Brake/30K miantainence advice for 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan SE

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by cheerful, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. cheerful

    cheerful Guest

    my 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan SE van has 28K miles..
    the brakes are acting wierd. there is like a hissing sound when I
    press them. also. if I am trying to stop from 40-50 mph.
    then i get a shudder.. or knocking.?
    I saw that the brake fliud level was less and i topped it off with an
    ounce or so. a bit of improvement but not much.
    Do I need a front brake job. or is something else wrong ?

    also.. I just do regular oil changes myself and get tires rotated at
    Sams.. So what major maintainence do i need to get as I am close to
    30K. .

    should I change the FUEL filter?
    should I change spark plugs?
    transmission fluid flush ?

    Please advise.

    vehicle is in S mid west so no snow or humid weather . ( Dallas)
    cheerful, Dec 18, 2006
  2. cheerful

    Bob Shuman Guest

    At 30K miles, unless you only do all highway driving, you likely need new
    front discs and rotors looked at/resurfaced. On your question, I'd
    definitely change the air filter and fuel filter and also drop and clean the
    trans pan and replace the filter and fluid too.

    Bob Shuman, Dec 19, 2006
  3. cheerful

    cheerful Guest

    Its was the brake PADS on the front wheel,
    one of them/out of 4 was worn to the pad linnig. and the metal caliper
    was lettiing out the tell tale screeching sound. so I got it fixed just
    in time..

    so 28K for the van is a bit early for brake pads.. and the remaning 3
    were not that worn out. but got everything changes for 75$. i mean both
    front wheels

    also. I got the fuel filter changed for 50$.

    anyone can recommend on the spark plugs/ transmission flush and coolant

    cheerful, Dec 19, 2006
  4. cheerful

    cheerful Guest


    ok thanks for the Transmission advice too.

    I just visited a transmission shop for another car ojb , and the guy
    really did convince me that, spending 100$ on a flush /drain every 2
    years /25K miles is essential to maintain the longevity of the tranny.

    So that is the last item on my list... my van purrs other wise..

    how about the Spark Plugs? any need for them. at this stage. my van is
    28K and 3 .5 years old

    cheerful, Dec 19, 2006
  5. cheerful

    Bob Shuman Guest

    I believe that the plugs are supposed to be good for 100K miles. That said,
    my 1999 T&C 3.8L had a slight stutter during idle at about 40K miles. After
    trying other things, I replaced the plugs and wires and it solved the
    problem. It has 78K miles now, 4 years later and still runs very well.

    If yours is running well, then I'd leave them in there. You could try
    pulling the front ones to see how they look since that is simple to do.

    Bob Shuman, Dec 19, 2006
  6. cheerful

    jdoe Guest

    Plugs are good at least til 100k miles. Hell I just sold my 94 GC 3.3 with
    150k and original plugs and it still ran like a Rolex. Be VERY VERY careful
    of these so-called "flushes". Most of them today are designed to do nothing
    more than flush the money from your wallet. Many are not even replacing the
    trans fluid but recycling and treating it. RIGHT! Unless you KNOW 100% the
    tech will actually replace all the fluid with +4 Mopar and NO additives do
    not do it. You would be better off doing nothing at this point. Otherwise
    take it to the dealer and have them drop pan and do the standard fluid
    change every 30k or so. NO ADDITITVES! Also the delaer will most likely need
    to do a quick learn as for some reason on the later models after a change
    the unit will give a hard downshift from 4 to 3.
    jdoe, Dec 19, 2006
  7. cheerful

    cheerful Guest

    jdoe ,

    i think I will heed your advice and not do a transmission flush now..
    and I tihkn I will do it at the dealer.. there are some things best
    done at dealers.. while small jobs can be done at cheaper mechanic
    right now the GRAND CARAVAN is smooth. so I think I;ll stick to dealer
    for essential jobs.

    One more question.. i have seen some advice on the internet to do a
    brake fluid flush, every 2-3 years.. even though not recommended by
    is it worth it ?

    cheerful, Dec 20, 2006
  8. cheerful

    philthy Guest

    the owners manual spells out the maintenance schedule it will save u
    some coin
    verses listening to other folks
    philthy, Dec 20, 2006
  9. cheerful

    philthy Guest

    the only thing a dealer can do better is relieve yopu of your money
    philthy, Dec 20, 2006
  10. cheerful

    maxpower Guest

    Do you think they will hire you back phithy?
    maxpower, Dec 21, 2006
  11. cheerful

    cheerful Guest


    I did speak to the local DODGE dealer: service rep:
    He said for a complete transmission flush,/gasket/filter change,
    254$.. WHOA!
    lot of money.

    also, ,he said somethnig about adjusting the bands ? what exactly is
    that ?

    I think I may still go and check with the local transmission shop.
    since they take time to procure the gasket/filter, should I buy that
    and take it along with me.
    cheerful, Dec 28, 2006
  12. cheerful

    N8N Guest

    If one pad was worn dramatically more than the others I hope they
    checked the caliper to make sure the piston was retracting properly and
    cleaned and lubed the caliper slides. otherwise it is not really

    N8N, Dec 28, 2006
  13. cheerful

    cheerful Guest

    N8N,, thanks for the advice.. now I think that I need to get that
    checked. who can I go to get it done, without getting ripped off
    is that called a brake tune up ?
    cheerful, Dec 28, 2006
  14. cheerful

    Some O Guest

    I definitely recommend the dealer for transmission service, at least
    they should put in the correct fluid. <:)
    I'd change fluid about every 30K miles and also flush at 90K miles.
    Plugs should be OK to at least 60K miles.
    If it's not running smoothly I'd check a few. Check the gap, it may be
    too wide.
    Not as easy as on my Concord's very accessible plugs though.
    Some O, Dec 29, 2006
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