SPECS
Horsepower
158 HP
Torque
141 LB-FT
Curb Weight
3052 LB
Drivetrain
FWD
Engine Size
2 L
Transmission Type
CVT
MPG (City/Highway)
24 MPG
VEHICLE STORY

What is this thing?  It's not a Honda.  It's doesn't even have a manual transmission!  What the heck? Well it's my new daily until I can engine swap the Cool 90s Accord back to life. Why do people hate CVTs?  Yeah, it's completely different from driving a normal automatic transmission.  It's different because it's actually good.  No worries, though.  Depreciation is my friend.

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Error 404: Torque Not Found

Got a cheap OBD2 bluetooth reader and Torque Pro so I could see what the Caliber is doing to get su

homepage tile photo for Belated Maintenance
Belated Maintenance

So that happened. Finally swapped out the extremely tired old pencil coils for some fresh Delphis.

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TIRE REVIEW

Just realized that the tires on the Caliber have done well in excess of 15,000mi because they've be

homepage tile photo for How do you like your oil?
How do you like your oil?

Gave the Caliber a dirty oil change. I was going to dump the oil filter and put it back on, but it

[]Craig Crall

In my humble opinion Timothy, oil science has come a long way and there are very good reasons for the use of wide viscosity oils. Unfortunately, mechanical noise isn't the best indicator of protection. For example, you might experience lower levels of noise with 90W oil, but its use in your engine, would increase mechanical loads drastically if you were to use it, to the point of destruction in many engines. I have seen many odd things in my career as a mechanic.

In almost all cases, at least with late model cars, I will go with factory recommendations concerning viscosity. For oil selection, I usually look to the independent tests and select any of the top 10 oils from that list.

Here's an excerpt from that list; (The top 10)

1. Prolong Engine Treatment added to 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra, API SN synthetic = 136,658 psi
This oil on its own WITHOUT the Prolong Engine Treatment added to it, has a wear protection capability of 92,569 psi. With the recommended amount of Prolong added per qt, its wear protection capability “WENT UP 48%”.
The data here provides information on wear protection capability, but does NOT provide any information as to how compatible this product’s chlorine may be with a given oil’s additive package. Chlorine and additive package incompatibility has a possible risk of creating damaging bearing corrosion problems. Contact Prolong’s maker for more information on compatibility to find out if it is safe to use in your application. The test data on Prolong is included in my Ranking List for informational purposes only. I do not endorse nor recommend its use. It is always best to simply choose a highly ranked oil in the first place, and avoid using any aftermarket additives at all.
.
2. Prolong Engine Treatment added to 5W30 Castrol GTX, API SN conventional = 130,366 psi
This oil on its own WITHOUT the Prolong Engine Treatment added to it, has a wear protection capability of 95,392 psi. With the recommended amount of Prolong added per qt, its wear protection capability “WENT UP 37%”.
The data here provides information on wear protection capability, but does NOT provide any information as to how compatible this product’s chlorine may be with a given oil’s additive package. Chlorine and additive package incompatibility has a possible risk of creating damaging bearing corrosion problems. Contact Prolong’s maker for more information on compatibility to find out if it is safe to use in your application. The test data on Prolong is included in my Ranking List for informational purposes only. I do not endorse nor recommend its use. It is always best to simply choose a highly ranked oil in the first place, and avoid using any aftermarket additives at all.
.
3. 5W20 Quaker State Ultimate Durability, API SN, GM dexos 1 approved, synthetic (gold bottle) = 121,396 psi
zinc = TBD
phos = TBD
moly = TBD
This oil was tested Fall 2015, and it produced the highest psi value seen in my testing from any oil just as it comes right out of the bottle with no aftermarket additives.
.
4. Prolong Engine Treatment added to 5W30 Pennzoil, API SN conventional (yellow bottle) = 117,028 psi
This oil on its own WITHOUT the Prolong Engine Treatment added to it, has a wear protection capability of 76,989 psi. With the recommended amount of Prolong added per qt, its wear protection capability “WENT UP 52%”.
The data here provides information on wear protection capability, but does NOT provide any information as to how compatible this product’s chlorine may be with a given oil’s additive package. Chlorine and additive package incompatibility has a possible risk of creating damaging bearing corrosion problems. Contact Prolong’s maker for more information on compatibility to find out if it is safe to use in your application. The test data on Prolong is included in my Ranking List for informational purposes only. I do not endorse nor recommend its use. It is always best to simply choose a highly ranked oil in the first place, and avoid using any aftermarket additives at all.
.
5. 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra, API SM synthetic = 115,612 psi
zinc = 806 ppm
phosphorus = 812 ppm
moly = 66 ppm
calcium = 3,011 ppm
TBN = 10.3
This oil is no longer available and has been replaced by newer API “SN” versions a couple of times. See below for the current “SN” version’s ranking position.

6. 5W30 Motul 300V Ester Core 4T Racing Oil, synthetic = 112,464 psi
This Motorcycle Road Racing oil is from France and comes in liter bottles (slightly more than a quart). At the time this oil was tested in spring 2014, it cost $24.25 per bottle. And with the shipping cost added to that, the final cost was about $33.00 per bottle (shipping was all inside the U.S.), making it THE most expensive motor oil I’ve ever tested.
zinc = 1724 ppm
phosphorus = 1547 ppm
moly = 481 ppm
calcium = 3141 ppm
TBN = 7.4
This oil contains sufficient amounts of the components required (detergent, acid neutralizer, etc) for normal change intervals in street driven vehicles. But, it has way too much zinc/phos for use in cat equipped vehicles. However, it is well suited for Race Cars, Street Hotrods and Classic cars.

7. “Oil Extreme concentrate” added to 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra, API SM synthetic = 111,570 psi
This oil on its own WITHOUT the “Oil Extreme concentrate” added to it, has a wear protection capability of 115,612 psi. But, with 2.0 OZ of concentrate added per qt, which is the amount intended for racing, its wear protection capability “WENT DOWN 3.5%”.
zinc = TBD
phosphorus = TBD.
moly = TBD
calcium = TBD
TBN = TBD

8. “Oil Extreme concentrate” added to 10W30 Brad Penn, Penn Grade 1 semi-synthetic = 111,061psi
This oil on its own WITHOUT the “Oil Extreme concentrate” added to it, has a wear protection capability of only 71,206 psi. But, with 2.0 OZ of concentrate added per qt, which is the amount intended for racing, its wear protection capability “WENT UP A BREATH TAKING 56%”.
zinc = TBD
phosphorus = TBD.
moly = TBD
calcium = TBD
TBN = TBD

9. 5W30 Oil Extreme Motor Oil, API SM synthetic (per the Oil Company, even though synthetic wording is not shown on the label) = 110,286 psi
The Company claims this oil contains their proprietary formula of calcium petroleum sulfontate EP (Extreme Pressure) technology that is NOT found in any other motor oil. They also claim that it will provide 5 to 7 more HP, 7 to 10% better fuel mileage, cut engine wear in half, and will extend drain intervals two or three times safely. This oil is endorsed and promoted by Tech Author David Vizard. And he was so impressed by this oil’s performance that he also became a share holder in the Company. The results from the “Dynamic Wear Testing Under Load” performed here, fully supports their claim regarding wear protection. So, their hype about that, turned out to be absolutely true. And since this oil beat nearly every high zinc oil I’ve ever tested, it also proved another one of their claims, that using zinc as the primary anti-wear component, is outdated technology.
zinc = 765 ppm
phosphorus = 624 ppm
moly = 52 ppm
calcium = 7,652 ppm
TBN = 23.2

10. 5W30 Valvoline MaxLife High Mileage, API SN, synthetic blend (red bottle) = 108,045 psi
High Mileage oils are formulated for older engines with over 75,000 miles on them. And High Mileage oils include “Seal Swell” chemicals to help reduce oil leakage in those older engines.
zinc = TBD
phosphorus =TBD
moly = TBD

[]Ernie Szots

You, sir, have a wealth of automotive knowledge. Impressive.

[]Craig Crall

Thanks Ernie, so do you.

[]Timothy Markworth

That is a lot of data. Unfortunately, after running a few different weights of oil and various additives, I can't say as that I'm confident that a circa 2007 Chrysler did nearly as much homework as you did. Seems more like they were desperately trying to get better fuel economy from an engine that is otherwise disappointing in that department. I'm glad to see that Valvoline Maxlife made the list though. It's one of my favorites since it's cheap and much easier to get (in my area) than pretty much anything else on that list.

[]Craig Crall

I thought Chrysler did a decent job on your van, but hauling around 3,100 lbs. of van with a 2.0L engine, might be a less desirable power-train option for a vehicle in that category, than something with a bit more displacement, turning less RPMs under a lighter load?

I thought the EPA MPG estimates for your van were pretty good, but I take it real world numbers aren't as pretty?

[]Timothy Markworth

Typically, I get around 24mpg. 26mpg is just barely possible, but it's impractical to drive that light-footed all the time. I'm not looking to get rear ended.

[]Craig Crall

I see, that's not too bad of MPG for a car in that weight class and yeah I'm not a huge fan of hypermiling and having cars on my bumper, but I tried it for a while a few years back. I like going fast way more than fuel saving. If you do a lot of city driving, you might want to invest in a start/stop system for your car. There's a new one hitting the market that might be of interest.

Here's a link to that;

kickstarter.com/projects/154359573/voyo-driving-perfected

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OIL

Caliber managed to burn up a bunch of oil (probably because I hoon on it constantly), so I decided

homepage tile photo for Caliber headlight glitch FIX'd
Caliber headlight glitch FIX'd

No photo because it's after midnight and I parked like 10 feet away from the garage door, but I ins

homepage tile photo for Reached a new low
Reached a new low

Finished my TIPM bypass harness for the headlights. It draws signal from both sides and sends powe

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Sparkin' Plugins

Caliber was throwin' a bit of a fit last night, so I decided to reward its hard efforts with some n

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POD FILTER

First oil change. Valvoline Maxlife 5W-30 and K&N HP-1017. First mod. Spectre air filter. Ri

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Windshield Wipers

Quit trying to save money by downsizing your wipers.  Stupidest thing ever.  You (maybe) buy them o

homepage tile photo for lol, fuel "economy"
lol, fuel "economy"

Finally got the chance to determine my fuel economy.  Took me keeping two receipts to do it since I

homepage tile photo for Ford Service FTW
Ford Service FTW

Cannot stress enough how great it is to buy tires from a Ford dealership.  Having a GOOD set of tir

[]Ernie Szots

Tires are super important. I'm not sure I'd buy them from a dealership (hard to believe you'd get the best price there), but I am big on purchasing quality rubber, regardless of where you buy from.

[]Vincent Plante

me too! it's what connects you to the road. can't cheap out ob tires

homepage tile photo for The Caliber Daily Life
The Caliber Daily Life

Been driving the Caliber for less than a week.  Put roughly 100 miles on the Caliber today.  So far

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