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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Problem started with a dead battery. Odd because lights will shut off to protect from battery drain, not sure why it died. Jumped and it stayed on and can be restarted. Big problem is car cannot accelerate past 20mph. Rpms don't go above 2k. It would not switch over from automatic to manual. No strange noises. Check engine light came on after awhile but cannot get it to a shop yet, wondering if there are any ideas of things I could check at home.was an out of the blue problem.
 

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Make sure the battery is fully charged - we have very sensitive electrical systems that require a battery to be in top notch condition in order to operate correctly.
 

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Yes, and just because the lights went out means nothing. The radio and the computer are still actively drawing power until they can't get anymore from the battery.
 

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Dave's on the ball, plus a full recharge can take a long time.
If this is your original battery it's time to shop.
A loss of good power will mess up all the sensors and computers.

Welcome by the way - join in have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the welcome :) this carwas my moms (passed in 2010) so its a love hate relationship. The closest autozone is 15m away so before trying to take it on that nice slow drive I'm reading.
Not sure how to check/change spark plugs since I don't have the tools but I did find the nice how-to. Thinking I should try the computer reset, disconnect battery and hold cables together-seems like a bad idea, was always told it could severely damage the car. I do know the battery is older, it was heavily corroded (cleaned that off) but I am fairly sure it's as charged as its going to get. I'll have my husband stick his voltage meter on it tonight and check.
 

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The cables are already joined together through the battery, all you are doing is taking the battery out of the system.
 

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First, welcome to the forumZ. There are a lot of amazing people her with great information. Now then, IF that is the original battery and it had a lot of corrosion, you should definitely replace it. Have your husband check the battery cables for corrosion under the insulation on them too. This can be a real pain in the butt for the Caliber electrical system. And as Dave stated, there's no way you can damage the system by holding the battery cables together, as long as they're disconnected from the battery and not tied together with a jumper. That would definitely fry something!
 

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I'll have my husband stick his voltage meter on it tonight and check.
less than 12 volts with engine off = bad battery

12.6 volts with engine off = good fully charged battery

Turn on your lights with engine stopped, voltage should be 12 to 12.6 volts, if less than 12 volts - seriously discharged or defective battery.

13.8 to 14.5 volts with engine running = charging system good

Over 14.5 volts = May need "professional" help.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Voltage running was approx 14.3 but the battery was marked as dec 2007 so the man is off getting a new one. Screw was white w corrosion already after 2days. I have the batter cables connected to try that reset I've read about while he's gone. With any luck this will help.
Next idea is the routine maintenance, oil change, filters and so on. It's over when it should've been done (I know I know, bad caliber owner).
 

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14.3 volts.

Is that with the engine running or stopped.

If running - good.
If stopped - bad - sulfated plates - the battery has low capacity to hold a charge.

The existing battery is almost five years old - it is probably near the end of its life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No change. New battery in, took it for a drive up our driveway (hill) rpms wouldn't go past 1500 and gas ped was on the floor as I got to the top of the hill.
It doesn't seem to be alternator, battery, or transmission-since the rpms aren't redlining. Best guess is one of the too many electrical 'things' needs to be replaced.
Also the cable reset did not do anything, the check engine light stayed on.
 

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Sounds like you are in "limp mode". A member recently had a throttle body replaced to correct his condition. At this point, you'll need to get the fault codes read - you can then go on from there.
 

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Isn't there some kind of flash the dealer can do to reset the electronic throttle control? I've searched and can't find it here. It's probably called something else. Closest I found was information about cleaning the throttle body when this happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Its been in one shop just got the call. He drove it and it's getting up to speed but said it feels like something is pulling back a bit. Said it could be converter. Has codes (dont have them yet) but said I have to take it to a dodge dealer to get the power train and transmission flashed.
 

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Problem started with a dead battery. Odd because lights will shut off to protect from battery drain, not sure why it died. Jumped and it stayed on and can be restarted. Big problem is car cannot accelerate past 20mph. Rpms don't go above 2k. It would not switch over from automatic to manual. No strange noises. Check engine light came on after awhile but cannot get it to a shop yet, wondering if there are any ideas of things I could check at home.was an out of the blue problem.
How did you solve the problem?
 
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