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Virginia Gentleman
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2008 Dodge Caliber (base version) - daughter's car.

Daughter says the theft alarm light came on then went off (and may have been flashing) while driving home last night. She had just left our house and was about 1/2 mile away when it came on. While at our house she had never turned the engine off - left it idling while she strapped her daughter in the car seat. I know the theft alarm light will come on for 2 seconds then go out during normal start up procedures. I find it odd for it to just come on out of the blue after the engine has been running for several minutes. Are there conditions where the security light would come on and still allow the engine to run?

She did have the TPMS come on a few days ago, but she did check all the tires and filed them to the proper air pressure so it went out. And the oil change reminder is coming on (it is due for an oil change).

Did all trim levels get the security system? Her car is a base model and does not have power locks. Her key looks "normal" and does not have a fob.

Car has about 60,000 miles on it.

The only thing I could think of is the car is 4 years old and the battery may be getting a little weak. Then again, the OEM Mopar battery in my 2006 Ram is 6-7 years old (manufacture date 11/2005) and still has 12.6 volts and 798 CCA at rest. Haven't been able to check her battery yet. She didn't call me until I was at work this morning.

Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.
 

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This is the red round dot warning light that came on in the speedometer?
Have her point it out to you. I think that only the 'ck eng' symbol will flash if there is a condition that could damage a cat.
I would think that power locks would be a requirement on Vehicle Theft Security System-equipped vehicles. VTSS usually comes on premium models. Can you set off the flashing headlights and honking horn to confirm that it has this option?
There may be a stored fault code in the SKIM or TIPM or CCN (cluster) modules to explain the warning.
An advanced scan tool (not a generic OBD II engine code reader) may be needed to access the codes in modules other than the PCM.
A base Caliber probably wouldn't have EVIC that would display a text warning.
It would be important to know what caused this fault for peace of mind as a stall could strand the occupants.
I have my mom's '07 Caliber SXT (she no longer drives) that has the p/locks, p/windows, RKE, but no VTSS or EVIC.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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Discussion Starter #3
Responses in bold:

This is the red round dot warning light that came on in the speedometer? That's what she said. I found a owner's manual online I downloaded from Dodge.com and asked her if it was directly below the "60" on the speedometer and she said yes.

Have her point it out to you. I think that only the 'ck eng' symbol will flash if there is a condition that could damage a cat. The CEL is located to the lower left side of the gauge display and is yellow. She specifically said it was a sold red light.

I would think that power locks would be a requirement on Vehicle Theft Security System-equipped vehicles. VTSS usually comes on premium models. Can you set off the flashing headlights and honking horn to confirm that it has this option?

How would I do that? Her key does not have a FOB.

There may be a stored fault code in the SKIM or TIPM or CCN (cluster) modules to explain the warning.
An advanced scan tool (not a generic OBD II engine code reader) may be needed to access the codes in modules other than the PCM Don't know if she can get this done - her funds are limited though she does have a "warranty" from CarMax where she purchased the vehicle. Not exactly sure what the coverage is though.
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A base Caliber probably wouldn't have EVIC that would display a text warning. Correct - no EVIC on this vehicle - just the base gauge display

It would be important to know what caused this fault for peace of mind as a stall could strand the occupants. Agreed. I'm thinking it may actually be the airbag light which is slightly to the left of tjhe theft alarm light. She needs to get it safety inspected (VA requires annual safety inspections and fortunately our area does not require emissions testing). I recall having an issue with our '09 Journey where the airbag light would stay on in ambient temps below 50*F and eventually go out as the vehicle warmed up - I believe there was bad crimp on the driver's side airbag circuitry. Perhaps something similar is occuring.

I have my mom's '07 Caliber SXT (she no longer drives) that has the p/locks, p/windows, RKE, but no VTSS or EVIC.
If she doesn't work tonight, I'll have her point out which light was staying on. When I talked to her this morning, she indicated it was not coming on.
 

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Doug, the TIMP on the Calibers is very sensitive to any changes in the current running to it and through it. I'd suggest you have her take it and have the battery and alternator tested at your local auto parts store. My 08 had power door locks and mirrors, but did not have the EVIC. If she's got the base Caliber, it won't have the EVIC. Go to caliberforumz,com and post your message there. I'm a member there and can tell you there are some very sharp members there too. Tell them Flyinghigh sent you. That's me. I'm sure you'll get some great suggestions and ideas. Two guys in particular that are sharp are Dave K. and Prop1 (aka, Brad). I think Brad has every TSB or recall ever put out for the Calibers.
 

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There was a recall G42 that addressed TIPM/Alarm system issues, but I think that it was for international market vehicles only. It may not have applied to US vehicles.
Call your dealer with the last 8 of the VIN and the mileage to find out.
Many subsequent owners who haven't updated their vehicle ownership status with Chrysler don't receive a recall letter.

http://www.wkjeeps.com/misc/Caliber/TSB/Caliber_RCIG4208.pdf
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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14,685 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. She had to work tonight so I haven't had a chance to talk to her or look at it. I would like to see first hand what it is doing (if it occurs). And tomorrow my granddaughter is in the Fall Festival Parade our county has so we've got to pick them up, and drop her off at the proper staging point. Then park and watch the parade and then head home - maybe then I'll get a chance to look it over and if it's not too late, give the dealership a call (they are open until 5 pm now - use to close at 2 pm on Saturdays).
 
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