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



  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Just curious - what did you pay for the van and what kind of trade in were you given?
  • dimsumdimsum Posts: 3
    $14,853.45 OTD plus $2500 trade-in. This was in January 2009 as a Chrysler certified used vehicle with 3K miles.

    I got a trade-in value of $12K. I probably could have pushed to get $13K (KBB value) but I was able to get the purchase price of the replacement vehicle down to what I though was fair, and then some. Also there was some minor panel damage to the rear fender and door. I did not shop around a lot either -- honestly, I just wanted to be rid of it.

    Also I changed brands (Toyota) so I didn't expect to get as much as staying w/ Chrysler. Given the problems we had, that was fine by me.
  • gunksnygunksny Posts: 12
    Hi -

    Can you give us a number or tell us who your wife spoke to in Chrysler 'corprorate or how she got there? ' Seems like most get sent to a call center in India where its impossible to make any progress.

    Congrats on moving on - I'm jealous. I'm pretty sure I owe alot more than the car is worth, which makes me even more annoyed.. I can't believe I bought this car brand new....from Chrysler no less. What was I thinking?
  • dimsumdimsum Posts: 3

    She called 800-992-1997 and patiently worked with the rep. Probably depends on which rep you get and how sympathetic they are (or aren't).
  • Guess I should feel lucky that I made it to 22,800 miles before having to spend $600 on front and rear brakes and replace rotors. And that was through a trusted independent. Traded in my 2004 Honda Odyssey and tried to do the right thing since I live and work in Detroit. So 23,000 miles into my 27,000-mile lease I get the most expensive brake job of my life.

    Thank you Diamler. Thank you Cerberus. Thank you taxpayers. I'm sure Fiat will fix the quality problems.

    Next stop: NHTSA site to register a complaint.

  • gunksnygunksny Posts: 12
    Here's an update to my situation. I sent a letter on October 13th. Today (October 26th), Chrysler called and said they authorized a check for 50% of the rear brake installation. I just hope they make a change to fix the problem.
  • I purchased a 2008 CT&C in April 2008 and immediately noticed TONS of break dust all over my nice shiny new wheels. The brakes "catch" every once in a while, and I sometimes "feel" like they are working against me. I can't believe the gas mileage difference from city to highway...astonishing difference, like 10 mpg to 30 mpg. I wonder if using brakes around town causes more "rubbing". Anyway, I don't have 15,000 miles yet even, and I am going to have them checked next week. I bought the lifetime warranty, a lot of good that will do me. Other than this I love the van...but brakes should last WAY longer than this... Maybe we SHOULD start a class action???
  • Funny thing is after the brakes were completedly replaced front/rear (at 3800 miles), their is a lot more brake dust on the rears than the fronts so I bring it to the dealer as I think the rear pads are "dragging". They check it out and said all is well. My local mechanic feels strongly that they are in fact dragging. Chrysler doesn't care. I too find a drastic difference between "around town" gas mileage and highway mileage and think the dragging pads are one of the causes. I think the other is the gearing of the 6 speed transmission (engine revs too high before shifts).
  • My wifes DGC has 19k and brakes are going bad. Just went to the parts place and got rotors and pads for the front. They only have semi metallic pads listed for this van. After reading all the post about ceramic pads Im confused.
    Will it hout to put semi metallic pads on with new rotors?
  • Well, today was the last straw. The dealer says the rotors need to be replaced/machined again and we have to pay $400+ for it to be done, they won't cover it under warranty anymore and Chrysler corporate admitted over the phone that there is a known problem but they have no fix and will not continue to cover the rotors under warranty.

    Pushing 28,000 miles on this '08 and this is at least the 4th time the rotors have needed to be replaced or resurfaced. The last repair they did were with "updated" rotors and pads that "should solve the problem." Well, this time the pads are actually OK but the rotors are shot.

    I've contacted an attorney and will be starting the process to try and get this van bought back. It's quite unfortunate, my wife LOVES her van and would like to keep it forever, but not if we have to have the brakes done 1-2 times a year.

    For those of you NOT wanting to try going this route, there is a company called Frozen Rotors that makes a great product and they do have rotors for the 08 Caravan. The reason I'm not going to try that is because I'm not 100% sure it will cure the problem and by doing so I likely lose my chance to file a lemon law suit since the parts on the van would then be aftermarket.
  • No, it will not hurt to put semi metallics on, in fact, they should last longer than the OEM pads, but they could wear the rotors sooner. Here are some characteristics between ceramic and metallic:

    I would check with some other stores to get ceramics.
  • Add me to the list of people with premature brake wear on our '08 T&C. We have 30,000 mostly highway miles and the front pads and rotors are shot (our previous T&C got 65,000 mi under the same conditions before brakes wore out). So far the rears look OK - (about half gone).

    I'll be doing the replacement myself, with top of the line parts from NAPA costing a little over $200.

    The thing I found strange is how deep the pads had worn into the rotors (even though there's no metal to metal contact yet). Way beyond the ability to resurface them. In the past, you could usually get the rotors resurfaced, allowing them to be used with a second set of pads.

    One thing the parts guy told me was that the manufacturers used to source brake rotors from US based foundries, but have now switched mostly to Chinese foundries. Unfortunately all the aftermarket rotors they had available come from China as well. Not sure if that's really true or not - but these rotors surely look like a much softer material than in the past. (And if you use a softer rotor, you're forced to use a softer pad to prevent eating them up too fast. And soft rotors + soft pads = frequent brake jobs.)
  • We received a phone call from the Chrysler Customer Assistance Center in response to the letter we sent asking for reimbursement. They are sending a check for $236.62 to us - we should have it in a couple of weeks. When I asked what the amount represented, the customer service rep mentioned it was for our sliding side door. I don't think he had accurate information though since we have never paid anything to have our sliding side doors fixed (yes, they have been an issue, but so far the service to fix them has been covered by the warranty). I asked if they'd be sending a letter explaining what the $ represent and the CSR said they would be. I am guessing the amount represents the portion we paid to the dealer for the brakes since that is the amount we paid them. The other amounts we paid were to our personal mechanic and I am guessing they won't cover this since we didn't go to the dealer. We will wait and see what the letter/check states when we receive it. I did also file a complaint with the NHTSA, Office of Defects Investigation - it is complaint #10291500 - I hope this helps anyone else who might need it.
  • Hi there - see my post #75 for an update to our situation . . .

    Have a good day and good luck to you.
  • Hi there - please see my post #75 for an update to our situation.

    Have a good day and good luck to you . . .
  • Hi there,

    Please see my post #75 with an update to our situation.

    Have a good day and best of luck to you.
  • I just finished reading my November 2009 MT magazine, and came across their long term test wrap up for their '08 T&C. They complained (but not too loudly) about being charged $615 to replace the front brakes with only 19,000 mi on the clock. That included flushing the brake fluid (not sure why you'd need to flush brake fluid on a vehicle that's less than a year old......).
  • Thanks for the update. Today I received a check for $156 representing half of the cost of rear brake replacement. SOunds like you were lucky to get everything you paid your dealer. I'm thinking I should have done the fronts at the same time..
  • I'm glad to hear you received some money back although I still think they should reimburse you for everything. Just guessing, but they may have been factoring in the fact that we had some additional work done by our own mechanic that they are not reimbursing us for. Who knows.

    I'm still not comfortable with the outcome and am concerned about the future. We will take the car to the dealer from now on though in case we need to write Chrysler again . . .
  • After three sets of front brakes my rear brakes went - all of this at less than 40k miles. I took the plunge and installed my new rotors and Wagner QuietStop ceramic brakes all from Advanced Auto Parts. Total cost was less than $200, and after a little learning curve I did one set in less than 25 minutes...very easy, plus the dealer wanted $500 for similar higher quality product. Advanced Auto even rents a tool designed specifically to collapse the caliper piston. I'm all ready to do the front when needed.
  • 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.
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