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Dodge Caliber Transmission Problems

the CVT is slick and smooth. MOST of the time. Has anyone noticed it to be jerky when turning a corner and accelerating lightly? I have experienced jerky--ness at low speeds under certain situations. Is there a torque converter or something that locks at about 5 mph? this is when I always feel a jerk during light acceleration, 5 to 10 mph.


  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    Your right have noticed sometimes on corners at slow speeds
    that it fells like a down shift,this CVT takes some getting
    used to,I noticed yesterday on expressway that when I went up to 140 km/h to pass it seemed upshift also,strange.
    I was doing about 120 km/h when a silver Caliber RT
    blew by me at about 140-150 km/h my black SXT looks
    a lot better lol.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,237
    Let's make this our general Caliber transmission discussion.

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  • Remember, to save gas the Caliber shuts down the engine during some cases of de-acceleration. That might be what you are experiencing?

    Remember, to save gas the Caliber shuts down the engine during some cases of de-acceleration. That might be what you are experiencing? :confuse:
    Some people think the Caliber (especially the RT) has some jerky feelings. The CVT is VERY smooth, what they are feeling is the engine shutting down to save gas; everyone these days wants better gas mileage. :D
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    Yes I am aware of the fact that it goes to economy mode
    on deceleration however it can't shutdown completely or
    that would be a stall but I think your on the right track
    as it possibly goes to economy then just before it would be
    a stall the CVT goes to lowest ratio and brings fuel back
    to idle level.
    What do you think?
  • I sent a message to Dodge, and they said that it is in economy mode all the time, and that they are not aware of the problem with it being jerky? Not sure what to say about this? Any one else have any ideas?
  • the problem has abated somewhat as the miles pile up. Now at 4500 miles it is hardly noticeable.
  • I'd had my RT for just under 2500 miles and brought in to the dealership for the same problem. At first I thought the axle was loose - it was jerking that bad.

    First they reset the computer's calibration for the transmission. It became less jerky - don't know if this was in reality fine tuning or just a mask for the problem.

    However, it's still jerky. Especially on cold starts and acceleration from a complete stop - even MORE likely if it is a turning acceleration.

    Dealership has now just told me to 'ride it out.' It may be the solenoid, in the torque converter, most likely it's that the tolerance may be too tight the way the 'belt' moves through the transmission and just to put on some more miles and it will go away. To me this sounded a lot like "You cookie fish racecar niner hand" for all the sense it made.

    It's been bugging me - is he just saying this or is there some truth behind it?
  • I'm pushing 6000 miles now and the CVT is smooth as silk.
    that does not excuse your dealer's ignorance of the problem.
    this is why I leased my caliber as the entire powertrain is unproven and no one knows anything about it.
    If my fuel economy does not improve soon I'll be looking for a way out of my lease...
  • They don't understand what's wrong.
    I'm getting a brand new transmission installed as I type.
  • iT sounds to me like you experienced a severe lurch problem?
    I now am over 7000 miles and the CVT is fine and the engine continues to run stronger all the time, but continues to be a guzzler at only 26 mpg. When new the CVT allowed the engine to rev to over 4000 rpm regularly on light to moderate acceleration giving the impression of a slipping, worn-out clutch. On the freeway it would typically run 3000 rpm or higher at 70mph.
    Now that the engine is broke in the rpm remain in the 2000 to 3000 rpm range during all but heavy acceleration up to 55 mph. In town it will rarely even touch 2000 rpm. on the freeway at 70 mph it reads around 2800 rpm. It is quite a pleasant change.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    I had the latest TSB# 18-031-07 done on my Caliber
    2.0L/CVT last Thursday when I took it in for an oil
    change at 10,000 km and I think the change is dramatic
    in the case of my car.No more lag or hesitation
    from 0 to 40 km/h,it just picks up and goes as if
    it was regular automatic.
    One thing I have noted is that the rpm at any given
    speed are about 300-400 lower while cruising,hopefully
    this will mean more mpg.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    This is why it's better to wait to buy new models.
    Is this still fixed?
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    I agree about buying new technology when buying
    cars but I have bought numerous first year models
    with minor problems and they were always resolved
    to my satisfaction.
    I don't comprehend what you refer to in"is this
    still fixed".
    If your reference is to the software update then
    it's been less than a week with it and seems to
    be fine.
  • wachaldjwachaldj Posts: 4
    Does anybody else have issues with Pedal Click when accelerating or deccerlating? It only clicks when the vehicle is in drive or reverse, no noise when you rev the car up in neutral or Park. My dealership has ordered me some seat bracket as their a TSB on that, but I do not feel this will fix the problem?

    any insight would be good. Thanks.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    No issues with that in either one of my Caliber's.
  • wachaldjwachaldj Posts: 4
    Thanks for the response. I drove it this weekend as it is my wifes car and it drives me nuts. The dealership will be seeing it before mid week.........
  • gone24nowgone24now Posts: 6
    YES!! I have a standard and everytime I an gearing up there is a clicking noise that is quite noticeable and getting louder. It doesn't click gearing down or into reverse. The dealer tried to do some changing of valves and the minute I drove away it didn't do a damn thing, I went back and they did nothing for me. Did they do anything for you bigtsr? Anyone else with this clicking noise? All of these problems are VERY MADENNING!!!! :(
  • gone24nowgone24now Posts: 6
    Two MORE problems .... I have 27,000 km on the car now, and my brake rotors are warped. I always gear down, and have never had to ride the brakes hard in order to warp them?? Anyone else seen this? Also, anyone notice a clicking sound in their manual trans. when gearing up or down?? It is a noise that is getting louder and is very noticeable. Again... dealer says "don't know"...I say fix it, they say LOOK ON THE INTERNET AND FIND HOW OTHER PEOPLE WITH THESE PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN FIXED!!!!! Nice service, eh?? :mad:
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    I have SXT 2.0L/CVT and have not had any of your
    problems to date,I only have 13,200 kilometers on
    the odometer.
    I have an excellent dealer that has todate looked
    at any of my concerns seriously and resolved them
    Since I had the latest flash done mpg just gets better
    and better,the car runs very quietly.
  • wachaldjwachaldj Posts: 4
    Took it in last week, They had no clue, even though I directed them to the heater core/blower motor area, They heard it and told me they had to contact Chrysler Engineering. Drove another New one on the lot and the same. It is an Auto with the CVT in it, and on accell, Decell, or shifting from Reverse to drive it clicks. Seems to be a bigger problem with the new models and not so much in the older model year calibers.

    Log a complaint with Chrylser so they have to put out a TSB on it. I know of 3 people that have in the last week.

    It is going to another dealership in the AM, where I know the shop forman and am hoping it will be fixed. It is not engine, or transmission related I have been guaranteed of that, and if you are careful you can actually feel it by reaching under the dash and touching the side of the housing when they click would or is occuring. Something is flexing that shoudn't be.

    It is a removable heater core that must be moving withing the housing.

    Very annoying, but other than that a Nice little car.
  • wachaldjwachaldj Posts: 4
    I have been told my car is fixed, have yet to pick it up. seems the issue was with the Heater core lines being to tight to the blower box assembley. Some Foam was applied and no more noise. Or so I have been told. Hopefully I can go on and enjoy the car now. If it is not fixed I'll let you know. After talking with the dealership this is not un common in these cars whether it is a manual or a cvt tranny.
  • I can not get the shifter to move out of park
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    The first thing of course is make sure tou are depressing the brake
    pedal fully before trying to shift out of park,failing that there is an emergency
    park release access hole on the passenger side of the transmission
    hump that appears as a small round button.
    Pop out the button with a small screwdriver and once you have done this
    there is a lever you activate by simply pushing your finger in the hole
    and pulling the gearshift out of park.
    This locking solenoid is adjustable and the problem should be looked
    at by your dealer as there are several causes for it.
  • While driving home from work last week, a warning light came on...I immediately pulled over and checked the manual...the light was a transmission overheat light....the manual said this may occur if driving in very hot conditions, the only problem was that it was 3 below zero at the time! The light went off and I tried to make it home....I made it about 5 miles when the light came on again and the car went into limp mode. I made it the final 2 miles home and after sitting for an hour, the car ran fine...for about 20 minutes when it happened again. I had it towed to the dealer...they now tell me the CVT is toast. It cooked the fluid and components....I have 49,300 miles on my Cali and while it is out of warranty, I did buy an extended policy thru CNA. CNA is flying an inspector in to certify the transmission is toast and to ok the the meantime I am in a rental...paid for by CNA. I will let you know what happens! :sick:
  • Thank goodness you have CNA! Keep us posted
  • i had the same thing, can you please let me know if you notice a brown like substence
    near the coolant cap, my dealer is giving me a hard time they are saying that
    i or someone put something in the coolant, i have only 26k on it please let me know asap i will greatly appreciate
    thanks a lot
    p.s. the dealer is rockland chrysler
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    The only time I have ever seen a rusty brown discoloured substance
    was along time ago when we did not have closed over flow systems.
    If it was the result of boilover then you would have a serious problem.
    Does the temp gauge run at normal temp(about the center of gauge)?
    There is a commercial liquid rad leak repair called BARSLEAK and it is
    a rusty dark brown appearing substance.Did you buy the Caliber used?
  • the exact same thing is happening to me right now. This has been a complete nightmare. I am still under warranty and also purchased the extended warranty and they will not fix my car! I have been towed 4 times now in the past 3 weeks and this last time i crawled in limp mode to the dealership where it was purchased with the light still on, but the light went out before they tested it so now they are saying yet again that they don't know what is wrong and to p/u my car or they will bill me for the rental car. I explained to them that i am driving a death trap. I travel the highway 45mins each way to get to work and if i lose power on the highway i could get killed. They said, "I hope you have good life insurance" and laughed. Can you believe the nerve. I am sooooooo upset. Who is this CNA person that people get flown in to allow the transmission to be changed. I need a phone# to contact someone that can do something. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    My 5 speed Caliber did that and the dealership didn't have a fix to offer. We ended up trading in BOTH our Calibers because we weren't happy with them.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    I can't believe anyone with any business sense would say the
    things like " I hope you have good life insurance ".
    Your only hope is to find another dealer,I know it is easy to
    say considering geography and timeframes.
    Chase your extended warranty if it's not with Chrysler and
    if it is email or letterwrite the hell out of Chrysler HO don't
    mess with the middlemen mention lemon laws and lawsuits.
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