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New Caliber Owners - Give Us Your Report!



  • opotsopots Posts: 3
    Good Luck, this car has been a nightmare. My first leak was at 3 months also. Makes you wonder. Then it seems every 2 months, or every time we have a major rain storm at another place. So I can probably look forward to a front end leak, how exciting. I have a feeling this car missed some very important steps in the production process.
  • I got my 2008 Caliber in May, I love it! I was previously driving an '01 Ford Windstar very glad to get rid of that thing. This is my first Dodge vehicle, so far so good. Only one problem with wheel bearings not being greased at factory and they had to be replaced at 1500 miles. Dealership took care of everything and the car runs great. I get about 25 mpg city driving, lots of stop and go. I recommend this car to anyone that is downsizing from a bigger car.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    There is a Caliber owner who posts on Caliberforumz dot com with
    the handle of BRENDY-he had the same problem and got it resolved
    plus he posted pics of where the water leaks are located.
    You may want to check it out.
  • I bought this car for my daughter thinking it would keep her safe. My husband and I knew as a young driver it was almost a certainty that she'd be in an accident. We didn't go for older and more affordable car. We stretched our budget to get this car. We wanted her to have a safe car that would give her every chance to be okay after an accident. We called the Caliber the "Marshmallow" because of all the airbags. She was involved in an accident the other day and her car will probably be totaled. She wasn't seriously injured. She does have neck and body soreness. The other driver is okay too. That driver didn't even go to the hospital, even though her car flipped due to the impact. NONE of the airbags in the Caliber deployed. We were told the same thing..that the airbags don't deploy if the car determines seat belts will do. Hmmm..that doesn't really make sense to me. I live in Austin, Texas and I will be contacting an attorney to look into this matter. I'm wondering if you, or anyone else has additional information about this matter. We were one of the first people in the Austin area to own this car. We bought it in March 2006, 2007 Year Model.
  • WOW! That is concerning, none of the bags deployed?. And how exactly does the car determine the level of impact a human body will take in an accident. I would think safety would say to err on the side of caution.

    I'm glad she is ok and I hope your vehicle will be paid off in full so you can purchase something safer!
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    Sorry to hear about your daughters accident I hope all ends well
    for her physically.
    You didn't say how she was hit (the point of impact) but the Caliber
    has 3 impact sensing points which supposedly trip at above 5mph.
    There is the frontal zone sensor which is mounted in the crush zone
    just beside the radiator and 1 each on the "B" pillar (between front and
    rear doors) about bumper high.Rear end and roof have no sensors
    much like all other cars on the road.
    Again give her our best wishes and let us know the outcome.
  • My wife is a sales rep and drives alot of city miles. Her Caliber currently has 68000+ miles on it and has been owned since April 2006. So far, the only thing has been of set tires and front brakes. Currently, we are now getting a squeal from under the hood. To me appears to be a bad idler pulley but it looks like it may have 2 and they could both be bad. Only guessing by the heavy metal dust on the front of both. Other than that we have been very pleased.
  • Well the noise was not from the idler pulleys. I changed them out and still had the same issue. Now at 70000 miles she has a new alternator. It was kinda tough to change since there is no repair manual out for it yet. But for those that have to change one out in the future you have to take it out from the bottom. Take all the plastic off from the fender well and remove the 3 air conditioner compressor bolts, unplug the the wires and leave the hoses hooked up. I made the mistake of trying to take it out the top and ended up removing the trans fluid pump only to discover it was too tough to get to all the bracket bolts.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    Good to see you found the problem-small cars with tight engine
    compartments are always a challenge.
    There is a service manual availiable on the net-I'll send you a pm
    about it.
    Obviously I am not as smart as I think I am can't fiqure out how to
    PM you-anyway if you go to CALIBERFORUMZ dot com
    either ask or search the manuals are on that site,I have them
    but thet are big and emails won't handle them.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    An advertising agency would like to speak with satisfied Dodge Caliber drivers. If you own or regularly drive one of these vehicles, please respond to with your daytime contact information no later than Friday, October 31st.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Weeeew! I'm gonna quit reading these postings-- really!
    I'm that guy[from Bavaria, Germany] that rated the car.
    Mine IS an AMERICAN (not export) model 2008 AWD.
    Seems like this is the car the CRITICS hate, and the
    OWNERS (mostly) love!
    I've had people with BMWs and Porches complement
    the looks of ==>MY<== car!!! Hmmm. Only AWD Cal-
    iber I've seen, in Europe; and they don't sell them, here,
    nor even MAKE them anymore.
    It drives VERY well, thank you. I have 20,000 miles on
    my 11-month-old car and get 21MPG-- but I usually
    drive most of my, daily, 110 miles at about 100MPH
    (Cruise-control on)... occasionally going to the gover-
    nor limit [125?]. Since I share the road with the occasi-
    onal Lotus and, mostly, +$75,000 cars driving to, and
    from Switzerland-- or France, the car's transmission
    got SOME getting used to. My size 15 shoe knows
    when, and how, to speed up hurridly when I'm passing
    a tractor trailer rig only doing 85 and a Lamberginni is
    flashing her lights BEHIND me. Of course, as that ov-
    erly muscled car passes ME at about 185, increasing
    speed, there is NO American car she'd even remotely
    consider. Listen, I LOVE my car, and continue my
    poorly-paid American Government job ONLY because
    I can DRIVE my Caliber TO the military base. 'nough said!
    Michael McCluskey
    Army&Navy Retiree
    Wactkueppel, Germany*

    *= denotes there really IS a volcano in my backyard--
    snow-capt THIS time of the year... love that A-W-D! :)
  • Glad you love your car! :)
  • update: 25,000 miles. STILL driving it about 100MPH, daily, in Germany. Love it!
  • I've made some bad car purchases in the past, usually buying someone else's problems in a used car, and regretting it. After 4 in a row like that, I decided to buy new, and decided to go American. BIG MISTAKE! The Dodge Caliber is a POS, and one of the worst decisions I've ever made in my life. Looks decent, but the VST never left me comfortable, and sure enough, 6 months and 14000 miles into my ownership of the vehicle, transmission dropped, and antifreeze dropped with it. What a worthless piece of trash!

  • Just bought car with 40k mi & found no owners manual. Does anyone know where you check the transmission fluid ? Can't find stick anywhere. Also how to turn on driving/fog lights on bottom of front bumper? Based on my 1st weeks impression this car was a super buy as it was fully loaded to the max. Thx 4 reply.
  • bigtsrbigtsr Posts: 149
    There is no owner availiable dipstick on the CVT although
    tube can be seen down low and left of the battery once
    you remove air intake/battery cover.It can only be checked by
    the dealer with a special dipstick temperature probe.The first
    scheduled service is at abt 90,000 miles.The fluid is again
    specialized for the CVT so don't add regular ATF as it will
    destroy the tranny.

    The owners manuals can be downloaded from Chrysler/Dodge
    main website.
  • Thx 4 most helpful info.
  • My wife and I just purchased our first car (with the help of Obama!). We traded in my old truck at the time of the cash for clunkers deal. Originally we were going to go after a Honda or Toyota like most other people taking advantage of the rebate, however, no dealer would budge on their prices. We started looking around, and I had started to notice more people driving the Caliber. We went to test drive one the following day and really like it. What I liked best was Dodge also offering a $5,000.00 rebate from the factory! Seeing how this deal was too sweet to pass, we drove a new blaze orange caliber home for $11,500.00 after tags, taxes, ect...

    I'm very impressed with the car so far. We were going to buy a Honda Fit Sport, but the Caliber has much more room, the same or more power, and the car seems a bit bulkier (read safer). I'm 6' tall and have plenty of room. There are a lot of nice features that aren't advertised by Dodge very well. I'm happy we went this route, for the price and quality of car. I doubt I will ever score this good of a deal again!

    The fuel mileage has also been surprising. I use this car as my daily commuter (90 mile round trip) and never drive above 60 mph. I usually set the cruise on 55, turn on the stereo, and relax before work. New, the car was getting around 28-29 mpg. I thought this was fantastic given the size of the car, automatic transmission, ect... The car now has 3,500 miles on it. I've just changed the oil for the first time and over the last few tanks I have gotten 31.1 mpg and 32 mpg! I'm not sure what the Fit gets but surely it could not be much more. Besides that, the difference in say 4 mpg would take years upon years for me to finally recover the cost saved in gasoline to justify buying a $17,000 Fit vs the $11,500 Caliber.

    Overall, I highly recommend this vehicle. However, I'm not sure I would pay the sticker price of ~$19,000. If I were going to pay that much I probably would buy a matrix or some other import of a hatchback.

  • My daughter just purchased a Dodge Caliber 2009 with 31,000 kilometers on it. On the way home the engine ran up to 6000 RPM and she could not hold the car back with the brakes. Does anyone have any experience with type of problem?
  • I've had similar situations, not to 6000, but sometimes it seems like it wants to jump, mine is a 2008 though. The brakes do pull it to a stop, but the CVT jumps a little.
  • Thank you for your response. I am new to this web site so could you tell me what the CVT is.

  • tesiloutesilou Posts: 4
    I have a 2012 Caliber and I am having all kinds of problems!! Noises in the front and rear such as clunking, rattling, squeaking like metal on metal all while going over bumps and dips in the road. They replaced the front struts and that didn't work, They did something with the front calipers and that didn't work. I am taking it in for a 4th time next Monday. The whole thing sounds like it is falling apart. I regret buying this car. It has been a nightmare so far!
  • I have had some rotten problems with mine. Fuel/coolant line fell off at 14k miles. Since about 25k miles, for the past 125k, it has occasionally had electrical problems where if it rains, and if the car is at the correct angle, all the engine lights light up and it won't go over 30mph. Took it to a dealer, they had no idea what the problem was. I noticed that they have a really bad problem with ball joints, that might be your problem. Mine would go over the slightest bump in the road and sound like someone hit the car with a baseball bat.
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