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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,184 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2008 Dodge Caliber electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Dodge Caliber Owner Comments

problem #18

Jan 072014


  • 72,000 miles


Car was already warmed and driven for about 5 miles, after stopping at a gas station to refuel and re-starting, it was idling very inconsistently and running rough, shaking. There was a dash indicator for electronic throttle control flashing. I tried driving it and there was jerking and pulling and the transmission wouldn't shift past 2nd, car would not accelerate beyond 12-15 mph. I made it home (about 2 miles) and left the car for about 6 hours. Upon restarting and warming, the car drove fine. About 1 1/2 weeks later, the same dash light came on, steady not flashing, car rumbled, then light went off and the car was fine. This happened on and off for about 2 weeks. Then, when ready to leave from work one day, I started the car to warm it and the indicator light came on and stayed on, the car was running very rough, idle was fluctuating between about 500-1500 rpms and shaking. I left the car, assuming when I came back the next day it would start and be fine just like the 2 times before, but that was not the case. I drove the car to a nearby mechanic, maxing out at about 15 mph, strangely the car seemed to pick up speed when I eased off the accelerator, and steady loss of speed while going up hill. The mechanic could not fix or even diagnose the problem, said it has to go to the dealer. It seems to be something to do with the throttle control. I will update it once I hear from the dealer later today.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #17

Jan 172014


  • 71,245 miles
I was on my way to work and getting onto a freeway entrance, when right when I was merging, my car completely lost throttle control and bogged down. It was very foggy outside and a semi truck almost ran into the back of my car. I was able to get off the freeway and home with my car in what is known as limp mode. There was no check engine light, only a red lightning bolt light, and my esp (traction control) was on also. Upon doing some research I have found that the electronic throttle body goes out in these cars quite a bit. No body in my city had one and luckily I was able to source one from another state. Everyone that was out said they were on back order. This further confirmed my thoughts that this is a common problem along with reading about 10 other cases and a car forum where this has happened to many member there also. I understand things wear down and break and need to be replaced, but with my car only having 70,000 miles on it I find it a little ridiculous, and on that forum there are some where their throttle bodies have gone out at 30,000 miles. I'm just surprised that no body has been seriously injured or killed in accident because of this issue. One particular member on the forum I read he stated that the car had completely died on him in the middle of a busy intersection. I have a 4 year old son and it just bugs me to think that what if I had him in the car and that semi wasn't able to move out of the way in time? all I'm asking is that Dodge either makes a better quality throttle body and puts out a recall or at least replaces the throttle body under the recall for free. I have wrote to Dodge customer complaint department, but have not heard anything back so I figured maybe I would try here and see if anything can be done.

- Meridian, ID, USA

problem #16

Jun 012013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Vehicle is an automatic, 2.0L engine. While at a stop, in any gear, foot on or off the brake, my car will idle roughly, rpms fluctuate rapidly between 200-900 or higher, and the vehicle will sometimes stall and shut down while doing this. This rough idle and stalling out will also happen while slowing down/decelerating, as well as accelerating from a stop or slower speeds. The issue tends to happen more when the engine temperature has warmed up a bit from normal driving, but has occurred at lower temperatures as well. I have taken the vehicle to my local Dodge dealership at least three times in the past three months; on the first visit, they replaced the PCV valve, ignition coil, and spark plugs ($400); on the next two visits, they claim they cannot replicate the issue, and no error codes appear on their diagnostic computers. I have had the fuel injectors cleaned, and had other mechanics inspect the car; they cannot find any needed repairs or error codes, but they have been able to replicate the issue. The car continues to experience this issue, no matter what repairs I have done. I am in contact with Chrysler/Dodge corporate customer relations, and have an open case with them, though they and the dealership state my car "has no warranty with Dodge, " and thus the issue isn't covered, nor do I have any claim to financial support from Chrysler/Dodge. My vehicle is currently at my local Dodge dealership, in hopes they might finally be able to replicate the issue and find a cause/fix.

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #15

Jun 052013


  • miles


I have replaced the bulbs multiple times on the turn signals. The brake lights continue to come on and off at their leisure. Sometimes, the turn signals on the front work and sometimes not. This is becoming a regular incident and is very dangerous since I drive long distances frequently. I also have been stopped by law enforcement several times for defective bulbs, luckily only warnings so far.

- Sneads, FL, USA

problem #14

Jul 012013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The main issue is not being able to take the car out of "park" when it is running. For the past year it has happened intermittently. The last 2 days none of my trying and retrying to get it out of park works. Also, my windshield wipers come on whenever they feel like it. Mostly upon starting. I also cannot reset my change oil light.

- Crescent Valley, NV, USA

problem #13

Jul 172013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
After turning on my car it began to lunge while in idle. As I attempted to back it out of the driveway the accelerator pedal had little to no effect. The car would not drive more than 10 mph, still lunging. The indicator light for the electronic throttle control (etc) lit up and started blinking. I took it into the dealer and the diagnostic ($150) proved it to be the etc. The etc kit needed to be replaced which apparently is a "dealer only" part. This is such a common occurrence for Dodge that the etc kit is on back order and will not be available for 2 weeks! not to mention the part costs $600+. and by the way, I had to have the transmission replaced in 2011!

- Martinez, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 122013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 10,250 miles


While driving a 2008 Dodge Caliber SE in a street between 40mph and 45 mph, the vehicle suddenly shutdown itself. Five second later and after pulling over as close as I could to the curve of the road, the car died. I tried to restart the engine to move it out of the way of the traffic, but the vehicle did not start. Smoke started coming out under the hood, and after further examination, I saw sparks and smoke coming out off the fuses' box. I disconnected the battery and waited for the smoke to clear up. Using a flash light, I found out that one of the circuit card in the totally integrated power module (tipm) shorted and melted part of the plastic cover. The vehicle couldn't be put in neutral, and the break pedal and steering wheel were inoperative. If this incident happened in a high way, I am sure that the incoming traffic could have hit my car with speed over 65mph due to suddenly deceleration and lack of vehicle's response to the driver's commands. My wife, three years old daughter and I could have been involved in a fatal crash.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #11

Nov 172012


  • 67,000 miles
I was on my way to work, headlights and dash lights started to flicker, all the indicator light on the dash came on. Smoke started coming in the vents into the vehicle went to stop, brakes grabbed for a second then went out completely, even shifting the vehicle to park did nothing. Stopped the vehicle by hitting guard rail called police, within minutes the entire front end was in flames.

- Blossburg, PA, USA

problem #10

Sep 192012


  • 57,000 miles
2008 Dodge Caliber. While driving at 60 mph the battery charging light came on. Next day took car to auto store to have battery tested and they replaced the battery. Next morning at 2:00 am while driving my husband to work, all lights on panel started coming on one at a time and car lost power and we coasted to the side of the freeway. The car is at the shop today and mechanics are trying to figure out what happened. They noted the battery was bad, but I just had a new battery put in and they stated the started was not bad. What is wrong so I can get it fixed. Also change oil light always comes on even when I have just had the oil changed; which I do every 3,000 miles. The current mileage on vehicle is 57,000 miles.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #9

Jul 152010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle made a clucking noise. The vehicle was taken to the local mechanic. The failure was located at the rear tie rod and strut having defective material. The ignition also failed and could not be turned. The rear tie rod strut and ignition was replaced. The vehicle was repaired but continued exhibiting a noise from the rear. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 74,176.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #8

Sep 012010

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles


2008 Dodge Caliber stopped accelerating normally in September 2010 at about 43,000 miles (and about 6 months after I bought it from a Mazda dealership). I took it to several transmission shops who all said they couldn't help, but had heard of many similar problems with this vehicle. I finally took it to the dealership for a diagnosis and was told the whole transmission needed to be replaced (at about $4000). This diagnosis seems to be very different from the throttle issue that I've read about online. I was told it might hurt the powertrain further to continue driving it, so the car is still sitting in my drive way as a non-op. I don't understand how Dodge is getting away with this, when so many similar complaints exist (most of which are within the warranty).

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 042011


  • miles
I have 2 2008 vehicles the first one is a Dodge avenger and the 2nd one is a Caliber. I bought both of these cars from the same dealership new. I have issues with the tire pressure sensors in all the tires. They are corroding causing the tire pressure to drop, are they any current issues or recalls on these type of devices.

- Brimfield, OH, USA

problem #6

Sep 092011

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 60,554 miles
While operating the 2008 Dodge Caliber 2.0L engine at approximately 45mph, the car instantly stopped without applying the brakes. Then the car would go from 7mph to 50mph in a rapid acceleration and then back down to 7mph. This was rather dangerous as I was almost rear ended numerous times despite having my emergency signal flashing lights on as well as driving in the far right lane. The car also experienced excessive back firing and one loud explosion sounded as if it occurred in the catalytic converter directly underneath the car. I was lucky enough to find an auto parts store last night and was able to have the tech there use the odbii reader and it indicated the error P0132 which is the oxygen sensor as the failing unit. The failure of the oxygen sensor nearly resulted in an accident as the Dodge Caliber was almost impacted by other cars in traffic as the other cars were not prepared for the Dodge Caliber to rapidly decelerate from 45mph to 7mph. The part was replaced asap the next day with Bosch part # 15124 and upon testing for 20 minutes the car operated without error. I called Dodge to inquire about a recall or warranty work and they declined both. In regard to public safety, I request that a case be opened to investigate this situation and others like it. The desired outcome is to have Dodge recall the O2 sensors as this type of failure can be catastrophic when traveling on the highway at higher speeds with traffic.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 102010

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 52,306 miles
Horn defect on 2008 Dodge Caliber. Horn does not work despite 3 attempts to repair by dealer. Purchased at heritage Ford in corydon, Indiana and repaired by gerdon Chrysler/Dodge in corydon. Horn sounds on first push, then will not sound for several hours or days when pushed.

- Corydon, IN, USA

problem #4

May 112011


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Caliber. While driving approximately 55 mph the vehicle lost power and the electric throttle control warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing and the technicians informed the contact that the computer and the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Dexter, MI, USA

problem #3

Dec 262010

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 57,750 miles
Went shopping came out from shopping my car left me stranded had it towed to the dealer I bought it from after being stranded for over 3 hours they had to sent it to a Dodge dealer they said the issue was from a static lock which cased my module to have to be rest but then they told me if it happens again I just need to unplug the positive cable to the battery and it should work which it does but they said they had to reset my key to it so I was charged for them to do nothing and the car is still not fixed it happened again on January 7 2011 and so I called the dealer I bought if from and they told me to bring in and they would look at some components and install a ground wire well I did that but then the they told me the car couldn't be working so in other words they were not going to do anything to fix this problem I bought it from jerrery Kia I need a reliable car to drive and I don't have one and I too will never buy a Dodge again.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #2

Mar 032010


  • 44,200 miles
Had car in park. Started vehicle and starter kept trying to turn over. Stopped car and took key out, starter kept going. Started car again and drove 30 feet while starter is turning over and smoke was coming into vehicle. Vehicle then stopped and engine died. The vehicle ended up stopped in the middle of a four lane main road. Lights were on and battery was still working. Could not start car. Police were called due to vehicle being inoperative. Towed to dealer, where they ran tests on new starter after it was replaced. Was told all tests passed and the original was a bad starter. On March 18, 2010 engine was starting to make similar sounds and vehicle tried starting without a key in ignition. The only way to stop this, was to pull wire off the battery.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #1

Feb 202008


  • miles
After purchasing my Dodge Caliber in February or 2008 I noticed the gas gauge was not consistently accurate. It took a total of 6 months for schaefer and strohminger to "fix" it. I called them afterwards to tell them it was better but not completely correct and they put me off several times. They said they would call the engineer and follow up with me. That never happened even after the CEO of the vehicle maintenance department told me I met the lemon law requirements. During this time the car began to hesitate from time to time when starting. I also asked them about that problem. They could not figure out the problem after having it in the shop twice. About a year later the car wouldn't start and left me stranded at work. It was towed to the nearest dealership. I called ahead to talk to the mechanic who knew exactly what my problem was because he'd had several others need to be replaced already in the Caliber. It was the wireless control module. While still under warranty they replaced it. It's been a few months now and the car has hesitated while starting 4 times already. Obviously there is a fault in the wireless control module unit they are using. Finally, I'm taking it back to have them check the water in the driver's side tail light and wet carpet behind the driver's side seat. I'm very dissatisfied with this car and do not plan on buying from Dodge or schaefer and strohminger again.

- Edgewood, MD, USA

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