really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,185 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Dodge Caliber Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Jan 252014


  • 100,000 miles


Driving vehicle on main road approx 40mph.. electronic throttle body indicator flashed, vehicle immediately lost power.. had to pull over for safety reasons.. vehicle "bucked" with a rough idle.. turned the vehicle off, restarted ; all seemed ok. This scenario occurred multiple times each time on the road disabling power and unexpected, local mechanic replaced spark plugs and coil packs.. the vehicle started but few days passed, again the etc indicator came on, immediately losing power, bucking on a highway / biway 45 mph, pulled over shoulder.. restarted approx 15 min later all seemed ok.. the latest occurrence and most impacted., vehicle will not go beyond 10 mph, no power, bucking.. phoned dealership.. etc is on back order and not enough parts available to fill outstanding log of B/O.. (region is out of stock ) phoned Chrysler addressed issue is multiple across forums and suggested recall.. this issue is a safety concern and costly when codes are not accurate( misfire ignition coils, catalyst below threshold, overheated O2 sensor, never indicating relating to faulty etc.. but the dealership wouldn't order so many nor would they be out I stock and back ordered if this wasn't "recall worthy" Chrysler was helpful in assisting and hopefully they will expedite part and all will be well..

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Dec 302013


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that while starting the vehicle, it jerked violently. The contact also mentioned that acceleration power was reduced. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the failure could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in the manufacturer's recall. The failure mileage was approximately 107,000.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #10

Dec 252013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 65,234 miles


Second time this as happened in less then 3 yrs. Driving car no warning light ever came on the first time. Lost power car died. Had it towed to dealership $600 cost no real answer from dealer ship. Now Dec 25th 2013 driving home and light electronic throttle control indicator light comes on. Car putt's along. Again this is the second time this has happened, someone is going to get killed and Dodge will have a law suit on their hands. I and many others will tell our friends and families not to buy anything made by Dodge. Pretty sad someone will have to die to get this company to do a recall and fix the problem.

- Mt Vernon, OH, USA

problem #9

Dec 042012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, a loud clicking noise was heard from the engine. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the totally integrated power module (tipm) needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 120,000.

- El Mirage, AZ, USA

problem #8

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 #7

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 #6

May 152012

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
While driving on the freeway, the 2008 Dodge Caliber loss power and began to decrease speed. I stepped on the accelerator but the car did not respond. I exited the freeway, and after I was stopped at a light, I attempted to accelerate, but again, the vehicle would not respond. When it did, it jerked repeatedly until it was able to accelerate. While driving the car loss power again. Additionally, the check engine light was on for a few months prior, a knocking noise would come from the engine, and a mechanic advised me that the transmission needed to be replaced. Lastly, when it rains, the back seat passenger side and floor was inundated with water.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 112013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I had just left for work and after driving for two minutes, the engine, coolant and navigational lights turned on, and would not allow me to drive over 15 mph. I returned home, checked, and top off the coolant level, which was not very low at all. Reset the panel and once I started to pull out of the parking space, the same lights turned on. This is not the first incident I have had with this car. Please refer to the other incidents I have submitted, affecting other parts of this car.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Nov 152012

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


My 17 yr old daughter was driving our 2008 Dodge Caliber when acceleration was lost. The car started shaking when she tried to give it fuel and the electronic throttle system like came on. Needless to say, she was very shaken by this ordeal. We have an extended warranty that we purchased through carmax, with a $300 deductible, however the warranty company would only pay $144 dollars of the $647 total bill. The car has approx 70,000 miles so I don't understand why the throttle system would be defective. According to the repair shop, the needle inside the throttle that feeds the fuel was defective. Luckily my daughter was not on the main highway when it went out, otherwise it could have been more serious. I am voicing my complaint on this part and all be ware of the throttle needle going bad. I will also make this a formal complaint with Dodge as well.

- Kingston Springs, TN, USA

problem #2

Aug 062012

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Driving the car down the road at approximately 35 mph and all of a sudden the electronic throttle control light comes on. The car lost engine power will running very rough. Car would not accelerate and became hard to handle. Was eventually able to get the car to the side of the road. I was on a city street. If this had happened on a very busy street or the highway I could have been stuck right in the middle of traffic with no or very little power to get it out of the road. This could have been a very dangerous situation at higher speeds or more traffic. There was no warning other then the light that came on when it happened.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #1

Jul 052011

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The car has just shut down 3 different times now (while driving) and has left us stranded in the Arizona desert each time. We will be driving and suddenly no matter how hard I press the gas pedal the car comes to a stop and will not turn back on until about 10 minutes later. I took it to brakes plus after it happened the first time and they said nothing was wrong. It then happened again a few months ago, and now again today. I am scared to put my family in the family car. Something has to be done about this. I'm going to call Dodge and get to the bottom of this. I came on here to see if anyone has had the same issue. Apparently they do. I will never buy a Dodge again unless they come up with an answer to this.

- Buckeye, AZ, USA

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