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Discussion Starter #1
Hi again. I have found a Challenger that interests me. It's a 2014 SRT8 with automatic transmission and about 41k miles. It's a Carfax one owner personal vehicle with decent service records. All I get in terms of warranty is 30 days/1000 miles from the dealership. What should I be on the lookout for? What are the potential big money problems that could arise? Thanks for your input.

-Randy
 

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2014 and older are more susceptible to rusting in the quarter pnls. The issue was addressed by FCA in the '15 model year on. 2015 was a refresh year which is where I would recommend starting the search.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You should be able to get an extended warranty, and not only from the dealer.
How good those are is debatable.


That is true. I had one a few years ago on a used BMW. Only had the car about a year. Never had a claim. Not sure how it would have gone. They are a few thousand dollars.
 

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Hi again. I have found a Challenger that interests me. It's a 2014 SRT8 with automatic transmission and about 41k miles. It's a Carfax one owner personal vehicle with decent service records. All I get in terms of warranty is 30 days/1000 miles from the dealership. What should I be on the lookout for? What are the potential big money problems that could arise? Thanks for your input.

-Randy
What to be on the look out for? Everything. While 41K miles isn't that many any number of things can wear out or more likely fail.

Fortunately not that often. But still you want to be sure before you buy the car it is in good condition and ideally has no issues. That it might develop one (or more) issues after you buy it you can't do much about that other than of course if available an extended warranty (service) contract.

Best advice I can offer is give the car a thorough used car check out.

Visit the car cold. Open the hood and check the oil level. You want to see it at some acceptable level, not too low not too full and not too black and not smelling to foul.

Check other vital fluids, too. Really if you spot the oil level low, or other vital fluids low a seller that couldn't be bothered to at least bring these up to spec is not someone I want to buy a used car from.

Check the hood (and trunk) hinge fasteners for any signs of wrenching. Look for this at the hardware that holds the front fenders to the car. Check the fastners that hold the radiator supports and radiator hardware for any signs of wrenching.

In the car turn off the A/C -- you check this later -- then verify the warning lights all come on and all go off when or very shortly after the engine starts.

Start the engine and let it idle. Let the engine idle while you walk around the car looking at body panel gaps/fits, paint, tires, wheels, brakes.

'course, the engine should behave normally. If it doesn't my SOP is I'm not looking for a project car so I walk.

A good portion of the check out involves first experiencing the car on the road as a passenger with the driver driving the car as you intend to drive it, withiin reason. The route should be around 15 miles long. There's no need to try to verify the 0 to 60mph time nor the top speed but you do want the driver to once the engine is up to temperature hard accelerate the car from a slow roll -- mainly to avoid subjecting the drive train to unnecessary stress/shock -- up to some reasonable speed just to confirm the engine pulls strongly from near idle to red line then afterwards shows no signs of any problems.

With the transmission cold have the driver execute a K-turn to ensure the transmission can handle repeated changes of direction with no problems.

Pay attention to the how the car drives, rides, handles, brakes, accelerates, shifts, etc. A reasonably hard braking event with the driver's hands loose on the wheel should have the car slowing in a straight line.

Under way with the driver's hands again very loose on the wheel the car should track straight. However road surfaces can make an otherwise good car wander a bit.

Back at the starting place switch seats and drive the car over the same route the same way.

At some point you do the K-turn to confirm the transmission up to temperature can handle repeated changes in direction.

I have to stress this: You must experience the car as you intend to use it.

The idle period after cold start followed by the test ride then test drive has the engine running about an hour. This gives the engine controller time to run through most if not all readiness monitor checks and a dark CEL is a good sign the engine controller found nothing amiss. (Ideally you should check for readiness monitors set to complete but if the car is driven too aggressively the engine controller may not be able to run through all readiness monitor tests.)

The hour long run time gets everything up to temperature and leaks are more likely to show up with things up to temperature.

Back at the startinig place then you check all the various systems: A/C, heater, wipers, all ilghts, etc.

I'm naturally suspicious so I don't like it when I find anything really not right. Even a burned out headlight or tail light suggests to me maybe wiring problems, which can suggest mice or water damage or bad accident repair. My point is over the years I've had a few tail lights, brake lights, indicator lights go out -- but fortunately no headlights -- and I always replaced these in short order.

Try to learn what services are up to date and what are due. For those due factor the cost into your offer.

Check tire condition. I like to see factory sanctioned tires on cars. I'm not a fan of off brand, discount tires, or tires that are not the proper size. (Years ago my Dad managed a tire store and I'm kind of a nut about tires.)

If tires are worn budget for new tires and an alignment. If the tires are worn very unevenly this could be due to a bent car, a car not repaired correctly. I really don't like to see unevenly worn tires. 'course, if the tires are really new they'll likely not show any wear but you can still feel the tire tread blocks for any signs of feathering, scrubbing. This may not be a good sign. (OTOH, a seller might be ok replacing worn tires but less ok paying for an alignment. I have had front tires manifest feathering and scrubbing sign -- and even tire howl on the road -- from relatively minor front end alignment out of adjustment.)

Check brake rotors for excessive wear. A 1mm lip around the outer rim of the rotor and with some designs also at the inner diameter can be a sign the rotor is near worn out. Look for heat cracks, scoring, any real signs of rotor problems.

Brake pad thickness is harder to see/judge but if you bring along a mirror on a stick and good flashlight often you can peek at bottom of the pads.

If possible after your check out it is a good idea to get the car in the air. Many leaks or other issues are more visible from under the car.

Not a full coverage but enough to get you going.

Remember price is not factor only an opinion.

If you find something not right with the car walk away. There is always another car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rockster, I sincerely appreciate all the information in your post and I thank you for taking the time to write it up. I will definitely use this post with this or any other used car purchase going forward.
 

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Good response - Best advice you gave - "Walk Away." I've driven 600 miles + to buy cars for family members - Always took a rental so that I could get back home if the car wasn't up to standard. There' always another love.
 

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You said 41 k miles. That's rather high for a '14 in the world of 392's. A huge percentage of owners don't drive these cars much: low mileage is considered the norm.

Another item to consider: beginning with the 15 model year, Challengers came with that amazing new 8 spd. auto. It became the benchmark for modern transmissions. With its close ratios and incredibly quick and solid shifts, every body else was playing catch up. Many said it takes a good bit off quarter mile times. That said, it's not only worth a few extra bucks, but makes it harder to sell 14's as buyers would prefer the 8 spd in the '15.

Downside of trusting carfax is all the ways to get around it. So don't trust it. Use your head here.

You didn't tell us where you live. Rusting as mentioned above is not as much a factor in southern states, obviously.

You didn't tell us what they're asking for this car. It's a 392, but that's all we've got to go by. In the 15 (and up) models this is the Scat Pack or the SRT392.

The SRT is loaded, SP is cheaper. Here's a sampling of the prices of 2015 Scat Packs from around the nation CLICKY You can buy them all day long for 28-29k.
 

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You should be able to get an extended warranty, and not only from the dealer.
How good those are is debatable.
Depends on where you live. In Florida, you can ONLY buy a warranty from a dealer and ONLY if they are licensed to sell in Florida.

Full MSRP for warranties suck arse here. :frown:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You said 41 k miles. That's rather high for a '14 in the world of 392's. A huge percentage of owners don't drive these cars much: low mileage is considered the norm.

Another item to consider: beginning with the 15 model year, Challengers came with that amazing new 8 spd. auto. It became the benchmark for modern transmissions. With its close ratios and incredibly quick and solid shifts, every body else was playing catch up. Many said it takes a good bit off quarter mile times. That said, it's not only worth a few extra bucks, but makes it harder to sell 14's as buyers would prefer the 8 spd in the '15.

Downside of trusting carfax is all the ways to get around it. So don't trust it. Use your head here.

You didn't tell us where you live. Rusting as mentioned above is not as much a factor in southern states, obviously.

You didn't tell us what they're asking for this car. It's a 392, but that's all we've got to go by. In the 15 (and up) models this is the Scat Pack or the SRT392.

The SRT is loaded, SP is cheaper. Here's a sampling of the prices of 2015 Scat Packs from around the nation CLICKY You can buy them all day long for 28-29k.

I live in the Maryland suburbs of DC and the car is located in the Virginia suburbs of DC. It is the SRT8, not the Scatpack. The dealership is asking just under $27k.
 

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I live in the Maryland suburbs of DC and the car is located in the Virginia suburbs of DC. It is the SRT8, not the Scatpack. The dealership is asking just under $27k.
Honestly, I'd pass on this car if it were me. They're asking too much for it. Did ya catch the killer deal on the 15 SP in Clearwater FL for 28k? Super low miles: it's a steal. Ya spend 140 on a flight here, they pick ya up at the airport, and ya drive home with your new Scat Pack.

CLICKY
 

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Honestly, I'd pass on this car if it were me. They're asking too much for it. Did ya catch the killer deal on the 15 SP in Clearwater FL for 28k? Super low miles: it's a steal. Ya spend 140 on a flight here, they pick ya up at the airport, and ya drive home with your new Scat Pack.

CLICKY
Price is not fact only an opinion.

The OP needs to do some market price research and come up with his own opinion what the car is worth and start his negotiation from that point. 'course, he has to set an upper price beyond which he won't go otherwise he can start out low but end up right where the seller wants him to end up.

Generally I prefer while one can shop globally to buy locally. One can visit the car, give it a thorough check out, and if the car fails to make the grade walk with no more that a couple of hours gone. But he has picked some more experience in checking out used cars so all is not lost.

To have to fly to the car this gives the seller some additonal leverage/incentive to not negotiate because the prospective buyer is facing the expense of going to the car and facing having to go home empty handed.
 

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To have to fly to the car this gives the seller some additonal leverage/incentive to not negotiate because the prospective buyer is facing the expense of going to the car and facing having to go home empty handed.
Take a taxi from the airport. And no reason to walk in wearing a T-shirt with your zip code on it. The seller shouldn't know if the customer lives around the corner or out of state.
That doesn't factor in until the paperwork is being drawn up, and by then the price is already agreed on.
 
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