Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Southern California
Thanked 25 Times in 13 Posts
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I recently (early October) purchased a 2012 Dodge Challenger RT that was manufacturing 5/2012.
My RT has the Automatic / Autostick, Paddle Shifters, Sport Mode, 3.06 - Anti-Spin Rear, 20" Chrome Clad Wheels.
I LOVE MY CHALLENGER!
I have owned Chrysler products before (Dodge Ram, Jeep Commander), and both were very reliable vehicles.
Now that being said, I was a little surprised by some of the issues I am experiencing with my Challenger just at 2k miles.
1) Front Driver Power Seat stuttering and has a distinct knock when moving forward and rearwards since I picked it up.
-The Dealer replaced the Seat Track, and now it is worse. They ordered another one in, and they said they hope this will fix it. I have read some folks experiencing the same issues with multiple tracks and motors replaced before the issue was resolved
2) The cars finish was blotchy and had all kind of surface contamination. (Bright Silver Clearcoat)
-The sales folks said they would have their new car prep clay and wax the car. I drop off the car at the dealership the next day. I pick her up that evening and under the dealerships parking lot lights I can see that the clay and wax treatment took care about 50% of the issue. I showed the owner of the dealership (who drives a GWE Challenger), and he said, that he would have his body shop clean, clay, polish and wax the car.
-Dropped off my car at the dealership, and spoke to their Bodyshop manager. He took my car to his detailer out back, and I was there for about 1 hour waiting for my wife to pick me up. They washed my car, then they started taping the black mouldings etc. so that their polisher would not hit them. They did it right! I went to pick up my car, and the Body shop manager and I inspected it, and I was totally blown away at how clean and beautiful my car looked. The body shop manager said that they get a lot of cars where the finish is very dirty, and the simple clay / wax does not always take care of it.
3) Front Chrome Clad 20" wheels making the distinct clicking noise when driving at low speeds and turning right or left.
-Dealer says that the wheels need to be replaced, and I need to drop off the car next week for them to inspect and contact Chrysler
4) Right front wheel or brake are making a very light scraping noise, almost like the brake pads are toughing a high spot on the front rotor or the right rotor is slightly warped.
-Dealer says it might be the chrome clad wheel since I do not feel any sort of vibration when braking?
5) Front black molding between the bumper and grille is warped in several areas. It looks like it was done due to poor installation?. I have taken pics, and my dealers service writer is sending to Chrysler for approval, and he also sees the issues.
MDS sucks. For the past month I use the Autostick and paddle shifters 80% of my driving now, and this is much better. Yeah I lose 2-4 miles per gallon depending on my driving vs. MDS, but I have noticed that in certain driving situations with MDS on, there is a significant hesitation when being in MDS, then applying more throttle, and I have noticed several times that when in MDS is on and applying more throttle that the tranny wants to also down shift, and with the hesitation going from 4 to 8 cyl, and the down shifting there is a noticeable rpm jump then it goes into gear. Almost like the MDS and tranny shift happening almost at the same time, and there is a noticeable hesitation with rpm jump like the car just went into Neutral then shifted into gear.
I have read the theories that MDS could possibly be causing timing chains to break, and while I am not an engineer, nor a full time mechanic, I have owned muscle cars before, and I modified cars and rebuilt engines in the past, and I have never really seen this type of MDS/Tranny Shift hesitation before. It made me want to replace the tranny valve body or install some sort of stout shift kit (not sure if there is one for the 2012).
Ok, so I have some minor issues with my RT, but overall I just love her!
My wife still thinks it is a boat, but she did borrow last Saturday, and I heard no complaints.
I haul both of my 21/2yo kids to pre-school with RT every morning, and I get the best compliments from the other dads in the parking lot that are driving their family SUV's, Benz's, Bimmers or whatever cars.
Btw, I am 6'1", and I comfortably haul kids in my muscle car with very little driver seat adjustment.
I placed some old tshirts under and around the spare tire, and placed a small blanket on top of the spare, and a thick wool blanket inside the trunk, and I cut out about 1/2 the noise.
My near term plans for the RT:
1) Pick up and Install CAI from Speedlogix (Shawn is a really great person to deal with, and has been very helpful with answering many of my questions. I will be ordering my parts from Speedlogix's very soon!).
2) Wheels-That depends on Chrysler. If they will spring for the Heritage wheels, then I will go with these, if not, then I will pick up Factory Reproduction Charger SRT wheels.
3) 1" Mopar Lowering springs and Bilstein shocks. I did not want to lower her, but after seeing some Challengers with the 1" drop, I have to have mine this way too.
4) At 5000 miles I plan on changing the oil (mobil one synthetic), installing new / better than factory plugs, and Goodyear Gatorback Serpentine belt.
5) Weather tech floor mats and trunk mat
Longer Term plan for the RT:
1) 85mm Throttle Body
2) Resonator Delete
3) Debating if I want to replace the rear wing with a taller one?
4) better headlamp bulbs.
5) Hopefully there will be a Predator or computer mod that I can flash into my 2012 computer to disable MDS totally!
Yeah, I saw the surface contamination you talk about on my hood and roof too. Not great, but not a deal breaker either for me and the paint is actually better than I expected. I agree on the MDS and you can kill it the way you do, or do a B&G ECU or a Trinity. I'm waiting for the 2013 tune and more product development myself, but I'll go that route soon.
All in all those are very minor gripes and it's good to see someone as happy with their Challenger as I am.
hey Hawaii - great report, thanks. As for your future projects, I've done both the 85mm throttle body and the resonator delete. First the TB - I don't really think it did anything and I think it would be a great add if I had headers too, more air in and out. I don't and I question the expense to benefit. The reso delete - wow, BIG difference in sound. You have to be prepared for the "annoy the neighbors at 7 a.m." kind of noise. I live in a neighborhood of older folks and it's a good thing they're up at 5:00! Also, the reso delete, while normally loud, isn't bad while driving though I've read that others who have this same mod hear a drone. I don't but I have a six speed. One more thing, while it's a GREAT sound at idle, at WOT or there abouts, it is a little brappy (I can't think of a better way to describe it). Not fart can on a four banger brappy but definitely not what I was expecting. Good luck with the car.
Do the B&G Tune, I love it. Great Throttle Response and No MDS! Plug-N-Play and it actually works.
I'm with you on Clad Wheels, simply put they look ok but are not built real well. I want some Factory Replica 22" Black Chrome Marcellino.
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