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The Dodge Caliber is a front-engine, front-wheel drive five-door compact hatchback manufactured and marketed by Chrysler's Dodge division from model years 2007 to 2012.

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Why does the cooling inside the car get hot when the car is parked?

When the car stops in traffic, the cooling becomes hot, and when the car starts, the cooling becomes good, but weak

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The air conditioning works by blowing air through the condensor that's mounted in front of the radiator, which takes away the heat that's being exchanged for cold inside the evaporator. If not enough air is going through the condensor, then it's not going to take away the heat and the car won't blow cold air.

When the car is moving, there's plenty of air going through the radiator, but when it's stopped it depends on the radiator fan to move air through. If that fan has failed you'll get the exact symptoms you're seeing. Open up the hood and verify that the radiator fan is running when the car is stopped and idling with the A/C on. If not, you'll have to try and diagnose whether it's a failed fan motor or a wiring problem, which could include wires, connectors or fuses.

Next thing to do is to check the pressure in the system. There will be two Schrader valves, the kind you use to fill the tires, somewhere in the A/C lines under the hood. One will be the low pressure side and the other is the high pressure side. You only want to measure the pressure on the low pressure side if you buy an inexpensive A/C pressure gauge from the auto parts store.

If the pressure is reading low, you may be able to restore your cooling by adding a can of refrigerant. It's normal for a slow leak over time to lose some pressure, but if it takes more than one can of coolant to get the pressure back to where it should be then chances are there's a leak somewhere that may need to be fixed. One way to find out where the leak is, is to add fluorescent dye to the A/C system, let it run for a while, then go looking for places where the dye shows up using an ultraviolet flashlight, preferably at night.

Your car uses R134a as a refrigerant or "Freon" as it's referred, even though it's not technically Freon any more. You can buy cans of it at most auto parts stores, although as I recall California had some restrictions on its purchase if you happen to be located there.

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When a car is parked or stuck in traffic, the engine is still generating heat, but there is little to no airflow passing through the radiator to dissipate that heat. This can cause the cooling system to become hot because the heat is not being effectively removed.

Typically, the engine's cooling system relies on a fan to draw air through the radiator when the vehicle is stationary or moving at low speeds. This fan is usually electric and is designed to kick in when the engine temperature rises above a certain threshold. However, at idle or in heavy traffic, the airflow provided by the fan may not be sufficient to cool the radiator efficiently.

As a result, the coolant circulating through the engine may become hotter over time, leading to an increase in the overall temperature of the cooling system. This can cause the cooling inside the car to feel hot.

When the car starts moving again, the airflow generated by the forward motion helps to cool down the radiator more effectively. The increased airflow helps dissipate the heat, allowing the cooling system to function properly and maintain a cooler temperature.

However, it's worth noting that if the cooling feels weak even when the car is in motion, there may be an issue with the cooling system itself. Factors such as a malfunctioning fan, a clogged radiator, or low coolant levels could contribute to inadequate cooling performance. In such cases, it is advisable to have the cooling system inspected and serviced by a qualified mechanic to diagnose and address the underlying problem.

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