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Discussion Starter #1
Been reading a lot about rust issues with these Challengers, espeically in front of the rear wheels. Is this still an issue on current Challengers? I have a 2018 GT, which is AWD, and now I'm reading that these things start rusting out quickly - a lot of times within 5 years. I can't believe they sell an "all weather" AWD car that rusts out so easily... I typically hold on to my cars for a long time, but this may be an exception if rust really is such a big issue - especially where it seems to happen (where you can't just replace a fender, for example).

I heard something about removing some of the jute from behind the wheel liners - is this something that people are still doing?

I mean it's not like this same car hasn't been around for over 10 years - you'd think they would have "design flaws" like this fixed by now??

I will be using this as a daily driver in PA - so snow and all. I've used my 2012 Impala like that and there isn't a hint of rust on any of the painted surfaces, so it's not a "you can't avoid rust if you drive in rain and snow" issue - if it's really that big of a problem, I'd definitely call it a design issue.

Thoughts? Really as bad as I've been reading? Anything I can do to help avoid it?

Thanks everyone.
 

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Been reading a lot about rust issues with these Challengers, espeically in front of the rear wheels. Is this still an issue on current Challengers? I have a 2018 GT, which is AWD, and now I'm reading that these things start rusting out quickly - a lot of times within 5 years. I can't believe they sell an "all weather" AWD car that rusts out so easily... I typically hold on to my cars for a long time, but this may be an exception if rust really is such a big issue - especially where it seems to happen (where you can't just replace a fender, for example).

I heard something about removing some of the jute from behind the wheel liners - is this something that people are still doing?

I mean it's not like this same car hasn't been around for over 10 years - you'd think they would have "design flaws" like this fixed by now??

I will be using this as a daily driver in PA - so snow and all. I've used my 2012 Impala like that and there isn't a hint of rust on any of the painted surfaces, so it's not a "you can't avoid rust if you drive in rain and snow" issue - if it's really that big of a problem, I'd definitely call it a design issue.

Thoughts? Really as bad as I've been reading? Anything I can do to help avoid it?

Thanks everyone.

Yes, all the Challengers as well as all the Chargers STILL have this rust issue in the rear wheel wells and along the rocker panels. This problem exists because Dodge sprays an expanding foam inside the rocker panels and wheel wells of the car during the frame assembly. This special foam is supposed to eliminate road noise. however, moisture can get trapped in the foam and cause the inside of the rocker panels and rear wheel wells to rust from the inside out. It's something that all Challenger owners have to live with. The only way to avoid this problem is by not driving the car in the rain, snow and salt and to only drive it in dry weather.
 

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My 2010 had not a hint of rust on it when I traded it in for my 2016. It was daily driven, and Saskatchewan winters are NOT nice to vehicles. I also washed the underside once in a while, waxed the exterior regularly and kept it clean when I could. The car still looked close to new after 6 years, except for a few scratches and paint chips. I wouldn't worry about it.

Drive and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Believe me, I truly hope that I'm wrong about the rust issues, but do a search for "Dodge Challenger rust" and look at all of the examples of rust-related issues in one specific spot - in front of the rear wheels. There are even a lot of posts about this issue on this forum.

I take care of my cars too - but it seems this rust starts from the inside and works it's way out, so no matter what you do to maintain your paint, it won't help with this issue.

This is not something that you'd notice on cars as they drive by - you would have to look up close (again, read some of the posts about it). Thankfully, if it happens before 5 years, Dodge will take care of it under the warranty, but it seems they usually don't correct it properly and then it comes back in short order (after the 5 year corrosion warranty has expired).

Some people believe that there is some sound-deadening jute that is the cause of the issue (retains water and never dries, which promotes the rust issue). Others blame the spray-in sound deadener (although, that seems less likely in my opinion - I can't imagine that stuff holds much water).

I typically don't worry too much about this stuff, but this does seem to be a conern and something that i will be watching for (starts as bubling paint in front of rear wheel well). I was mainly curious if people are still removing that jute stuff to try and combat this issue. Honestly, that kind of makes sense that it could be the cause, espeically becuase the rust always seems to occur right where that stuff is located.

All of that being said, it's always hard to gauge how "common" a specific issue is on the internet - becuase you only hear from people that have the issue - not from those that *don't* have the issue. :)
 

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My 2010 had not a hint of rust on it when I traded it in for my 2016. It was daily driven, and Saskatchewan winters are NOT nice to vehicles. I also washed the underside once in a while, waxed the exterior regularly and kept it clean when I could. The car still looked close to new after 6 years, except for a few scratches and paint chips. I wouldn't worry about it.

Drive and enjoy.

You're lucky. Most of the Challengers and Chargers develop rust after 5 to 8 years of all year round driving. My 11 year old Charger R/T Road and Track just started rusting on the underneath front hood lip and also on the edge of each of the 4 doors and behind the plastic rocker panels after I drove it for 12 winters up here in New England. Rust is inevitable with these cars unless you don't drive them in the winter.
 

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Believe me, I truly hope that I'm wrong about the rust issues, but do a search for "Dodge Challenger rust" and look at all of the examples of rust-related issues in one specific spot - in front of the rear wheels. There are even a lot of posts about this issue on this forum.

I take care of my cars too - but it seems this rust starts from the inside and works it's way out, so no matter what you do to maintain your paint, it won't help with this issue.

This is not something that you'd notice on cars as they drive by - you would have to look up close (again, read some of the posts about it). Thankfully, if it happens before 5 years, Dodge will take care of it under the warranty, but it seems they usually don't correct it properly and then it comes back in short order (after the 5 year corrosion warranty has expired).

Some people believe that there is some sound-deadening jute that is the cause of the issue (retains water and never dries, which promotes the rust issue). Others blame the spray-in sound deadener (although, that seems less likely in my opinion - I can't imagine that stuff holds much water).

I typically don't worry too much about this stuff, but this does seem to be a conern and something that i will be watching for (starts as bubling paint in front of rear wheel well). I was mainly curious if people are still removing that jute stuff to try and combat this issue. Honestly, that kind of makes sense that it could be the cause, espeically becuase the rust always seems to occur right where that stuff is located.

All of that being said, it's always hard to gauge how "common" a specific issue is on the internet - becuase you only hear from people that have the issue - not from those that *don't* have the issue. :)

That's another reason why I don't buy a car anymore. Nowadays, I'm only leasing and I don't have to worry about rust. Every 3 years, I get myself into a brand new Challenger. Leasing eliminates worrying about rust on the Challenger.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was reading a thread on another forum where they supposedly modified the design starting with the 2015 model so that water is a lot less likely to get into the areas where the foam/jute is. So maybe this won't be such a big issue on the 2015+ Challengers....

Here's a link to that thread for those that are curious:

https://www.*********************/threads/my-letter-to-chrysler-regarding-rust-issues.126947/

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand and accept that rust is inevitable here in the NorthEast - but for "rust through" to happen to body panels in 5 years is unacceptable for a well-maintained vehicle these days. Especially when it happens from the inside out, where you really have no control over it.

Hopefully, the design change in 2015 helps and it won't be such a big issue anymore. Time will tell.

To me, leasing is a bad financial decision for a car - no matter what way you look at it. I like having no car payment after 5 years (or less). Hell, my 2012 Impala is still in EXCELLENT condition - and it's paid off - and I'll get many more years out of it. Besides the financial "con" of leasing, I couldn't have a car that I couldn't modify to make it my own. I've put a ton of time and money into mods on my Impala and there is no way I would do that if I had leased it - which means that I would enjoy it a lot less. Plus, when leasing, you are paying all of that money and have nothing to show for it in the end - whereas when you purchase a vehicle, it's still worth a considerable amount after you pay it off and own it. Just my opinion, of course. :)

EDIT: Well, crap - I guess this site doens't allow links to other forums?? That sucks... Anyway, it's on that "other" Challenger ******... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, in that thread that I tried to link to on the "other" forum, one of the posters had access to both both a pre-2015 and a 2015+ car right next to each other and they were definiely designed differently. He could actually touch the foam with his finger via a gap on the pre-2015 Challenger that no longer exists on the 2015+ Challengers - so they are defintiely different.

Now as to whether or not that change "solves" the problem, remains to be seen, I guess. The 2015's are near 5 years of age now, so we'll probably find out very soon though. :)
 

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I originally posted something that I came up with to help stop the rust issue back in 2018. Here are Permalinks to the posts I made with photos to explain how and why the rust develops in the lower rockers and in front of the wheel wells.

First Post

Second Post

--------------------------------//----
 

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Since they seemed to have altered the design on the 2015+ models to hopefully greatly reduce the chances of water getting in there in the first place, I'm not going to mess with it. The problem is that if you *do* end up having some rust issues and you've modified things, then they'll never cover it under warranty. So I think I'm going to just let things be and hope for the best. :)

I am curious if anyone with a 2015+ has had any rust issues in this srea (the area right in front of the rear wheels)... Probably too soon at this point though.
 

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If it works great - I'll have a forever car...but if it still rusts, at the first sign (either before or after warranty ends) I'll quick trade up to a newer version. I wouldn't want it warranty repaired myself as it's always going to come back very quickly - rust never sleeps. FCA isn't going to throw tons of money on a correct fix. Besides, everyone with it says it shows up after the factory warranty ends. Win-Win either way in my book by doing it that way.:wink3:
 

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The car has been out for over 10 years now. Since it supposedly only takes 5 years to rust out don’t you think you would see a bunch of them driving around all rusted out like an 80’s Toyota.
OMG ... That was a running gag around these parts. Back in the 70s the Toyota pickup truck rear bed sides and tailgate would heavily rust out by the 4th-5th year. This is up in Massachusetts with our heavily salted winter roads and epic snow storms.
 

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^^^ Yep, I've also heard they have changed how the inner wheel well liners are attached but can't confirm it.



Here's some liner pics of my 2016 adjacent to the common rust area in front of the rear wheel well. I've had prior models and the 15 & up are much different in not only mounting design but they also fit against the quarter panel much tighter.
 

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I was reading a thread on another forum where they supposedly modified the design starting with the 2015 model so that water is a lot less likely to get into the areas where the foam/jute is. So maybe this won't be such a big issue on the 2015+ Challengers....

Here's a link to that thread for those that are curious:

https://www.*********************/threads/my-letter-to-chrysler-regarding-rust-issues.126947/

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand and accept that rust is inevitable here in the NorthEast - but for "rust through" to happen to body panels in 5 years is unacceptable for a well-maintained vehicle these days. Especially when it happens from the inside out, where you really have no control over it.

Hopefully, the design change in 2015 helps and it won't be such a big issue anymore. Time will tell.

To me, leasing is a bad financial decision for a car - no matter what way you look at it. I like having no car payment after 5 years (or less). Hell, my 2012 Impala is still in EXCELLENT condition - and it's paid off - and I'll get many more years out of it. Besides the financial "con" of leasing, I couldn't have a car that I couldn't modify to make it my own. I've put a ton of time and money into mods on my Impala and there is no way I would do that if I had leased it - which means that I would enjoy it a lot less. Plus, when leasing, you are paying all of that money and have nothing to show for it in the end - whereas when you purchase a vehicle, it's still worth a considerable amount after you pay it off and own it. Just my opinion, of course. :)

EDIT: Well, crap - I guess this site doens't allow links to other forums?? That sucks... Anyway, it's on that "other" Challenger ******... :)

From an accounting point of view from a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), leasing comes out the same as purchasing. The down payment for the lease and the lease payments (over a 15 year period) come out the same as buying and owning a car because when you buy a car that you want to own, you are going to fork out a down payment (usually a huge lump sum and much more than you would than if you leased) and that huge down payment is "GONE". You will never see that money ever again. Also, you have the maintenance costs when you own a car which run in the many thousands of dollars over the course of 10 to 15 years. Especially when the car is out of warranty and when doing wear and tear repairs on it over the course of 10 to 15 years. So overall, owning a car comes out the same as leasing the car over a 10 to 15 year period. The good thing about leasing is that you don't have the astronomical maintenance and repair costs like you do with owning and you do not have to fork out $20,000, $30,000 and $35,000 for a down payment like you do when buying in order to get the monthly payments to be near $450 to $500 per month for 6 to 7 years. You save thousands of dollars by leasing and you can invest that $20,000, $30,000 and $35,000 that you would've forked out for the down payment into something that will give you a very nice return on investment instead of a piece of metal that gives you zero return on investment. Also, I don't care about spending thousands of dollars modding the Challenger. I like it just like it is stock from the factory. The 485 horsepower that it comes with is plenty of horsepower for me. Hey what can I say. I'm a cheap bastard.
 

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Here's some liner pics of my 2016 adjacent to the common rust area in front of the rear wheel well. I've had prior models and the 15 & up are much different in not only mounting design but they also fit against the quarter panel much tighter.
That's one of the differences right there. There's still places water could get in where it runs around the quarter panel and it would still soak up that horse hair pad on the other side of that plastic tub. I removed my pads and then sealed up the plastic tub around the quarter panel side with 3M Strip Calk. You could also use silicone caulk but it would be a bit messy.

I just can't see NOT trying something if you plan on keeping a car more than 5 years - especially if you drive it in the Winter with the salt brine solution and all that other crap they put on the roads in the Midwest and Eastern US. I'm just too darn anal and take pride in my stuff. :grin2:

These guys with GT AWD models will be the main testing fleet for this problem, even though most of them don't know it yet.

-------------------//----
 

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OMG ... That was a running gag around these parts. Back in the 70s the Toyota pickup truck rear bed sides and tailgate would heavily rust out by the 4th-5th year. This is up in Massachusetts with our heavily salted winter roads and epic snow storms.

Yes, Massachusetts has heavily salted winter roads. That's the reason why my 2008 Charger R/T Road and Track was starting to rust after driving it for 12 winters up here in Massachusetts. The same thing will happen to my new 2019 Challenger R/T Scat pack Wide Body too. It's going to be driven all year round and in the salty roads during the winter for the next 3 years. I'm going to have a lot of fun with it and then I will give it back and lease another brand new Challenger Scat Pack Wide Body for another 3 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't know, I live in PA and I haven't had a car with body rust issues is MANY, MANY years (like back to my 80's-era Buick Regals!). I just traded in a 2005 LaCrosse (so 14 years old) and it didn't have any body rust either. So if my 2018 GT ends up with body rust in less than 10 years, I will just get rid of it and stay away. :) I love the car, but I don't want to have to try and redesign a car that I paid $30k for just so it doesn't rust out quickly. If they can't fix something like that after being in production for 11 years now, then I have to wonder about the rest of the car....
 

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From an accounting point of view from a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), leasing comes out the same as purchasing. The down payment for the lease and the lease payments (over a 15 year period) come out the same as buying and owning a car because when you buy a car that you want to own, you are going to fork out a down payment (usually a huge lump sum and much more than you would than if you leased) and that huge down payment is "GONE". You will never see that money ever again. Also, you have the maintenance costs when you own a car which run in the many thousands of dollars over the course of 10 to 15 years. Especially when the car is out of warranty and when doing wear and tear repairs on it over the course of 10 to 15 years. So overall, owning a car comes out the same as leasing the car over a 10 to 15 year period. The good thing about leasing is that you don't have the astronomical maintenance and repair costs like you do with owning and you do not have to fork out $20,000, $30,000 and $35,000 for a down payment like you do when buying in order to get the monthly payments to be near $450 to $500 per month for 6 to 7 years. You save thousands of dollars by leasing and you can invest that $20,000, $30,000 and $35,000 that you would've forked out for the down payment into something that will give you a very nice return on investment instead of a piece of metal that gives you zero return on investment. Also, I don't care about spending thousands of dollars modding the Challenger. I like it just like it is stock from the factory. The 485 horsepower that it comes with is plenty of horsepower for me. Hey what can I say. I'm a cheap bastard.
Umm, what kind of car are you buying where you have to put a down payment of $20k-$35k in order to get monthly payments of $450-$500?!?!?! I put down a whopping $2500 for my 2018 GT and my payments are under $500 - and that includes an extended warranty... There is no way a lease is better financially than a purchase. But again, regardless, I'm obviously very different, I enjoy modding my cars as much as I do the car itself. :)

Come to think of it, I wonder if my extended warranty covers rust issues... I highly doubt it though.
 
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