hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,620 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Dodge Caliber Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Nov 272014


  • 144,000 miles


"takata recall" in the year 2014 I experienced the loss of power while driving it. The vehicle would drive but suddenly would loose power and stop pulling. I took my car to the dealership and was that I needed a transmission replacement. Also I inquired about this vehicle being on recall and was told that it wasn't but after reading several complaints, I feel that something should be done about this problem because a transmission replacement is very costly. I have not been able to drive my vehicle for two years because of this problem.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #28

Jul 012015


  • 18,000 miles
I was turning onto a state highway when my brakes made the most awful grinding noise and my ABS brake light came one. I immediately took my vehicle to the mechanic. I was told by my mechanic my brakes were bad and rotors needed to be replace and there was a sensor that had to be ordered before I could use the car after it was repaired. It had 11,000 miles!! I doubt my brakes were even bad at that point I think it was just a sensor after all. (after it cost me $480 plus I had to rent a car for 3 days. My transmission kept surging at the stop lights from the day I got it at 1,471 miles. So it was probably bad from day one. I should have taken it right back to where I bought it, at least it would have been under warranty. I had my transmission replaced at 30,000 miles at a cost of $6,000.

- Folsom, PA, USA

problem #27

Nov 172015


  • 100,000 miles
I was driving in town when suddenly the car acted like it had no power! then it started jerking and jumping forward! then as I was going up hill it slowed and was jerking again! when I would stop at a light or stop sign it had very little power to exhilarate and then it would jerk alot until it got enough power to get going again! I was concerned about driving it any further since I live out of town, I have two children and didn't want to take a chance on being stranded on the side of the highway! so I left the car in my sisters drive way and drove her car home! I needed a car so to take the children to school the next morning. I called amco and they told me to bring it in! it took me 30 mins to drive five miles! they told me after checking it out that the transmission is gone and the car is only seven yrs old with just a little over 100,000 miles on it! these cars should not be aloud to be sold! they are dangerous! everyone of them should be recalled and sent to the scrap yard! they are lemon's and I will never buy another Dodge, Chrysler or GM product again! I still owe 5000.oo on this piece of garbage and I don't have the $3500 to pay for a transmission! so the car sets as I pay for something that I can not drive! this is not right! the dealer was to put an extended warranty on the car and he did not! now with two kids I am screwed as with not having a vehicle to drive! this car needs to be recalled and we the owners should not have to pay for something we can not drive!

- Rolla, MO, USA

problem #26

Aug 012015


  • 135,000 miles


Found that the engine cradle is rusting out. This cradle supports all steering front suspension and engine/transmission. Have also found that this was a problem for the 2007 models and is still a problem on 2008 models. Although 2007 models are recalled and replaced but not 2008. This is a huge safety factor as stated all steering and suspension are connected to this cradle. If failure to cradle happens all loss of control of vehicle is inevitable.

- Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #25

Jul 202015


  • 110,000 miles
I bought my 2008 Dodge Caliber in July 2010. It had 27,000 miles on it. It was a campaign car. It has always had a problem with pickup. Acceleration is not great, but we noticed on a July 4 trip, that the car was not only making the "normal" steering/suspension noise, but it was also making a whirring noise that my husband feared was the transmission slipping. I made an appointment at the dealership where I bought the vehicle and found out that the whirring noise was not the transmission, but the alternator is bad. $550. The ball joints and the tie rod ends are bad and need to be replaced, $1040. The struts also need to be replaced as well as the front brakes. $800. Yes, my car has 110,000 miles on it, but the trade in value is only about $3500 anyway. Its luckily been paid off for many years. The ball joint/tie rod issue is very worrysome, though. It is dangerous.

- Paris, IL, USA

problem #24

Jun 182015


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Caliber. While driving 25 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that an unknown part needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 112,000.

- Princeton, MA, USA

problem #23

Apr 232015


  • 86,500 miles


While going 45 mph car started stalling and would idle at 1.5 stopped in neutral. Lost almost all power. Merely caused a collision.

- Coalmont, TN, USA

problem #22

Apr 172015

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
While traveling at 45 mph on 6 lane highway engine decelerated to between 5 to 10 miles per hour. Engine begun to idle very rough. I was approaching a side street and was able to turn off the main hwy. To access the problem. The electronic throttle light had come on indicating a problem with the throttle system.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #21

Dec 012014

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Trouble shifting into 3rd gear. Requires double clutching to enter into 3rd gear and also grinds when entering. It will shift back into neutral if gear shift is not held in 3rd gear position when releasing the clutch. Also has instances of trouble going into 4th with grind when shifting. Only goes into gear 10% or time; I mostly skip 3rd gear altogether. Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge service bulletin #21-011-08 (March 7,2008) recommends replacement of 3rd/4th/5th & reverse gear synchronizer rings if this occurs. It recommends that if the transmission is opened from any service that these rings should be replaced regardless of condition.

- Dayton, TN, USA

problem #20

Jun 022014

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
My 2008 Caliber had a real bad tapping noise from the engine area, when I was reading online what it could be I found that the adjuster pulley on the alternator was the culprit, so I replaced it only to still hear when accelerating the car make a grinding noise like rubbing metal together from the transmission, I took it to a local mechanic and watched them inspect the transmission, the mechanics told me it is the gears in the transmission. The car has 80,000 miles on it, and of course the warranty is up, the dealership says they can't help as usual. Besides the pulley and the transmission the body has corrosion under the passenger door as well as in the hatch area. I still have 4 more payments on the car and should not have transmission or body failures when the car is not exposed to harsh conditions and has 70,000 miles. I will never buy another Dodge/Chrysler vehicle again.

- Indian Head, MD, USA

problem #19

Aug 142014

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 69,900 miles


I am writing to discuss a possible danger in the design of the fuse box. The fuse box under the hood of the Dodge Caliber appears to allow too much moisture beyond the upper seal. Every 10,15, and 20 amp MINIfuse develops excessive oxidation on the contacts. The oxidation may cause malfunctions in two ways. The first is phantom error codes and check engine lights. The second is the cvt transmission may slip out of gear while driving causing sudden loss of drive power and lead to collisions. Another issue that concerns me is the potential for circuits to overheat resulting in electrical fires under the dash and under the hood of the Caliber.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #18

Jun 102014


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that the vehicle started to jerk violently intermittently. After the initial failure the vehicle decelerated independently and failed to accelerate. The contact mentioned that the integrated power module light was illuminated on the instrumental panel. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 58,000. The VIN was not available.

- Medford , OR, USA

problem #17

May 062014


  • 73,000 miles
While driving my children to school, my car began shutting down on a major road putting mychildren and myself in danger. The throttle control light came on. After turning the car off and waiting a couple of minutes I was able to drive extremely slow to ge them to school safely. This sounds similar to the same problems currently happening with the Chevy cobalts. Is it going to take Chrysler/Dodge killing people before this gets recalled? I encourage everyone to contact their local news stations along with national news stations! car companies are only interested in making their money and not looking at the safety issues of the death traps they are selling to consumers. I will be endlessly pursuing this matter until Dodge steps up and pay for the repair! I will call every news station until some attention is brought to this matter and holding car companies like Dodge/Chrysler responsible for selling and manufacturing faulty vehicles. I have gone through all complaints listed on this site and numerous others. Someone is not doing their job!

- Waco , TX, USA

problem #16

Jan 142013


  • 71,040 miles
Driving car at ~35 mph - entire dashboard indicator lights come on - vehicle immediately slows down to 5 mph - no power when pressing on gas - RPM to up to 3 or 4 (like I'm driving 80 mph) malfunction indicator light and trans oil temp light comes on - almost rear-ended because of drastic reduction in speed in ~5 seconds. Took to mechanic codes U0101 (loss of communication with transmission control module and code U0402 (invalid data received from transmission control module) mechanic was able to clear codes but indicated that this is a common problem with Dodge Calibers - happened again on February 27th - called Dodge (800-423-6343) and they said to take to dealership for $112 diagnostic (already know the diagnosis) - they could not provide any information on an actual fix for this problem - still want customer to pay for diagnosis with no actual fix - they can clear the codes (like my mechanic did for $50) and wait for it to happen again - only to (again) do the $112 diagnostic with no fix for this issue. I do not want to die driving this car. Dodge totally unresponsive - upon internet search - lots of complaints and talk of class-action and recall. Please recall - this is clearly a manufacturer computer software problem - a very dangerous computer software problem that should be fixed by the manufacturer.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

Jan 012014


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated the vehicle stalled when first started. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for a diagnostic test. The test results determined a defective PCM. The contact did not have the PCM replaced. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Westlake Village, CA, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Sep 022013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
Going down the highway and when down shifting to merge in traffic the car died. Got it to the shoulder of the road & it started but was making a horrible noise. Got it towed home & to garage where they took the motor apart & found it had 2 burnt valves. Took the head to engine shop & found that the head seats are broken and the other 2 are worn & also have to be replaced. Cannot find parts from Dodge & mechanic said he had to order them from Japan. Now a job that should have been around $100 is costing us over $500. Very disappointed that a car with that low mileage would have something like this happen. I still owe 2 years on the car & by the looks of the complaints on the Caliber I should have never bought it in the first place.

- Brockway, PA, USA

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

Jan 012013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Car will be at a stop, then when you try and accelerate it won't go and tries pulling forward and kind of jerks. Also the airbag light will go on for a minute then turn off then come back on a minute later over and over the whole time while driving. This car has never been in an accident.

- Pocatello, ID, USA

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