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[3rd Gen : 96-00]: 1997 Grand Caravan 3.8 Repair costs

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[3rd Gen : 96-00]: 1997 Grand Caravan 3.8 Repair costs

Old 04-18-2019, 07:51 PM
caravanfan1 is offline
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Default 1997 Grand Caravan 3.8 Repair costs

Looking for some input on Dodge dealer repair/replacement costs. My 97 GC (197k miles) has been sitting for 3 yrs while I am in process of recovery from a spinal injury (recovering well!)

Front pads & rotors were replaced at 183k. Only 14K miles on them. There is loud scraping noise when driving now.

Dealer (5Star) is saying that because of rust and such, they want to replace the pads, rotors, & calipers as well as the rear drums and shoes for approx $1,300 (parts & labor)

Here are some other costs (parts & labor)
$400 Spark plug replacement
$410 Leak detection pump (Error Code)
$490 Valve cover gaskets replacement (Leaking)
$290 Oil pan gasket replacement (Leaking)
$130 Serpentine drive belt

Do these prices seem reasonable? Any and all suggestions are welcome!
Old 04-18-2019, 08:36 PM
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That’s about right if those prices include the labor.
Old 04-20-2019, 09:37 AM
GumbyRT is offline
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Posts: 89

A note on the brakes:

Before replacing them, try burnishing them. Burnishing is a process that basically polishes the surfaces of the pads and rotors - it's standard practice whenever new pads and rotors have been installed - and often times it can work to remove rust. It doesn't involve taking anything apart - just go out and drive. This works best in no or low traffic areas. At work I utilize a county highway and make sure no one is behind me because the process can be confusing to other drivers.

When you are braking, you want to use moderate to firm pressure on the pedal so that you're coming to a stop quickly, but not stopping suddenly as though in an emergency.

Accelerate to 25-30 MPH, then stop. Repeat 5-10 times, allowing 20-60 seconds between braking. Then accelerate to highway speed (55-65 depending on your local speed limit). Once you reach highway speed (again, making sure no one is behind you if possible), slow down by 25-30 MPH (so if cruising at 60, slow to 30-35 MPH before letting off the brake). Repeat 5-10 times, again allowing 20-60 seconds between braking.

The goal is to get the brakes to heat up and then maintain that temperature because that's what allows the burnishing to take place. It will not remove all the rust, but it should work well enough to eliminate the grinding noise.

Take advantage of stop signs if you can - one road along my route for burnishing has a stop sign at every block - it's almost perfect spacing to start the burnishing process.
Old 04-20-2019, 03:19 PM
primem is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,279

sitting for 3 years...the rotors will be badly rusted...so that is the noise. Burnishing is a free option that is worth trying and if it doesn't work, your out nothing.

the other stuff in order of importance:

-worn belts...replace it...it can leave you stranded
-valve cover leaks...small seep leave it. if its large enough to drip down onto a hot exhaust manifold and start a fire...fix it.
-oil pan leak...if its a seep or sweat not forming full drops...leave it...the vans 20 years old. if its puddling or staining in the driveway...fix it.
-spark plugs...if they are due by the mileage...change them
-leak detection pump...will not effect driveability...if your ok with a check engine light...it can wait

Last edited by primem; 04-20-2019 at 03:21 PM.

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