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Caliber Transmission temp

Discussion in 'Compacts: Renegade, Patriot, Compass, Caliber' started by Ammon, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Ammon

    Ammon New Member

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    Hey guys, I just bought an 07 Dodge Caliber and drove it from Portland Oregon to school here in Salt Lake City Utah in January and just as I was getting into Utah and started going 80 mph and it was about 40 degrees out and the transmission temp light came on the dash. I pulled over and let it cool and it was fine the rest of the way if I kept the speed at 75. The person I bought it from had the transmission fluid changed not long ago and with the CVT you cant check the fluid level without taking it into the dealer. It has been driving fine since then until I drove 40 minutes today I was going about 73mph and it was 75 degrees out when the light came on again.
    A couple sites I've seen people have said this sometimes happens with the Caliber with the CVT. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions for dealing with this problem? Thanks!
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    Welcome to Allpar. I would get the fault code and 'freeze frame' information that the 'overheat' has stored in the PCM. The CVT uses special CVTF+4 and the level must be correct with no 'contamination' from any other fluids or additives.
    There is no rebuilding these transaxles and replacement is expensive. The transaxle oil cooler must have good flow.
    I use a piece of flexible speedometer cable for a dipstick and compare the level against the temperature chart for the temperature that I am checking it at.
    I would want this fixed promptly, even if it has to go to a dealer. Was there a reason that the previous owner serviced the fluid?
    P.S.- A failing (open or shorted or out-of-range) temperature sensor circuit could also cause this code.
     
  3. Ammon

    Ammon New Member

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    The previous owner serviced the fluid because of the same problem. The light came on for them and after a few minutes of having the car off, the light went off and was fine the rest of the time for them too. I called the local dodge dealer and they told me it would be $120 to diagnose. I didn't feel like coughing up $120 just for a diagnosis, so I took it to auto zone for a free diagnosis and their reader didn't find any codes because the transmission temp light wasn't on at the time. Does the Dodge dealer have a reader that will be able to find the fault code history to diagnose the problem even though the light isn't currently on?
    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    As IC indicated, the dealer diagnostics will be a little more in depth - not just reading codes. They'll be able to look at freeze-frame information and history of stored codes. Not all codes will trigger the check engine light or transmission overheat light. The code readers at AZ and Advance Auto don't always retrieve all transmission codes.

    I admit $120 for diagnostics is a little high (dealer here charges ~$100), but proper diagnostics are necessary to find the problem. You'd probably waste more $$$ shotgunning parts.
     
  5. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    Code readers at the auto parts stores are just for engine codes. You need the dealership because they have the proper scanners for the transmissions. Go to www.caliberforumz.com. Lots of info there.
     
  6. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    The Autozone person was incorrect. The code is stored for a length of time even if the light goes out. Not all scanners are capable of reading all codes. The dealer is the best place to go though some other shops may also have a capable scanner.
     
  7. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    The 'diagnostic fee' is based on ~1 hour labor and is the 'minimum charge' at many dealerships. As stated, the dealer may be your best equipped resource for Caliber CVT service.
    You can ask at the service desk if there are any coupons or specials or even student discounts (bring student ID)? You might get 10% off if they want your business or are out to impress a first time customer. It never hurts to ask.
    You can shop around for diagnostic charges, but ~$120 now might save you thousands later depending on what the problem is. The longer you drive like this, the more damage may be done, if it isn't too late already.
    I would ask for the powertrain control module be at the latest and greatest software release also since they will already have the tool plugged into the car for diagnostics.
    Do you have any recourse with the seller if this turns into a major repair or was the purchase 'as-is'?
    The seller must have known that the fluid change didn't solve the transaxle temp light coming on. How was that left or wasn't it really a concern at the time of purchase?
    Fluid changes are generally good for maintenance practices, but rarely solve an overheat issue.
    See diagnostics for probable CVT temperature fault codes P0711-P0714 here:
    https://www.trnw.net/z-search/CVT.php
     

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