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Chrysler Repair/Brakes not working properly


Good Evening! We have a 2001 Town and Country. Took it to mechanic local shop.. told us it was a rear capilar and would cost 750.00 and told my husband it was on fire.. this was a lie. I took it out of there. It was airy. .hard to brake.. we then took it to our other mechanic and he said it was the front capilar. we had them done, and trusted him..he bleed the lines and 3 weeks later the same issue... called him back and he said that T and C was known to have issues with the ABS modules and air was getting in the lines in the front left... however the ABS light is not on... we then took it another mechanic..however we did not have any issues, just wanted a third opinion,,,he did the master cylinder... and 3 days later... the wheel smelled of burning and the back rear was hot..not sure because I had to pump the brakes several times to get it home... it goes to floor. and I have brakes, but it doesn't seem like it..  when we called mechanic number two he said it has nothing to do with the the air getting into the pedal and not worth doing the capiler if we aren't doing the hydrolic module system.. I am so lost.. please help.. I have been left to deal with mechanics due to unforeseen circumstances and have spent now over 700.00 and the problem is still there..

Hi Kimberley,
If neither the ABS warning light not the regular brake warning light (also in the instrument cluster) is not 'on', then for now there is no issue with a brake pressure imbalance inside the system between the two halves of the system nor in the system of the ABS module.
However you could nonetheless have a leak between master cylinder and the module where the system splits. Also it would be good to look inside the brake fluid reservoir (near the master brake cylinder, or alternatively there may be two removable caps on the master cylinder proper where the fluid is stored. Either way see if the fluid under those caps is near to the top. If not then you do have a leak.
If the pedal is soft (airy) that is usually due to a leaky caliper which allows fluid to drain and be replaced by air. That usually leaves a clue by there being some shimmering drip down marks of brake fluid on the inside sidewall of the tire where the caliper is leaking. So look for that clue.
I would then try driving the vehicle on a short drive where you are on a road where you won't have to use the brakes unnecessarily and after about a couple miles of driving slow to a stop without using the brake if possible) and then get out and touch all four wheel (the metal part) and notice whether any of the wheels feel hotter than the others. That would be a clue to a dragging brake which could be due to a caliper that is not free to slide in and out (that could be fixed by cleaning off the slide surfaces), or due to the rubber brake hose between the caliper and a metal brake line it is attached to having degraded in its inner passageway (called the lumen) such that the brake fluid is not flowing in and out of the hose as it must due when you apply and release the brake pedal. That is a simple fix of replacing the rubber hose.
Were either of these mechanics brake specialists? I would be inclined to talk to friends who might know of an independent brake shop (not a franchise) that has served them well or check the phone book for brake mechanics. Give them the history of what has been done (show them the receipts) and describe all the problems/symptoms that you still have. Then get their opinion and a repair estimate. If you aren't happy with that, then get another opinion and estimate.
The important thing is to get an accurate assessment of what is wrong so that you don't pay for repairs that are not necessary. Individual repair jobs on brakes are not usually costly but doing the wrong work can certainly add up.
P.S. If it clear that the mechanic to whom you paid $700 did the wrong job or did that job wrong then another approach would be to go back and if you can trust him see if he will do the correct repair for free or at a significant discount. Otherwise, small claims court to get a refund may be necessary.

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Roland Finston


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