Dodge Caliber Years To Avoid (Best and Worst)

Dodge Caliber Years To Avoid – The Dodge Caliber, a compact car produced by Chrysler’s Dodge brand, has had its share of great years and some not-so-great ones. Understanding the Dodge Caliber years to avoid can save you from potential headaches down the road.

Introduced in 2006 and discontinued in 2012, the Dodge Caliber aimed to blend versatility with a compact design, appealing to drivers seeking a functional hatchback.

However, not all model years are created equal, and certain years have faced recurring issues that buyers should be wary of.

Among the Dodge Caliber years, there are a few notorious ones known for recurring problems. For instance, some drivers reported issues with the transmission in certain model years, which significantly affected the overall driving experience.

These issues have been documented and discussed within the automotive community, making it crucial to pinpoint the problematic years when considering purchasing a used Dodge Caliber.

Dodge Caliber Years To Avoid

Keep reading to find out which Dodge Caliber years were the worst and why.

Dodge Caliber Years To Avoid

Owners have reported a range of issues, from problems with the suspension and electrical system to issues with the body structure and engine.

These issues have also been reflected in official recall statistics, indicating that the Caliber faced significant reliability issues.

The Dodge Caliber has had its fair share of troubles throughout its production years.

Let’s take a closer look at the specific Dodge Caliber years that have been deemed as the worst.

2007 Dodge Caliber

The 2007 Dodge Caliber is a year to avoid if you’re considering purchasing this vehicle. Owners have reported numerous issues with the electrical system, suspension, vehicle speed control, body structure, and steering.

These problems have also been reflected in official recall statistics, indicating that the Caliber faced significant reliability issues.

Specifically, front ball joints and control arms have been known to be bad in the 2007 Caliber, along with premature tie rod and ball joint failure, tie rod failure, engine stalls/shut off while driving, and transmission failure.

It’s clear that the 2007 Dodge Caliber had its fair share of troubles, and potential buyers should steer clear of this year. Dodge should take responsibility for these issues and work to improve the overall reliability of the Caliber.

2008 Dodge Caliber

In the 2008 Dodge Caliber, several areas can cause headaches for owners. The suspension of this car has been known to have problems, leading to a less-than-smooth ride.

Issues with the body structure can also be a concern, potentially affecting the safety and durability of the vehicle.

The electrical system is another weak spot, known to cause trouble and potentially leave owners stranded.

In terms of the engine and power train, they can be unreliable at times, leading to potential breakdowns and costly repairs.

The 2008 Dodge Caliber is not the most dependable car, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone in search of a reliable ride.

2009 Dodge Caliber

Oh boy, let me tell you about the 2009 Dodge Caliber, it’s a real piece of work. When it comes to the suspension, you’re in for a rough ride. It’s bumpy and uncomfortable, making every journey a jarring experience.

And the power train? Well, let’s just say it’s not exactly a powerhouse. Don’t expect any thrilling acceleration or impressive performance.

But the real disappointment lies in the body structure. It feels like you’re driving a tin can, lacking the solid and secure feeling that you expect from a car.

The thin and flimsy body construction raises concerns about safety and durability.

And don’t even get me started on the engine. It’s underwhelming, to say the least. You won’t find any impressive power or smooth performance here. It’s just average at best, and that’s being generous.

To make matters worse, the electrical system is nothing short of a nightmare. It’s prone to malfunctioning, leaving you in the dark, literally.

You better have a flashlight handy because you never know when the electrical gremlins will strike. The 2009 Dodge Caliber is a disappointment in many aspects.

2010 Dodge Caliber

The 2010 Dodge Caliber. Let me tell you, this car has its fair share of issues. The electrical system is known to cause headaches, and the airbags may not always function as they should.

The engine and vehicle speed control can be unreliable at times, leaving you feeling frustrated. And let’s not forget about the power train, which has its own set of problems.

But, despite all these issues, the 2010 Dodge Caliber does have some redeeming qualities. Its interior is surprisingly spacious, giving you plenty of room to stretch out and get comfortable. And when it comes to fuel economy, it’s not too shabby.

So, while this may not be the most reliable car out there, it does have its moments. Just be prepared for some bumps along the way.

2011 Dodge Caliber

When it comes to the 2011 Dodge Caliber, several areas may raise concerns for potential buyers. The car has had reported issues with the airbags, seat belts, engine, electrical system, and vehicle speed control.

These problems may be alarming, but it’s important to note that the 2011 Caliber could still be a viable option for those seeking a reliable and affordable vehicle for daily commuting or short trips.

The car boasts a spacious interior and decent fuel economy, making it a practical choice for those on a budget.

Dodge Caliber Problems

The Dodge Caliber, while boasting a versatile design, has encountered several issues throughout its production, raising concerns among potential buyers regarding its reliability.

Understanding the prevalent problems that plague this model is crucial for anyone considering purchasing or currently owning a Dodge Caliber.

This comprehensive guide delves into the various complications, offering insights to empower readers with information about common Dodge Caliber problems and potential solutions.

Dodge Caliber Problems

Common Problems with the Dodge Caliber

CVT Transmission Failure

One of the most notorious issues reported by Dodge Caliber owners revolves around the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

This type of automatic transmission, designed for smooth acceleration without distinct gear shifts, has been linked to jerking sensations, fluid leaks, and unusual whining noises, typically surfacing around 48,900 miles on average.

If left unchecked, these symptoms can lead to a complete CVT transmission failure, significantly impacting the vehicle’s performance, fuel efficiency, and drivability.

To circumvent substantial repair costs, vigilance in monitoring the transmission and prompt professional intervention upon observing any irregularities are paramount.

Faulty Ball Joints and Control Arms

Another prevalent concern involves faulty ball joints and control arms, integral components of the suspension system.

Issues with these parts can lead to compromised steering and suspension, resulting in poor handling and safety hazards.

Signs such as uneven tire wear, unsettling noises while turning, or traversing bumps should prompt immediate inspection and repair to prevent further damage.

Water Leak from Sunroof Drain Tubes

Owners have reported incidents of water leaks through the sunroof drain tubes, potentially causing damage within the car’s interior or mold growth, which poses health risks.

Regular maintenance and inspection of these tubes are critical to avoid this issue, ensuring proper water drainage away from the vehicle’s interior.

Cooling System Problems

The Dodge Caliber is susceptible to cooling system problems that can jeopardize the engine’s operational temperature. Malfunctions such as a faulty thermostat, coolant leaks, or radiator blockages can result in engine overheating and potential failure.

Regular coolant checks, replacements, and swift repairs upon detecting issues are essential to maintain optimal engine performance.

No Start or No Crank Issues

Issues with the theft system wireless control module have been reported, causing starting or cranking problems for some Dodge Caliber models.

Familiarizing oneself with the signs of a failing module and seeking professional assistance upon suspicion of a problem can prevent being stranded due to this issue.

Additional Concerns Reported by Dodge Caliber Owners

Apart from the prominent problems mentioned, several other minor yet noteworthy issues have been frequently reported, including but not limited to:

  • Drain tubes leaking water
  • Front ball joints and control arms issues
  • Engine stalling or not starting
  • Electrical system malfunctions
  • Suspension and brake system issues
  • Exterior and interior paint peeling
  • Radiator fan malfunctions

Being aware of these concerns allows prospective buyers and current owners to assess the vehicle’s overall reliability and performance accurately.

How many miles does a Dodge Caliber usually last?

A well-maintained 2008 Dodge Caliber may last around 150,000 miles before being mechanically totaled, which is 100,000 miles less than rivals like the Subaru Forester.

Is a Dodge Caliber a good car to buy?

The Dodge Caliber has a reliability rating of 40, which indicates that it’s not considered very reliable compared to other cars. The average overall rating for comparison stands at 57.

Why was Dodge Caliber discontinued?

Several issues contributed to the discontinuation of the Dodge Caliber. Entry-level models had drum brakes that resulted in longer braking distances. Combined with imprecise steering, these factors led to the decision to discontinue the compact.

Additionally, nearly a dozen recalls were issued for the Dodge Caliber, further impacting its reputation and likely contributing to its discontinuation.

Are Dodge Calibers expensive to fix?

The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Dodge Caliber is $501, which is slightly lower than the average for compact cars ($526) and notably lower than the average across all vehicle models ($652) for unscheduled repairs and maintenance.


The Dodge Caliber has had a troubled history, with numerous issues reported by owners and reflected in official recall statistics.

The specific years to avoid include the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 models.

The Caliber may have some redeeming qualities like its spacious interior and decent fuel economy, but these benefits may not outweigh the numerous issues and lack of reliability. If you’re in the market for a reliable ride, it’s best to steer clear of the Dodge Caliber and explore other options.

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