Last Updated on April 18, 2023
If you’re in the market for one then you should ask yourself, what are the most frequent Dodge Charger problems? The 2023 Dodge Charger will be the last Charger manufactured with an internal combustion engine. Since 2021, Dodge has been announcing the move towards electric power for this muscle car. After this year, that’s exactly what will happen.
Succeeding the Dodge Charger, the new Charger Daytona SRT (scheduled for 2024) is an electric performance coupe. It is what Dodge calls “the future of electrified muscle”. The new vehicle will feature an 800-volt electrical architecture called “Banshee,” which will provide the entry-level 340 model with 455 hp and the mid-range 440 model with 590 hp.
Dodge claims that the Charger Daytona SRT will be faster than a Hellcat. It will include a temporary horsepower boost button, a multi-speed transmission, and an “exhaust” system designed to make the vehicle as loud as a Hellcat.
Dodge first introduced the Charger for model year 1966 as an upscale pony car. Popularity surrounded the car for its 21-year run before Dodge discontinued the nomenclature, then reintroduced it again in 2006 (Generation 6) and made a generational change in 2011. Generation 7 is the latest and final generation of the vehicle.
This rebooted Dodge Charger also achieved high sales and is a popular second-hand vehicle choice. However, the vehicle does have some problems you should be aware of if you’re considering purchasing one.
16 Most Frequent Dodge Charger Problems
Below are the top problems experienced by Generation 6 and 7 Dodge Charger owners:
Transmission issues have plagued Charger owners for years. Numerous people have complained about gear slippage, intermittent hard shifting, and decreased acceleration. In a few instances, the Charger reportedly switched gears on its own.
Chrysler issued a software update for the transmission control module which has since addressed the issue.
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Another difficulty Charger owners experience occurs when shifting, especially from fourth to third. This tends to happen around 100,000 miles on Charger model years 2006-2016. However, unlike the faulty transmission, this is a mechanical issue—not a software issue. The only way to address the problem then is by bringing it in for a mechanic to service.
A failed thermostat commonly leads to two problems. First, it may incorrectly activate the “check engine” light on the dash. Secondly, the purpose of the thermostat is to monitor the engine temperature, helping the vehicle release the amount of coolant needed to prevent overheating. This means a faulty thermostat will lead to overheating, causing potential engine damage and failure.
Windows have been reported to not go up or down properly, while some stop working altogether.
Electrical issues have resulted in gear slippage, a stalled engine, loss of cabin power, and a loss of power steering. Many of these problems have been connected to a leak from the automatic transmission onto the electrical connector.
Owners have reported cabin lights staying on after the car was put into drive, a loss of dashboard lights, and other electrical anomalies. Some of these electrical issues have been temporary, some long-term. Model years 2006-2014 with more than 100,000 miles are the most affected. Although other electrical issues were the result of the aforementioned transmission fluid leak, these were the result of a software issue. Dodge issued an update to address them.
Issues with the alternator have had two effects. Some Charger owners have reported smelling burning rubber before their car shut down, while other drivers reported seeing the “Battery Power Saver” warning pop up on the message center, followed by other warning lights behaving erratically. In 2014, Dodge issued a recall to address these problems.
Faulty oil filter bypass valve
This particular problem affects all Chrysler and Dodge vehicles equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar engine. When changing the oil filter, you could randomly find the oil filter bypass valve broken.
The valve bypasses the filter, allowing you to still operate the engine when the filter is clogged. You can reinstall the filter without the bypass valve and drive, however, once your filter becomes clogged, there will be no way for your Charger’s engine to process the dirt, dust, and debris that enter. You can easily replace the oil valve filter bypass valve at home with basic tools in five minutes at a cost of $20-$30.
Some owners complain of the camshaft failing at around 100,000 miles. The cost to repair it at a garage with original equipment manufacturer parts is around $3,000 to $5,000.
Faulty head gasket
When oil gets in the coolant or coolant gets in the oil, the head gasket will blow. A blown head gasket results in discolored oil or coolant, a steamy exhaust, and a sweet odor.
Dodge Chargers have been known to misfire leading to decreased engine power and longer acceleration times. These misfires are caused by the lack of combustion in a cylinder.
False brake warning alert
Multiple Charger owners have reported the “brake warning” lights often illuminating, but when they brought the vehicle to be seen by a mechanic, the mechanic found no problems. Yet, the owners continued to see the “brake warning” lights illuminate.
When making a sharp turn in a Dodge Charger, you will hear a squeak emit from the car’s steering rack. This is usually the result of worn parts, such as the ball joint, or loose bolts in the vehicle’s steering rack. Replacing the faulty parts eliminates the sound.
Ticking noise in the engine
Dodge Chargers sometimes produce a ticking noise from the engine. There are two main culprits—valves in your engine not closing properly or loose connecting rods in the engine knocking against each other.
A musty odor
Drivers have reported that when the air conditioning is in use, it emits a musty odor through the vents. This issue is likely the result of a clogged cabin air filter, which can be easy to address. Remove the filter, then clean it with soap and water before reinstalling it.
Other drivers have reported that their vehicle’s airbags didn’t deploy in a crash. In these cases, the “check airbag” warning light didn’t illuminate beforehand.
There you have it, sixteen common problems with the Dodge Charger. Despite the car having these recurring issues over the years, they are not unique in the automotive world. Car brands and models are known for better, or worse, for various reasons. The Dodge Charger became a popular muscle car for a very good reason, in spite of its problems. If you’re looking to procure one of your own, or some other car or truck, then venture over to Municibid’s catalog and find a vehicle that fits what you’re after.