Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Brakes question

The Jeep Wrangler only has something like 45,000 miles on it, but I've had the brakes done twice because they were all worn out.  I don't drive this any differently than I drive the other cars which don't see this same thing.

The last time I had the brakes done was 2000 miles ago, and they're acting up again.  Specifically, one of the wheels has what the dealer says is a locked caliper, which they'll be delighted to change for the low, low price of $161.  Bah.

Anyone have any idea why the brakes stink so bad?  I don't think I'll have the dealer do the caliper job, because it seems like they should have picked this up 2000 miles ago. 

And thoughts that you smarter types have would be very much appreciated, including if you think that I'm being too hard on the car dealer.


Dave H said...

If that $161 is for parts and labor, I'd call it a deal. But if it's just for the parts, I'd do it myself. It's not a difficult process (at least not on the cars I've done, which were all Chrysler products) but there are a lot of steps. The hardest part for me is getting the darned bolts loose.

Robert Fowler said...

You can change the caliper yourself. I think I would tell the dealer where to go and find another one. 2000 miles on a brake job, they should be standing behind their work.

Chickenmom said...

Can't tell you how many times I've had brakes and pads replaced on my Jeep Cherokee. It's 13 years old now and did a LOT of stop and go in traffic before I retired. Luckily, Hubby was able to do them and we avoided dealer repair fees.

Richard said...

Because Chrysler.

Seriously, why should they bother with trying to make a quality product when they know they will get bailed out.

abnormalist said...

locked brake calipers will eat your brakes. Since they arent going to do one side and leave the other (NOT safe) they will do both if one is chewed up.

Ohterwise its a heavy car for its size, wear and tear...

Alot of it is how you drive a car, after that though its swept surface, pad material and weight of the vehicle.

Brakes are one of the easiest things to do on any modern car, its a two beer job once you have the car jacked up

Mark Philip Alger said...

Just my probably malinformed opinion from having driven a Jeep for 100,000 miles, those brakes on them things are under-powered. Either that, or the ABS is verfuckled from the word Go.


Anonymous said...

It's a Chrysler thing. Every one of those that I owned after 1999 went through brakes like most cars go through motor oil.

drjim said...

Change BOTH calipers, and FLUSH the brake system with new fluid.

A lot of times on older cars there's moisture in the brake fluid, leading to corrosion in the caliper, and a stuck caliper.

Atom Smasher said...

there are 2 things I learned online about Jeeps (grand cherokees anyway): 1) water pump is underpowered. 2) brakes are underpowered.

In my 2000, since 2008, I've put in 2 sets of brakes and one of calipers, and I JUST had the garage hoover my wallet for my second water pump.

But I wouldn't drive anything else - I love it.

Six said...

A couple of things. Jeeps tend to be sensitive to lug nut tightness. I recommend torquing them to factory spec. I'm assuming the problem is with the fronts as rear caliper issues are more rare than fronts.

I recommend you bite the bullet and opt for upgraded aftermarket calipers. Something like SSBC (though I also recommend doing a little research as I haven't worked on Jeeps for a few years). It's a pain to shell out but in the long run you'll save by never having to fool with them again. SSBC (and others) are also very quick and easy to change pads.

The process of changing calipers really isn't too difficult. It's an afternoon project even for inexperienced shadetree mechanics. A few tools, a bleeder bottle, a lovely assistant and some skinned knuckles is about all you'll need.

If you need more info drop me a line.

Unknown said...

I had a 2000 wrangler for 12 years drove the piss out of it ran oversized tiresand only changed the brakes 3 times I would look at upgrading to better rotors and calipers try quadratec

Unknown said...

Replace the calipers yourself. LUBE THE SLIDE PINS.

Mark/GreyLocke said...

Also get the proportioning valve checked. My dad's old jeep cherokee had a problem with the proportioning valve that was causing the front brakes to wear out every 15 to 20 k miles it also was causing the front calipers to fail. So it might be just a simple valve.

kx59 said...

One additional thought.
If, 2000 miles ago, the calipers were not replaced or rebuilt, the dust seal on the piston may have given up the ghost and dirt is making the piston stick.
Given all the comments about jeep brakes above, I must have a soft foot. I did the brakes on my '96 jeep cherokee twice in 186,000 miles.
Replaced the calipers once (torn dust seal).

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Lots of good advice above, esp the proportioning valve. I think something is holding pressure on the system. Change the master cyl, too, and I think you will have all the bases covered.

Working on oilfield trucks many years ago, I found that lease road dirt would keep the calipers from sliding back, and wear out the pads. The solution then was to set the preload on the front wheel bearings on the light side, so there was just enough wiggle in the front wheels to push the pads back. That is not an option on the wheel bearings today, so the parts have to be cleaned well, and maybe lubed. Good luck.

TOTWTYTR said...

I agree with Dave H. If the dealer will replace the caliper for $161.00 parts and labor, that's steal. I won't tell you what it cost me to have one done on my Tundra.

I don't know what it is, but Chryslers seem to have poor brake life. I had an Intrepid that went through pads every 20K like clock work.

Maybe they don't size them right for the weight.

I haven't done a brake job on a car in years. It used to be easy, but I think that anti lock brakes make it a bit harder these days.