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Do NOT buy the Caliber

Disheartened Dodge Owner

I just got off the phone with Courtney, a senior in customer service, regarding the [B]clutch going out of my Caliber at only 36,000 miles.
To be clear, yes, it’s certainly too bad that they won’t cover the repair of my clutch.
But my main issue is the lack of concern on their part. Even without it being under warranty, I would think a clutch going out so early would be a red flag for Dodge. But no, they were simply dismissive.
I’d just talked my wife into getting the Nitro. My family and I have been Dodge owners for many, many generations (back into the 60s), and never have we had any issues – until now.
Set the clutch reimbursement cost aside, I simply wanted my concerns addressed to the overall lack of quality for workmanship.
There was none. All I could out of them was that it’s past the warranty, and not their issue.
Fine, but, whoever heard of a clutch going out so early? Certainly not me!
Courtney’s only response was only that she’s known of some going out at 5,000 miles.
That doesn’t make me feel any better. In fact, only points out that clearly, Dodge is not making the quality of cars that they were once known for.
In fact, further investigation has uncovered that the Caliber often has transmission issues at 50,000 miles.
So sadly, once I get the clutch fixed, I will likely have to part w/my Caliber, for fear that I’ll be throwing good money after bad otherwise.
Moreover, this will inevitably be the end to a long family tradition of my family being Dodge owners; too bad, for I loved the Caliber, just simply not the mechanics of it.
As an FYI, at 36,000 miles, I’ve already had two other issues with the car. Both times I assumed they were isolated. But now w/the clutch going out, clearly, they were not.
And so I will part with my Caliber and begin a new era – truth be told, it’ll probably be over to Toyota or Honda. One can’t argue their numbers with regards to satisfaction.

Comments

  • The way a car was driven contributes to early clutch failure. Next time purchase an extended warranty as others have and not expect a free fix.
  • Seriously, in my statement that I am not concerned about the cost of a clutch, what exactly did you not understand?!
    My issue is the fact that it went out within 36,000 miles.
    Having driven manual transmissions since I was 12-years-old (grew up on a farm), never before has a clutch gone out even before 100,000 miles.
    Yes, how it was driven can contribute to early clutch failure. But, as I also said, the Caliber has many documented issues -- clutch and transmission included.
    But, I suspect that you are likely some manipulative sales person, pimpin' out extended warranties. When in fact, if the vehicle (any vehicle) is quality, then such a warranty is not warranted -- Pun intended.
    I've tried to write simply, using easy to understand words for you.
    No free fix is/was/will be expected. My concern is where the clutch is even at issue.
  • OK the clutch failed...What are you expecting from Dodge?
  • I expect nothing from Dodge with regards to the clutch.

    However, what I anticipated of Dodge was the same quality my family and I have come to expect for many, many years. Obviously that is no longer the case – and likely never will be again.

    With that, my only intent is to warn others, for I can only blame myself for blindly buying a Dodge. I assumed the quality would be as it always has been. I was wrong in doing so.

    Instead, I should have done my research, to uncover the fact that the Caliber alone is notorious for having multiple issues, many others have also had clutch problems, and also transmission (at 50,000 miles or less), and various issues with basic mechanics from the CVT, radiator, fan housing, exhaust and so much more.

    No, I take full responsibility for my failing to follow due diligence in researching the purchase of a car. I saw the Caliber, liked the Caliber, and convinced myself that as a Dodge, I would be well served.

    But sadly, the quality of Dodge from years past in no longer, so now, my quest is merely to reach as many others so that perhaps they won’t blindly follow what Dodge used to be – until they too would regrettably learn the truth.

    That being said, with each post/reply to this thread, you are helping, so I thank you for that. Because you see, Google and others are automatically following entries to be compiled into their search results. So the more the issue is discussed, the higher up the Do NOT buy a Dodge Caliber will be … And clearly, the higher the results in the search page, the more readers there will be.

    But of course I have no intention of stopping with this singular forum. No, I am setting it up to automatically search out all sorts of Caliber, Dodge and Chrysler chats, blogs, forums and Web sites, and freely sharing all that I have to offer with regards to potential buyers.

    In the short time I’ve done the proper research, I quickly found that Subaru makes a very comparable car – only one that has outstanding results/scores from multiple agencies that test vehicles. If only I’d known before. But the idea of buying a Subaru had never occurred to me. Moreover, I blindly overlooked the Mazda 3 hatchback, which has scored leaps and bounds over the Caliber in terms of price, quality and performance.

    Lesson learned. But as I said, now, I hope to inform others (the wonders of the Web) so that they can learn before making the same mistake as I did.
  • Every car or manufacture will have its detractors even Subaru or Mazda.
    You will not be able to purchase a car that someone has complained about or has done research after purchasing that it has problems.
  • Dodge, Chrysler and GM do not listen to the consumer now or in the future. This is the was they have done business for many years and will continue to go so. If they acted on every customer complaint there would be no end. Customer satisfaction can go in the toilet as far as they are concerned. it's little wonder the japanese have made such inroads into the hearts and minds of consumers. If it was not for government bailouts the market place would decide the future of the big three. to be fair ford did not take bailout money. They have built junk in the past and will continue to do so...the consumer be damned.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    Meaning no disrespect, but: where have you been for the last 30 years ? Did you miss UltraDrive, Mopar's bomb 4 speed auto, 2.7 sludging and early failure, Neon head gasket blowing, Mopar paint peeling and on and on ? This rep is well known. You won't be telling anyone else anything they don't know.

    And besides: you have had one bad Dodge in all these years and you're ready to write them off ? Something smells here and it's not a clutch burning out. Doesn't sound like a loyal [or informed ] Dodge owner to me. Chrysler products have been at the bottom of reliability surveys for years now. Kind of funny it's some sort of surprise to you.
  • Its not so much ready to write them off ... just disheartened at what they seem to have become. And yes, I do blame myself for being less than informed. I liked (and still do like) the Caliber's looks, and bought it blindly, for I had such faith in the Dodge brand. I failed to do my research.
    But, its not as if we've had a large number of Dodge vehicles in the family. We buy them, and keep them FOREVER it seems.
    The pickup my grandpa bought (off the floor in 67) was the truck that every male in family learned how to drive in and used on the farm for years and years --it too was a stick. It was so great, it was a family vehicle. I think every individual man in my family drove it as their primary/work vehicle for at least a year or two -- that's my brother, myself, my father, two cousins and an uncle. It took an 18 wheeler running a light, making it into a "compact truck" to get it offf the road.

    There have been other Dodge/Chrysler vehicles since 1968, but never really had any issues/problems.

    So I do take the blame for being a less than informed consumer of current Dodge/Chrysler. I didn't put much stock into surveys, for all I needed to know was my own (and my family's) first-hand experience.

    After the fact is when I realized all the information had been out there all along, and realized the customer results. I guess I just wanted the
  • Sorry about your Caliber. I live in Germany-- drive between Hessia and Bavaria
    [100 miles] daily-- in a 2008 Dodge Caliber RT/All-Wheel-Drive.
    I did have ONE problem with it. I was driving (legally) 100MPH, and slammed on
    the brakes when a deer crossed the highway [autobahn] directly in front of me.
    The speedometer/odometer and ABS went out, but I stopped straight... and there
    was no damage to the deer, car, or myself. I get my car serviced, regularly, at a
    dealership, so no problem with warranty.
    Another time I ran off the road-- at about 80MPH, became sky-bound--making a
    "Dukes of Hazard" landing in a wet wheatfield. I drove under the road, on an un-
    derpass, got back on the road and n-e-r-v-o-u-s-l-y noticed a small crowd--including
    the Polizi wondering what happened to the car that looked like an airplane
    a moment before. I put my hands on my hips, too, and stood there until
    the small group dispersed. I noticed a shake in my wheel, and that I'd popped off
    two lugnuts on the front left wheel. I took one off another wheel a little later-- after
    noticing/re-straightened a tie-rod with a hammer from my toolbox.
    I have enjoyed the hell out of my car. It's one of those 2.5L engine auto-stick-
    transmissions. I drive it like an automatic, because as a 6'4"-- 275 pound, size
    FIFTEEN-shoes, man, there's two things I have NO use for:
    => bending my head because of a roof-shortened sunroof
    => having my foot on TWO peddals at once.
    If I wanted trouble driving and stopping, I'd've bought a TOYOTA-- yeah, I know,if you
    get a Chrysler with a LARGE engine, it's usually made by Mitsubishi Motors!
    Well, anyway, I've got 50,000 miles on my Caliber. I realize they do not even make
    my car in A-W-D anymore. Know what? Just makes all my other friends that also
    drive and love THEIR Caliber jealous.
    With a few feet of snow outside-- as I type this-- I'd not trade my car for a JEEP;
    HUMMER; or half-track for that matter. I have never bought anything but
    American cars, though the 1973 Chevy Vega turned me off of Chevrolets!

    God Bless America!
    Michael McCluskey
    USN&USA; Retired
    Wachtküppel, Germany
  • I guess I might have left SOME folks wondering. The car has ABSOLUTELY
    NOTHING wrong with it. And: if I were to drive UNDER 80-MPH on the German
    autobahn-- Porsches; BMWs; Audis; Lamborginis; etc., pass me all the
    time at 130MPH+-- it'd be even more dangerous!
    At least, here, the left lane is for passing.
    :shades:
  • ohyeasureohyeasure Posts: 2
    2007 Dodge Caliber RT AWD,: Poor Fuel Economy (250 highway miles per tank, DEALER, keep track of your mileage, ME 2 years and counting, however DODGE lastest fuel test as per DODGE indicated 26 miles per gallon, ME; They must have driven my car at 20 mph), NO power (A Ford Pinto had more Power), Number problems with Exhaust, Cat system, MAF sensor ( all replaced 2 times under extended warranty within 2 months, may need replacing again), Struts (front L/R replaced), rotors (replaced 2 times all 4), computer ( will not hold a programming code, will not record error codes), exterior rear lights (condensation L/R side), side exterior black matting on doors (wind is causing them to buble and crack, not covered under warrenty the 2nd time), chill zone inop (never worked now just a cubby hole for papers), weak ac (sorry sir it seems to be working at the correct temparature), Wheel bearings (Front L/R oops your chrome wheel is bent, funny it was not before you had it for 4 days) etc............

    Is anyone had any of these issues, especially the poor fuel economy and lack of power?
  • sal29sal29 Posts: 3
    You all just saved me a lot of grief w/the reviews on the Caliber. My husband just brought one home to look at. As I started reading the reviews, it became a bleak moment of dejavu. I just spent 3 months getting GM to take back a Saturn-VUE, as a lemon.

    I guess, we will just walk when the old Camaro dies off, til we can find a reliable vehicle to purchase? Is there any vehicle in this mode that is worthy of praise?
  • jlmjodijlmjodi Posts: 3
    I to wish I had read some reviews, I owned my Toyota for 10 years and besides oil changes and new brakes did NOTHING to it. Now with my 2007 dodge caliber I need a new cat and a new transmission. Of course dodge will offer no assistance, except the cat is under warranty... The tranny is not 60,077 miles. It's nice to see after mine and your hard earned tax dollars bailed chrystler out they turn there backs on us when you can't tell me they don't know this car is a piece of junk. Even the dodge dealer suggested to me to try and trade this car in when it's running well! Unbelievable! It's like they don't even want to waste there time fixing it, or is it because who knows when I can get a transmission...because they are on a national back order... But there are no issues with the tranny... Bull...they won't help me but I can tell all I know never buy a dodge...and I do!!
  • On this very forum I stated how the Caliber's transmission is developing a habit of going out after 50,000 miles. And many of the enthusiast retorted very angrily. I'll bet many of those are now experiencing the same difficulties of which I spoke. But hopefully our warnings will reach others, as they have for the previous poster. As for me, i did just as you were directed. I fixed it and traded it in ... it still looked really good, so I did get a good deal on the trade-in.
  • The Subaru Outback is very comparable to Caliber in size, and has garnered excellent reviews for more than 10 years now. However, they've just taken the old one and raised it up 8" and perhaps done some other cosmetic changes to it this year, so this isn't the exact same care that has received the positive reviews over the years. But likely will score just as well. Mazda and Toyota also make wagon types, but they're more sporty than the caliber or Outback, but those too have rated very well. Just know that they're not exactly comparable in size. But that may be a good thing.
  • andanandan Posts: 2
    After reading some of these comments I had to post. We purchased a 2007 Dodge Caliber in March 2006 when they first were introduced. The car is now nearing 5 years old, and has 41,367 miles on it. The car is babied. Dealer serviced its entire life. My roommate is big on following the manufacturer's suggestions for maintenance. Having a history of issues with this car that started less than 6 months after purchase, I began to see his point. The rack and various other steering and suspension parts were replaced at 14,000 miles, after a year and half of taking the car back to the dodge dealership to complain about the noises it was making and they could not duplicate. The noises returned a week after the repairs. The dealer and chrysler's reaction, its safe deal with the noises. The transmission control module was reprogramed twice in the first three years of ownership. This week while driving to work, the check engine light came on and top speed was 10mph. I had it towed to the local dodge dealership in the new town we live in, and they told me before they looked at it what was wrong. The transmission control module went out. The extended warranty refused the repairs, saying it was a powertrain issue that dodge should be taking care of. Dodge says there are no problems and it is an "isolated event". Since the car was purchased new, it has been to the dealership for actual repairs under warranty 25 times. That does not include oil changes and routine maintenance, that is just warranty repairs. I have now spent over $3,000.00 in repairs and deductibles for the extended warranty with this vehicle. A car that is less than five years old and has less than 42,000 miles on it should not require this volume of repairs. I now wish I would have listened to my roommate and purchased an import. He has a Scion that is older than my caliber and has almost three times the miles on it, and has never paid for a repair. We contacted doge about the excessive repairs and the response from the customer support specialist named Christy, is that the repairs do not appear to be excessive for the product. We are now car shopping. The Caliber was my first brand new car, and I can say I don't see us shopping for a Chrysler product in the future.
This discussion has been closed.