Last post on Mar 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM
You are in the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan
What is this discussion about?
Chrysler Town and Country, Brakes, Van
#122 of 424 Design problem or customer service problem?
Jan 31, 2010 (12:44 am)
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.
#123 of 424 Re: problems with 2008 brakes (front and rear) [illinoisbrian]
Feb 05, 2010 (9:07 pm)
The disturbing thing about the brake issue is that I was previously a FSE for the Top 3 and have been involved in safety investigations. I have never seen anything that compares to the aggressive wear experienced on the T&C.
I find it equally disturbing that NHTSA has not done anything to address this issue.
I had to change the front pads at 20,000 miles and now at 35,388 am subject to replacment of both the pads and rotors. We're not talking about drfiving habits; it's corporate negligence given durability testing that has to be performed before a product released. While the wear may not have resulted in a safety recall, the gravity of the issue is no less than the firestone issue that Ford experienced. The only thing saving Chrysler is the bankruptcy and government intervention.
#124 of 424 Re: problems with 2008 brakes (front and rear) [ayersint]
Feb 06, 2010 (4:45 am)
Fill out a complaint form on the NHTSA web site. Chrysler is claiming the problem is normal wear and tear or driving habits. Best chance is to get NHTSA to formally open up an investigation.
It's unfortunate, but the NHTSA would probably have already done that had there been some deaths associated with premature brake pad wear.
#125 of 424 Re: Starting the lemon law/arbitration process [yahooligan]
Feb 06, 2010 (5:38 am)
I'd like to join your cause.
I appreciate your dedication to the classic Family Van which really has stood the test of time, HOWEVER... Having been in the industry as well as being a FSE (Field Service Engineer) for the Big 3, I am really upset!! Believe it or not I returned from a 2005 bullet proof T&C only to buy a new 2008 loaded. Expecting the same, if not improved experience, the brake design and metering is totally unacceptable. Having changed the front brake pads at 23,000 miles only as a PM preventive maintenance move, at 35,388 the whole front system will now have to be replaced. The industry did go through major brake redesigns when asbestos was removed back in 1995 causing the entire industry to re-think and re-design brake systems. DVP (design verification & prove out) is required, someone blew it and should be fired! Having owned and serviced over two hundred and fifty cars, I have never seen such a deplorable release to the general public. It's really a shame but Daimler Chrysler should step up to this issue or take the T&C out of production all together. Just reading all these blogs will convince NHTSA eventually that they need to react. While you and I may find the T&C a great vehicle in the market segment, the brake system IS NOT, nor should not have been released! Whoever designed this system and says they tested and proved it out had to be smoking dope! This van had the ability to stand above any foreign competition and to have this put a black mark on what should be a best seller is a crime. Sincererly, DISGRUNTLE D
#126 of 424 2008 Chrysler/Dodge minivan brake wear issues
Feb 08, 2010 (7:54 pm)
Chrysler TSB #05-006-08 Describes premature brake wear and has new rotor and pad part numbers to correct the issue. Hope this helps.
#127 of 424 Re: 2008 Chrysler/Dodge minivan brake wear issues [dasboot72]
Feb 08, 2010 (8:30 pm)
Thanks ...but this was mentioned in other posts and on a differant site. Chrysler does not acknowledge this TSB and according to their customer service there is know such thing. GOOD NEWS ...... they have agreed to cover the cost but do not admit that there is any problem . Can not stress this enough ""m FILE A REPORT WITH THE NHTSA as we all have seen the issures with Toyota brakes ect. I have seen more complaints online and in blogs then have been filed with the NHTSA.
#128 of 424 Re: 2008 Chrysler/Dodge minivan brake wear issues [dasboot72]
Feb 08, 2010 (8:35 pm)
I posted about the TSB back in March 2009 (Almost a year ago), in post #12. We had the TSB performed and it did not fix the problem.
To 24sam, Chrysler DOES acknowledge the TSB, they published it! They even acknowledge that there IS a problem if you call them. The burn is that they say there's still no fix and there's nothing they can or will do long-term for anyone that calls and complains. We went down that path, they specifically asked "What would you like us to do?" and when we said "Replace the brakes for free until there's a fix" they said "Sorry, there's nothing we can do."
Thus we started lemon-law proceedings late last year.
#129 of 424 Re: 2008 Chrysler/Dodge minivan brake wear issues [yahooligan]
Feb 08, 2010 (8:57 pm)
Well see whats so confusing and I am sure that works for them. I have spoke to them six times and three different people and THEY DO NOT ADMIT OR ACKNOWLEDGE TBS or that there is any problem with 2008 brakes to me or three other owners I have talked too but they are going to cover cost of brakes minus the tax charged so in their words " the warranty will stay in force " They say that they have nothing to do with deciding on covering cost or not they have to go by what the dealership tells them. Sorry they are not covering your cost and you have to go the lemon law route but thats where we were going next. Good luck
#130 of 424 Re: 2008 Chrysler/Dodge minivan brake wear issues [yahooligan]
Feb 09, 2010 (4:54 pm)
I have been a Chrysler Mechanic for 15 years and I know how their system works. I can tell you first off that the brake wear issue is not seen accross the board on all RT body vans (2008-2010). As a matter of fact I probabally only see it on about 10% or so. That being said and comparing the same vans the differnce boils down to driving style more than anything. I'm not saying your doing anything wrong, it's just litle differences that add up over time to different brake wear patterns. For instance, my wife drives a 2003 Jeep Liberty which we bought new. It currently has 146,000 miles on it. Anyway she has a way of using her brakes that are constantly warping rotors giving the Jeep a pedal pulsation. I rarely see this in any other Liberty's. It is not at all common but she manages do do it consistantly. I have even installed vented performance rotors and she did it again! Getting back to your van, Chrysler does see an abnormally high amount of brake wear complaints on the RT vans or they wouldn't of came out with the TSB. You could always try a different type of brake pad. A performance ceramic pad or such. Just trying to help.
#131 of 424 Re: 2008 Chrysler/Dodge minivan brake wear issues [dasboot72]
Feb 10, 2010 (3:44 am)
Excuse me.....I have been driving for 30 years, have owned more than 15 new vehicles, have never bought a used one, and the T&C is a piece of junk. It is not the customers driving habits that is causing this problem. As far as trying a different type brake pad? What are you talking about. When I buy a new car, the only thing I want to worry about is how much gas I have, not whether my brakes are gonna crash & burn before I get there. It is not only the brakes/rotors , we have had electrical problems, door problems, third row seat problems, We got rid of it and traded it in after the 3rd set of brakes, losing 8000 in quity on the deal. So dont tell me that it is driving patterns. I bought a Toyota and glad of it, I am proud of the way they are admitting their issues and dealing quickly and swiftly. I would buy 10 Toyotas with 10 recalls each before I would buy another chrysler product.