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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Everyone,
I have been having some issues with my 09 Caliber for a while now....wondering if someone could maybe lead me in the right direction. Here's my problem:

About a year after buying the car I noticed that it would whine going up hills. I thought it was unusual, so I looked it up and found that it seemed to be normal for CVT transmissions. So I didn't worry about it....now the car jerks, kinda like it was shifting gears. It started out really light, where I could barely feel it...but over time it has gotten stronger.

Now the jerking is so bad. And I noticed that when it does it really bad I get a light that comes on my dash....it flashes on so fast I couldn't really see which one it was....but after looking up my warning light it looks like it might be the Electronic Throttle Control light.

After driving home last night, I noticed that if I kept my RPMs up to about 3-4k it doesn't do it. And it does it a lot worse if I have it on cruise control. Or if I'm going up hill, have to slow down, or break, then have to accelerate again, I swear it feels like I'm having a seziure. Also, when the jerking is happening the RPMs do not change, they do not spike up, like others have had happen.

I've been reading online....there is so much back and forth, whether it's the transmission, the ETC or the throttle body (whatever that is). Need a little help what I should do next, and how much this might cost me?

Thank you for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
EDIT: Also, when the jerking is happening the RPMs do not change, they do not spike up, like others have had happen.
 

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Your mileage and last spark plug change? The engine is more closely coupled to a CVT than a regular transmission. If the plugs are over due; that jerking could be a bad plug misfiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mileage is at 59,500 and I've never changed my spark plugs. If that fixes it you have no idea how happy I will be!! I'm gonna replace them tomorrow and see if that fixes the problem.
 

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Mileage is at 59,500 and I've never changed my spark plugs. If that fixes it you have no idea how happy I will be!! I'm gonna replace them tomorrow and see if that fixes the problem.
I suspect it will. You should be about to change in your 3rd set of plugs by now. The last member that described the issue took my advice on the plugs and that fixed the issue. Got my fingers crossed for you.
 

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Regular maintenance is key to keeping your car for 10-20 years. That's what the owners manual is for. I suggest you get yours and read it. Or perhaps yours came with a dvd about your Caliber, I'm not sure. But anyway, one or the other has suggested regular maintenance intervals on the various items that YOU can actually do yourself. If you're not mechanically inclined, then you can take it somewhere and have these things done. I'm betting that the plug change will show you a vast improvement. I'd also recommend you change the air filter and PCV valve at the same time, as I doubt either one has ever been changed either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay so yesterday I changed out my spark plugs. They jerking motion didn't stop. The car ran better but still was doing the same thing, and this time I paid attention to my warning lights. My Electronic Throttle Control came on....it doesn't stay on, it only quickly flashes while the car is jerking.
 

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Okay so yesterday I changed out my spark plugs. They jerking motion didn't stop. The car ran better but still was doing the same thing, and this time I paid attention to my warning lights. My Electronic Throttle Control came on....it doesn't stay on, it only quickly flashes while the car is jerking.
Next question. Do you still have the original battery? If so, the battery is at it's end of life. A weak battery can cause some bad issues with the sensor an control systems on these cars. Have the charging system tested. Could be the battery, or the alternator may not be putting out enough power during high load conditions due to a bad decoupling pulley. Also note when the engine is running whether you hear a grinding or diesel engine sound coming from the engine. That kind of noise is a clear sign that the alternator is going.
 

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One more thing. Have the codes read when you have the charging system tested and bring any codes back here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I think it's still the original battery. I can have the battery tested as well as any codes.
As far as the grinding noise, I don't hear anything. Actually I think it's rather quiet.

As soon as I get the codes, I'll post them back on here :)
Thank you for all your help
 

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It's possible your throttle body might be going bad, but always start small and work your way up. Plugs are easy and cheap, and you should be changing them anyway. while you are at it, an air filter change would be good as well. :smileup:
 

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That would be my next thing to point her to, but her car seems to be in need of some maintenance items. Good plugs and likely a new battery will eliminate those sources causing the issue. Replacing items that would need to be replaced anyways makes sense.
I agree, that's why I said start small first on my other post. ;)
 

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I agree, that's why I said start small first on my other post. ;)
Unlike the dealership. Which would go for the PCM immediately. $$:doh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay I got my codes read today...this is what it says:

Troubleshooting P1607

ECM: Internal shutdown timer rationality condition

Explanation: Key turned on and the PCM detected a promblem in the internal shutdown rationality circuit

Probable cause: Failed ECM

Also, I checked my battery as well as my charging system, both are showing strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know I need to start small....here is what I have done:
Changed the spark plugs
The air filter is new
Changed oil
Checked battery & charging systems, both are good.
Disconnected the battery and cleaned the terminals well.

What do you suggest I try next?
 

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Okay I got my codes read today...this is what it says:

Troubleshooting P1607

ECM: Internal shutdown timer rationality condition

Explanation: Key turned on and the PCM detected a promblem in the internal shutdown rationality circuit

Probable cause: Failed ECM

Also, I checked my battery as well as my charging system, both are showing strong.
That has nothing to do with your issue. That code will be thrown anytime the engine doesn't cool down at the rate the computer thinks it should. The 2007 and 08 Calibers had a TSB for the condition that required new software. Highly unlikely it is the PCM. More likely you keep it in a hot garage? You maybe looking at a new throttle body. The link Glenn posted is to a thread by another member with your exact same issue. He had to replace his throttle body.
 

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When AmyC comes back; we'll have to start a new, or resurrect an old thread(s) about the CVT whine of death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Alright, just following up. Still can't find the problem. Can you give me an idea of where to go from here?

The thing is on that on the thread Glenn linked me, that guy is having a completely different problem than I' having. I understand they may be linked. My car isn't doing any of the things his was.

Summary from his thread:

"Driving out of a parking lot when I believe I rev'd higher than usual in 1st and in 2nd gears. Shortly after, lightning bolt flashed numerous times. The car felt as if it was in limp mode...minimal throttle response, difficult to reach normal driving speeds. The vehicle idle was very rough, throttle response back to how it was prior - non-existent."
 
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