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

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  • My Town & Country has had 3 front brake jobs and one rear brake job. Two sets of front rotors and one in the rear!! I had two of the front brake jobs done at Zooks, the local dealer, after the experience I took it to an independent mechanic the next two times. This vehicle has been used for work and for family use and vacations it has all road miles. The first set went out with rotors at around 20-23k, had pads and rotors turned at approx 32k. The rear rotors and pads went at 39k and the fronts went again at 48k. Also to add insult to injury both front wheel bearings went out between 50k and 55k. Right now as we speak there is a grinding sound coming from the right front!!! Wonder what that is!!! I am a 37 year old responsible father of 4 and I drive like it!! There is no way a vehicle should cost this much to maintain and this is a very well maintained vehicle!!!
  • I too have had brake problems with my Town and Country 2008 van. I first need new rotors and pads at 11,000. Chrysler covered that under warranty. Then again at about 23,000 miles my pads needed to be replaced and rotors refinished. The second job I had done at Midas, they had to replace the front brake pads and resurface the rotors two more times (in the last two months) because they keep glazing.

    Bottom line in conversations that I have had, it sounds like the rotors they put on this vehicle are not large enough to handle the weight of the van. I called the 1-800-992-1997 Chrysler Cust. Serv. number offered on another post (thank you!)...I will also file a complaint NHTSA listed in this forum of postings.

    I just seeked out this forum today because I did not think what was happening to my brakes was normal and wanted to see if others were having the same problem. Clearly you are. Thank you all for your input. Hopefully they will do a recall soon and upgrade the rotors on all of our vehicles! We have to do our part and complain...
  • My 2008 Dodge Caravan had rotors and rear brakes done under first year warranty a few months ago but now the front brakes and rotors need to be replaced 1 month after the bumper to bumper is expired. Just crazy, I am in Canada, where can I complain to get my money back and where can I complain to get this recall happening. I don't understand why criminal charges don't apply when they know the problem is from faulty workmanship and it causes a dangerous situation but they don't notify the customers?
  • My father and I both own 2008 Caravans and he has had to replace front and back complete brakes before 20,000 KM's after his back brakes seized/locked up on him!!!!!
    We would BOTH be interested knowing what we can do as we ALSO live in ONTARIO, CANADA.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I lived in Ontario for many years and the road salt just disintegrates brake parts (pads, rotors, etc.). I now live in Mississippi. In Ontario, I was replacing front pads between 20k and 25k KMs. In Mississippi, I had my first brake job done on a 2006 Caravan at 51k KM and that was only the pads. The original rotors are still on the vehicle. The rear brakes still haven't been serviced. With the newer version of the Chrysler vans (2008+ models) having 4 wheel disc brakes, the rear brakes become an expensive problem. You need to search for some good aftermarket parts and keep up-to-date for any Chrysler TSB's regarding the brakes. Good luck.
  • fpeckfpeck Posts: 7
    Please read my post #47, I also called Chrysler, and filed 2 complaints, we have had 3 sets of brake replacements in 1 1/2 years. and now our electrical system is completely down. Vehicle is in dealership repair shop right now. I asked the CSR at Chrysler for a buy back to get rid of it, and was told it was "DENIED" by the Chrysler District manager. When I asked for the district managers name, they would not give it to me and said I had to call the dealership to discuss the issue further. Needless to say we owe 40000. on a vehcile that books for 23000? We are screwed, but I am still getting an attorney. This is so not right. I was just wondering if you had had any success in your pursuit of justice?
  • i have had my 2008 Caravan for less than a year and with 12000 miles my wife had heard the brakes squeek last week and this morning it completely goes out on her. Thank God nothing happened with our 3 kids in the car. I tow the car to my mechanic and he just called saying the pads and Rotors are completely gone and the rear pads have 20% left so might as well change those as well... Is Dodge gonna reimburse me? This is OUTRAGEOUS why did we buy this car again? with 12000 miles we shouldnt have these issues but it looks like the lifespan for the brakes is 10000 miles....
  • If you have the chance to, take it to your Dodge dealer and have them fix it under warranty. You'll have a hard time getting them to reimburse you for the repairs if you let an independent shop do it while still under warranty. You also lose the ability to file a lemon law case if you let your mechanic deal with it.

    My wife and I debated whether or not to just throw aftermarket rotors and pads on there and hope for the best or just give up and lemon law since we can't do both.

    Anyway, as posted before, we decided to go the lemon law route. Been about a month since the filing, no updates yet.
  • I'm considering leasing a 2010 T&C but the brake issues are a deal breaker. The dealer tells me they have been "improved", but can't back that up with any detail about what has changed. The parts department shows the same parts #'s for 2008-2010 so I know larger rotors aren't part of the changes. Our '04 Navigator is on original pads and rotors at 80k, I'm not excited about 3-4 brake jobs at $400+ before a 3 year 45k mile lease expires. Anyone familiar with the changes?
  • I have a 09 T&C that needed new rotors and pads (all 4) after only 3K miles. I can tell you that while the brake components have been upgraded (pads and slightly thicker rotors I am told) they are still not ideal for this vehicle. With that said, I think many vehicles share the same problems as most of these OEM parts are being made as cheaply as possible. My prior van (06) went through pads/rotors at 25K miles (pretty normal for stop/go driving) and I simply went aftermarket and had ceramic pads and better rotors installed solving the problem. The deal breaker for me might be the 6 speed tranny. The shift points are so high in 1/2/3 that they're killing city fuel economy. It's tough to beat on the highway though. I guess it's all about compromises. Good luck.
  • 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.
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