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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have an 08 Caliber 2.0 naturally aspirated, SE, 2WD automaticand I noticed my cruise control and my rear defrost stopped working at roughly the same time.
I tried replacing the brake stop switch at the recommendation of the manual, but that didn't fix the cruise. I also tried replacing the HVAC controller in the dash, but that didn't fix the rear defrost. Everything else seems to be operating as advertised. Also of note is that these problems are NOT intermittent. Once the cruise stopped working, it never worked again, same with the rear defrost. I try it every time I get in the car, and it never works.

Now as far as the cruise goes: I can turn the cruise witch to the "on" position with the button at the end of the lever and I get the "cruise" light on the dash, but the cruise will not "set". Other than changing the brake switch, I have done no troubleshooting on the cruise.

Kind of the same with the rear defrost: I can press the rear defrost button on the HVAC controller, and the button will light up while its depressed, but as soon as I release the button, the light goes out. I also noted that I cant get the rear defrost to come on by holding the button down with a stick or something. I tried to ring out the wires in the rear defrost circuit, and cant find any open wire or shorts to ground. I did a visual on the rear defrost grid and all of the lines seem to be in good shape. I tried a whole new HVAC controller and I had the same exact symptoms as the old one. I also noticed that the indicator light for the "recirculate" selection at the 6 o'clock position on the HVAC controller is out too. The recirculate function operates as required, but the light will not come on.

From the reading Ive done online it seems like it could need a new TIPM, but I'd like some opinions on the matter before I spend the money. Could the TIPM just need to be reprogrammed? Is that even a thing? If I decide to pick up a used TIPM (on eBay they're like $100 or so) do I need to have it reprogrammed to work right with my car?

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I just accepted a new job any my commute just went from 8 minutes to an hour and 40 minutes.... I NEEEEED cruise control!!!

Are these problems related? Or did I just get super unlucky and they are mutually exclusive?
 

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Probably a stupid question as I no longer have a Caliber, but is there a fuse box that you can check for a blown fuse? Sometimes, it's just that simple. I THINK there's a small fuse box inside the car, but don't remember as I've had two brain surgeries in the past 13 years. I don't recommend that to anyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Probably a stupid question as I no longer have a Caliber, but is there a fuse box that you can check for a blown fuse? Sometimes, it's just that simple. I THINK there's a small fuse box inside the car, but don't remember as I've had two brain surgeries in the past 13 years. I don't recommend that to anyone!
All the fuses are in good shape
 

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Whenever I hear somebody say that two rather unrelated things stopped working on their car at the same time, first thought is always either a TIPM issue or a shorted/broken wire in the harness that runs from the engine compartment to the passenger compartment via the front driver's side wheel well.

However, you have to keep in mind that our cars have several controller modules as part of the CANBUS system, each controlling a number of devices in the car. The switch you flip to turn something on/off sends a signal to the controller it's connected to, then the controller send a signal to the TIPM to turn the device on/off. If the cruise and rear defrost are both controlled by the same module, then the issue could be with the module, not the TIPM itself.

The service manual is available here...grab a copy and check the wiring diagrams to see if the two share something in common, like a controller module or a ground wire or something else. If so, check those out first. If not, then try a TIPM reset to see if that helps.

EDITED: I had a few minutes so I looked at the wiring diagrams for both devices...they don't appear to share anything except the TIPM. No shared grounds, no shared power sources, no shared modules. The defroster is controlled by the TIPM itself, while CC runs through the powertrain control module. I'd have to say TIPM issue...try a reset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your detailed response, and for taking he time to do a little research in the wiring prints. As far as a TIPM reset goes, is that when you connect the pos and neg battery cables together for like 10 min? If so, I tried it earlier today and I still have the problems as they were. Could the dealer run an update or flash the TIMP in any way? Or would that just be for the PCM? Would they have to reprogram the TIPM if I bought a used on on eBay or something?
 

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I don't know if the dealership has any way to "test" a TIPM other than to troubleshoot until the TIPM is the only possible answer to the problem. You could try removing the TIPM and looking at the numerous connectors that attach at the bottom to see if any are suffering from corrosion issues. Other than that, it would seem that a TIPM replacement may be on your horizon.

I was always under the impression that a new TIPM had to be programmed for the car, but I've heard some people say that's not the case. The service manual doesn't appear to say anything about TIPM programming, so maybe I was wrong. The powertrain control module definitely does need programming though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know if the dealership has any way to "test" a TIPM other than to troubleshoot until the TIPM is the only possible answer to the problem. You could try removing the TIPM and looking at the numerous connectors that attach at the bottom to see if any are suffering from corrosion issues. Other than that, it would seem that a TIPM replacement may be on your horizon.

I was always under the impression that a new TIPM had to be programmed for the car, but I've heard some people say that's not the case. The service manual doesn't appear to say anything about TIPM programming, so maybe I was wrong. The powertrain control module definitely does need programming though.
I suppose you're probably right.... Looks like the TIPM is on the horizon. I think I've exhausted all other options, I'm just afraid to admit that I have to deal with that job now. I just got done with the inner/ outer tie rod ends, CV axles, and a front brake job.

Anyway, thanks for all the help.
 

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Well rear defrost is pretty useless. And if cruise is worth $400+ to you then it's important.

Have you changed the cruise stick to see if that's it?
 

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When my cruise control stopped working it was the clock spring, not sure this is the case for you though.
 

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Be wicked careful if you decide to change out the clock spring though...you have to remove the airbag to do that, and they can be dangerous even when the car is shut off. Follow all of the procedures Chrysler recommends before removing it!
 

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Great idea. And those are cheap and easy to change out.
If you are talking about the clockspring, I really wouldn't know. The dealer fixed mine
 

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According to what I wrote 2 years ago the two devices share nothing in common except the TIPM (and even then cruise is operated by the powertrain control module). A look at the service manual confirms what I said before. I would suggest troubleshooting the two issues separately...the defroster is the easier of the two circuits to troubleshoot so I'd start there.
 
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