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I’ll start from the beginning I have purchased 2 calibers within the past 3 months.. they are both 07 my wife’s is an sxt with 77k miles It had a bad front end replaced everything with the dreaded duralast parts (atleast I got a lifetime warranty) it had many electric issues fixed all spliced/damaged wires heat shrank them. I noticed cvt fluid had never been changed.. changed both filters and fluid. I bought the aftermarket dipstick and scangauge ii for fluid accuracy. I Also bought 2 12 packs of the mopar cvt-4 for a great deal on eBay figured I’d stick with oem fluid, I got the 12 packs for 88$ apiece. hers is a dream to drive. Now mine, has 194k miles it’s the dark blue base version. It had front end noise replaced everything in the front end also, Hell I had just done it to my wife’s might as well..fluid wasn’t on dipstick when I checked it, it was cold when I checked it. I had already made numerous trips, n town runs all under 15 miles. I really didn’t have a decent way of checking the tranny fluid yet until aftermarket dipstick arrived. Changed filters and fluid ensured proper fluid lvl. Took my first decent trip in it around 160 miles Round trip, about 15-20 miles before making it back home trans temp light flashed, then stayed on and limited my acceleration not really max speed.. I didn’t have my gauge at the time. It said 284 degrees when I got home. I opened auxiliary cooler took it off cleaned it. popped trans line off radiator 1 at a time both where functioning properly 1 in 1 out. So I took it for a nice drive,I’m almost convinced my sensor is bad. is it possible for a tranny hit 389 degrees then cool down under 200 and run perfectly fine again? Also I noticed an additional maybe 4*8 radiator on my radiator. It can be seen through the grill. my wifes does not have one. I’m assuming it gets a lot more air being where it is? Should I try the resistor trick or purchase a lower mileage used tranny? Overall I don’t regret my purchases my wife’s only has 75k miles mines 194k.. bought both for 3800$ getting hers even with a couple popping ball joints at 2200 seemed like a good deal.. payed 1600 for mine, the fact there’s an aftermarket trans cooler kinda proves the previous owners knew about the problem they where the 2nd owners.. sure you didn’t know... is a rebuild of these transmissions possible before destruction? Edit (spelling)
 

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The 2 questions I really need answered, has anyone else seen a temp as high as 389?Is this most likely a bad temp sensor? And can these be successfully rebuilt before they completely implode on themselves?
 

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For what I’ve read in these Calibers, any issues with the motor or transmission, just spend the extra money and have the dealership fix it.

You can fix everything else yourself, but those two items will ruin you in the long run if they’re not properly repaired the first time.

A tranny cooler on a Caliber is like duct-taping a stab wound.

All that being said, you could just replace the temp sensor yourself to see if it is a quick fix. Any more than that - I’d rather trust the dealership mechanics.
 

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...is it possible for a tranny hit 389 degrees then cool down under 200 and run perfectly fine again? Also I noticed an additional maybe 4*8 radiator on my radiator. It can be seen through the grill. my wifes does not have one.

Should I try the resistor trick or purchase a lower mileage used tranny?

...the fact there’s an aftermarket trans cooler kinda proves the previous owners knew about the problem
Is it possible to hit 389 and then cool down to 200 and run fine after that? Yes. But it may have taken some damage at 389.

Do not try to put a resistor in line. As a first step, if you suspect the sensor is bad, just replaced the temperature sensor.

Does the plumbing look good on the aux radiator? I suggest taking both cars for an identical drive and see if the one with the extra radiator holds a lower temperature.

In general, CVTs are crap. I'd never spend any real money on a car with a CVT.

I would not bother trying to replace it. Just take care of the car until the transmission blows, and then scrap it.
 
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