have to worry about this kind of nonsense so soon. Please, I plead with everyone who has this same complaint to take it as far as you can. Don't let the "customer service" at Chrysler just tell you nothing can be done, take it as far as you can. There is strength in numbers people, this is America. We can build a car that lasts 100,000 miles, but rotors and pads only last 13K to 20 K, that's just bologna and we all know it!! :mad:
  • fpeckfpeck Posts: 7
    We had the same problem, i have posted on here 3 times, only 36000 miles, and already 3 sets of breaks, third row seat messed up, both sliding doors quit working. we have talke to Chrysler and asked for a buy back, was denied without the chrysler folks even looking at the vehicle. We were going to get an attorney, but the reality is they charge 2500 up front and dont gaurantee you are gonna win. we owed 40000 on the payoff. we took the vehicle to toyota and begged them to let us trade, we had to put 5000 cash in and finance another 42000, but we got rid of it and bought a new Toyota Venza. We caved in and traded to get out of the van deal, but we are so upset and hurt over this, this is the worst car experience i have ever had.
  • I'm a bit frustrated to read about all the people experiencing the same issue we're experiencing - without resolution or any sort of more general statement or action on the part of chrysler - and the attitude my dealer gave me yesterday.

    Took the van in for it's regular oil change and aske them to inspect the brakes because they were squeaking again and uneven. We had the pads replaced at 12K miles because they were worn down to metal and was assured that the replacements were better than the pads applied on assembly.

    the Tech came out and we discussed how not only were the pads gone the roters were also beyond machining and needed to be replaced as well - 21,000 miles and I have to replace the pads again and replace the rotors entirely. I actually asked if they were made of plastic.

    When I asked the tech and the service department manager about this shey both kind of shrugged, and attempted to explain to me that on this van this wear and tear is normal and expected. I called BS on this and asked if the rotors and pads were made of plastic.

    What's worse is when I asked whether the pads and rotors they were replacing the crappy ones with were any better, or if I'd have to plan on replacing them again in less than 20k miles, they shrugged and repeated that this is expected wear on these vans.

    The consensus is that this wear and tear is absolutely, completely and without exception not expected - there is not a single person looking to buy, lease or borrow a car or van that would have ANY sort of reasonable expectation that they will be replacing pads every 12K miles, or that they would have to replace the rotors after 20k miles.

    At approx $400 per incident, this flies in the face of reasonable expenses for maintenance of a vehicle. Is there any resolution available for this? Any avenue for being made whole for being sold a POS without disclosure??? Any attempt on the part of this company to address what is clearly a defective vehicle issue, with safety implications??
  • OK... well, I'm pretty sure I won't be leasing that T&C after all! 15-20k life expectance on pads and rotors is crazy given the materials and technology available. I hate the fact that Chrysler is the only domestic producing a minivan, and that I'll have to look at the Honda or Toyota to meet our needs. Given all the traouble these vans seem to be having, it's not difficult to see how Chrysler got in so much trouble!
  • Thanks for the suggestion - i've submitted my defect complaint at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • ahh65ahh65 Posts: 12
    That's perfect. I was told if there are enough complaints the the NHTSA, they will force Chrysler to issue a TSB - (service bulletin) and force them to recall these darn parts that they are using.
    My biggest prob is I'm going to have the rotors turned and pads replaced, for a few hundred dollars, and what will happen in another 20,000miles. I also hate people asking me if I am hard on my brakes!! Come on people if everyone is having the same prob and we all drive differently I highly doubt it's our driving!!
    :D
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    You may want to check out a Ford Flex. Good luck.
  • ahh65ahh65 Posts: 12
    Call Chrysler customer service and file a complaint. They will tell you the same old thing that its wear and tear, but still do it. Then go to NHTSA.gov and file a complaint with them, then pitch another [non-permissible content removed] at the dealer. Although it's not their fault. My dealership is willing to work with me. But I keep questioning them. Also ask them if there was a silent TSB issued by chrylser on the rotors or pads. I still need to do this, but if you sound like you know what you are talking about, maybe they will help you out a little more. Good Luck and don't give in. Imagine how many folks out there who have not complained and really think this is an ok repair at such low mileage.
  • ahh65ahh65 Posts: 12
    File a complaint with NHTSA.gov. This is not normal and a whole lot of people think the same thing. Also file a claim with Chrysler Customer service. At least you'll get a case number and the more people that file a claim the better off we will be to get a resolution to this issue. I'm also appalled that they just replace the rotors and pads with more crappy parts, therefore in another 15-20,000 they will need to be done all over again!!
    So I erge you to file. The nhtsa.gov will research each claim filed and may help if there is enough people who have problems.
  • I love the Flex. Great to drive, very quiet, much more substantial and luxurious inside than most vans. But I like the interior volume, particularly height, that a van gives me. Bikes, dogs, etc. all can stand upright in a van where the Flex and most all crossovers/SUV's are height restrictive inside. Waiting for the new Toyota Sienna SE to arrive for comparison, but the Chryslers are off my list.
  • I just dropped off my 2008 T&C limited ($42K sticker price) for my first brake service (I bought the van new and it now has 17,000 highway miles). Dealer called me back and said I need front/rear rotors and pads and a brake flush. Total cost is about $550. I told him he was nuts and I've never had this kind of problem with a 1 year old vehicle with this low miles. Previous chrysler vans I've owned got 30 - 40K miles before and brake service was required. The dealer told me this was normal on the 08 T&C and should not expect more than 15 - 20K miles between brake/rotor changes. I said [non-permissible content removed], hung up the phone and called my friend who is a chrysler dealer mechanic on the east coast. My friend told me Chrysler knows about this terrible brake problem and has authorized dealers (including his dealership) to do a one time "goodwill" and fix any brake/rotor problems for free (up to 30K miles on a new vehicle). My dealer here on the west coast never mentioned this only saying this is normal and the bill is $550 to fix the brakes. I CALLED CHRYSLER, COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS AND THEY SAID SEND IN MY RECEIPTS AND THEY WOULD SEND ME A CHECK FOR $550. I called my friend back and told them Chrysler would pay for it. He said great but I should not have to call chrysler since the dealer should have taken care of this and not charge me anything. I'm leaving to pick up my van. I'm going to look at the service guy in the eye and tell him he is a looser and explain what I heard from my friend that Chrysler has agreed to pick up the tab on brake jobs. SO ALL YOU GUYS OUT THERE WHO HAVE EITHER REPLACED THE BRAKES ON YOUR 08 T&C or need to replace them be advised: CHRYSLER HAS AGREED TO DO THE WORK FOR FREE SO DON'T TAKE ANY [non-permissible content removed] FROM YOUR DEALER.. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. more to follow after I pick up my van....
  • fpeckfpeck Posts: 7
    That is still not the best solution, we had to trade our vanin, put in 5000 cash to get rid off it, because we were already on the 4th set of brakes with 36000 miles, got tired of fighting, this is not right, but we got a good Toyota venza, we are horribly over loaned, but releived to get out of the broken down van and quit hassling with dealers
  • Does the same apply for us folks here in Canada that you know of? Sorry to read about all the brake issues... my turn is soon approaching by the looks of it!!!
  • I'm not sure about Canada but would assume Chrysler would honor their commitment in your country. I would call Chrysler (see www.chrysler.com) and call the complaint dept. to find out. They were very nice to me and gave me no hassles about my brake problem. What I didn't make clear in my post is that this is a ONE TIME deal so when brakes go out a second time (with low miles on the replaced brakes) Chrysler probably won't cover it. I'm hoping in another year or so Chrysler (or independent parts stores) will have replacement brakes/rotors which are better quality. I've looked on the internet and found a number of 3rd party retailers selling premium rotor/brake replacement parts for the 08 T&C which they claim last 2-3 times as long as O.E.M. Don't know if it's true but I will certainaly look into this next time I need brakes. Good luck......moose
  • ahh65ahh65 Posts: 12
    This Monday I went in for my brake job. The service manager said he would work with me on the repair. I got my front rotors turned and lifetime warranty pads for $170.00, that's on the dodge van.. I know, same thing.
    This time I got to talk with the mechanic directly and He sees this alot. But as I was sitting and waiting I was bending the ear of a woman, also with a 2008 van, who's had 2 brake jobs. But she was covered under some kind of full warranty she purchased and did n't know how many miles she had on her van. My point is, there are a lot of people out there who do not know any better. I had to push and fight and go in fully prepared to get my deal because I'm a woman and you know they weren't gonna go easy on me!!! But I did not go down with out a fight, and I've called and filed a complaint with chrysler and you have to contact the DMV also, they have a complaint dept. and if they get enough of us, hopefully there will be TSB, or some other sort of recall.
    I'm glad you pitched a "fit", I really can't blame the service guys I think they are just fielding the complaints for Chrysler. I asked if there was any type of Service Bulletin from Chrysler and you should have seen this guys face.. but he told me there was not. So I'm not sure if he lied, but I was pretty happy getting out of there with just $170.00 out of my pocket.. GOOD LUCK and keep on fighting.

    ;)
  • First let me congratulate you on your fight. I'm a man but I don't necessarily think these dealers are singling out woman (I've seen some woman trash these service people better than a lot of men). I think the dealers are coached by management to try to extract as many $$$$ as possible before letting up. I think they try to determine the info level a customer has and then go for it. I just got back from picking up my Van. Brakes and doors were fixed ($624). Doors were fixed under warranty but I had to pay for new brakes/rotors. I again mentioned that Chrysler has a program in place (one time) to fix brakes on 08 vans for no charge (in my last post I mentioned I called Chrysler and they told me to send them reciepts and they would send me a check to cover the amount). The service guy looked at me and said they received no such notice. I called my chrysler mechanic friend on the east coast and he told me that CHRYSLER ABSOLUTELY HAS THIS PROGRAM IN PLACE! So here I am (a man) dealing with this idiot service man who obviously is BSing me through his teeth. If I were a woman I would have slapped this moron silly. In any event, I think Chrysler service dealers are trying to cover this up as best as possible. I'm going to talk to some of my lawyer friends an perhaps send a note to the Attorney General. One question for you: Was your dodge van an 08 and how many miles? Chrysler will only cover brake repairs up to 25K miles for original owners who bought the vans new. Also, my service idiot said they get declined all the time for reimbursement from Chrysler for these brake jobs. It took me 5 minutes with Chrysler complaint dept. to get this process done. My tech friend said his dealership has never had a decline since they started doing these brake repairs in the past year.
  • We've had our 2008 Grand Caravan since 10/08. It had only 16,000 miles when we found out it needed new brakes and rotors! Which is not covered under the warranty. It cost $427 to replace. Is this a joke? This car has been in the shop 4 times and we have it a little over a year.
  • Just a quick update, our lemon law case is moving forward. It's been about 1.5 months since filing and we're getting closer to a resolution, but I don't want to give any details until the case is closed.

    For anyone that's had to deal with the brakes more than 2 times within the basic warranty period and is tired of dealing with it (Personally, I don't want to have to budget having the brakes done every 8 months), I suggest contacting a lemon law attorney and getting their opinion. The fact that Chrysler HAS issued a TSB for the brakes is an admission of defect and makes the case for a lemon-law buyback much stronger. Unfortunately, the TSB does not fix the problem.

    Hope to have a resolution within a few weeks.
  • CALL CHRSYLER CORP with your details! I did and they are doing a one time courtesy coverage on 2008 T&C van brakes. My dealer denies knowing of this program but they are full-of-[non-permissible content removed] according to sources. They just want to get you to pay. Of course I've not received my check yet ($550 for all brakes/rotor replacement) but I've sent in all info requested by Chrysler. I'm wondering if I'll get my check or Van back first? I took my Van back after my recent brake job last week because one of my wheels froze. Turns out the service technician forgot to tighten the caliper bolts on the brakes. If I'd been going at freeway speeds I'd probably be dead due to a rollover. It's been over a week now dealer trying to fix my van (broken parking brake cable, rotors, calipers.... blah blah.). I'm looking at lemon law so I'm real interested in seeing what happens with above poster.
  • I sure would like to know what number you used to call Chrysler.

    I have a 2008 Caravan and been having brake problems over the past 6 months. First it was the brake pads, now it's the brake rotors. After reading your reply that Chrysler is aware of this problem, I called my dealer and he basically told me to call Chrsyler Customer Hotline. I did and they told that they do not have any type of program concerning a "good faith" brake replacement on 2008 Caravans. They did say they would have a representative call me within the next 48 hours to discuss my concern about my brakes.
  • ahh65ahh65 Posts: 12
    There is no "good faith" replacement program, my dealership was willing to work with me cuz I made a HUGE stink. I only called Chrysler and got the standard "12 months, 12,000 miles) answer. They did not do anything for me. When you call the dealership back talk to the service manager!!! I did alot of research on here and the internet. Believe me there is a lot of concern out there on these brake pads.
    Call Chrysler 1-800-992-1997 and contact the NHTSA to complain 1-888-327-4236.
    also, google. 2008 dodge caravan brake problems and you can read about all the issues. We are all having the same probs. Good luck, and be persistant. ;)
  • Hoffer2

    When I called Chrysler I told them that my brother in law (Chrysler Mechanic on east coast) told me his dealership was regularly replacing brakes on 2008 T&C and Chrysler was picking up the tab for those that created a "stink". Most people just pay up and don't push the issue. Dealers claim there is no brake replacement program at Chrysler. Dealers have all been coached by Chrysler to try to suck as much money as they can. When you call Chrysler tell them the brakes have a design flaw and no similar vans have ever had this kind of problem (i.e. replacing brakes at 12 - 17K miles... nuts). This is unheard of in the auto industry. The latest research shows the 2008 T&C gained over 500 lbs and the rotors were not adjusted for the increase. In addition, apparently cheeper brake pads were used which wear out much faster than normal. I would also call NHTSA and report. On the NHTSA website there have been about 15 times the number of brake complaints on Chrysler 2008 vans. The 07 and 09 have had very few complaints. Eventually, if enough complaints are received, NHTSA will force Chrysler to recall the 08 vans and replace the brakes with quality parts which will last. Funny thing is the the 09/10 T&C have not had brake problems. If they managed to fix the problem then why not offer solutions to custormers of 2008 vans? ANSWER: Its all about the money.....
  • My wife & I had our brakes replaced at about the 21,000 mile mark. We bought the van with about 14,000 miles on it from the dealer. It was a demo meaning it was used but since the dealership used it, we were the "first registered" owners. We got brake pads, 1 rotor, & 1 caliper replaced at 'Just Brakes' for about $450. The good thing about going there is the brake pads have a lifetime warranty so you don't have to keep paying for new ones when they wear out. That'll save us some money. Unfortunately, the brake problem is very real & will need to be fixed often. Our friend is changing her Kia's brake pads for the first time after 75,000 miles. No wonder Chrysler went bankrupt.
  • 24sam24sam Posts: 10
    My father just had all 4 brakes replaced ,rotors everything. I saw all these issues here and called Chrysler customer service. He just missed warranty when he took it in. Rep. was very pleasant said there was NO PROGRAM or deals but was real positive that since he was so close to warranty they would take care of him. Well just received phone call from them SORRY cant help because dealer says that brakes problems were from rust and corrosion from lack of use he didn't drive it enough!!!!!! This is the honest reply I received???????????? 12,089 miles and all 4 brakes were shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ahh65ahh65 Posts: 12
    If I were you I'd push the issue. I did get quit a giggle out of your message. It was your Dad's fault because he didn't drive enough!! LOL, It was all our faults because we actually USED our brakes! Go figure, which is it already!
    Call comsumer protection and file a complaint with them.
    How many miles on the van?
  • 24sam24sam Posts: 10
    Oh I am pushing it, wish I had a picture of my face when I heard their reason I think steam was coming out of ears. Called dealership left message for service manager,head mech. asking them if really could have given such a stupid reason. I pointed out to them that they seen the car almost every three to four months since purchased and he has the records that they changed oil and cked brakes,etc , etc all according to their " 5 STAR SERVICE certification " claim also states on paperwork. stated on messages that and that must mean they failed to see the " rusted and corroroded parts from lack of use" my god can you believe somebody could really try to say something like that???? GUESS WHAT ?? service manager called back this afternoon. BIG mistake I should contact national customer service rep. and them call dealership back he had discussed this with head mech. everything will be taken care of!!! Is this how Chrysler is going to WIN back customers ??????? I urge anyone with this problem dont back down . I still am going to write and email every person I can about this including the big shots!!! Sometimes its a waste but its better than doing NOTHING.
  • 24sam24sam Posts: 10
    Hi, could let us know how you made out . I called dealer and chrysler customer service line and been told no such offer, but they said they might be able to do something because just missed 12,000 warranty coverage by 89 miles, called back and sorry dealer told them that all 4 brakes had to be replaced due to ...now get this " LACK OF USE " and that caused brakes to become rusted and corroded. Well I blew stack and called dealership and heard back from to call back Chrysler rep. and tell them to call them they had talked it over with head mech. decided that they would take care it. Waiting to hear back from Chrysler now. wonder how you made out. Thanks
  • I have owned a 2002 Town & Country 3.8L for 9 mos. I haven't had to service the brakes yet but can give some perspective both as an engineer and from having replaced brakes on many vehicles including a 96 Voyager.

    First, Chrysler doesn't manufacture brakes or rotors, they only select parts from the same vendors most manufacturers use, including Toyota and Honda. Brake design has hardly changed in 20 years. GM did try an innovation in composite rotors a few years back that proved problematic, but I haven't heard much else. A valid complaint might be if Chrysler selected under-sized components, but I have no knowledge and you will probably find they are using the largest rotors that will fit under the wheels. My T&C as 11.2"D rotors vs the 10"D rotors in my smaller Voyager. What has changed is that the new minivans are now maxi-vans >4500 lb. Chrysler doesn't even offer the 4 cylinder engine anymore. Ditto for other manufacturers. Customers (us) demand this.

    Mileage doesn't translate into brake life, only braking does. Use your brakes sparingly. I see many drivers racing to a red light, then braking. Use the engine to slow downhill and even when coming to a stop, downshift when necessesary. Brake pads have much less life since asbestos was eliminated. The longest life comes from so-called "ceramic" pads, but they also wear rotors faster. I say "so called" because there are many things cast into the pad material and there are no industry standard terms so they can call any pad anything they want.

    As soon as you are out of warranty, don't go to a dealer for brake jobs. Besides specialty shops, you can learn to change brake parts yourself. It is about a 2 on a scale of 10 in repair complexity. I typically pay $20 for front pads, $10 to have a rotor turned, and sometimes just $10 for a new rotor. I don't know where these $800 charges come from. Disc brakes are simpler to replace than drum and current designs are even simpler than years past. I do all repairs myself because is much cheaper, takes less time, and I avoid all the hassles of negotiating, dishonesty, incompetence, and lack of interest in my needs. I hope to never be a beggar in front of a snotty service manager.
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