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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:confused: Well the caliber came to a stop the other day at the bottom of an offramp. It wouldn't restart so I towed it to the dealer. I heard from them today and apparently they got it started only to find out its making a knocking noise now. They think it seized up and blew a bearing or something. They are about to remove the oil pan to double check. The car has 112,000 miles on it. I do have the lifetime powertrain warranty and a perfect record of all maintenance and repairs. Is there anything I should know about this warranty procedure? I kind of feel like they will try to get out of having to honor the warranty by using some technojargon :shakehead: so if there is any ammo the forum can supply me with before I do battle with some bean counter, I would very very much appreciate it. Ill post more when I know more. Thanks you people are awesome!
 

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I think your dealer is on crack. 10 to 1, the alternator is making the noise. Another member had a mechanic tell him the same thing that the engine was blown. A few of us urged him to get a second opinion because it sounded more like the alternator. It was.
 

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Yes - add it all up.

Suddenly died
Won't restart
Knocking noise

Electrical failure - probably a failed alternator.

The alternator is covered by the 3/36 and not the lifetime powertrain warranty.

Since there is nothing wrong with the engine - they will charge you for diagnostics, teradown and reassembly of a perfectly good engine.

You are getting the "shaft" where the "sun don't shine" big time.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE DEALER!!?!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
just heard back from the mechanic at Russ Darrow Dodge in Madison Wi. He removed the oil pan and found bits of metal. He says it requires a complete replacement of the shortblock and crank. So yeah basically a total engine replacement. He says hes submitting the very lengthy warranty diagnostic information to chrysler which can take some time. If everything goes perfectly smoothly i could have a new engine in by friday covered by warranty, but we all know these things never go smoothly. Well this is it then, 4 years into my ownership everything is going according to plan. I bought this car for the lifetime warranty because im driving it for a living, while i save up for a hemi. One step closer to that hemi because of this event :D As always thanks and ill post more info when I know more.
 

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They need to show you the engine - let you see the actual damage.
 

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I would definitely ask to see the "bits of metal" if it were me. I've not heard of one of these engines having any bearing nor ring problems with relatively low miles like that. I'm not saying it's not possible, but very unlikely. Most member that have had that knocking sound have had it turn out to be the decoupler pulley on the alternator. Get some pics and post them if you can.
 

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Thanks for keeping the information flowing. Appreciated :)

I will personnaly follow this thread.

It's going to be important as you said that you took good care of the Caliber ...

The milage on it is not the end of life either so ...

umm... :hmm:

Wishing you the best of luck Scott.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yeah your right to assume the pulley and or alternator, i actually had that very same noise/problem a while back, the belt, pulleys, alt, ac pump, and power steering pump have all been replaced already. I wish i grabbed the records out of the glovebox before dropping it off. Anyway Ill try to get pictures of the engine and info about the warranty claim. Aside from that guy who put a turbo on his r/t, am I actually the first to have a total engine failure in a Caliber? I can't seem to find any other posts about it although i haven't really tried looking.
 

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There is one other member (left a while ago - traded his Caliber for something else) with a "normal" Caliber that had an engine failure. Other than that - few engine problems reported.
 

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. Aside from that guy who put a turbo on his r/t, am I actually the first to have a total engine failure in a Caliber? I can't seem to find any other posts about it although i haven't really tried looking.
Brendy blew his engine because the dealer was adding Slick50 when doing the oil change. That's the only one that I can remember.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I heard back from them today. Chrysler accepted the warranty claim; the mechanic said they requested maintenance records to prove I had gotten all oil changes done on time, but it sounded like more of a formality. They weren't disputing anything. Since I saved every receipt for everything from day one, I got nothing to worry about. I still have yet to find out how long it will take, whether I will get a rental car, or what specifically caused the engine to seize. More to come....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Got the call from the dealer today, they will begin replacing the shortblock and crank as soon as they arrive. I asked him why I wasn't getting a complete brand new engine top down. He said that only the shortblock needed replacement and unless he finds damage when he opes the valve heads those will not be replaced. Apparently Dodge parts catalogs don't even have assembled engines in them, you gotta put em together from parts. Hes going to call me when theyve got the engine open so I can come in and take some photos. He also said that the reason for the failure was lack of lubricant. the engine was 3 quarts low on oil. I asked him how that happens when I just got it changed by professionals. No answer. I says well ive got all the receipts for every oil change, i know it wasn't low, so how did this happen? He said It could be caused by burning off or leaking out somehow and he won't fully know until they get all the way in there. I was aware of a strange oil pressure flicker light about a month ago. The flickering light went away after i got an oil change at valvoline, they checked for a leak, couldn't find one and the problem seemed to go away until last weekend when the engine seized. I swear Im meticulous with maintenance, I KNOW I didn't go too long without changes. What could have caused this?
 

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I had a mysterious oil leak on a car some years ago when I lived in Fort Atkinson. A mechanic tried to tell me it was the oil pan gasket because it didn't leak after the engine had been off for a while. I put the car up on jacks and ran the car and looked real good while it was running and found where it was coming from. There was a ding about 3/4 up on the front of the oil pan. The oil was coming from there. Looked like something hit the pan with enough force to dent the pan and create a pinhole leak. I took a small screw and threaded it into the hole; backed it out and ground it down so it was more of a plug. Added gasket sealer on it and screwed it back in. Leak fixed.

Maybe you had the same thing happen.
 

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Hmmmm, I went back and read your posts and it sounds to me like you were aware that there was a leak somewhere. I'm thinking that the quick change place you've been using may have stripped the drain plug and it was leaking there. I'm sure the dealership will look at that though. With the engine seizing, I think you may have just had a defective oil pump. If you had oil in it and had just had a recent change, that's about the only explanation I can think of. But, I'm not a mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
a buddy of mine told me that some cars actually recommend replacement of the drain plug with a new one every oil change or at least periodically. Ive never done that on any of my cars. But if valvoline was supposed to and didn't again its on them.
I heard from the dealer they've gotten the parts in and it could be done by friday. Now Ive got to reassess the value of the car. Where before it would have probably sold for $7-8k Now its got a new motor with no miles on it so whats that worth? The dealer says an out of pocket engine replacement would be about $6000 so somewhere between these numbers lie the value of my car.
 

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a buddy of mine told me that some cars actually recommend replacement of the drain plug with a new one every oil change or at least periodically. Ive never done that on any of my cars. But if valvoline was supposed to and didn't again its on them.
I heard from the dealer they've gotten the parts in and it could be done by friday. Now Ive got to reassess the value of the car. Where before it would have probably sold for $7-8k Now its got a new motor with no miles on it so whats that worth? The dealer says an out of pocket engine replacement would be about $6000 so somewhere between these numbers lie the value of my car.
I've heard of replacing the sealing washer, but not the plug itself every time. Neither of which I have ever done in my 40 years of changing my own oil.
 

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a buddy of mine told me that some cars actually recommend replacement of the drain plug with a new one every oil change or at least periodically. Ive never done that on any of my cars.

Now Ive got to reassess the value of the car. Where before it would have probably sold for $7-8k Now its got a new motor with no miles on it so whats that worth?
Yes I used to at least replace the sump washer annually. The washers are now crimped onto the plug to prevent shops leaving them off.

Value probably less than before until you have enough miles on the new motor to confirm that the reason for blowing it is not still in the car.
 

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I'm gonna guess that blue book value won't change even with a new engine. It's still an 08 model car.
 
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