Dodge Caliber Engine Problems

blkhawk60blkhawk60 Member Posts: 5
New to the Forum. I have a SXT Manual 1.812 month old with 2400 miles, just wondering if anyone is having problems with their car stalling out when the car is in neutral or when the clutch is in at low speeds or when stopping. The RPMs drop to about 500 and then just stall out. Car starts back up with no problem but i've had this happen about 9 times since I got it. If anyone has any ideas I'd appreciate it. I love the car and have had no other problems so far.


  • nicewheels1nicewheels1 Member Posts: 8
    My Caliber has developed an issue that I am wondering if anyone else has seen. The engine is knocking fairly regularly when accelerating between 25 and 45 mph. It seems to happen when the engine is under load such as climbing a grade or starting and stopping in traffic. Dealer says there may be a flash upgrade but they have not seen anything yet from Chrysler on this.
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    Have you tried running mid-grade or premium through it? Have you asked the dealer to check for a defective "knock sensor"? Most modern cars have adaptive ECM's (engine control modules) and aggressively advance the spark for more power and fuel economy, only backing off when the knock sensor detects pinging. Since the knock sensor is a piezo electric crystal on the engine block, it is so sensitive that usually the driver NEVER hears what is going on.

    (I usually run mid-grade to pick up a little horsepower based on the adaptice ECM's.)

    IF midgrade or premium makes the knock go away, congratulations, you don't have a defect, you have a feature (I say this a bit tongue in cheek) because you will be picking up horsepower. If the knock DOESN'T go away with premium gas, you need to be more aggressive with the dealer since serious knocking, as opposed to a very, very light pinging, is really, really hard on an engine.

    In the long run, of course, you really need to get a flash upgrade.

    BTW, are you running a national brand of gas? The owners manual for our Chrysler/Dodge (not a Caliber) emphasized using a good brand of gas, and switching brands before upping octane. I find Shell, 76 (Conoco maybe where you live), Chevron to be best (see ).
  • cat9374cat9374 Member Posts: 1
    My Caliber is knocking all the time now. The Dealer said it is going to be a software problem and it will take some time before Chrysler gets a software update in place. I really hate driving my car with that noise, but they said as long as the check engine light does not come on then were ok.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    My Caliber is knocking all the time now. The Dealer said it is going to be a software problem and it will take some time before Chrysler gets a software update in place. I really hate driving my car with that noise, but they said as long as the check engine light does not come on then were ok.

    The problems listed in the last few postings are a red flag for new buyers.

    I will not bother to test drive the Caliber.

    Chrysler seems to be no different than GM or Ford: rush the new car into production. Worry about the fit, finish and quality details later.

    Buyer beware!
  • nicewheels1nicewheels1 Member Posts: 8
    After speaking with the dealer service techs about the same problem in my Caliber it appears that Chrysler may have pushed the limit in tuning the timing on the Caliber to get the best MPG rating. To fix the spark knock they may have to change the software to retard the timing but this will probablylower the average MPG of the car. If high gas mileage is not a primary concern for you then they may have a fix to solve your problem. It sounds to me like they need to go back to the drawing board on the engine and drive train setup for future production.
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    Have you tried running it on premium gas until they can re-flash the engine control module? You should try to bring the knocking under as much control as possible, it is harmful to the engine. The fact that the check engine light isn't on, only means it isn't "violating" emissions requirements.

    ALSO have you asked the dealer to reflash your engine control module with the existing software? Since most owners are not reporting this problem, it could be that the program in your car is "corrupted" somehow (after all it IS a computer program, albeit written to flash memory and not a harddrive).

    I'd put in premium gas for now, and push the dealer harder.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    It's happened to my husband a few times, he said it's usually when the motor isn't warmed up. Not sure why and it hasn't happened to me so I'm not worried about it, yet. ;)
  • yomaggieyomaggie Member Posts: 1
    Hi blkhawk60 - also new to the forum - have had my Caliber for a couple of months and am up to 11,000 plus miles. Lots of highway driving. But am having the same problem you discuss. Stalls out in neutral (shudders sometimes also) or when the clutch is in at low speed. Trying to convince the dealer that it's not my driving. Has your problem continued?
  • al2derfal2derf Member Posts: 5
    Hi yomaggie,
    I am having the same stalling problems with the clutch either in or out and the car stalls in neutral. I filed a complaint and have called the customer CAIR 1800 number three times. Since the dealership can not duplicate the issue they tell me they can't do anything about the problem and will not acknowledge it as a problem. This is a safety concern. You may try calling the 1800 CAIR to at least put in a concern. If more vehicles start demonstrating this then the engineers will have to pay attention.
  • blkhawk60blkhawk60 Member Posts: 5
    Hi yomaggie- I'm still having the same exact problem hat you are having. I'm in the military stationed in Germany. Getting my car checked out by any dealers over here is almost impossible they are all Mercedes dealers (Chryler owns them). The caliber hasn't even begun selling here yet. It doesn't happen that often but I have had it happen as I down shift goining into a corner and when the car stalls out there is no power steering and this car will not turn without power steering. I'd tell your dealer that you talked to other people with the same problem, something like this is probably not going to get better wih time. Let me know if your dealer figures anything out. I'm probably going to try a garage on post and see if they have any clues to what might cause this problem. Other than this problem I love my caliber
  • al2derfal2derf Member Posts: 5
    I responded I think to the follow up email you sent. I too have had the same stalling problems while in neutral and since it has not happened to the mechanics at the dealership they don't want to acknowledge it as being a problem. I have called the 1800 CAIR number in the manual and reported this issue. If there are three cars displaying this problem then it must be a problem and should be reported to DaimlerChrysler for their engineers to figure out. It is a safety concern that they need to be aware of. I also followed up with my customer satisfaction survey and let them know what's going on. In the manual you will also find the mailing address to DaimlerChrysler to report the problem if you think it falls into being a :lemon: .
  • blkhawk60blkhawk60 Member Posts: 5
    Caliberchic said she had the same thing happen. I'm going to try calling that number and writing in. I'm going to make an appointment to see the local authorized Chrysler service garage, so they can tell me that nothing is wrong. And then I will call and write to Chrysler. Just let me know if you get anywhere with your dealer.
  • al2derfal2derf Member Posts: 5
    Blkhawk60 - My dealership does not want to acknlowledge that there is a stalling issue. When I asked for them to put it in writing to me they won't. I have sent the certified letter to DaimlerChrysler and will give an update if they respond. I also filed a complaint at: and if they do not comply then will follow up with:

    Since you are overseas you may want to find out what your rights are if they can't or won't fix the problem.
  • jessiecjessiec Member Posts: 2
    I am so glad I found this! What you've described is EXACTLY what's been happening to me. It's a bit of a relief to hear it from someone else as I've told my story to anyone who will listen and I think they think I'm crazy. My car stalls in neutral every so often. What it does more often than stalls is go down to 400 rpms quickly and pops back up to normal (700). I've been stopped at lights and it shudders like it's going to stall and then the rpms pop back up. I've even been parked, in neutral with the e-brake on and the the oil light went on and it the bells went off like it was going to stall and then the rpms went up over 1,000 and leveled off at 700. It's been so weird. Stalling in neutral is just strange and shouldn't be. I've stalled pulling in to parking spots...typically happens at low speeds/rpms. I've read on another forum that it could be the computer needs to be updated as my car was built before July 06...not sure if this problem is happening with cars built after that date (something about reflashing). I'm waiting to talk to my dealer to see if they think they can fix it.
  • moparfamilymoparfamily Member Posts: 3
    Our Caliber was doing the same thing. Massive spark knock. We took it to the dealer and they added new software to our computer which took care of the spark knock. But did lower our gas mileage to 19 to 22 mpg. We have since started using synthetic oil and regular gas 87 octane and we are now getting 25 mpg consistently. We drive this car for a living (average of 200 to 250 miles/day). Our car now has 22,000+ on it.
  • macmonkeymacmonkey Member Posts: 6
    I am about to take delivery of a new SXT with 5 speed and I wonder if it can be presumed that a car produced later in the year would ship with the updated software? Also has anyone found a fix for the stalling?
  • jessiecjessiec Member Posts: 2
    I brought the car in 3 weeks ago for the stalling. The dealer contacted Chrysler and they said there wasn't an 'exact' fix for it yet but suggested the dealer reflash the computer and do a 'few other things'. The dealer told me Chyrsler said they should have more info by the end of the year. The rpm's still drop down and pop back up, but the car has only stalled once in the past 3 weeks. So maybe it is almost fixed??? I read somewhere that the problem was with cars that were built before July '06. My suggestion would be that if you find the car stalling in neutral, tell your dealer to contact Chrysler because they are aware of the problem. Good Luck!
  • macmonkeymacmonkey Member Posts: 6
    So far no sign of either the knocking or the stalling. My Marine Blue SXT was newly manufactured in October; so perhaps they are getting re-flashed and updated before they leave the factory. I'll keep the board posted if anything develops!
  • davidraddavidrad Member Posts: 2
    My Caliber has about 1,000 miles on it. When I shut down the car after about a half hour or longer drive I get a loud pinging sound from has to be the exhaust system. Is this normal? Have others experienced this.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    New car, new exhuast system. Metal heating up and expanding a bit, then cooling off and contracting.
    I would guess that as the car ages the noises will diminish somewhat and you'll notice them less.

    When youget around to changing out a muffler or piece of the exhaust, you probably notice them again. ;)

    Congrats on your new Caliber! Be sure to rave about it in the New Caliber Owners - Give Us Your Report! discussion!
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    This has been a common complaint on Calibers manufactured
    before July 2006 and has been posted on numerous
    Dodge forums,there is no TSB covering it but quite a
    number of owners have had it resolved by DCX and dealers
    willing to understand it as a customer satisfaction
    Call DCX customer line and complain or find a dealer
    who is willing to help,they have to replace the exhaust
    pipe and resonator assy. under warranty system.
  • foxy4foxy4 Member Posts: 3
    :cry: hi we are having the same problems with our new dodge caliber 1.8 se unleaded we bought it in september 06 and have had nothing but problems with the stalling when we pull away the revs drop and it stalls nearly every time unless we rev excessively also in reverse it judders before stalling. and we are currently trying to send it back as its been in for repair and still has the same problems is there any one who can help us with who we can contact next other than the dealer. thanks.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Another complaint with regards to software,this has been
    noted on other Caliber forums regarding the 1.8l/5spd
    stalling and fluctuations in rpms.
    It again has been resolved by a software flash or update
    covered by Tech Service Bulletin #18-033-06,quite a number
    of owners with these symptoms claim this resolves the
    stalling problems.
    Call DCX customer service or try another dealer you deserve
    service for money spent on your purchase.
  • vocsvocs Member Posts: 7

    Today we ran a lot of errands and were out shopping our new caliber RT, AWD. We got it 6 weeks ago it has 1880 miles on it. The check engine light came on out of no where.

    Anyone have any clue what is going on?

    Should I not drive the car? I have to take a few trips this weekend/holiday to families houses. Should I be worried about driving it?

    Any help is appreciated.

  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Check the gas cap is on and tightened and if it's gone when you restart car generally it's not an immediate thing,but
    have it checked out that's what warranties are for.
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    If your car was built prior to November, it may need to have its engine control computer reprogrammed - see Tech Service Bulletin #18-033-06. You can tell the build date of your car from the placard attached to the front driver's seat door or door sill.
  • foxy4foxy4 Member Posts: 3
    has anyone got dcx customer service telephone number please thanks as having no joy getting the car sorted and are now really fed up with the dealers fobbing us off :confuse:
  • donpilotdonpilot Member Posts: 7
    I took my new(900 miles) Caliber to the dealer for a MIL light. They are going to replace the pcm computer. They say it is a problem inside the computer and not a software problem. 2.4l cvt r/t fwd
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Customer Service is at 1-800-853-1403 how long have you been waiting? I waited 9 weeks and I hear that some waited up to 16 weeks.
  • foxy4foxy4 Member Posts: 3
    thank you for the telephone number but im in the uk so dont no if it would be the same number as you gave me we had a meeting with the dealers and with head office people and we said we have had enough of the lies and how the car performs so they have offered us a new dodge so hopefully this one will be ok fingers crossed but we have been waiting since september 06 so 4 months and now we hope it will be ok foxy x. :)
  • trans12trans12 Member Posts: 3
    I have a new caliber R/T,about a 1000 miles on it now---I have noticed that after driving around town for about a 1/2 hour that the engine temp could be warmer. The gage doesn't even read half way. I took a small trip and the gage went to half way as in other cars I have had in the past. It has been around 15 degrees here and I know its cold, but the car should still warm up in an 1/2 hour . Just wondering if anybody else is experiencing something similiar or if there is a problem. It acts like maybe the thermostat is stuck open. The dealer said I should let it idle for about 15 min before driving... Thanks trans12
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    Welcome to Caliber ownership,your comments regarding
    temp guage have been a common thread amongst many
    I have had my SXT 2.0L/CVT since August 06 and have never
    seen the temp indicate over half way,in the summer on
    hot days it would sit at 1/2 of the mark just below
    middle of guage markings,now with outside temps
    in the high teens it takes a while to get to that
    Having said that I have found my Caliber is one of
    the fastest warming DCX cars I have owned and that's
    been quite a few,but it does seem that below 20F the
    guage seems to take a while to reach mid range.
    If you warm up for 15 minutes that's a lot of gas,
    4-5 minutes then drive it seems to work for me,I
    don't know where you are located geographically
    but Canadian Calibers come with block heaters
    and if you have one that maybe the answer.
    By the way to see if you have a block heater check
    between the fuse block(drivers side under hood)
    and the strut tower for an AC cord.
  • ricerocket71ricerocket71 Member Posts: 1
    I have a SXT with 13000 miles on it now - Live in New England and have the same issues with warm up., The temp gage never went to the mid range always stayed about two clicks below even during the summer months.
    Orig the dealer stated this was a normal condition and could not find a problem. Next cold morning I drove directly to the dealer and had the service manager drive the car and he finally agreed with me.

    TO date the dealer has replace both the primary and secondary thermostats and re-entered the codes. The problem still has not been corrected. The car is scheduled to go back to the dealer on Monday the 12th..

    I have also contact Dodge and placed a formal complaint concerning this issue.
    IF anyone has had this problem corrected please let me know what they did to repair the situation. I will let you all know the outcome of my next service visit.

    Its the only way to get some action to correct this
  • tanner5mftanner5mf Member Posts: 1
    Wow, I finally found others with the same issue. It has been cold here in wisconsin, but I originally took it in when it was 40 degrees, twice. They said the temp range was normal. Now this week I stopped in a store lot, after running for 15 minutes, and had the temp gauge go down, not warmer. I also would like to here from others. I also will be contacting Dodge.
  • snojeepsnojeep Member Posts: 2
    I bought my Caliber in June 2006 and so far so good, no problems, yet. A week or so ago I noticed a tone sound and then a rapid tick-tick-tick sound from the passenger side of the engine after I turn off the car. Also, it has been a bit cold out here last month, and the car sounded a little loud in the engine. When I brought it to the dealer, the first thing they suggested was to change the oil. I found out to my surprise that my local mechanic did not read the oil cap during the last oil change in January and placed 10W-30 instead of 5W-20 in the engine. Yikes! The local dealer replaced the 10W-30 with the proper 5W-20 and the engine has quieted down (it is also 20 degrees warmer here now)but the strange tone and tick-tick-tick sounds is still happening. Did I just trash my engine?
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    If you do a search here you will find the "Caliber Ping" to be quite common. Dodge will range on whether or not it's a problem with a solution. Some dealers will take it seriously some will not. I personally have not hear the ping myself but I know LOTS of Caliber owners who do complain about it.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Member Posts: 118
    I've had that "3 tick" sound (after I turn the engine off) since I've had my Caliber. Going on 31K miles now it's still there, it does not affect the cars performance and I don't hear it until I turn the engine off. So...I'm not worried about it unless it gets louder or causes some issues for me.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,677
    be cool if the manufacturer, in this case Dodge, would release some information to their dealer's service bays that would suggest what might be causing the "3 tick" sound.

    IIRC the Dodge Caliber is installed with the new "world" engine that was developed with Mitsubishi and Hyundai and DCX. The various manufacturers will tweak their world engine as they see fit but all 3 carmakers may even find some commonality here with this problem. Has anyone actually heard a satisfying suggestion from their dealer as to what this sound might be? Maybe it's OK and nothing is being damaged or nothing is wrong at all.

    I have a feeling that nothing is wrong at all with your Caliber motors.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • gone24nowgone24now Member Posts: 6
    I can completely relate to the engine stalling in neutral, and also my tacometer will go up and down when in neutral as well for no reason?? But my biggest problem is the door locks. I have manual locks, so I lock the door and shut the door and very often the door will not catch and will just pop back open. Of course I am just a crazy woman because the Gods of Service at our dealership say they can't see a problem and I am the only one that has this problem. Am I crazy or are there others here with the same problem? :mad:
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Sorry I have automatic locks, but I know it's annoying when you have a problem that can't be duplicated every time. It's almost as if you need to carry a video camera with you when you lock your door to "catch" it in the act.
  • lexan1965lexan1965 Member Posts: 118
    I've read about other Caliber owners having issues with the door latches. Some of them have had them replaced by their dealer to fix the issue, good luck!
  • princessluprincesslu Member Posts: 2
    finally another Caliber driver with stalling issues, I was told by dealer after they put a new tramsmission in that I was nuts there is nothing wrong, I drove 12 hours from Fl. to SC and stalled on highway, brought car to sc dodge dealer, I paid for a rental car cause they wanted to test drive car all day, picked up car next am was told they drove it ofr several hours and found nothing that I was crazry, the drop off miles were on invoice and the mileage out 7 miles is all they test drove it for, 2 hrs. later I stalled called them and reported it to damion chrs. next day i was at a stop sign, whenI went to go I stalled and was rear ended by a huge gas truck, called dealer and corp. and a lawyer, the car has not been towed and I had to rent a car to come back to fl.I am happy to see I am not crazy and was alomst killed. I am taking action on 2 dealers and corporate. Brand new cars do not need tramissions at 3ooo miles and should not stall out my lawyer says it is a lemon keep in touch I may have lawyer call you for poof it is not only me I will keep you posted
  • gone24nowgone24now Member Posts: 6
    No you are not nuts. It's just the car and people who don't want to deal with it. When your car stalls, does it turn over quickly to get it going again, or does it take a bit more time?? I dropped my Caliber off on the service guy told him about my locks and stalls. And he says I have been the only person at that dealership who is complaining about these problems. I told him to go online at any site discussing the Caliber and he would find that these two complaints are major problems across the country and nationwide. Rented a car and billed it to them. Don't pay for your rental, make sure they do!!!!! Our service found a very DANGEROUSLY LEAKING FUEL LINE that could have caught my car on fire. Get them to check for this.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    My Caliber will stall often when sitting in neutral, no reason I can see for it. It's probably done it about 20 times in the last 6 months. One day it stalled 5 times sitting in the Taco Bell drive through.

    Of course this would be something impossible to duplicate on demand!
  • gone24nowgone24now Member Posts: 6
    Seriously get your dealer to take a look at your car. Just the thought that my car could have started on fire from the leaking fuel line was scarey. It was so dangerous that they wouldn't let me leave the lot with my car.
  • blkhawk60blkhawk60 Member Posts: 5
    I'm stationed in Germany and I have the 1.8 Liter 5 speed. I had the same stall problem that everyone seems to have the garage here wasn't able to duplicate it but they did down load the latest computer flash for the caliber. This Flash is the one that the 1.8 5 speed Calibers that are being built now come with. All they did was hook up my car to the diagnostic machine and down load and reflash everything with the latest and greatest. Apparently this is standard procedure overhere in Germany. My car was fixed in 1 hour. It hasn't stalled since they flashed it a month ago. The RPMs are more stable and I can feel a little more power and my gas mileage hasn't changed. Just have your service center give you the most current flash, it will fix the stall problem. I don't have the flash number with me but if you need it just let me know. :shades:
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to mention this at my next service.
  • blkhawk60blkhawk60 Member Posts: 5
    After reading some of the past forum discussions it looks like most people got the TSB 18-033-06 flash update (the recall that came out last year), I also had that done. This time the mechanics reflashed my PCM with TSB 18-020-06 and my car is fine now. So i'd recommend both of those TSB's to anyone with the stalling issue.
  • vocsvocs Member Posts: 7
    I have an automatic RT/AWD. I got it in Nov. We put in mid grade gas. In the past 6 weeks or so on occassion when you first put the car in drive and it starts to go it sputters, like its not getting fuel, and then almost stalls. Nothing happens when you step on the gas, its almost like it goes dead and then it just starts going.

    Anyone having issues similar in the automatics so I can share with the dealer?

  • princessluprincesslu Member Posts: 2
    After my new trans.,numerous complaints to dealers,someone smashing my rear 'due to car sputtering at stop sign and not moving,I called MI. Chry-Dam. corp. they Sent a'SPECIALIST" TO Naples,Fl. to drive my car--once again it is only crazy me, I showed all of the complaints from this carspace--well he said this and edmunds is all lies and not to read or listen to them,there is nothing wrong with any dodge caliber it is all in my head. WHAT A JERK THIS GUY WAS..NOW I have moved on the BBB for state of FL. Oh, damage from accident was est. by my insurance at $5,000.00-But-we're all crazy---I just want a good car,with no problems or repairs. GOOD LUCK TO ALL-keep me posted
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