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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A week after I got my Caliber (2.0 Automatic) I took it on a trip over the hills and through the woods. It had under 200 miles on it at the time. I drove at about 90mph most of the way and on the steeper hills I put it in low (going about 80mph). The drive was effortless in the Caliber and I was flying past everyone without ever pushing the pedal all the way down. The 90min trip took only 50min.
Anyhow, now I read the manual only to find out that it suggests against that kind of driving and that it could damage the car. It also says that low gear is only for descending? (!)
I thought low was for climbing.
And the car loved it.
What's the deal?
 

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Drive it how you're going to drive it. Unless something major happens, and Dodge decides to look into the ECM memory, nothing major will happen. If the car fails, it's going to fail sooner or later. After I rebuild all of my engine, I drive it right out of the box, how it's normally going to be driven. Theory is, if you drive it that way, the rings will seal for that particular type of driving, and it will give you better/longer performance or gas mileage. I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

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Low on *any* auto is for usually for descending so you don't need to brake as much. Putting it in a lower gear for climbing merely prevents the transmission from downshifting repeatedly... but I've found the caliber's CVT to handle hills (even steep ones) quite nicely.

I don't know that you hurt your caliber though, if that's the sort of driving you'd do normally. I accidentally shifted into low once and drove a while before I noticed (and I only noticed when I went to stop, it felt like the car was "dragging" and I realized it was on low!)
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard that with any brand new engine, you shouldn't lay in to it too much until it reaches about 1500. Is this right? I never heard about the rings sealing for the way the car is driven first.
 

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It varies from person to person, I was always told the first 500 miles is the "Break in period" And to not abuse it too much until after 500 miles.
 

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BOWIE said:
A week after I got my Caliber (2.0 Automatic) I took it on a trip over the hills and through the woods. It had under 200 miles on it at the time. I drove at about 90mph most of the way and on the steeper hills I put it in low (going about 80mph). The drive was effortless in the Caliber and I was flying past everyone without ever pushing the pedal all the way down. The 90min trip took only 50min.
Anyhow, now I read the manual only to find out that it suggests against that kind of driving and that it could damage the car. It also says that low gear is only for descending? (!)


I thought low was for climbing.
And the car loved it.
What's the deal?
Troll.................
 

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I've rebuilt 3 318 and 5 2.0 DOHC's. And I driven mine like normal right from the first start. Never had a mechanical failure. Just my experience
 

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Sustained RPM in the break-in period aren't normally recommened... the average break-in suggests low speeds with varied RPM's (i.e. don't drive to florida with the cruise control on the whole way). I am perhaps overly conservative with breaking in a car as I do an oil change at the first 1000km (600MI) and again at 5000km (3000MI) to flush out the little metal bits that get in the oil during break-in to prevent oil burning etc. down the road.

High performance/high compression and forced induction engines usually require to be broken in more gently... I suppose on the base engine it might not be all bad, not aware of any states with 90MPH speed limits anyways lol jk :)
 

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yeah 1500 is a good mark, but realisticly its hard to go that long and not punch your new toy once or twice. Yours has 200m on it lol...I would probably be gentle at least until 500m with an exception here and there.;)
 

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MOOK3452 said:
yeah 1500 is a good mark, but realisticly its hard to go that long and not punch your new toy once or twice. Yours has 200m on it lol...I would probably be gentle at least until 500m with an exception here and there.;)
Oh i agree it is near impossible to resist a little fun, but sustained driving at 90+MPH under load on hills while under 200MI is just stupid... get ahold of yourself man, you'll have plenty of driving left, and if you want it to be as trouble free as possible it warrants a little extra care on those first few hundred miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
pacerman said:
Troll.................
Excuse the hell outa me, but where do you get off?!?
You think I'm trolling w/ that post? I actually understated that driving situation (in order to avoid being labeled a maniac). I don't troll. I'm called an alpha-male, get over it.

Anyway, here's what it boils down to (for anyone who cares to give some constructive input) the sales guy told me that I "NEED to drive agressively at first". In fact, during my test drive he was encouraging me to get the photo radar cameras to go off (there are many here in Scottsdale) saying that I wouldn't get a ticket since they couldn't track it to me during a test-drive. I don't know if he's telling me this cause he thinks I'm a young, wild guy and he knows that's the type of driving I want to do or if I really need to break the car in like that.
 

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Well I know they do recommend some good accelerations at highway speed (such as passing another vehicle)... but I wouldn't necessarily consider that "driving it agressively" ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
easterbun said:
Well I know they do recommend some good accelerations at highway speed (such as passing another vehicle)... but I wouldn't necessarily consider that "driving it agressively" ;)
Yea, exactly. When I went back to order a car cover, the sales guy saw me and asked me if I was tearing it up in my Caliber. I told him I was a little hesitant. He said I should be really gassing it at the lights, etc. That's when I decided to take the road trip.
I gotta say though, I've put 700 agressive miles on it and it's like a whole new car. It's like an SR-71 on the freeway. It hates roling along at 15-20 though (when I pass a school). Really crappy ride at those speeds.
Racing in the Cali is odd to say the least. You always eat dust for the first few seconds but as soon as the CVT (or "afterburner" as I call it) kicks in you just soar past the other guy.
 

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BOWIE said:
Yea, exactly. When I went back to order a car cover, the sales guy saw me and asked me if I was tearing it up in my Caliber. I told him I was a little hesitant. He said I should be really gassing it at the lights, etc. That's when I decided to take the road trip.
I gotta say though, I've put 700 agressive miles on it and it's like a whole new car. It's like an SR-71 on the freeway. It hates roling along at 15-20 though (when I pass a school). Really crappy ride at those speeds.
Racing in the Cali is odd to say the least. You always eat dust for the first few seconds but as soon as the CVT (or "afterburner" as I call it) kicks in you just soar past the other guy.
I am glad you are liking your Caliber! Sounds like you are having a hell of a time with it. I say probably not the best thing you can do to it with low miles, but you could be doing worse. I don't think anyone, including myself, knows the correct breakin procedure for a car. Keep driving the way you are and have fun!:)

Just don't rev at 6K for like a mile or two!;), even if that is possible for a CVT2!?!:eek:

Low end will get better as many have mentioned before as mile rack up....

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Xtreme Thunder said:
Low end will get better as many have mentioned before as mile rack up....

Cheers!
Thx for the feedback. That last bit of info might save me $1,500 as I was going to some performance parts installed to help compensate for the embarassing low end.
Now I think I'll just give it a little time and see how it settles in.
 

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Xtreme Thunder said:
Just don't rev at 6K for like a mile or two!;), even if that is possible for a CVT2!?!:eek:
Yeah; It's called the speed limiter. HEHE:D

In all actuallity, has anyone hit it yet. The dealer speculated it would be around 105 but I haven't had the lil' magnum above 80.
 

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I've always lived on hills so vehicle break-in is almost automatic (compression braking, engine loading going up, periods of coasting, etc.) I'd like to change the oil and filter even before the first suggested as cheap insurance. I love this little car already.
 

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rcompart said:
Yeah; It's called the speed limiter. HEHE:D

In all actuallity, has anyone hit it yet. The dealer speculated it would be around 105 but I haven't had the lil' magnum above 80.
I took the rental up to an indicated 95 mpg no limiter yet (my old truck would cut at 92) if it's much higher I don't care to go there. would hate to get caught too.
 

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BOWIE said:
Excuse the hell outa me, but where do you get off?!?
You think I'm trolling w/ that post? I actually understated that driving situation (in order to avoid being labeled a maniac). I don't troll. I'm called an alpha-male, get over it.

Anyway, here's what it boils down to (for anyone who cares to give some constructive input) the sales guy told me that I "NEED to drive agressively at first". In fact, during my test drive he was encouraging me to get the photo radar cameras to go off (there are many here in Scottsdale) saying that I wouldn't get a ticket since they couldn't track it to me during a test-drive. I don't know if he's telling me this cause he thinks I'm a young, wild guy and he knows that's the type of driving I want to do or if I really need to break the car in like that.
Ya got 200 miles on your new ride and you drive it 90 miles an hour???????You were in the wrong lineup pal , you thought they said .........trains................not brains........:eek:
 
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