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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Just thought I'd poke my head in here to introduce myself before I start posting away in other sections. My name is Brent and I live in NE Oklahoma with my wife and two boys. After many years of being an Audi enthusiast. I find myself having owned 4 Jeep/Dodge/Chrysler vehicles out of the last 5. We recently sold our 2011 JKU (wife's) and currently own a 2000 WJ (mine), 2006 LJ (oldest son's) and a 2010 Challenger SE (youngest son's).

My youngest is 15 and will probably be a car guy like his dad. When I first mentioned to him that we were going to go look at a Challenger, he had the biggest grin from ear to ear. It's a 2010 SE in Inferno Red. No frills, small engine...just the right combo for a 16 year old boy.

I bought it a few weeks ago with just a tad over 100k miles on it. Since then, we've put all of 412 miles on it. My oldest was driving it today and it shut down on him while driving. After leaving work to see what the issue was, it was clear that it had overheated...just going off the smell as I walked up to it. I opened the hood an noticed the lower radiator hose had popped off. I had it towed to a local shop (Christian Brothers) and was hoping that the car shut itself off in time and that it was just in need of a refill. But the leak test indicated that the head gasket failed. The estimate for the head gasket work came in at around $3,200. That includes parts and labor for head gaskets, timing belt kit, head bolts, plugs, coolant flush and a $600 estimate for machine shop work.

I have many questions, but I'll start with just a few...

Is this a common problem with the 3.5L?
If so, do the heads usually crack?
Does the estimate sound reasonable?
Should I get a second opinion?

Anyways, thanks for reading my intro. Here's to hoping things will be more positive after we get past this.

Brent
 

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Welcome from California Brent, that's heartbreaking. Afraid I can't answer your questions, but hope it works out for you and your son.

A Guy
 

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Welcome to the forum, from the Chicago Southland. You have a great looking car.

I feel compelled to only answer you last question. Yes, it's a great idea to get a second opinion. Preferably from a Dodge dealer. Even if they charge you a nominal fee ($100) it will be well worth it to get a proper quote -- for the correct repair.

If you do some homework online, you may even find one or two Dodge service promos that could save you some money or even get you a free diagnosis.

Best of luck to you and your family. I know how it is to be in your situation with the family's favorite vehicle being out of commission.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I've been on Challenger forums for a while and this is the first time I've heard of anyone having your problem, so while I can't say for sure I don't believe it's a common problem.
 

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Welcome from NW Florida. In the past I have heard something about heads warping on these engines if they overheat. Don't remember where though so do not take it as gospel. I agree with the other posters, get a second opinion.
 

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I have worked on a lot of 3.5L engines and overheating usually starts with the water pump leaking. Even happened to my wife's Intrepid many moons ago. Got lucky and the heads were machined without any other issues.


Do get some more quotes, but leave the thought in the back of your head that the cylinder heads might need replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the welcome. It's one of those jobs that you never know how bad it really is until you open it up. Hopefully, the heads won't be cracked.

I called around a few shops and did get slightly lower prices, but they didn't include the same amount of work. So, they weren't apples to apples. Like the estimate for machine work, the timing belt & wp, new valve seals. They're also going to do a compression check. I don't know for sure if the service adviser at one dealer knew what he was doing...he said it was his first week on the job.
 

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it would be difficult to say what the overall repairs would be until the heads are removed.

My concern is that if it ran hot and "shut down" did it seize or score the cylinder walls badly?

Heads would need to be checked out for certain and by 100K the timing belt is a service item that needs to be taken care of.
-the unknown is there any other damage that might be cause to rebuild or replace the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, when I bought the car, the owner/operator of the small car lot told me to give him a call if we had any issues with it. I took him up on his offer last night. He just called me back and said that the car was in the shop while he had it. I called the guy that did the work and it came to him with a misfire issue. Turns out it had rocker arm damage on the passenger side and the car lot owner sourced used parts and they replaced the head and rocker arms with used parts.

I'm crossing my fingers that the first shop will stand behind his work, but I'm doubtful since he was given used parts to work with. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to share.
 

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Doesn't sound good. Car lot might be liable, check your state law on this. If no help from him, I'd drop a junkyard engine in it and unload it. Sorry for your troubles.



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I'm getting scared for you now. Sounds more like a reman'd engine if you want to keep it for a long time, or like Slidd said, used and get rid of it. Heck, I'd even go as far as putting it back together and filling it with coolant and trading it off that way.
 

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Sounds like a mess, maybe just go for a new/reman long block.

List: Engine - 2010 Dodge Challenger | O'Reilly Auto Parts

Better yet.

In wichita kansas there is a place that totally rebuild and replace engines with warranty that would cost 4200 bucks, they do all the work in house , machine and new parts and all.


United Engines Specialist, I just called to get pricing.

$2800 for new rebuilt engine
$800 to pull and install
$400 approx for outside parts like hoses, oils, fluids, spark plugs to finish off install.

This place does good work, I have sent a few folks there that have been happy, turn around is normally less than 1 week and they have good machinist and engine builder there.

So maybe look into doing this.
 

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Welcome aboard! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a follow-up...

Thanks to everyone for the welcome and replies. We weren't able to get the previous shop or the dealer to cover anything. My son drove the car a little too far and got a good lesson in how soon to shut down a car in a scenario like this.

We were down in Florida last week on vacation while the shop was working on it, but they were good about sending me updates. We got the car back yesterday. They did a compression check on it before tearing into the heads and all looked good. Machine shop didn't find any cracks in the heads and machined the surfaces. They did a timing belt & water pump job since it was apart and due anyway. After getting it back together, the car passed the leak test. But it wouldn't get up to temp, so they had to replace the t-stat too (not sure why they would do that automatically).

Car ran great on the drive home. Let's hope it's troubles are behind us now and it's good to go from here forward (knock on wood). Here's a pic of her back at home. Hopefully, the next time I spend a chunk of money on this thing it'll be for something cool. It needs a new front lip and we would like to upgrade the headlights and new wheels are a must. See you around the forums.

Thanks,
Brent
 

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Back on track :thumbsup:

A Guy
 

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Doesn't sound good. Car lot might be liable, check your state law on this. If no help from him, I'd drop a junkyard engine in it and unload it. Sorry for your troubles.



Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk


Yep..I agree with Slidd. Look for a junkyard motor and have that dropped in. Since it's a fairly late model you should be able find a used motor relatively easy even with a warranty. Your taking a huge gamble when you dump money into a motor for a head job and all the misc things you mentioned when it's overheated like that. I had an automotive repair shop for years and would advise my customers just as I've mentioned above. You might even decide to keep it for your son once you get it fixed.


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