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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my Caliber in to the local dealer service-center a couple of days ago to get several things repaired (ticking seat, leaky rear window washer, front wiper blade malfunction, and the engine knock). They were VERY helpful and took care of everything. What a relief.

So now all the minor problems that my Caliber was having are over. It's running strong and handles very nimbly. I mention that because the Dodge Stratus loaner I was driving is not nimble at all. The Caliber is a very nice driving car. Handles well, drives well, and while not as nimble as a the original VW Rabbit or the Dodge Omni, it's still a "zippy" ride (my wife said, "it's so nice to have out Caliber back. It's zip, zip, zippy!").
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And if it helps here's the invoice:

 

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Glad to hear a good dealer experience. :)

GOT said:
I mention that because the Dodge Stratus loaner I was driving is not nimble at all.
Funny you mention that, I had my Caravan in for service today and I got a Stratus's sister car, a Sebring loaner car that sounded like it had been run for 10 years as a taxi, unfortunately it's an '06 with 19k miles on it. It concerned me because the knock from this car made it sound like a diesel dump truck.

After listening to this for a few hours I asked the tech about it when I picked up the van, mainly if the "normal" knock in the Caliber could graduate to such a horrible sound.

He didn't say yes but did say spark knock is not good at any speed. He said to ONLY use 87 octane fuel and to go to the newest, busiest gas stations to get it. He said the reason for this was because there is no benefit to the higher octane and it will result in higher carbon build-up because the computer is programmed for 87 octane only and doesn't adjust to the gas, just the air, and going to newer, busier gas stations would reduce the likelyhood of older, stale gas and picking up junk from older tanks.

He went on to say that there was little need to bring it to a dealer for service if I felt comfortable doing the maintenance myself as long as the maintenance schedule was followed and all the fluids kept clean and fresh. That was wierd hearing a dealer tech tell me basically that I don't need to pay them to do something that I could do. (I feel comfortable doing most things until it comes to the timing belt and water pump, I'll let them do that)

I grabbed my grain of salt and was on my way.

I know that many of these issues have been covered in other threads but I figured I'd post this report in case somebody found it useful or if there was reson to rebut what the tech said. I don't consider one tech's opinion the final authority but I don consider it a good source.

I haven't had the spark knock, but I have had cars that got "louder" with age when I didn't keep strict maintenance of the oil and plugs.
 
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