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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
ok guys I need some advice. the brakes went out last night while my dad was driving the car on the freeway.

fortunately there wasn't a lot of traffic. my dad was able to downshift the transmission to slow down to avoid hitting the car in front of him.

fortunately after a minute or so the brakes started to function again. My dad pulled the piece of sh*t car over and called the tow truck to get it towed to the nearest chrysler dealer in the Cerritos California area. There was no way he was going to continue driving the car.

the car is a 2013 300 with only 20k miles. bought brand new only a little over a year ago.

any suggestions on what I should do in terms of dealing with chrysler ? I'm afraid the dealer will just test drive it and will not be able to replicate the problem. What should I do to make sure this does not happen again ? THIS IS A PRETTY BIG ISSUE SINCE ONE KINDA NEEDS THE BRAKES TO WORK WHEN DRIVING.

please advise guys.
 

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That's some scary shit man!! One thing I hate about my 8speed... Can't manually down shift....

I don't have an answer for you but I would think the last thing they'd want is to say everything's fine and it to happen again...
 

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Sounds like a temporary booster failure or there is some air in the system.

You don't need to necessarily "deal with the dealer" as much as you should describe what happened and advise them that return of the vehicle with a "cannot duplicate customer's complaint" comment is not acceptable with respects to a public and personal safety system failure.
 

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^^^ I agree with maddog. go back and don't let them wash it under the rug like you are the crazy one. and most importantly get everything in writing so its documented if any future issues arise. I would also go as far as having an independent mechanic take a look too so you have multiple qualified opinons on what went wrong and what should be fixed. it might cost a few dollars but at least you wont have to be driving around wondering if the problem is really fixed or not. peace of mind and more important safety for yourself and people around you is most important in this kind of situation.
 

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"Brakes Went Out " is rather vague.

Did the pedal go floppy and go flat to the floor with no resistance ? [ like in the movies ]
Did the pedal go solid with no braking effect at all ?
Did the pedal have to pumped to regain any braking effect ?

Could be very difficult to troubleshoot that one.
 

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Well [whether or not the pedal felt sloppy or solid], the huge red flag is that had a car or human unexpectedly appeared in front of him there would have been contact, with who knows what results. I'm just happy to hear the dad controlled it safely (and now have to wonder about my new 300S I just got last fall - although I presume this will just be an anomaly) and he nor anyone else was hurt.

In any event, please post here and let us know what the outcome of the diagnosis is. And yes, absolutely DO document and backup everything concerning this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok guys to clarify, the brakes did go all the way down to the floor on all attempts.

so the car has been in the dealer since saturday night. The tech's have been trying to replicate the problem to no success. I have called chrysler customer care and supposedly there is a new ongoing issue with the brake booster for the durango's and grand cherokee.

the techs at the dealer are hinting that they may need to release the car back to us since it cannot be replicated:pat: . There is no way we are driving the car until there are some definite answers.

so now we are out a car for transportation. I'm hoping they can provide some kind of loaner since this is not a "service" issue, but rather a "having a simple functionality such as the brakes" issue.
 

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My guess, his foot was riding the brake pedal causing the fluid to boil, that equals brake pedal to the floor until the fluid cools, then they work normal.
 

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My guess, his foot was riding the brake pedal causing the fluid to boil, that equals brake pedal to the floor until the fluid cools, then they work normal.
Sounds feasible,and I,ve heard of this theory before, but what the hell is the boiling point of brake fluid ? :scared:

Has this happened to the OP when he's been driving ?

Otherwise, doing a Lt. Columbo evidential extrapolation, one must assume this has never happened before and so one must question what the OP's Dad has been doing that caused this to happen. :smashfrea
 

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Discussion Starter #12
yes it has never happened before, we definitely wouldn't be driving it if it happened before.

he was pretty much praying for his and my mom's life when this happened.

Sounds feasible,and I,ve heard of this theory before, but what the hell is the boiling point of brake fluid ? :scared:

Has this happened to the OP when he's been driving ?

Otherwise, doing a Lt. Columbo evidential extrapolation, one must assume this has never happened before and so one must question what the OP's Dad has been doing that caused this to happen. :smashfrea
 

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Discussion Starter #13
looks like dealer is still trying to replicate the problem. chrysler customer service is saying they will not provide a rental if dealer claims it as "safe" to drive. Chrysler Customer Care seems to not understand at the safety issue at hand.



I have contacted NHTSA and submitted my report and they said they have had 3 other reports of brakes failure with the 2013 chrysler 300. If they release the car then it will go to another dealer to have it looked into. Too dangerous to drive.

we need a car for transportation so a rental would really help.

anyone have any advice with what I can do legally ? can I lemon law it and have them buy it back ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
so the tech at browning dodge chrysler in cerritos is saying they see no problems and want to release it back to me.

the car is still under factory warranty so the least they can do is perform the same recall on this car that the grand cherokee and durango currently have. this will at least give me a little peace of mind.

let's see what NHTSA can actually do about this. Already contacted one of the auto blog journalists who write up automotive recall matters.
 

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OP, does your car have the Safetytech? Does it have the adaptive cruise control that brakes for you? I wonder if it was an electronic gremlin.
 

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From what I see the only reasonable explanation is that the brake fluid had boiled. If it was a booster failure, the pedal should have become hard, but you would still have braking power, just require much more effort. If air was in the system, it seems unlikely it would magically fix itself just by sitting on the side of the road for a bit.

As to why the brake fluid would boil...
A)water in the brake fluid reducing the boiling point
B)driver "riding" brakes as suggested earlier
C)Mechanical fault in one of the calipers.

A seems unlikely based upon the age and mileage of the car. C would be a bit of a surprise given that the problem took ~20k miles before it occurred, and hasn't occurred since. B still seems a little odd though, and I'd think your dad should know if he was touching the brake pedal at all or not.

Was this a short drive, or a long trip? Was the drive longer than any you have taken the car on?
 

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Brake fluid should be changed every 2 years regardless of vehicle or mileage because it is hydrostatic and absorbs water over time. The answer to the boiling temp question is...it depends. Mainly on how old the fluid is since more water equals lower boiling point. Racing brake fluid has a boiling point of about 600+ degrees but is more hydrostatic as a result. Therefore it should never be used on the street, and if so, should be changed at very frequent intervals. Open brake fluid should never be kept on the shelf more more than a couple of weeks since it collects water.
My take on your issue, have the dealer flush your fluid at a minimum and take in documentation of other Mopar brake booster failure and ask for a good will replacement of the booster. If they refuse that, ask what the booster price is and pay to have it changed. Should it become an noted issue later you can always inquire about reimbursement. Even if that doesn't happen just pay for it, get your car back on the road and don't sweat it. If that leads to you not buying another Chrysler in your life then no one would blame you. Just get it fixed and move on.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Agree with mackguy on this.

If it was a booster failure, the pedal should have become hard, but you would still have braking power, just require much more effort.
It's not the booster. Wrong symptoms. If Chrysler wants to replace it on their dime, that's fine. But if I were you, I would not let anybody drive that car at any significant speed without understanding why the brakes failed (pedal to the metal!) on the freeway, and getting the right part replaced.

I really think Chrysler can be encouraged to fix this. They don't want unstoppable 2-ton 300's killing people on the freeways.
 

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Unless there's something I'm really missing here the only logical conclusion is that the fluid boiled. Since this didn't happen on a race track or winding mountain road, there's only 2 causes that come to mind

A) Operator Error
B) Mechanical failure

Of these B only makes sense if there was something unusual in the drive when it occurred... i.e. it was much longer than the OP's normal drives. Say something is misaligned in the caliper causing unusual friction creating heat while driving... OP says this never happened, so maybe the OP routinely drives 10 miles and never has a problem, but dad hops in and drives 200 miles so more time to build up. Mechanical failure it seems would have to be at the caliper end of the system, as there's nowhere else that should be creating heat.

I'm not sure how the parking brake actuates in these cars, but a partially engaged parking brake may do something like this?

As far as the fluid itself goes, we're talking about a 2013 model year car, so it can't be much more than 2 years old anyway, and even REALLY BAD fluid will work OK under normal highway driving (trust me, I changed the fluid once in my Cherokee and it looked like used motor oil... but I never had a problem with the brakes). Certainly if conditions A or B above are met, low quality fluid would exacerbate it, but this kind of problem would not have old fluid as the root cause.
 
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