Dodge Caliber RT AWD new owner report

c192psc192ps Member Posts: 2
Over all the RT awd is a very good car, it does everything well, however nothing out standing. If you have young childern the plastic every where is a big plus and easy to clean. We tried out the AWD on high 140 in OR. this past weekend, ice covered by 2" of packed snow. It was sure footed and predictable as long you didn't drive faster then conditions would premit. Milage falls when driving 70 mph, at 55-65mph we were able to get 30mpg. It is not a hot rod in any way, but it does have the power to take on the hills. A 15 gal tank and a adjustable passenger seat would be a improvement. As for craftmanship and materals I haven't found any thing wrong. The engine warms up faster then any other 4 cylinders I have own in the past. It is a car that thinks it is a SUV, I would not take it off road. But it is prefect for winter driving. AS for warm weather, will have to wait for summer to find out.


  • habalanchehabalanche Member Posts: 57
    You're getting close to 30 MPG with an AWD R/T? Mine is chugging along at a far less than acceptable 18-19 MPG. I only have 2700 miles and it's mostly all city but.30 is terrific considering it's advertised at 22-26 MPG
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    I just picked up my R/T although FWD and I'm getting 23 mpg so far, with only a few miles driven..130 I believe. I have been using the autostick and having fun with it too so I imagine the mpg will only get better. I will report back.
  • yatesyates Member Posts: 2
    I drove a 07 Dodge Caliber R/T and the thing sounds like an old military vehicle when you reach 45mph and above. Sounds like a bad carrier bearing if it were an older 4x4 pickup. Defineately coming from the rear. Has anyone else experienced this??? Randy
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    There have been several postings on the various
    Caliber boards about the RT models having noisey
    rear wheel bearing and it seems the general consensus
    that a bad batch was used in assy and the only way
    to cure it is have them replaced under warranty.
  • yatesyates Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info, I'm going to look into this further. If I learn something, I will put it out on this board to inform others. Thanks!!
  • habalanchehabalanche Member Posts: 57
    Just got back from a 1700 mile road trip 70/30 Hwy/City with my R/T AWD. Averaged exactly 26MPG.That's more than I have been getting but most of my driving is just short back and forth to work runs.I have had the car for 15 mos.and including the recent 1700 miles I now have only 4400 miles on it.I would love to get 26mpg all the time but being that the car is advertised at 23-26mpg.I'll live with it.No mechanical issues to report at all.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    I have not.
  • cinglemomcinglemom Member Posts: 49
    I just recently purchased an '07 Caliber R/T FWD on Oct 31, 2007. My 2 test drives were beautiful and I fell in love with the car instantly. However, I did not purchase the car I test drove. Assuming that the cars would drive and sound the same I decided to choose a different color R/T. I had to take the car to the dealers a week later because I heard rattling. They found out it was the front passenger side bumper that had screws or bults missing or loose. I haven't heard the noise since. Then another week later I noticed whistling coming from the driver side of the window. They said it might be the weather stripping. Come to find out it was some kind of tab that was not removed. I haven't heard the noise since. Now... I have been noticing rattling and engine struggling sounds; almost like the engine is urning for oil or the transmission is missing it's fluid. I also notice that when I'm on an incline the engine gives off this loud rattling/tapping sounds. When the heat fan is on it's sometimes louder. I gave up my '03 Toyota Corolla S for this car thinking that I have found another great car. Tomorrow I go back to the dealers to see what they are going to do or say about the engine noises. I really love this car and hope that it will be a simple and non complicated fix. I will keep you posted.
  • cinglemomcinglemom Member Posts: 49
    Went to the dealers this morning. They at first did not hear the rattling but I went on the second test drive with them. When I'm on an incline I can hear some rattling. They said that I might be the fan tapping some wires. I'm guessing that I will need to taked the car on a trip to break it in.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    There have been numerous posts about strange noises in the
    1-1/2 years I owned my Caliber and I have a couple myself.
    The simple ones are things like the seat belt buckle in the rear seat
    when it's not in use taps on the plastic door covering going around
    corners going up hills.
    Another is(if you have it)the tonneau cover over the cargo area,
    the two spots were it latches in get squeaky going over bumps
    and can be resolved by using some one sided sticky foam insulation
    (the kind you use around windows and doors) to isolate plastic on plastic.
    Rattles can be caused by the heat shields being loose (from factory)
    there are 3 of them 1 in the engine compartment,1 above the exhaust
    system passenger side and 1 above the muffler.
    The exhaust system itself swings or is hung from hangers and if misaligned
    has generated noises heard in the car.
    The spare tire cover again is plastic on plastic cargo floor this again
    has generated sqeaks/rattles which can be isolated.
    I have not noted any posts on the various Caliber sites regarding
    the fan hitting wiring.
    Good luck on your resolution and let us know what is found.
  • mwlmwl Member Posts: 5
    Just a heads up, the powers that be have decided to kill the R/T All Wheel Drive model. 6 more weeks of production and bye bye
  • cinglemomcinglemom Member Posts: 49
    Thanks for this information but were are you getting this information from?
  • cinglemomcinglemom Member Posts: 49
    Thanks for this information; I will keep it in mind when I got back to the dealers.
  • cal_libby_ercal_libby_er Member Posts: 3
    "There have been several postings on the various
    Caliber boards about the RT models having noisey
    rear wheel bearing and it seems the general consensus
    that a bad batch was used in assy and the only way
    to cure it is have them replaced under warranty."

    Ahhhh I bet this is my culprit.

    I traded in my '03 Ford Ranger XLT SuperCab 4x4 for a pre-owned 2007 Caliber R/T AWD just this past Saturday, 2/23/08. Fell in love with it during the test drive and was really looking forward to getting better gas mileage - was also happy to be getting AWD out of the deal. My husband rode with me on my test drive and said he could hear a "grinding", but he stated he had heard it in lots of 4 wheel drive vehicles, he wondered if it had something to do with the AWD. I couldn't hear the noise he was referring to and wondered if he was right, and the reason I couldn't hear it was because I was accustomed to driving 4 wheel drive, even though I did so sparingly.

    By the time we got it home the noise was much more pronounced and I could definately hear it. It does, in fact, sound like a popping / clunking / "omg something's loose" kind of noise, especially when going over bumps.

    I still have the remainder of the warranty on it, and I also got an extended warranty when I bought it - taking it back to the dealership tonight, anxious to see if this is my problem. I'm going to ask them about it - thank you for posting this information!

    Aside from that, I LOVE this vehicle!!!
  • bigtsrbigtsr Member Posts: 149
    You are absolutely correct in your knowledge with regards to the
    rear wheel bearings on the RT models.
  • 77mac7777mac77 Member Posts: 13
    I had a Stone White 2008 Dodge Caliber R/T A-W-D made to order last year. It IS an AMERICAN model I bought through the Army/Airforce New Car Sales program. The speed governor kicks in around 130-- I guess.. the speedometer doesn't go THAT far. Took delivery Thanksgiving. Except for slamming on the brakes at 120-MPH to avoid a deer on a German AUTOBAHN, I've had no problems with this car. THAT incident-- by the way, the guy in the PASSING lane HIT that deer with his Porche-- necessitated the replacement of my ABS Unit. Since then, the only problem I have is 'only' getting 23/24 MPG, and having to keep looking at the speedometer to ensure I'm not driving too fast for mating season. I only DISLIKE the headrests on the rear-seat that blocks my view. Driven, now, with backseats DOWN! As I, legally, CAN drive as fast as my wheels will carry me-- and you CAN get my car in a DIESEL (but N-O-T an A-W-D)-- the Mercedes-Chrysler dealer does a very nice job with my services. Only one in Germany I've seen.I have 11111 miles on the car, and put 111 miles on it every day going to/from work. The stereo's EXCELLENT. I L O V E my car. Since there's rolling hills and mountains in this area-- Bavaria-- I picked the right car. It does my pride great-good to be complimented on my car's appearance by people that paid three or four times more than the $24,000 I paid for my choice. Great car! I got EVERY option EXCEPT: the back-up system and the sunroof-- I'm 6'4'' and need the headroom.....BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEP!
  • habalanchehabalanche Member Posts: 57
    I only wish I could get your mileage with my 07 R/T AWD.I'm lucky to get 20mpg.Most of my driving is around town and unlike you,my commute is less than 5mi.each way.I was stationed in Germany back in the eighties.Bavaria is one of my favorite places.BTW it sounds like our cars are identical except mine is silver
  • 77mac7777mac77 Member Posts: 13
    Well, mine is a 2008. Dodge got a lot of bad press: worst milage in its class; can't see out the back window; sluggish; cheap, dumb looking interior... mine's all leather without those gaudy colors.
    The MPG are GREATLY affected by what kind of gas I use. I get decreasing milage at lower-grades of gas. The best milage [I get] is between 55&75MPH.
    I didn't want to brag, but there IS a dormant volcano in my backyard, so I really DO need that extra ummmmph from all four wheels. You'd be surprised how many people THINK 4WD and AWD is the same. Cannot count the 4WDs that I've seen stuck in deep snow around here with the front left and rear right... just a spinnin'!
    Later! Thanks for the reply. Saw a $250,000 car the other day on the way to the PX... wow! Still wouldn't trade (insurance, ya know!).
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    Glad you love your Caliber! Sorry about having to replace the ABS though.
  • 77mac7777mac77 Member Posts: 13
    :shades: I forgot:
    Remember when I said "I got all the options except...."?
    That DOES include the trailer-package [excludes hitch].
    That extra-large oil-cooler is a MUST in Europe-- and I've
    absolutely NO intention of actually TOWING anything.
    The Engine heat guage rarely goes above 1/4-up. Glad I
    have a 'government job,' I'd HATE to pay the $8-a-gallon
    my GERMAN neighbors pay.
    It's TRUE, you C-A-N-N-O-T spin the tires, but ALL those
    four tire sure DO hold those James Bond winding-roads
    even in icy/snowy roads.
    Can I say it again?
    I love my 2008 AWD Caliber!
  • rtdriver5570rtdriver5570 Member Posts: 1
    HI is there anyone out there with high Km or Miles that are having any major problems? I'm about to buy out my lease and I'm at 40 000 km and not sure if I should buy the warrenty @2500.00 bumper to bumper. Can anyone help?

  • 77mac7777mac77 Member Posts: 13
    :blush: I've got 35,000 miles on my '08 Dodge Caliber RT AWD. The ABS went out-- replaced under warranty when the car was about five months old. Had two lug
    bolts pop-- replaced for free... live in GERMANY, and drive the car +/- 100MPH
    all the time. Great car. I DO keep the backseat down and out of the way-- at
    my height [and no kids] it just blocks my view trying to see over the backseat
    headrests. Wouldn't trade my car for ANY rice-burner. Period.
    "Big Mac"
  • 77mac7777mac77 Member Posts: 13
    I guess that I bought my car during an unusual period of American history:
    1.} -- I paid cash.
    2.} -- I do NOT qualify for any of those stimulus-checks since my wife's German.
    3.} -- I did NOT get $4,500 for BUYING my AWD 2008 Dodge Caliber, RT.
    4.} -- Despite Consumer's Digest; Car & Driver; et al HATING American cars,
    I bought a Chrysler.
    5.} -- I live in Europe-- there ARE other choices.
    ................................................................................- .......................................................
    THAT said, my 2008 Dodge Caliber, All-Wheel Drive, RT-- with 40,000 miles--
    is S-T-I-L-L being driven at 100 to 120 MPH, for 100-miles, daily.
    Like I said before, at MY height, it's best to keep the backseat down because of
    blind-spots, but, OTHERWISE, excellent car! :shades: :) :shades: :D :shades:
  • gudwaygudway Member Posts: 1
    Bought a 2008 Caliber bare bones 2.0 liter 49000 miles
    It is VERY noisy, dealer says "ROAD NOISE" nut it sounds more
    like a cracked loudspeaker. Could it be the bearings?
    How can I find out. Can they be tested? How can I tell the mechanic to test them?
    Neighbors say it's just road noise but I'm not convinced.
    It is unbearably loud, too loud for me :(
  • ohyeasureohyeasure Member 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?
  • c192psc192ps Member Posts: 2
    I had a AWD RT 07, but traded it for something larger, mine had excellent power for a 2.4 liter. Mileage at 55 to 60 was great just don't go over 55 if you want milage. The chill zone is a joke and the AC was worhtless, the car finaly cooled off after I was all ready home. I never intended to keep the car long and when a another member arrived it was time to move to something bigger like a pilot. the stock tires were junk, bought the cheapest ones tire rack and they made the car snow ready. if you need power buy a Camaro SS mine is not lacking the power you would expect from a V8
  • sailjoe1sailjoe1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 07 with the 1.8 manual trans....good buy used for $6900 55k on speedo.... after a couple of days I felt there was a noise that was road sound after 45 or so...checked the tires and talked to a few people....then while driving home one night I put it in neutral and still noisy...I felt it was in the rear...I have a good mechanic and told him the noise factor...up on the lift he rotated every rear bearing was a slight whirring sound...$140 to change it out...happy now...I get 29 mpg most of the time and sometimes 33...depends on traffic...I like it for the $ factor is like a cheap sports car to me...and 4 doors ect..
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