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Actually, the CVT is pretty reliable as transmissions go. The problem is that they are made by JATCO. They make most of the transmissions sold around the world. Having had a failing JATCO in a Land Rover, and followed that with a failing JATCO CVT in my Caliber; I blame JATCO, not the type of transmission.
Oh okay. Based on my research and findings, after talking to a few mechanics and google searches for days (which landed me here) I just assumed the CVT was junk. So you're saying it's the manufacturer, and that makes perfect sense. Good to know, since I'll be doing serious, in-depth research for the next car.
 

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Ok I have a 2008 dodge caliber SE 2.0. I bought with 98,000 mi. I also am having the issue with the cvt overheating. Mostly on long trips, high speeds or going uphill. I have to stop and let it cool down for a few minutes and than it runs fine unless I do the 3 things again. I had the fluid changed and it helped a little. I've been searching this issue for months and nothing has helped. Only thing I have figured out is that car dealers and repair shops are ripping alot of people off. My mechanic and I have been doing alot of troubleshooting. One day i drove the car to him (appx 2 miles after it was sitting all day.) I popped the hood and he noticed how hot it was. And realized the lack of air able to circulate through the grill. So we came up with the idea to leave the hood popped but not up. And drove the same route I am having issues with and I had no problem. (Ok I know that can be dangerous but I rigged wires to it so the whole hood couldn't pop up) I than drove the route hood down and light came on and again hood up and in problem. So maybe it is caused by the lack of circulation? I ordered a honeycomb grill to see if this will . I'll let you know. Also it's not any sensors and the cvt is getting hot. One kudos i will give to dodge is the sensor that slows down the car so the cvt will not burn up.
 

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Sounds as if the cvt coolers are not working properly,there are
2 of them one small one mounted on the tranny(looks like a can of coils)
and the main one up at the radiator.
Either may require replacement.
 

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No I have no idea regarding cost as I personally
didn't experience this in 5 yrs of driving the Caliber.
I would suggest a good place to start is a Chrysler
dealer as this will give a benchmark (possibly worst
case scenario) on which to judge availiable solution
costs.
 

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Just had the same thing happen, but with one big difference mine Temps light comes on just a couple of minutes after starting the car, without moving it. It all started today, I was replacing the serpentine belt and the tensioner. Look under the bumper and found out the my horn was unpluged, hence not working.. Plugged it in, also one of the bumps under the radiator wasn't seating right- fix that, and the canister for the AC also wasnt attched to the base- fix that also. when I started the car to test the serpertine and the new tensioner with the AC on the temp light came on. At first I didnt give it any attention but when I tried to run the car noticed that it was stuck in first gear. Tomorrow I will disconect the horn back to see if that has something to do with...
 

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Sounds as if you bought one that has had front end collision damage.
Re-trace your steps and check for wires you may have inadvertently
disconnected , reboot the TIPM by disconnecting the car battery for
10 - 15 minutes and see if that helps resolve some problems.
 

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Sounds as if you bought one that has had front end collision damage.
Re-trace your steps and check for wires you may have inadvertently
disconnected , reboot the TIPM by disconnecting the car battery for
10 - 15 minutes and see if that helps resolve some problems.
You are onto something Bigtsr! Yes it have been in a front collision, and btw they did a lousy job putting it back together. I left the battery unplugled last night and will see sooon if it Works, I also noticed that on the shift selector on the DASH now it displays PRND8... what's up with the 8 at the end?
 

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Hi, as it turns out the issue was with the cables harness, it took me a while and some help to figure out. Apparently when I move around the cables to plug in the Horn there were some cables mangled from a previous collision, so I have to disconnect and checck each of the cables, so even though there were none Split, there where some mangled ones that I have to straighten and put some electrical tape around to avoid shorts. Previously I've had the cables strapped together, but had to left them hanging since it stopped flase triggering the Trans Temp Sensor. So far haven't ride it, but had it on for about 45 mins without warning. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Update, just took the car out for a ride about 10 miles no problems what so ever... aparently the issue was on the cables. After all the horror stories I've been Reading this couple of days hopefully I wouldnt be around for the next crisis, I would either traded in or sell it!
 

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The cable loom that runs under the battery tray gets rubbed on the
pass thru and the wires short/break.
You would not want to replace the loom but you can repair individual
wires , the fault leads to all kind of electrical fault indications.
 

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Reading through the threads I have a very similar issue as @billcafferata. A couple days ago I was driving my 2007 caliber home. When I started my car I heard a high pitch squealing noise. After 15 min of driving the high temp light came on. 5 minutes after that I lost the ability to accelerate. I glided to a rest stop and called for a ride. While waiting I started my car again. The temp light was off so I drove it again and could accelerate. I decided to try and get it home. After another 15min of driving the same thing happened again. Temp light came on, few minutes later lost speed and couldn't accelerate. I discovered that I could go and stay at 60km, but no faster. I brought it to a mechanic and they said it was the transmission. Being that the car is 10yrs old and closing in on 280,000km I am not going to the expense of replacing the transmission. So my question is if there were any other solutions found, transmission cooler pump possibly? I'm going to check some of the wiring that was suggested. I'll be going car shopping Monday if there isn't a fix under $500. Thanks in advance for any advice and for the good posts that are here already.
 

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The fix is to get a Junkyard trans with as low mileage as possible. Probably under $300 and drive it another couple years.
 

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I’ve been dealing with this for awhile now. Past week I’ve been reading forums here and others trying to come up with a fix.
when I was in my 20’s, I had a 1989 camaro, RS. Camaro’s don’t have any type of grille or even an opening in the front for air. What do you guys think of somehow rigging up an air dam for the transmission? I have a 2007 caliber, 2.0 se. Also, what’s the easiest way to tell between 1st gen & 2nd gen trannies in these things? I will end up trying the air dam on mine in the next few days, I just wanted to drop the idea in here an see what you guys thought about it.
Thank you for your time,

Neal
 

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Air dam for tranny does not sound wise as you would not have a heat issue on the freeway..
If you want to experiment please post your progress.
 

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Hi, new member here.

I got my Caliber recently with 82k miles on it and this happened to me as well. I'm out here in AZ and I took it to the Dodge dealer nearby and the tech guys told me that this is really an issue on these cars. He said the best I could do is change the tranny fluid, get an aftermarket cooler (which they admitted they are not sure would help much) for an estimated cost of 300-$400, or trade in my car for a different one. It's just not suited for the summer heat in this part of the country. :(

But since I just got my Caliber 2 months ago, I'm still not done on the payments so I can't trade it in yet. The dealer I bought it from confirmed that they changed all the fluids in the car before they sold it, too. So I guess I'm stuck with this one for a few more months. I'm definitely trading mine, though, in about ten more months.

It's too bad, too, 'cause I really like my Caliber. But if this car can't stand the desert heat, well what can I do? :(
You can put it on ice that would help
 
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