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Discussion Starter #1
We were on a road trip yesterday a few hundred miles from home when I noticed when we were pulling into a parking lot that the temp gauge in my Cali was up near the 3/4 mark. As I've NEVER seen it even touch the 1/2 mark I got a little concerned... However, after shutting it down for a while, it cooled down and I just made sure that the A/C was off and that I took it easy driving home. A few times when we were in a city, the gauge would fluctuate (never has done that before), but wouldn't go past the 1/2 way mark...

Finally after a concerned 3 hour drive home, I was able to try and see what was going on. Started her up, popped the hood and turned the A/C on full. Temp gauge rose and rose but the cooling fans would not engage. When the temp got to a certain level, the car shut down the A/C, started to blow warm (not hot air) and the engine started to "pulsate" between around 800 RPM and I am thinking 1200 rpm with which I just shut it down.

I should also mention that 2 weeks or so ago I had just the opposite problem with which the driver side fan wouldn't shut down. That problem just went away all by itself.

I used to be a mechanic and have recently tore 1/2 the engine apart in my wife's Volvo 850 and put it back together but this car is a complete enigma to me. I look at it and have no idea where to start beyond the basics.
 

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The Organizer
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Start by downloading the service manual in the "Manuals" section. Obviously there is an issue with multiple possible causes. The fans should start immediately when the A/C is engaged. Since both fans aren't working, I'd start with the grounds. and work back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup, have the manual and am trying to go through it. Even printed out a few sections (my god this manual is huge!)... I did just try and see if I can get more "intel" this morning on whats going on and have another piece to add to the puzzle...

(Oh, I should add that I did a "generic" coolant flush and fill a few days ago. The levels are fine and I used coolant from Dodge at a 70/30 ratio. I only drained what came out of the radiator and the overflow which was a touch over a gallon.)

I fired her up and got it to temperature, turned on the A/C full with recirculate on and the gauge didn't go any higher than 2 ticks below 1/2 which is indeed normal, HOWEVER, the A/C would not blow cold (in fact, the vents were blowing warmer than ambient) nor did the fans engage. Will this car disable the A/C if there is a temperature issue?
 

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Yes it will. The electrics are "smart" in these cars. There are probably codes being thrown.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yea, that's what I was figuring... Guess it's time to bust out the Visa and get a scanner eh? ;) I miss pre-1995 cars lol...

Just tried to get in touch with my dealer, closed. Probably not open until Tuesday either... Ugh... I figured that since they have loaner vehicles, I would have something to use over the weekend. No such luck. Do the Cali's have some sort of "limp mode" or something in which if I had to go to the store and it started overheating, it won't destroy the engine? Obviously I wouldn't use the A/C and would crank the heat if it started to overheat... I'm 4 miles from the nearest store and the wife's Volvo is next to it in the driveway waiting for UPS to deliver a new power steering pump as that bombed out last Thursday.
 

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Drive with the heater going full blast. It's not fun, but will cool the coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, said screw it and dropped the coin on an Inova Equus 3130 DRC scanner.

Anyhew, I'm throwing 5 codes, 4 of which I already know about (P0456, P0457 both twice) and am also throwing a P1607 which according to that shop manual is a "PCM Internal Shutdown Timer Rationality"... I did some research on it and found the following:

Possible causes:
INTERMITTENT DTC
PENDING TEMPERATURE SENSOR DTCS
LOW BATTERY VOLTAGE TO MODULE
(F202) FUSED IGNITION SWITCH OUTPUT (RUN-START) CIRCUIT OPEN OR HIGH RESISTANCE
(A931) FUSED B+ CIRCUIT OPEN OR HIGH RESISTANCE
POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM)

Considering the issue I had previously in which the driver's side fan would not shut down after 30 minutes of the engine being off and now with neither one wanting to come on at all, I'm leaning towards it being the temperature sensor, but I'm not pulling any other related DTC's. My fear is it being the PCM itself...

Thoughts?
 

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The Organizer
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I'd start by checking all associated grounds. Corroded grounds and damaged wires are a frequent issue with these cars.
 

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I'd check the fuse box too. You never know, you may luck out and find something simple. How many miles do you have on it? Maybe a thermostat is starting to stick. I'd replace both of them if you do one. No point in taking a chance on reusing an old one once you've removed and tested it in a pan of boiling water.
 

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Okay, said screw it and dropped the coin on an Inova Equus 3130 DRC scanner.

Anyhew, I'm throwing 5 codes, 4 of which I already know about (P0456, P0457 both twice) and am also throwing a P1607 which according to that shop manual is a "PCM Internal Shutdown Timer Rationality"... I did some research on it and found the following:

Possible causes:
INTERMITTENT DTC
PENDING TEMPERATURE SENSOR DTCS
LOW BATTERY VOLTAGE TO MODULE
(F202) FUSED IGNITION SWITCH OUTPUT (RUN-START) CIRCUIT OPEN OR HIGH RESISTANCE
(A931) FUSED B+ CIRCUIT OPEN OR HIGH RESISTANCE
POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM)

Considering the issue I had previously in which the driver's side fan would not shut down after 30 minutes of the engine being off and now with neither one wanting to come on at all, I'm leaning towards it being the temperature sensor, but I'm not pulling any other related DTC's. My fear is it being the PCM itself...

Thoughts?
Highly unlikely that the PCM itself is bad.

!!! WITH THE BATTERY DISCONNECTED !!!
Wait a few minutes, unplug and replug the two electrical connectors on the PCM, sometimes corrosion can cause weak connetctions.

Check the connector to the coolant temp. sensor.

Inspect underhood wiring for fraying, pinching, crushed insiulation. There have been isolated reports of wiring failures causing strange problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for all the direction, I'll run the beast through the gauntlet tomorrow morning as we can't get to the picnic now anyway lol Oh, I did check the fuses, but couldn't locate any fuse specific to the radiator fans. Well, at least in the Caliber for Dummies book that comes with the car... Is there one??

For reference, the car is just shy of 98,000 miles....

You know, the sucky thing of it is that I *JUST* replaced the stupid bumper cover with a new one after a run in with a monster raccoon a few months ago...
 

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Two fuses for the fan: #15 (50A), and #33 (10A). Check those, then the next step would be to check the multiple fan relays: A, B, C.

This could also be something as simple as doing a reset of the TIPM since the TIPM is at the top of all this. Remove both cables from the battery and hold them together for 5-10 minutes to do the reset.
 

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Well I tried everything I was comfortable trying and off to the shop she goes. Wish me luck... :)
Let us know what the results are.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Will do :) They won't have time to pull it into the shop until tomorrow afternoon but they gave me an 01 Caravan SE to rock in the meantime lol

I figured that I would bring it there as I'm getting that stupid gASCAP message anyway and it didn't go away after replacing the cap with a new OEM one...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh it's been a while, close to 3 months and 8,000 miles since I've changed the cap. I've been reading a lot about "topping" off the tank and how these cars don't seem to like that. When I fill up, I will generally "top off" to the nearest 50 cents so I probably did something... ;)
 

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Oh it's been a while, close to 3 months and 8,000 miles since I've changed the cap. I've been reading a lot about "topping" off the tank and how these cars don't seem to like that. When I fill up, I will generally "top off" to the nearest 50 cents so I probably did something... ;)
Overfilling can cause liquid gas to get into the carbon canister. That can cost you around $600. But someone else had the same issue and it was a check valve on the carbon canister. Hopefully that is your case. Much cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
$600??? Dear god... Okay... Well let's hope that it's that check valve :\ If not, then I just reset the MIL before the inspection next month and wait for a later day to fix it
 

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$600??? Dear god... Okay... Well let's hope that it's that check valve :\ If not, then I just reset the MIL before the inspection next month and wait for a later day to fix it
Probably won't work. The OBD2 system needs to make several good trips after force-clearing a code before it declares itself "ready" for testing.
The owner's manual gives simple instructions on how to check "readiness" for emission inspection.

In PA, at least, (maybe NY too) the OBD2 is used to perform the car's emission test, so any pending faults or recently cleared ones are reported and some of them will cause you to fail emissions.
 
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