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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2010 Caliber Rush that will have the lightning bolt Electronic Throttle Control Indicator Light come on blinking and go into the limp mode after what seems to be a temperature related issue. For example, if I idle the car for enough time, approximately 15 minutes from cold, the light will come on blinking and go into the limp mode. Obviously when the light is blinking, there is no throttle response. So today I took the car for a trip which was about 30 minutes with no problem at all until I got back to the house when I left it idle for about 5 minutes before the light came on.

I had my scanner hooked up during the trip and the ECT was at 203 deg F except at a traffic light when it would get as high as 210 deg F. The inlet air temp would range between 121 and 140 deg F. There were no out of range temps when the light came on blinking: ECT 203 deg F and IAT: 138 deg F.

Letting the ECT cool to below 200 deg F (I waited for 156 deg F) then I started it and there was no Throttle Body light it seemed to fix itself. Also there are not any DTC codes stored.

I know there are two thermostats, one for the block and another for the head, but are there two temp sensors as well? I know about the one on the driver's side of the engine where the upper radiator hose attaches, but are there any more temp sensors that may cause the PCM to go into limp mode?

Has anyone had anything like this and if so, what did it turn out to be?

Thanks for reading.
 

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There is a thermometer in the driver's front lower grill on my '08, for external air temperature readings. I notice if I disconnect that, I would have similar issues; one of the dash lights would show up.

May be a thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is a thermometer in the driver's front lower grill on my '08, for external air temperature readings. I notice if I disconnect that, I would have similar issues; one of the dash lights would show up.

May be a thing?
I'll check that out, thanks.
 

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There are two engine coolant temperature sensors, at least there are on the 2.4 R/T (is that the same as the Rush)?

Take off your radiator cap to verify that your coolant is topped off. If it is low on coolant, then you may have a leak somewhere that must be addressed.

With the engine warm, top up the coolant in the radiator and then set the water level in the overflow tank exactly to the full line. Drive it hard for a half hour or so and then and try to replicate the problem. When you have the problem, pull over right away and check to see if the level in the overflow tank has changed. If the level is much higher than where you set it, then something (like a blown head gasket) is pushing water out of the system and into the overflow tank. If the level is down, then you may have a leak somewhere.

Assuming you are not low on coolant, I'd check to see that your radiator fans are running. Once the car gets warmed up, turn on the air conditioner and then check under the hood with a flashlight to verify that both radiator fans are running.

I had my car adjusted with HPTuners to have the fans come on at 180F even if the AC is off.

If your fans are working fine and you are not low on coolant, and assuming that the coolant on this car has been changed regularly and with the correct coolant, then perhaps you have a stuck thermostat or maybe an iffy water pump.

That there were no out of range temps recorded in your diagnostic session suggests that this problem is not caused by a bad temperature sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes the Rush is a 2.4L, same as R/T. The fans are working fine and I have checked the coolant as you have suggested. I know of the temp sensor on the driver's side of the engine, but I don't know where the other one is. My scanner only shows one ECT and I am not able to change the fan setting. I've ordered a better scanner, so when that comes in, I can address the fan issue as well. Thanks for the reply. Now to look for the 2nd sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update:
Yesterday I went over to a friend's house to work on his '63 Falcon. On the trip over there the car was fine, no throttle body light or limp mode. We went to lunch and nothing on the way. On the way back caught a traffic light twice due to traffic and went into limp mode with the throttle body light. After several hours headed home. The problem was gone without my intervention, but I had the scanner hooked up so I could monitor the ECT. My thought was it may be a circulation issue in the cooling system as on my previous Caliber it would get hot at stop lights unless I kept the RPMs up above 2k. New radiator and thermostats fixed that. So On the way home in traffic when I had to stop at lights, I shifted to neutral and kept the RPM to 2k. No issue at all and I think there should have been based on the lunch experience. So I think I will change the radiator and thermostats next. Also I had the radiator flushed already before and noticed there was not enough heat coming out with the heater on, so the heater core is probably plugged. Pretty common on Chrysler products these days I hear. Maybe previous owner dumped a bunch of stop leak in it, who knows?

Thanks for the replies and if anything else come to mind, please add.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
2nd Update:
I got a better scanner and idled the engine until the problem occurred. When the radiator fans started to run, at the same time the throttle body light started flashing. The scanner showed a P2173 code which looks like from what I've read it can be a catch all for when the limp mode is entered. So I'm thinking it is definitely temperature related either oil, transmission or maybe another sensor. ECT is in normal range.

I also read about the transmission temp can cause the limp mode and people have added a transmission cooler to keep the tranny temps down. Another suggested putting a 150 ohm resistor in the tranny temp sensor wire. Anyone heard of this?
 
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