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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Gents,
I am new here...looking at either a manual '21 Scatpack with 12k on the odo- the transmission I prefer; or a '19 Automatic trans Scatpack in F8 green with 36K on the odo- this one is color I really want.

Before I bite the bullet and drop 20k down, is there any advice , pro-tips, or dire warnings I should heed before taking one of these beauts off the lot.

I am leaning more heavily on the '21 manual since if I really want to go Green, I can always put a body wrap on it.

I almost bought one today...but honestly feel like I need to do more research here and ask all the experts! Just worried if theres any known mechanical issues in these vehicles. Thanks in advance guys.
 

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The transmission is the deciding factor, it you but the automatic based on color alone you just might soon regret it. Get what you want so you enjoy driving it. These two aren’t the only ones out there so the other alternative is to keep looking.
if you were to order this cat you’re saying it should be a green manual car so why would you buy an automatic. Many years ago I bought a brand new car and in just under six weeks it was traded for my original choice. Just like in school, your first choice is the correct choice for a reason. Good luck and never do something impulsively.
 

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2020 Dodge Challenger Hellraisin Scat Pack
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Hi Gents,
I am new here...looking at either a manual '21 Scatpack with 12k on the odo- the transmission I prefer; or a '19 Automatic trans Scatpack in F8 green with 36K on the odo- this one is color I really want.

Before I bite the bullet and drop 20k down, is there any advice , pro-tips, or dire warnings I should heed before taking one of these beauts off the lot.

I am leaning more heavily on the '21 manual since if I really want to go Green, I can always put a body wrap on it.

I almost bought one today...but honestly feel like I need to do more research here and ask all the experts! Just worried if theres any known mechanical issues in these vehicles. Thanks in advance guys.
Buy the best example you can find and afford. That's the used car rule.

Yeah, easier said that done.

Generally a used car buyer is most interested in price and condition, condition and price. 'course, this doesn't mean if you find an otherwise "perfect" car that if the color makes you vomit you buy the car and stock it with air sick bags...

Low miles is better. Goes along with best example thing above. Warranty is good.

I only put a total of around 12K miles on my two Scat Packs, a 2018 (A8) and a 2020 (6-speed). FWIW neither one developed any problems. I did own the 2020 long enough to learn it was sensitive to not being driven (as was my Hellcat I owned between the 2 Scat Packs) and the result was the battery would get low -- but not so low as to fail to start the engine or really even act like it wasn't going to start the engine -- enough to cause odd problems like coolant and oil temperature readings in Performance Pages to freeze with stale data. This even though these two readings would be updated if displayed between the tach and a speedo.

The 2nd Scat Pack I bought after I moved from CA to AR. While the winters here are not arctic the car ended up spending some times days parked in a garage while I waited for better weather (warmer weather for the sake of the high performance tires) and the roads to clear of even snow melt water. Using a battery tender was not a viable option.

I'll paste a used car check out. Not the last word in how to check out a used car but add it to what you know and what others offer.

Used Dodge Charger/Challenger check out:
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The 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 but all warning lights should go off. 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 Performance Pages available -- it may not be with the R/T -- 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.

Let the engine idle and 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. Besides how unsightly this can make the wheels look there is the question about the effect on alignment. Check the tires. Ideally they should be factory sanctioned tires and in good condition. Drag radials is a flag for obvious reasons. (Added: Staggered wheels is another flag.)

Check the brakes, look at the rotors for signs of damage/excessive wear. A lip around the rotor outer diameter is a sign of rotor wear.
 The "taller" the lip the more rotor wear there is.

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.

As an aside my first Scat Pack had wrench sign on the hood hinge fasteners. I had read that in some cases the hood fit was adjusted (either at the factory or at the dealer) to improve hood panel fit. The hood fit was pretty good. My 2nd Scat Pack had no signs of any wrenching but the hood fit was horrible. And in looking over a line of new Scat Packs on a dealer's lot they were all like mine..

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.

For a manual I'll add there is the close observation the transmission has no tendency to pop out of gear. At take off the clutch should engage smoothly with no signs of grabbing. Once the engine is up to temperature where the road allows it a hard acceleration in 4th or 5th gear starting around 2K to 2.5K RPMs and holding full power as long as is safe and prudent is to see if the clutch slips. The "best" gear depends. You want to choose a gear that ideally is 1:1. If the transmission doesn't offer a 1:1 gear then the gear which is closed to 1:1 without being lower than that. You want to avoid any lower gear ratio which multiplies torque which tends to reduce the load on the clutch.

To know gear ratios you'll have to research this online. Added: I did a bit of looking into this and my takeaway is 4th gear is 1:1 with at least some Dodge 6 speeds.

Let me add if the clutch slips there is no need to repeat the test. The clutch will not get better only worse. A clutch slipping under the test conditions is bad and needs to be replaced.


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 risk the car get away from you and wrapping it around a telephone pole.

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

During your test drive there is no benefit to doing the clutch slippage test again. But you can certainly pay attention to if the shift lever pops out of gear or even feels like it wants to.


The cold start idle time and the test ride and then test drive time serve to -- among other things -- have the engine run nearly an hour. This gets the engine and drive train up to operating temperature.

Leaks are more active when things are warm.

Also, it gives the engine controller time to run through its readiness monitor checks. If it finds a problem it will turn on the CEL and log an error code.

(A sophisticated used car buyer will have an OBD2 code reader and after the test drive while the engine is still running using the OBD2 tool query the engine controller for any active/pending/permanent error codes, and the status of the readiness monitors. Now in some cases not all readiness monitors are set to complete. This can be due to the test ride/drive not adhering to the drive cycle most conducive to getting the engine controller through its readiness monitor test phase.)


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 if the car 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.

As I touched upon above, 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.

Or if the clutch test finds the clutch slipping then you need to budget for a new clutch. Note this may require a flywheel be resurfaced but if the clutch slips this can be due to abuse/misuse and the flywheel may need replacement.


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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The above is not the final word on the subject of used car check out. But it is better than nothing.

I'll add that the time to fall in love with a used car is after you buy it not before. You want to be very sure you are not looking at the car through rose colored lenses. You want to maintain a high degree of skepticism with this getting less and less as you proceed to check out the car.

What else? Oh price is not fact only an opinion.

Don't feel you have to buy a car. There is always another car and you want to find the best example you can afford. This may not be the first example. In fact to hone my used car buying I'll pick a car or two that I suspect will not pass muster and visit them just to well, blow the cobwebs out of my brain when it comes to looking at/evaluating used cars.
 

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Hi Gents,
I am new here...looking at either a manual '21 Scatpack with 12k on the odo- the transmission I prefer; or a '19 Automatic trans Scatpack in F8 green with 36K on the odo- this one is color I really want.

Before I bite the bullet and drop 20k down, is there any advice , pro-tips, or dire warnings I should heed before taking one of these beauts off the lot.

I am leaning more heavily on the '21 manual since if I really want to go Green, I can always put a body wrap on it.

I almost bought one today...but honestly feel like I need to do more research here and ask all the experts! Just worried if theres any known mechanical issues in these vehicles. Thanks in advance guys.
Buy a extended warranty if you buy used, lol, mine is kicking my ass on repairs at 60k miles. and no its not a salvage or crashed car. I'd probably recommend going Hell Cat. seen a nice sub 2k mile PCP auto in MI for $60k.
 

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2020 Dodge Challenger Hellraisin Scat Pack
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Buy a extended warranty if you buy used, lol, mine is kicking my ass on repairs at 60k miles. and no its not a salvage or crashed car. I'd probably recommend going Hell Cat. seen a nice sub 2k mile PCP auto in MI for $60k.
Lots more to go wrong with a Hellcat. One reason why I traded my 2018 Hellcat in after 33 months and 27.5K miles for a 2020 Scat Pack.
 

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I would disagree that there is more to go wrong with the Hell Kitty. The components are upgraded and the ones, i've had fail are actually far less expensive on the Hell Cat than the Scat Pack and SRT 6.4 cars. The parts are very discrete to each model. Used SP or SRT 6.4 are demanding some really high prices compared to the Hell Kitty's.
 

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I would disagree that there is more to go wrong with the Hell Kitty. The components are upgraded and the ones, i've had fail are actually far less expensive on the Hell Cat than the Scat Pack and SRT 6.4 cars. The parts are very discrete to each model. Used SP or SRT 6.4 are demanding some really high prices compared to the Hell Kitty's.
The Hellcat comes with a supercharger and its drive system. There is an intercooler cooled by its own liquid cooling system. The A8 is a very good transmission but Dodge believes it doesn't need any servicing. Servicing is possible but complex and expensive. 'course, a Scat Pack with an A8 while not the same as the A8 in the Hellcat is about on par with the A8 in the Hellcat in terms of servicing complexity and probably cost as well.

In July 2020 the NAV system went wonky and the uConnect radio had to be replaced. This was (fortunately) with the car under its new car warranty. (My 2nd Scat Pack had no NAV...)

At 27.5K miles the front discs of my 2018 Hellcat were worn enough to justify replacement.

Just because one can buy a used Hellcat for good price -- and I think "good" as in lower reflects the market's concern about the longer term running/repair costs of the Hellcat -- doesn't mean it becomes cheap to own service maintain.
 

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Hi Gents,
I am new here...looking at either a manual '21 Scatpack with 12k on the odo- the transmission I prefer; or a '19 Automatic trans Scatpack in F8 green with 36K on the odo- this one is color I really want.

Before I bite the bullet and drop 20k down, is there any advice , pro-tips, or dire warnings I should heed before taking one of these beauts off the lot.

I am leaning more heavily on the '21 manual since if I really want to go Green, I can always put a body wrap on it.

I almost bought one today...but honestly feel like I need to do more research here and ask all the experts! Just worried if theres any known mechanical issues in these vehicles. Thanks in advance guys.
Get the manual. If you like a manual muscle car, you will regret driving an auto. The A8 is great but I did the same thing once and ended up going back to a 6 speed because it just didn't feel right and got boring.
 

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I have a 21 and bought with 4800 miles CPO, it has 8100 miles now and has not had any issues. When I bought I knew I wanted pre-owned and also wanted certified because of the 100K mile powertrain warranty. I found a 6 speed, which was a must have, in the color I wanted with all the options I wanted except red brake calipers.... I painted the calipers and have been completely satisfied with the car. Go with the 21!

Wheel Automotive tire Hubcap Tread Motor vehicle

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood
 
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Go with the manual. IMO. You want it and will never regret it. What color is the manual? If it's a color you don't like, you need to keep looking.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gentleman, Thanks for your responses. I am truly grateful. Lots of great advice and info to digest!

Go with the manual. IMO. You want it and will never regret it. What color is the manual? If it's a color you don't like, you need to keep looking.
The manual is granite pearlcoat...very nice and I like it. Not my first choice, however the car has a lifetime powertrain warranty and still has the balance of the factory warranty- huge sellers imho.

As you suggested I maybe keep looking for F8 green manual Scat- impulse buy I shall not :devilish:
 

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The manual is granite pearlcoat...very nice and I like it. Not my first choice, however the car has a lifetime powertrain warranty and still has the balance of the factory warranty- huge sellers imho.

As you suggested I maybe keep looking for F8 green manual Scat- impulse buy I shall not :devilish:
Read the paperwork on the lifetime warranty.... they often require all service to been performed at the selling dealer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Personally I’d chose the transmission over the color….
yeah I was thinking the exact same thing and I still be doing fine on the price since the dealer is selling about 2300 below kbb. I could alway put a green body wrap, for that price and warranty I'd be happy as a pig in mud.

Read the paperwork on the lifetime warranty.... they often require all service to been performed at the selling dealer.
roger that, Ponch! Thats good to know- and not too much of a worry on my end, since the dealers is is only 20 mi away from me , here in the Bay Area.
 

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Chrysler Lifetime Extended Warranty program ended in December of 2018, and no lifetime on 6.4L and 6.2L a while before that. Not sure how yours could have a lifetime warranty?

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Hi Gents,
I am new here...looking at either a manual '21 Scatpack with 12k on the odo- the transmission I prefer; or a '19 Automatic trans Scatpack in F8 green with 36K on the odo- this one is color I really want.

Before I bite the bullet and drop 20k down, is there any advice , pro-tips, or dire warnings I should heed before taking one of these beauts off the lot.

I am leaning more heavily on the '21 manual since if I really want to go Green, I can always put a body wrap on it.

I almost bought one today...but honestly feel like I need to do more research here and ask all the experts! Just worried if theres any known mechanical issues in these vehicles. Thanks in advance guys.
I think there are other factors to consider with this choice. Mileage and condition are important as well. Lower miles on a Muscle Car could mean the drivetrain is in better shape. The body and interior would likely have less wear and tear on the lower mileage model as well. Granite is a great color on Challengers IMO. I don't usually go for gray or silver but it's sharp. Also, are there any other options to consider? Driver's convenience group is a MUST with our cars. The blind spot is terrible so I would never buy one without it (have had both). I personally love having a sun roof so that would also be a deal breaker for me... Just some other things to consider.
 

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Chrysler Lifetime Extended Warranty program ended in December of 2018, and no lifetime on 6.4L and 6.2L a while before that. Not sure how yours could have a lifetime warranty?

A Guy
Wondering the same thing. :unsure: 3rd party covered by the dealer? Probably not worth the paper it's written on.
 

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When we bought my daughter a new car last year, the dealership offered a lifetime powertrain warranty free of charge. The catch is that they get to do all the services...
 
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