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Should i or shouldn't buy one? I really want one to dd. But not sure if it will last at least 3 years. High mileage as in 100k + let me know your thoughts and opinions. Thanks!
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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Assuming it’s in relatively good shape now and you continue to maintain it according to the factory recommended service intervals, there is no reason it couldn’t last 3 years or more.

The real unknown is how it’s been treated up to now. One tool you can use to gauge that is CarFax. The accuracy of their data is wholly dependent upon automotive shops reporting any work done on the car to CarFax so it can be recorded and reported upon later, but that part is outside of your realm of control. Obtain a report and go from there, keeping mind it may lack some entries from the vehicle’s past.

There is a way to get a copy of the service history for free. It is not as detailed as the paid report, but you’re not looking for details necessarily. You just want a quick overview what has been done to the car previously.

For that, do this:

1. Download and install the myCARFAX app onto your phone.
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2. Open it up and add the target Challenger to your garage by inputting its VIN.
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3. Click the Service History tab and scroll it all the way down to view all reported work done on the car.
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I was aware of Carfax, but didn't know they had an app. That's helpful for sure. I am more concerned about the power train. I understand outside of trusting someone, I don't really have that much of a choice.
 

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The Bacon Hauler (‘12 Cop Charger)
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It will show power train work as well. For example my car had its camshaft replaced right before I got it:
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But dollars will get ha donuts that if the car gives you problems it won’t be the powertrain that’s at fault. It’s more likely to be suspension. For example, my clearly has a history of suspension problems, something which is still a problem. That was clear going all the way back to 3 successive visits to the dealership in its early days:
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I was a buyer for used cars recently.....I went to Auctions and inspected them. The FIRST thing I do is pop the hood and remove the oil filler cap.....and turn it upside down. The bottom of the oil cap will tell you the cars history.
IF there is any white Mayonnaise looking stuff.....put the cap back on and walk away. That is water in the oil. Also...look for a buildup of "crust" ...this indicates the oil changes were infrequent and or poor oil was used. The bottom of the cap should be clean and oily.

Next...look into the radiator overflow bottle to make sure it is pure antifreeze. Any oily stuff in there is oil in the water. Either condition indicates a blown head gasket. Walk away if it fails these tests.

Next......sit in car and start the engine......put left foot on brake (or pull E brake if manual) and carefully apply power (power brake) in both drive and reverse. Listen for clunks or excessive noise or play when shifting from drive to reverse. A slow engagement indicates possible transmission problems. Clunks indicates excessive wear and or drive line problems. If it passes these tests......road test the car!!! Insist that a scanner be done to look for any codes. Most parts stores will do this for free. Drive the car at all speeds including highway. Listen and feel for any issues. Look through the wheels and look at how thick the brake pads are. Look at the rotors for grooves or damage. If unsure of yourself, taker it to a mechanic and pay for an inspection. Look under the car for leaks.

If it passes these tests and you buy the car.....change ALL of the fluids in the car as soon as you can. Start with the engine oil first and move on. Good luck and keep us posted......Gene.
 

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I was a buyer for used cars recently.....I went to Auctions and inspected them. The FIRST thing I do is pop the hood and remove the oil filler cap.....and turn it upside down. The bottom of the oil cap will tell you the cars history.
IF there is any white Mayonnaise looking stuff.....put the cap back on and walk away. That is water in the oil. Also...look for a buildup of "crust" ...this indicates the oil changes were infrequent and or poor oil was used. The bottom of the cap should be clean and oily.

Next...look into the radiator overflow bottle to make sure it is pure antifreeze. Any oily stuff in there is oil in the water. Either condition indicates a blown head gasket. Walk away if it fails these tests.

Next......sit in car and start the engine......put left foot on brake (or pull E brake if manual) and carefully apply power (power brake) in both drive and reverse. Listen for clunks or excessive noise or play when shifting from drive to reverse. A slow engagement indicates possible transmission problems. Clunks indicates excessive wear and or drive line problems. If it passes these tests......road test the car!!! Insist that a scanner be done to look for any codes. Most parts stores will do this for free. Drive the car at all speeds including highway. Listen and feel for any issues. Look through the wheels and look at how thick the brake pads are. Look at the rotors for grooves or damage. If unsure of yourself, taker it to a mechanic and pay for an inspection. Look under the car for leaks.

If it passes these tests and you buy the car.....change ALL of the fluids in the car as soon as you can. Start with the engine oil first and move on. Good luck and keep us posted......Gene.
Very nice summary of quick checks you can do. I will add one more thing. Get a code scanner, learn how to use it before you go, try it out on a couple cars.
And the important part, get one that can and learn how to do it. "Readyness Check" or whatever it is called where the car reports all tests are complete. If you have a code for say low evap leak, or something O2 related, and you clear the code, it could take a day or 2 of driving before tests complete and it re-triggers. So there is a way on a lot of code readers to see if all tests are complete. If so, then you can assume that it really has no detected faults. If all tests aren't complete, there could be a pending fault that was just cleared before car was put up for sale.
I have a "Scangauge II" and it is kind of funky, but it will let you know which tests are complete and which are still pending.
I would check if engine is cold, for reference, start it, let it run till it is hot enough for heater to work, check for leaks. Also if you have time, start it, shut it off, start it, many times.
 
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Very nice summary of quick checks you can do. I will add one more thing. Get a code scanner, learn how to use it before you go, try it out on a couple cars.
And the important part, get one that can and learn how to do it. "Readyness Check" or whatever it is called where the car reports all tests are complete. If you have a code for say low evap leak, or something O2 related, and you clear the code, it could take a day or 2 of driving before tests complete and it re-triggers. So there is a way on a lot of code readers to see if all tests are complete. If so, then you can assume that it really has no detected faults. If all tests aren't complete, there could be a pending fault that was just cleared before car was put up for sale.
I have a "Scangauge II" and it is kind of funky, but it will let you know which tests are complete and which are still pending.
I would check if engine is cold, for reference, start it, let it run till it is hot enough for heater to work, check for leaks. Also if you have time, start it, shut it off, start it, many times.
Thank you Sir.....great advanced info for sure :)
 

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Should i or shouldn't buy one? I really want one to dd. But not sure if it will last at least 3 years. High mileage as in 100k + let me know your thoughts and opinions. Thanks!
Depreciation is the biggest expense of owning a car. Thus buying a less expensive car to begin lowers the depreciation cost.

'course, you don't want to buy a less expensive and in this context a high miles car only to spend tons of money addressing problems.

A thorough check out of the car is paramount. If a high miles car passes a used car check out the odds are it was taken care of and will continue to deliver good service life. I've driven a number of cars to 150K/160K miles and one to 317K miles and while things wore out the cars were still quite good. Might mention the engines did not wear out, nor did the transmissions or the diffs. Only one wheel bearing (at 80K miles in the car that went 317K) had to be replaced.

Mainly a water pump, fuel pump, coolant tank, a radiator or 3, several sets of O2 sensors, MAF, a couple of radiator fan motors, and some more esoteric stuff like in one car the hydraulic rear spoiler deployment mechanism.

Others have given some suggestions on checking a used car. Most I agree with. I would disagree about the stuff under the oil cap. This can appear and does appear in cars with healthy engines even if they are well cared for.

For example I occasionally spotted this under the cap of my Boxster which is the car that I drove 317K miles. The source was just the fact the water in the oil -- there as a normal by product of combustion -- would turn to vapor when the oil got hot enough but the oil cap area was still cold and the vapor would condense in this area and in doing so combine with oil vapor and the gunk was the result. And I changed the oil every 5K miles.

Coolant in oil is rather some work to confirm. An oil analysis can be used but is rather impractical for a normal used car checkout. Anti-freeze compounds are checked for and if found in the oil is good sign there is an oil and coolant intermix problem, which ain't good. Before starting the engine checking the coolant tank for any signs of oil -- the droplets float on top of the coolant -- is a recommended.

With the engine running any odor of antifreeze in the exhaust is cause for concern.

I'll paste something that you may find of some value regarding checking out a used car. It is not the be all end all of used car check out just add it to what you already know, and what others have offered.
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Used Dodge Challenger check out:

My general advice is to visit the used car cold, open the hood and check the oil level, leaving the hood open. Give the other vital fluid levels a visual check at least to ensure none are low. If vital fluids are low this could be a warning flag.

In the car start the engine. Be sure all warning lights come on and then go off once the engine has started. Pay particular attention to the CEL. Be sure the A/C is off. You test the A/C later.

Let the engine idle from cold. You want to listen for any signs of ticking/noises or any other signs the engine may not be healthy. A rough idle, backfires, spitting back, anything out of the ordinary.

If available, call up the Performance Pages app and view coolant and oil temperature and pressure and battery voltage. You want these displayed as you get first a test ride then have a test drive.

Get out of the car and walk around the car checking body panel finish, alignment, and gaps. Note the condition of the wheels, looking for any curb rash. Check the tires. Ideally they should be factory sanctioned tires and in good condition. Check the brakes, look at the rotors for signs of damage/excessive wear -- a lip around the rotor outer diameter.

Check the hood and trunk hinges for any signs the fasteners have had wrenches on them. At the front carefully check the radiator fasteners for any signs of wrenching.

Now a new car can have wrench sign at the hood or trunk hinges and this is "normal". (My new 2018 Scat Pack for instance.) This arises because the hood hardware is loosened and the hood fit adjusted. Why Dodge can't get this right on the assembly line but afterwards is beyond me.)

After some few minutes of the engine idling -- the longer the better -- and with the engine still running ok and sounding ok have the seller take you on a test ride. The route should be around 15 miles long and chosen to give the driver a chance to demo the car as you intend to use it. What is wanted is a mix of city driving with stop and go, steady moderate speed cruising on like a boulevard, and some highway/freeway driving. Ideally there should be some opportunities -- once the engine is up to temperature -- for some rather hard acceleration with the driver starting out from a standstill or a slow roll and accelerating hard up through at least a couple of gears. No need to smoke the tires or try to duplicate the factory's 0 to 60mph time but you want to experience the engine under hard acceleration to verify it pulls good, runs right, and afterwards shows no ill effects from the hard acceleration.

While a passenger of course pay attention to how the transmission shifts, how the car rides, feels. The car should not want to pull to one side or the other and the hard acceleration should give the driver a chance to perform a hard braking. No tire lock up but you want to verify the brakes have plenty of bite and the car tracks straight under hard braking.

With an automatic I recommend having the driver do a k-turn with the engine/transmission cold to see how the transmission reacts to repeated/rapid changes in direction.

After the 15 mile test ride then back at the starting point -- leaving the engine running -- get behind the wheel and drive the car over the same 15 mile test route and drive it pretty much the same way although since the car is unknown to you you can dial back on the hard acceleration test. You don't want to let the car get away from you and wrap it around a telephone pole.

And with the engine/transmission now up to temperature you do the k-turn to once again see how the transmission reacts to repeated/rapid changes in direction.

After your 15 mile test drive then at the starting point if you still like the car confirm all systems work. From the head lights to the tail lights. From the horn to the back up camera (if fitted). The A/C. Check all the controls. The wipers. Everything.

At this point if you still like the car and believe you can buy it for a good price -- based on your market research -- it is good idea to arrange to have the car given a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) by a tech who is qualified to evaluate the car. A Dodge dealer tech can be used. These guys evaluate trade ins all the time.

This gets the car in the air so a check can be made for any leak sign. At the same time a check can be made for any signs of damage or damage repair.

You want to really experience the car in its natural state: engine running and on the road. All cars generally look good on the lot. But it is how they look and run and feel and sound and smell on the road, or after being on the road, that really matters.

Be aware and adjust your price accordingly that the car probably needs some attention. Unless the seller can supply paper work the services are current or you can run the VIN through a Dodge dealer and get a list of services budget for various services that are due.

Tires should be in good condition but if not if the tires are worn unevenly budget for an alignment assuming wear is not severe enough to suspect the car's bent. In this case you don't want an alignment you want to walk away from the car.

Remember these things: Price is not fact only an opinion. And there is always another car. If you find something negative about this car don't feel you have to buy it. There is another car out there you'll like just as much if not more than this one and it won't have any negatives.
 

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Thank you Sir.....great advanced info for sure :)
And of course, when I just bought my 18 Shaker, I did none of that. But hey, I traded a Dodge on a Dodge at a Dodge, with warranty, so I wasn't concerned.
 

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Got news for ya based on over 40 years working on these things........The underside of the cap tells ya the story....period. I have owned MANY vehicles and worked on countless vehicles in Florida....or "Humidity Central"!
Some caps underneath will have a 1/2" thick crust under the cap...and zero moisture. Dry as a bone. It will look like a BBQ grill.... literally. This is broken down oil that has sludged. What do you think the internals look like?? It's not good! A well maintained motor will be clean and oily under the cap.


Not ONE single time have I ever had white mayo under the oil cap....ever.....on any of my vehicles. I have pressure tested countless cars that DO show water in the oil. Guess what.....they all leak down pressure over time. Some fast....some slow. That is a "seeping" head gasket or cracked head or block. It is not yet blown.....but could at ANY time! No matter the make....if it has water in the oil...it ain't good!

Oil in the water is EASY to spot. Take the radiator cap off.....or look in the coolant reservoir and you will say EEEEEWWWWW! It's a funky brown color....hard to miss....and it's oily. Inspecting over 100 cars in a day it's easy to spot these things. Go to a new car lot and pull the oil caps and look underneath.....you will not find ONE with water. Even though they are sitting in the same humidity and rain as any other. Used cars are a different story. The normal trace amounts of moisture that ends up in a crank case is burned off and evaporated when it reaches operating temp. If you have enough to show up on the bottom of the oil cap.....trust me......that motor has a problem. It might still be driveable....but it has a problem....period. This is solid experience.

That is enuff said because I try not to bore people with a massive dissertation. Heed my advice and you will make a smart purchase......Gene.
 

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Been around cars for over 40 years. I've never come upon the crust condition you mentioned but would agree that is not a healthy sign.

As for the "mayo" sign, that is not a Florida thing but a more northerly thing. Where there is plenty of humidity and cooler temperatures.

I've seen the "mayo" sign a few times once or twice even with my Boxster and Turbo. (Porsche techs I talked to about this said it was not that rare to see.) This is a less humid -- on average -- and slightly cooler -- though it can reach 100F+ some days -- climate.

Neither engine manifested any other signs of head gasket, head or block cracks, porosity, etc., and I put 300K+ miles on the Boxster and 150K+ miles on the Turbo and the engines were trouble free.

Absent any sign of oil in the coolant I'd not be too worried about a bit of brownish mayo under the cap. Water in oil is a natural byproduct of combustion. Getting it out is a bit of work. The engine and engine oil has to get hot and remain hot so the water boils and then as vapor avoids contact with any cooler engine surfaces and can leave vai the engine crankcase ventilation system.

The other way is of course to drain the oil and replace it with fresh oil.

Early in my Boxster ownership in just a few months of winter driving (4K miles) in the KC MO -- relatively high humidty yet cool temperatures (at least in the winter) area an oil analysis -- I was just curious -- found 7% water content in 9+ quarts of oil. Long story short what was going on was the oil was just not getting hot enough the engine just not getting hot enough that the water in the oil would boil out and remain as vapor long enough to leave via the crankcase ventilation system. The water in the oil did cause me to ignore the factory 15K mile oil change interval and instead change the oil every 5K miles.

But it is up the prospective car buyer how he wants to treat any sign of anything abnormal (even if it can be normal) when checking out a car. If he chooses to err on the side of caution that's his decision.
 

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You didn't mention the year of the car you were considering. The '09 and 10 Challengers had the 3.5 liter engine. I have a friend that had the lifters replaced at 200,000 miles. The 2011 on up have the 3.6 liter engine. I haven't heard anything bad about it yet. Honestly, if it looks good on the outside, then there was probably a former owner that cared for it. Hopefully, the same could be said for the engine. Oil changes, and so forth.
 

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Been around cars for over 40 years. I've never come upon the crust condition you mentioned but would agree that is not a healthy sign.

As for the "mayo" sign, that is not a Florida thing but a more northerly thing. Where there is plenty of humidity and cooler temperatures.

I've seen the "mayo" sign a few times once or twice even with my Boxster and Turbo. (Porsche techs I talked to about this said it was not that rare to see.) This is a less humid -- on average -- and slightly cooler -- though it can reach 100F+ some days -- climate.

Neither engine manifested any other signs of head gasket, head or block cracks, porosity, etc., and I put 300K+ miles on the Boxster and 150K+ miles on the Turbo and the engines were trouble free.

Absent any sign of oil in the coolant I'd not be too worried about a bit of brownish mayo under the cap. Water in oil is a natural byproduct of combustion. Getting it out is a bit of work. The engine and engine oil has to get hot and remain hot so the water boils and then as vapor avoids contact with any cooler engine surfaces and can leave vai the engine crankcase ventilation system.

The other way is of course to drain the oil and replace it with fresh oil.

Early in my Boxster ownership in just a few months of winter driving (4K miles) in the KC MO -- relatively high humidty yet cool temperatures (at least in the winter) area an oil analysis -- I was just curious -- found 7% water content in 9+ quarts of oil. Long story short what was going on was the oil was just not getting hot enough the engine just not getting hot enough that the water in the oil would boil out and remain as vapor long enough to leave via the crankcase ventilation system. The water in the oil did cause me to ignore the factory 15K mile oil change interval and instead change the oil every 5K miles.

But it is up the prospective car buyer how he wants to treat any sign of anything abnormal (even if it can be normal) when checking out a car. If he chooses to err on the side of caution that's his decision.

Being "around" cars for 40 years is not a qualification unto itself. An 80 year old driver can be "around" cars for 65 years and know very little technically or real world.

I have seen literally thousands of crusty sludged dry caps. I would have to assume that your experience is owning nicer, newer vehicles and not working or making a living on general population high mileage vehicles. I have done both.

Your statement of mayo under the cap is a Northern thing, not Southern. If that was the case......why have I seen hundreds or thousands in Florida? I might see 15 or 20 in one day of inspection at Auction.

If combustion actually put water in the oil, then there is a leak or a piston ring problem. A normal engine that does not have an internal leak will NOT accumulate water in the oil.....as long as it reaches operating temperature.

When I got out of the Service, I bought a Semi and drove 48 states In all weather conditions....even being "snowed in" in Bangor Maine and Chicago. I have idled all night to stay warm...and the Big diesel never got over 140 degrees. never a drop of water in the oil.

I will agree that an engine that never reaches operating temperature and then shut off will accumulate water. But 7%!!!!!

Holy COW! Almost 10% of the oil being water? Since oil and water don't mix.....that was a REAL mess. I have never heard personally of such a thing. Acceptable moisture levels in oil are rated in PPM (parts per MILLION)! Not percent of motor oil volume!

If you had 7% water in you motor....you set a record brother! lol Something was seriously wrong with that motor.
Only the grace of God kept that thing running! That would explain why a brown goo on the oil cap would not worry you. I would run like a GIRL WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE! And I don't have any hair!
 

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My 2010 SE was still going strong when I sold it three months ago. Needed another camshaft on the passengers side though. I told the buyer that. Wasn't a problem.

Greg
 

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Being "around" cars for 40 years is not a qualification unto itself. An 80 year old driver can be "around" cars for 65 years and know very little technically or real world.

I have seen literally thousands of crusty sludged dry caps. I would have to assume that your experience is owning nicer, newer vehicles and not working or making a living on general population high mileage vehicles. I have done both.

Your statement of mayo under the cap is a Northern thing, not Southern. If that was the case......why have I seen hundreds or thousands in Florida? I might see 15 or 20 in one day of inspection at Auction.

If combustion actually put water in the oil, then there is a leak or a piston ring problem. A normal engine that does not have an internal leak will NOT accumulate water in the oil.....as long as it reaches operating temperature.

When I got out of the Service, I bought a Semi and drove 48 states In all weather conditions....even being "snowed in" in Bangor Maine and Chicago. I have idled all night to stay warm...and the Big diesel never got over 140 degrees. never a drop of water in the oil.

I will agree that an engine that never reaches operating temperature and then shut off will accumulate water. But 7%!!!!!

Holy COW! Almost 10% of the oil being water? Since oil and water don't mix.....that was a REAL mess. I have never heard personally of such a thing. Acceptable moisture levels in oil are rated in PPM (parts per MILLION)! Not percent of motor oil volume!

If you had 7% water in you motor....you set a record brother! lol Something was seriously wrong with that motor.
Only the grace of God kept that thing running! That would explain why a brown goo on the oil cap would not worry you. I would run like a GIRL WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE! And I don't have any hair!
If you alone have seen "thousands" of crusty caps then this would be the case with all techs. The problem would be so bad the 'net would be full of questions/reports/discussions about this.

The goo under the cap is/was a very rare thing with my cars. I can't recall ever seeing it on my cars before the Boxster. The Boxster had a very long oil filler tube that due to its length had a considerable amount of its length exposed to air flow into the engine compartment. This of course kept the tube pretty cool which would be a pretty good environment for goo to collect. But my driving coupled with the much milder temperatures even in the "winter" here was the difference and the goo under the cap was probably a 2 maybe 3 time event in 15 years.

The water gets in the oil via blow by during the power stroke. The water is in vapor form due to the heat of combustion but of course reverts to water when it comes in contact with some surface cooler than 212F. This ignores the fact the crankcase is often at less than atmospheric pressure which lowers the boiling point of water.

Water content of oil is not measured in PPM, that's for solids. Water content is reported as a percent. While water and oil do not mix when left alone in the engine the water mixes very well with the oil as the engine runs. And the oil was not stratified. The oil analysis sample was obtained right after I shut off the up to operating temperature engine and the tech was careful to obtain a sample from the "middle" of the oil reservoir not from the bottom.

There was nothing wrong with the engine. Well, ignoring the fact it just didn't get that hot given my usage. I thought long road trips were sufficient to get the engine hot and the oil hot. But after the results of the oil analysis I used an OBD2 tool to monitor actual coolant temperatures and this is when I observed just how cold the engine ran when driven in cold weather even at speed. It actually got hotter when driven in town. But where I lived the town I lived in had just a few stoplights/stop signs then the main drag was a county highway with no stops until it reached 50 highway some miles south. North of town was the same. My work commute was 10 miles but all on county roads with maybe 2 or 3 stop signs along the way. I just never really got a chance/opportunity to drive the car in such a way to really get it hot. There was KC MO around 30 miles west of me but I avoided KC whenever possible. If I had to travel any distance my SOP was to use the fastest road there which was often the freeway unless I knew the traffic would be heavy and in this case I had my alternate routes.

Might mention the oil analysis took place with around 4K miles on the car. The car/engine went on to reach 317K miles with no internal engine troubles. The engine ran very good with 317K miles as nearly as I could tell as good as it did at 4K miles. I attribute this partially to what I learned after the analysis found the water in the oil. I ignored the factory's oil change interval of 15K miles and instead changed the oil every 5K miles. It probably helped too that I left that area in Feb. 2003 (13 months after I bought the car) and returned to CA where it doesn't get nearly as cold and on the flip side it can get plenty warm. For example, yesterday where I live it got up to 106F. The day before it reached 105F. Today the forecast is for maybe 100F.

Even now with my Hellcat and even in the bay area -- east bay or out in the Tri-Valley area -- it takes some miles of driving on surface streets, just driving normally, to get the engine coolant hot and oil hot. I consider the coolant hot when it reaches 216F which appears to be when the radiator fan is turned on. I consider the oil hot when it reaches 212F.

Yesterday while I drove the Hellcat I drove it in the cooler parts of the day. In the AM the temperature was not quite 80F. In the evening (after 8pm) the hottest temperature was 89F. Still the coolant reached 216F and the coolant reached 230F PDQ relatively speaking as I drove the couple of miles from the office to the BART station to drop off a co-worker.

In cooler conditions with some additional driving time still on surface streets I can get the oil up to 230F which is plenty hot enough to boil the water out of the oil. But the engine must be hot all over or the water vapor will condense back into water if it comes in contact with say a valve cover than is not 212F. (Again ignoring any benefit from the crankcase possibly being at less than atmospheric pressure.)
 
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