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2011 Dodge Caliber 2.0L CVT SE (EU Specs)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I’m new to forums so I apologize for any inconvenience, the problem is with my 2011 Dodge Caliber with 140,000Kms on it, I cleaned the throttle body in order to keep it fuel efficient and replaced the throttle body gasket, 2 months later while driving normally, in all of a sudden, the ETC light started blinking and the Traction Control light turned on & the car went into limp mode, I turned off the car then turned it on again and the problem went away, but since then the problem started to happen every morning, when the car is cold (not fully warmed), idling, braking with the RPM lowering to about 1000 - 1200, and the problem started to happen more frequently in the winter.
I was tentative that it might be because of the Throttle body, because I took all the precautions of cleaning it, so I went to a Workshop to scan it and I got these codes:
PCM (Powertrain Control Module)
P2173 High Airflow/Vacuum Leak Detected (Slow Accumulation)
ABS (Anti-lock Braking System)
C121C Torque Request Signal Denied
BCM (Body Control Module - TIPMCGW/FCMCGW)
I searched online for solutions and it seemed that changing the throttle body worked for some people, so I tried that but unfortunately the problem didn’t go away, some people mentioned that it might be because of the PCV Valve or the Intake Manifold Gasket.
Does anyone know what is the solution?
• Note: the mechanics knowledge of cars at the dealership is bad they don’t know absolutely anything about cars in my area,
I live in Saudi Arabia so the parts are rare and expensive so I need to change the next part carefully, I apologize if my English isn’t good since it isn’t my native language.
Thanks.
 

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P2173: when you changed the throttle body, did you keep track of the green o-ring that goes with it?

Was it seated correctly?
Is it still there now?
Bolts tight? Clamp secure on the intake?
 

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2011 Dodge Caliber 2.0L CVT SE (EU Specs)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
P2173: when you changed the throttle body, did you keep track of the green o-ring that goes with it?

Was it seated correctly?
Is it still there now?
Bolts tight? Clamp secure on the intake?
Yes, I’ve triple checked the O-ring and the bolts, I even replaced the O-ring 2 times even though the OEM was in good condition, checked the intake hose and the bolts.
 

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For somebody whose native language is Arabic your English is really quite excellent!

I looked up the P2173 error code...chance are that you have a vacuum leak somewhere. The easiest way to find the leak is to use a smoke machine.

Watch this video posted by South Main Auto (the owner, Eric, is an EXCELLENT mechanic)...it shows him diagnosing a P2173 on another Chrysler product:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For somebody whose native language is Arabic your English is really quite excellent!

I looked up the P2173 error code...chance are that you have a vacuum leak somewhere. The easiest way to find the leak is to use a smoke machine.

Watch this video posted by South Main Auto (the owner, Eric, is an EXCELLENT mechanic)...it shows him diagnosing a P2173 on another Chrysler product:

Thank you, that’s very nice of you 😊

Regarding the diagnosis, I had using the smoke test in mind but I couldn’t find a workshop that does it yet, I might have to do it my self by making a DIY smoke maker I’ve seen a couple videos on Youtube of people making it, I’m currently on a trip and will look into it as soon as I return in a couple of days, I will update with results.
 

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-Traction Control-

There are sensors at each wheel that detect wheel spin. If one or more wheels show spinning faster than the others, Traction Control will apply the brakes to that excessively spinning wheel which moves power to the other wheels that do have a grip on the road.

Has nothing to do with air filters, TBs, nor the position of the moon, lol.

The sensors on each wheel can go bad - a Dodge dealership mechanic can put a computer on it and check.

There are parts inside the wheel hub that the sensors are reading. If those areas get clogged with dirt/ grease/ rust, it can interfere with the readings.

You can replace the sensors yourself to see if that fixes the problem. You can detach the sensors at the wheel and see about cleaning out the holes they sit in, and maybe spray brake cleaner in the holes to move/clear any gunk inside and on the hub parts (the thing is like a gear inside).

If the hub parts are worn or damaged, you can also replace the hub. It's a good idea to replace [at least] two at a time - both front, and/or both back. If one is bad, the other side is close behind.


*Oh, and ABS is not the same as Traction Control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hi, I hope everyone is doing fine, I just got back from the trip and went on the adventures of fixing the Caliber 😅.

@ames.william74 unfortunately I haven’t found a fix yet, but I’m still working on it, @672aq I’ll have to take a look on the sensors too.

I went to a mechanic today, he seems well informed, he said that the problem might be from the braking system since he tried using the brakes and mentioned that the brakes are making a noise which is similar to a vacuum leak and said that this problem is somewhat common in the Calibers and the Avengers, he told me to do some steps:
1- while the car is cold, detach a hose that goes to the something like brake booster
2- Block the detached hose with a spark plug and start the car.

If the problem persists then the the fault isn’t from the braking system, and if the problem doesn’t occur then it’s from the braking system.

I will try it tomorrow morning and upload a video if possible, I hope it’s not a big problem because he said if the problem is within the brake system, I might have to replace the brake booster which is expensive in Saudi Arabia.

@chrisf2012 Regarding the smoke test I went to dozens of workshops to see if they do a smoke test but every single one told me that they don’t do this here 🙃.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I’ve tried blocking the brake booster vacuum line* with the spark plug but the problem is still there, so the vacuum leak might not be from the braking system, I will follow up with the mechanic, and give you updates.
I’ve uploaded a video on YouTube for the process I did.
Here’s the link
In case it doesn’t work:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: I found someone that had the same problem as mine: ETC light turns on in the morning while the car is warming up, & it goes away when you restart the engine, he told me that the problem went away when he changed the Intake manifold gasket, & here’s an another forum talking about the same problem:

Today I tried to hear the vacuum leak today, I heard a hissing like noise near the fuel injectors, so I might replace the fuel injectors’ O-Rings just in case, & because I already have new O-Rings, I don’t know if bad injectors’ O-Rings cause Vacuum leaks but I will replace them anyway, if the problem doesn’t go I’ll have to replace the Intake manifold gasket, since I will be ordering the intake gasket from USA, it might take about 20 days to reach me.

Video of the sound from my engine:
 

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I know it's the slippy season for most of us but my ETC & ABS lights are no longer clearing but on permanently. I am facing an annual inspection so what to do?
 

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Update: I found someone that had the same problem as mine: ETC light turns on in the morning while the car is warming up, & it goes away when you restart the engine, he told me that the problem went away when he changed the Intake manifold gasket
One thing you can do to check the gasket is to spray brake parts cleaner (which is flammable) around the base of the manifold while the engine is running but still cold. If you spray in one area and the engine's tone suddenly changes (like it revs up for a second), you've found the leak
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One thing you can do to check the gasket is to spray brake parts cleaner (which is flammable) around the base of the manifold while the engine is running but still cold. If you spray in one area and the engine's tone suddenly changes (like it revs up for a second), you've found the leak
Nice, I will try it in the few upcoming days 👍🏼
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi, I hope everyone is doing fine, I apologize for not giving updates, I’ve just got the new Intake manifold gasket and replaced it and the problem has been solved.
It turned out to be the Intake manifold gasket, I’ve just replaced it after cleaning the surface with carburetor cleaner, after that I took it for a 10 minute trip, so far, the car is running well again, smooth without ETC or TC lights and no Limp mode.

The old Intake manifold gasket was squished and cut in several spots, which I presume was the reason for the vacuum leak and the surface where the Intake manifold attaches to was dirty so I cleaned it too. I will upload some photos.

The replacement intake manifold gasket was:
FEL-PRO MS 96840 Intake Manifold Gasket Set.
I bought it from Amazon US.

I will drive the car for the next few days and hope the problem won’t come back again, thanks to everyone who contributed, I really appreciate it.

You can find some videos on YouTube on how to replace the Intake manifold, the only difference is you’ll replace the gasket instead of the whole Intake manifold.

I think a torque wrench is mandatory, but since I don’t have one, I just tightened the bolts & nuts with a regular wrench but haven’t tightened it too much due to the majority of the manifold being made of plastic.

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