Dodge Caliber Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For weeks now, I'm having some problem of my BlueCaliber 2007 SXT sputttering - either revving up from a dead stop or driving along the road. I've been researching the cause and there has been a lot of discussions about it ranging from cleaning the throttle body to possibly the fuel filter.

So far, I've sent it to the dealership after it sputtered more than twice one morning and they have ...
a. Cleaned the throttle body
b. Replaced the worn spark plugs
c. Replaced the engine air filter.
Note - funny thing was that the day before, I was thinking of replacing the spark plugs and the engine air filter.

But despite that, the problem still persist although not as much. At any rate, I was planning to send my car to a mechanic friend of mine to fix a coolant leak, after the dealership told me it's going to cost me an arm and leg to have that fixed (around $500+ :wow: ). They even suggested to do a Throttle Induction Service which they quoted an additional $200. But given they didn't fixed the problem, I was not sure that would be the fix either. :shakehead: Once we fix the leak, my mechanic will check and clean up the throttle body and the intake manifold as well. Will let you know what happens.

After going around and researching the forums, there were some mention that the battery may have an angle on the Throttle problem. That got me thinking since the battery is still the original. I know. This is what you get when you are a low mileage driver - 80+K after 7 years. The downside is that it gives a false impression that all is right in the Caliber until a problem comes out to bite you. :i_rolleyes: Not to mention there are no indications that there is a battery problem like difficulty starting the car or lights dimming during start up. (I remember there used to be a auto voltmeter back in the old days)

So the questions are ...
1. To those who had throttle problems, is the battery being the culprit valid?
2. Given there is no symptoms of a battery problem, how long do you usually replace a battery?
3. Which is better - an OEM Mopar battery or an aftermarket? The Pros and Cons?
4. What is the best aftermarket battery you have selected and performed well? Any watchouts and gotchas?

Appreciate the inputs.
 

·
The Organizer
Joined
·
15,004 Posts
With these cars; a bad battery can be a contributor to a host of issues. It could also be a combination of things. How about a weak battery and a failing alternator? I suggest you have the charging system tested.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,164 Posts
So the questions are ...
1. To those who had throttle problems, is the battery being the culprit valid?
2. Given there is no symptoms of a battery problem, how long do you usually replace a battery?
3. Which is better - an OEM Mopar battery or an aftermarket? The Pros and Cons?
4. What is the best aftermarket battery you have selected and performed well? Any watchouts and gotchas?
1. needs diagnosis
2. It is possible to manage a battery for long life, depends on usage, charging, temperature, quality, internal plates ...

3. They are the same, MOPAR does not make any, the battery maker slaps a MOPAR badge on the ones shipped to Chrysler.

4. I would go for a reputable brand with a long (4 years +) warranty replacement guarantee. Gets the most capacity CCA possible within your space dimensions.

Watchouts you need the correct pattern connection posts, mounting fixing, height.

Gotchas are price and not comparing suppliers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
Actually, pretty much any high-end battery of any brand will be a good choice.
Most high-end batteries have a 3 year no cost replacement warranty, and an additional 39 months of pro-rated replacement warranty. (75 month total warranty)
 

·
The Organizer
Joined
·
15,004 Posts
These symptoms still make me think it's a weak battery and the alternator decoupling pulley starts slipping, causing the weak battery to makeup the loss of power, but can't. Then the codes get thrown because there isn't enough power for sensors and other operations, like the throttle body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
You have an '07 with the original battery?
That is a good long life, I think the battery has served you well, and deserves retirement as a reward.

In all seriousness, once a battery gets over 3 yrs. old, it is on borrowed time.
No harm in changing it.

But, as suggested above, please get a full charging system test before doing anything else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Most places will test your alternator/battery for free. A quick, cheap, and easy way to possibly rule them out as the culprits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Very much appreciate the inputs and comments re the questions about the battery ....

So I brought BlueCaliber to my mechanic friend to work on replacing the O-Ring and the coolant seal, along with the primary and secondary Thermostat. He was laughing when I told him about the $500 quote from the dealership and was asking me if they were just quoting the part (since they told me they were planning to replace the WHOLE coolant assembly) or just the labor (I don't want to know) :i_rolleyes:

While we were at it, we took the opportunity to check on the throttle body and found that it looked clean. But what got us puzzled is how did the dealership able to reach down and clean the throttle body without removing the battery. :unknw: There was no way to do it without removing the battery (unless he is DC Comic's Plastic Man) ..... and it appears to be untouched. I don't think there is a way to reach it from the bottom either. We did confirm that they replaced the spark plugs and the engine air filter.

At any rate, we made sure we manually cleaned up the throttle body along with the tubings and the air filter box. We also removed the battery and cleaned up the leads and the connectors as well - good thing since that would reset the computer/PCM and would not need to do the "Prop1 pedal reset procedure"

I asked the mechanic about the battery. His take was that the average lifespan is around 7-8 years, based on his experience. Although there are aftermarket batteries, he is a bit weary about them. And after checking the battery, he says the one I have is a common Mopar gel battery and I should be find a fair priced one if I take the time to canvas for it.

When the job was done, we checked around to see if there are things we need to look out for. My mechanic gave me the heads up on the radiator - its having a few "wet spots" which is a sign of possible leakage. Since it's not a show stopper, he suggested to make preparations to replace them during the summer and even suggested to buy aftermarket radiators. Along with that, we may have to replace the drive belt, especially if I plan to make a long trip.

One funny discovery - I was planning to replace the cabin air filter since its one of those items that has not been touched since I bought the car. To our surprise, there was NO filter in it! :eek: The mechanic asked me if the cabin air filter was replaced, told him never since it was a non isssue and there was no mention of having it replaced. I would be shocked if this car didn't have any cabin air filter when I bought it - which would explain why I can smell any stench so quickly into the car. I suggest you all check to see if there is a cabin filter in your Caliber.

No incident after the repair work. Although I did noticed that it gets warm inside fast when I turn on the heater to full - it takes forever to warm up before. Could it be because there was no cabin air filter? Will let you know if the sputtering gremlin still shows its ugly head this week.

Stay tuned.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,164 Posts
Cabin Air filters were not standard fit until 2009
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
Quicker warm up is probably due to the new stats the mechanic put in.
Your old ones were probably stuck open.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It's been a week now and so far I have not encountered a bad engine sputtering. :)

I even had to go for an quick oil change and add some more engine coolant. No sign of any coolant leak so I presume that the coolant in the reservoir ran out while I drove the care with a few miles the day after with the mechanic.

I'm asking myself whether I would need some post-throttle body maintenance. A friend of mine suggested to put some engine cleaner like SeaFoam in the gas tank, crank up the engine for a few tailpipe smokes, and/or drive it for a few miles. Would like to find out if anyone has done it and what's their take on it and advice. How good is SeaFoam or other engine cleaner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
Seafoam in the tank will help clean the fuel injectors, but they are downstream of the throttle body, so Seafoam in the tank won't clean it.
There are instructions on Seafoam's website and on the can for how to use it to clean the throttle body.
I'd do both, a little in the tank, and the throttle body cleaning procedure.

http://www.seafoamsales.com/

And, if it were me, I would still replace the battery.
I know, your mechanic estimates a 7-8 year lifespan for a battery, might be typical in your neck of the woods.
Persnoally, I've never seen more than 5 year lives around here. (I do know a guy with an F150, the 10 yr old OEM battery is still going strong)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
I don't know much about seafoam, was doing some research once and some people say putting straight into your tank can release some of the build up on the bottom of the tank, and flush it through the engine, which is bad. I think they were mainly referring to older vehicles that had sat. I might have been reading it on an old jeep forum or something... not too sure. Just wanted to bring it up since it's the same-ish topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
We have plastic tanks, so no corrosion, plus modern gasoline has additives to prevent varnish or precipitates from forming. Modern fuel systems also always have fuel circulating in the tank (even our one-pipe system), so formation of deposits in the tank is nearly impossible. Also, the seafoam is mixed about 1 oz per gallon, so it is not extremely concentrated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Thanks for the info Dave. I was planning on picking up a bottle for myself soon to add to engine oil for a bit before oil change. Will sprinkle a little in the gas tank now too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
Any time! Just go to Seafoam's website (posted above) and read over the info.
 

·
The Organizer
Joined
·
15,004 Posts
Thanks for the info Dave. I was planning on picking up a bottle for myself soon to add to engine oil for a bit before oil change. Will sprinkle a little in the gas tank now too.
Dodge specifically warns not to use any additives to the oil. All oil companies also advise that additives will work against the chemical formula of the oil and could ruin the engine. One of our members in N. Ireland had a dealer that put Slick50 in his Caliber and it destroyed his engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,302 Posts
The seafoam is not being used as an additive, only a cleaner for a day or so before actually changing the oil.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top