2007 through 2012 Dodge Caliber Transmission Overview

By | April 4, 2016

The 2007 through 2012 Dodge Caliber has a transmission that confuses a lot of people.

On most all vehicles, there is a dipstick for the oil and transmission fluid levels. The process is simple. Pull the dipstick and read the oil, or fluid levels. If it is low, then you would add more of the type of fluid it calls for. when looking at the top of the engine and transmission for this vehicle, the dipstick for the oil is very easy to locate.
2007 through 2012 Dodge Caliber Transmission Overview
Clearly the yellow handle is for the oil. When searching the rest of the engine compartment, there is no other dipstick.

That’s because this vehicle has a transmission that is not recommended to be serviced by anyone that is not certified on this particular transmission.

However there is a way to check the level, and to top it off as well.

Keep in mind you will need to look up your transmissions specs for the proper type of fluid according to your make, model, and year.

Look in the engine compartment to the right. (Drivers side) notice the battery access cover.
2007 - 2012 Dodge Caliber Transmission Overview
To the left of the cover, and below the cover is a red cap on top of the transmission. This location is where you will add the manufactures recommended transmission oil for your vehicle.
2007  Dodge Caliber Transmission Overview
Now to determine if you need to top off your transmission fluid with the manufactures recommended transmission oil. You will have to get under the vehicle. This particular transmission has a plug on the side of the transmission just like a standard transmission, or rear end plug. You will need a ¾ inch ratchet wrench to remove the plug.

After removing the plug, place a small container under the vehicle directly under the plug hole. This is to catch any fluid that comes out of the transmission plug hole. Go back to the engine compartment and remove the red transmission plug that is located under the battery access cover.

Place a funnel into this hole. Slowly add your manufacture recommended transmission fluid. After pouring a ounce or more. Look under the car and see if it is coming out the transmission plug hole. If it is, stop you are full of the manufacture recommended transmission fluid. If the fluid does not come out of the transmission plug hole, Repeat the step and pour another ounce or so into the transmission. Continue these steps, until fluid drips out. When it does, your transmission is at the proper level. Be sure that your vehicle is sitting as level as possible. Tighten the plug back into the hole, and replace your red transmission cap.

So in short, this particular transmissions fluid level is very similar to the filling of fluids on a standard transmission, transfer case, and rear differentials. The fluid level will go in at the top of the transmission, and drip out the side of the transmission when it is full. This allows you to never over fill the transmission. In most cases it is harder on a transmission if the fluid level is to high then if it was too low. Happy driving in your Dodge Caliber.

Category: General Automotive Repair

About Bob Thomas

Bob Thomas is an automotive mechanic with 30 plus years experience. He is a contributor to several publications and has written many articles on automotive maintenance and repairs. He also has created many auto repair videos on YouTube.

43 thoughts on “2007 through 2012 Dodge Caliber Transmission Overview

  1. jc

    id like to know who the idiot is that made this video. these cars need to have the tranny flushed. dont listen to that garbage. eventually the fluid wears thin begins to heat up on long trips or hot days and sends the car into limp mode because the tranny overheats. happens on every single jeep compass patriot or dodge caliber. same crap transmission. should be changed every 60 or 70000 miles before the transmission starts to overheat. that closed system crap is garbage. same with the 02 to 07 jaguars. great cars had this amazing closed system. never change the fluid it cant get dirty its synthetic. garbage. the trannys lasted 75000 miles. thats why theres none on the road today. they were 5000 a pop to fix. same goes with any of these closed systems. cvts will overheat and are garbage transmissions.

  2. Andre Smith

    I have a 08 caliber RT drove 2 hr strait at 65 mph then the trans temp light came on 20 min later I lost power the car began to crawl pulled over waited a while then the temp light went out and drove fine again can anyone help me with what causes this thx

    1. Jason

      Happened to me as well. I was driving on cruise control at 83mph, and I think the belt was moving up and down, not quite in the sweet spot. The rpms were moving up and down slightly, likely for the full two hour drive without my knowing it.

      However, 10k miles later, no additional issues. So, I would watch your RMPs to make sure you aren’t in a constantly fluctuating zone.

      Lastly, I just changed my transmission filter and 5L of mopar CVTF+4. Fluid was black as night. Maybe change out the fluid for new stuff that isn’t degraded. Easy pan drop and replacement.

      1) remove tire and plastic guard that is against transmission
      2) open plug with hex drive, drain out into pan
      3) siphon what you can out of the pan before you drop it. Use a cheap plastic pump or tube. I only recommend doing this to avoid more spillage
      4) loosen all tranny bolts a tiny bit, then work them until you have a small leak on one end of the pan into your drain pan. Drain as much as you can this way
      5) start removing bolts, ensuring that you catch all fluid coming out
      6) Remove pan, clean pan and magnets, remove three bolts on filter and remove filter (ensure the o-ring remains on the filter, not in the transmission!)
      7) install gasket, filter + oring, and pan. Don’t forget the magnets. Install the drain plug.
      8) Measure the fluid you drained. Add exactly that much new fluid. Mopar CVTF+4.
      9) Reinstall plastic guard and wheel
      10) shift through gears. Drive car. Chack for leaks.

    2. Mike Franco

      This is a known issue with Dodge Caliber transmissions. They used the Jatco CVT transmission. And anybody who knows about them knows that Jatco makes the WORST transmissions and they are found mostly in Nissans. For some reason Dodge went with this transmission and it is a known issue with these things to have the transmission fluid overheat, causing the temp light to come on and make your car crawl forward. It’s happened to me countless times. There’s really nothing that can be done because it’s a poorly designed transmission, unless you want to take a gamble on a new jatco CVT to put in the thing which is a waste of money in my opinion. I would just live with it for now until it really won’t work anymore

      1. Donny

        The Caliber and the Nisson do have Jetco Transmission. But they are two differant types of models.
        Not sure of them on hand. But if you look it up you will see they have two differant types.

        I have a 07 dodge caliber sxt 2.0. And have 190k and no problems NOCK ON WOOD.
        Do yourself a favor no matter how you drive your car. Change Trans fluid every 50-60k.
        Plus I still love driving it After buying a new 2019 Honda Ridgeline.
        Love my Caliber.

    3. jc

      flush the fluid asap and if you have the cash install a tranny cooler

  3. Bri

    Where can I find the transmission plug on the 2008 Dodge Caliber SXT? I find no videos showing where to find it.

    1. Jonathan

      On the side of the transmission below the electrical plug connection.

      1. Andre

        Hi I have a 2007 sxt automatic transmission problem the overheating light came on and I think the people I asked to fix the problem for me made it worse my dipstick tube broke off also I drained some oil on a level surface the light went off car drives but throttle response slow and car starts to crawl until 3000rpms and when the vehicle is on a facing downhill position it doesnt want to reverse please can you contact me +27718794597

  4. Omojasola Olatunji

    Hi, my. Dodge caliber 2007 transmission not shifting. It drives and reverse when put to either D or R, but not changing on motion. Any urgent help or suggestion pls?

    1. Eric Schutz

      It’s a CVT transmission and is ran with only 1 belt so it doesn’t have shift point like other transmissions.

    2. Eric Schutz

      A CVT transmission in the 2007 dodge caliber is operating on a single belt so there will be no shift points like other transmissions that have actual 1st gear 2nd gear and ect… CVT transmissions are also a sealed transmission and is recommended a dealership to look at it at what ever milage point your manual tells you to.

  5. Henry

    2011 Dodge Caliper was feeling like it was shifting funny. Resolved my issue by changing out the COIL ON BOOT PLUG. THEY are located on on all 4 sparks plug coils on boot plug made of rubber. whole job done at home for $28.00 dollars total at O’reilly auto parts parts part number 99-212 Ultima Secect company. blow is the link to the parts to get started. the next link is a picture of the coils you put the boots on.



    1. Angelo

      Just curious to know… how does changing the ignition coils affect any shifting issues???

      1. John

        When starting off , the hesitation one gets from bad plugs or a coil can very much feel like a transmission issue to regular drivers who might not know the difference between an ignition or fuel issue compared to a non CVT transmission shifting issue.

  6. Charles

    Yeah can I get trans flush kit or just fluid. For a cut on dodge caliber and were do I find it if so

  7. Segun Adeniyi

    Hi Thomas, I have a 2009 Dodge Caliber, I recently changed the transmission from a running 2008 caliber to my 2009, only to discover after the swap, the transmission not changing to 2-3-4 but was fine in the old car, do I need to reprogram the transmission to the new car or what? I am curious! I will appreciate your prompt response. Thanks

  8. Tracey

    I have a 2011 Cailber. As I know the transmission fluid has never been changed (I’ve had the car almost 2 years). It is jerking while driving and my RPM’s STAY high even with the cruise on about 2-3 RPM. It also has a loud noise that it constantly makes. Like a whining noise. I can always tell when my husband is coming down the road because of the noise. I have started putting higher grade gas in and the jerking has pretty much stopped. But I’m wondering if anyone else has had this noise issue or high RPM issue. I’m thinking that the transmission fluid needs changed…

    1. Angela W Goad

      Did you find out what the problem was mine does all the above also

  9. David

    Ive recently had to change my transmission oil cooler after an accident. This caused a loss of fluid which I’m trying to refill, unfortunately I cant seem to find said 3/4″ plug for the life of me. Ive looked on the sides, and the top. The only plug Im able to locate is one recessed plug on the top. Does anyone have a picture of this plug?

    1. Scott

      Mine doesn’t either, but it does have a pan. I’m wondering if there is an “in-between” CVT. It does have the same stupid fill tube with no dip-stick. Plus, I just checked and Auto Zone does carry a filter and pan gasket for it. I also can’t find the plug to pull out to achieve the proper level.

  10. Daniel

    Hello! 2012 Dodge Caliber SE – Standard Transmission. Currently at 65k miles at wanted to do a service/get old fluid out, new fluid in. Same steps/spots for the bolts?

  11. Jesse

    Hi I own a 2008 Dodge Caliber cvt 4 cylinder and when the car is put on reverse or drive it stalls 2 to 3 seconds I also experienced the temp light coming on 20 minutes into driving on the freeway I took the car to Ammco transmission shop in Fontana ca they told me two codes popped up p0777 and p0700 they told me it would need a complete tear down for a new transmission . The car doesn’t make any strange noises can some one give me some advice I would really appreciate it . Thanks

    1. Tbones

      Hey did u ever get a answer about your car my is doing the same thing

      1. Tbones

        Jesse did u get a answer on your question about your car because my car is doing the same thing

      2. dodgy_dodge

        Hello Tbones, the same thing is happening to me. did you find out what it was?

    2. dodgy_dodge

      Hi Jesse, The same thing is happening to my 07 dodge. Did you find out what was wrong with it?

  12. Billybill

    2011 caliber 2.0 L engine 6 speed 68,000 on it does stutter shifting at low speeds or slow accelration in city speeds aka hard shifting.

    Talked to my mechanic about this and said if continues we are changing fluid and filter in couple of weeks OR maybe it’s the shift solenoid any help will be.

    I know somethings wrong with this trans because all year after i bought it in sept last year nothing happened not a squeak or peep from this car I ‘m in panic mode right now because i have no warranty at all.

    IF worse comes to worse i wll but the new warranties from auto delta thenjh get it done at a shop …

    BUT i know MY Guy Tony can fix anything on almost any car …. really he was a gold find through another freind.

    E mail through link plaese

  13. Brian Clarke

    Hello Thomas, my 2008, with 5 spd manual tranny, all of a sudden, clutch went right to the floor. Was unable to change gears at all. Fortunate, as I was entering the driveway, so when I turn the engine off and restarted, it jerked forward and was able to get it parked. I have not been able to locate a fluid leak, was also unaware that their are two reservoirs? Any assistance would be appreciated.

    1. Christen Peck

      My 2008 Dodge Caliber did the same thing, I was told it was the slave master or slave cylinder, I’ve been told they’re the same thing, went out.

  14. RANDY

    I scanned for codes and found p0730 incorrect gear ratio and p0777 secondary pressure solenoid stuck on. I was told I need to change it to see if it would help. I own a repair shop and have 35+ years in automotive industry and have changed several other models fluid and filter on the ( non serviceable) trans but not this particular one. I have a snap on modis ultra and a autell to check the fluid

    1. Luis torres

      Hola amigo yo tengo el mismo problema como lo solucionaste tu cual era la falla

  15. Rebecca

    Hi there, I have a 2012 Caliber and I recently took my car in to get an oil change and the mechanic told me my battery access cover (like the one you have pictured) was left sitting in the wrong area and has been melted badly, and I need to replace it. They said this was important to replace to protect from debris and heat. Do I really need this cover on my car? I feel like this is not an important item that needs replacing.

    Thanks for any advice!

    1. B Thomas

      It is important , but not a huge concern. You can hit a wrecking yard for the part for prob about 5 bucks. You can cut some plastic off of something ( about the same thickness and place it there as well. ) zip tie it if needed. It sounds like you wouldn’t mind if it looks a little funky. Seperateing the heat is all that is needed. But in my mind it’s not something that is major. If you have ever seen a nascar engine (runs very hot ) they pull all the plastic , wheel covers etc to release the heat. It’d really up to you, but by keeping an eye on it , you would know better than him or I. Thanks for the great questions. And for visiting ..

  16. Melinda Jones

    I have a 07 caliber, but when I mash on the gas, it’s like it won’t go and it start trembling does it mean the fluids can be low. Melinda.

    1. B thomas

      That’s what it sounds like. Low fluid pressure. Check it first. But don’t force it to go faster to many times. This can ruin the clutches. And you own a very expensive transmission.

  17. B thomas

    It sounds like a bad shifting solenoid. But dirty fluid can cause this too. It takes a sec to push through a dirty filter before it gets to the front pump. Try a tranny flush and new filter before you jump to conclusions with the solinoids first. Thanks for your comment.

  18. Rene Villar

    Hello Thomas, thank you for your instructions. Look, I have a 2007 Caliber r/t motor 2.4. It’s autostick (as you know) but when I put in Dirve it takes 2 or 3 seconds to move. The same thing occurs when I put Reverse. After that the car works perfectly. Do you have any idea about this?

    1. Thomas brian

      That vehicle has a master cylinder for the clutch. It works just like the master cylinder for the brakes. Check for leaks. ( fluid and air )if the pedal hit the floor, I’m guessing you have air in the line. You will need to bleed it. It should use for 3 fluid as well. But check the cap to be sure. Some used a synthetic oil. Thanks for your comments, and questions. Please come back and talk about your fix. This will help others that read our post. Good luck. Feel free to come back and ask any question that may help. I will try my best to help. I have made a similar video to the bleeding of a clutch on you tube. Search Thomas Brian / how to find a short. Then click on my name under the video and search clutch slave cylinder. Enjoy.

    2. B thomas

      There is not enough fluid pressure. Low fluid will not cause this. It is the pressure of the fluid itself. It sounds like you have a dirty transmission filter. If this does it when it is cold only then you may have a shifting solenoid going out. But if it does it even when you have been driving for 20 min or more , then it is probably a dirty filter. I hope this helps you out. Enjoy !!

      1. Shelley

        YOU, B Thomas, are my map keeper!
        I will continue on now, in 2019 in these directions. I DO have the same problem that I saw two others bring up but not have answered also lol.
        I do NOT have a CAP anywhere either. It took me FOREVER to find that thing! The Fluid reloader hole, all tiny and small and nearly invisible covered by all the other tubes. I knew the fluid was low, only because Jiffy Lube told me. I was worried though, because through changing my own oil twice, I had not seen any leak. This summer my car decided to implode. First Coolant leak, plugs, already need to replace one that wasn’t auto gapped right. NOW found out the helpful ex put regular transmission fluid in my coolant reservoir because HE couldn’t trust leaving me alone with working on my car. So now, it’s like my car has intermittent pressure and rpms. I have to feed it sips of cvt before longer trips but it has been vomiting it ALL out into the front fan on the left and leaving small puddles, while gooping up everything on it’s way down. I FINALLY get now, why it has seemed for months that people have been giving me tons of space on the Freeway. hahaha
        I am drip dropping ALL OVER them. My Bad. Maaaaan I hope you’re still out there to answer questions.

        *I apologize for repetition and misspellings, 6:41 and the only sleep I have had, was falling asleep while writing this. DOH!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.