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Discussion Starter #1
Two days ago my beauty started making a really concerning noise. I put it in 1st gear and start to take off slowly or if the parking lot, the car stutters and makes a hard thumping noise. The second I apply the brakes the sound goes away. It does it again when I go to reverse in a slow motion, the sound comes from directly beneath the shifter and only happens in 1st gear and reverse when moving very slowly. I took it to the dealership to get an oil change and the mechanic said I need a new clutch. The car has 54k miles and most of them are highway (long road trips from pensacola,fl to el Paso, tx) I don't drive it too hard but sometimes get on it. Has anyone had this issue before or any advice on what may be wrong with my baby?!
 

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A quick and dirty way to check if your clutch is good is to park it on a flat surface, put it in first with the clutch pedal to the floor and rev the motor to 3 grand and hold it there for about 10 seconds. If the car stays still, you're clutch is good. If the car edges forward, it's time to get a new one.
 

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Welcome to the forum. The manuals come with a clutch delay valve (just about everyone with a manual removes it) which delays clutch engagement/disengagement so as not to shock the driveline. The downside is it causes increased clutch wear. It is possible that your flywheel/plates developed a glaze.

Do you hear the thumping noise when the clutch is fully engaged? I ask because you say it goes away when you apply the brakes which would suggest the clutch is ok (is fully engaged) but the driveshaft CVs, driveshaft center bearing, driveshaft couplers (not used on 2015+), or trans itself has issues.

The earlier years used rubber couplers that can deform sort of like this but then you should have vibration at higher speeds.


Just spit balling as clutch replacement is a cash cow for repair shops. I am trying to give you enough info so you can question the mechanic as to why he/she thinks it is the clutch and not the items described above.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. Yes, the thumping stops as soon as I hit the brakes. I really hope it isn't the clutch going out. I'd hate to believe that something like this would happen with only 54k miles on it. But I am in no way mechanically inclined at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll try to test tomorrow, been raining here all day and I'd prefer to do it on dry you d to get a solid answer
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll snap a pic of mine tomorrow at day break. Again, thanks for all the guidance.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok. I tried the down and dirty test. It did not move. I put it in level ground, put it in first gear, pushed the clutch pedal all the way to the floor, revved it to 3500 RPM: it didn't move an inch.

I tried to get underneath her to take a look at the area you described to me, I could not get under her. The only place I can use a lift for free is on post but they are closed till Tuesday. I'll try to get some free time to lift her up and take a good few pics.

The dealership has a $100 fee for a diagnostics they will do to identify any issues. I may have to go that route as I am not mechanically inclined. I'll keep you posted. Thank you for the guidance and insight as to what the issue my be.
 

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Ok. I tried the down and dirty test. It did not move. I put it in level ground, put it in first gear, pushed the clutch pedal all the way to the floor, revved it to 3500 RPM: it didn't move an inch.
So when you release the clutch pedal at 3500 RPM the car won't move...then it is definitely clutch related? BTW avoid over revving the engine with the clutch pushed in as I have read a post where someone was redlining the motor with the clutch pedal pushed in and the throw out bearing started squealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The car didn't move at all. But it shouldn't move because the clutch was to the floor, right? Had I let out the clutch a bit it would have moved, I'm guessing.

I did fond paperwork from 2016 when my driveshaft was replaced due to it being unbalanced.
 

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The car didn't move at all. But it shouldn't move because the clutch was to the floor, right?
Sorry just read the test TheHorse13 wrote about. Keeping the clutch pedal depress and revving the motor to 3k does not test the for clutch slippage...the test TheHorse13 gave tests to see if the clutch disengages properly (i.e. checks to make sure clutch master/slave, pressure plate springs are good and input shaft properly lubed).

Your problem sounds like you are having issues with the clutch engagement (pedal is slowly being released). I don't get the impression that you are experience slippage but instead you might have a bad driveling component like a bad coupler or center bearing.

Looks like you did have the driveshaft replaced once. Should't go bad so quick but not impossible.
https://www.moparwebstore.com/a/Dodge__/42224487__5599374/Shaft--Drive/i2264508.html#6


BTW what year and trim level is your Challenger?
 

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It is a 2014 r/t blacktop edition.
OK good, that year did use couplers. What I have done to take pics of the bottom of the car is to take my phone and record a movie. I then put it on a broom and slowly slide it back and forth under the car but you need to make sure you have good lighting.
 

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Could be a lot of things, but the clutch wouldn’t be my first guess.

Engine and transmission mounts could be a good guess, or the driveshaft or couplings as previously mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you All for the guidance and wisdom, I'll let the mechanic know what to take an extra careful look at on Tuesday. I really do appreciate it.
 

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Based on your results of the quick and dirty clutch test I gave you, I would agree with the other folks who are steering you toward driveline issues.

Diagnosing problems on the Internet is not ideal and many times completely useless. Let us know what the root cause is once someone puts eyes on the problem.
 

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Based on your results of the quick and dirty clutch test I gave you, I would agree with the other folks who are steering you toward driveline issues.

Diagnosing problems on the Internet is not ideal and many times completely useless. Let us know what the root cause is once someone puts eyes on the problem.
I would not say it is completely useless as it helps educate the owner to not just take what the repair shop tells them at face value. Actually, one of the members here recently took diagnostic feedback they got from the forum to the dealership and it helped them get their issue resolved. But I do agree, diagnosing over the internet is quite difficult.
 
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