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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at a 15 hellcat and wanted to see people’s opinions on this. Being a first year model and completely out of the manufacturers’ 3/5 year warranties at this point, under what circumstances and conditions would you buy a used ‘15 hellcat?

-How many miles is too many?
-Only one owner? Open to multiple owners?
-Interior/exterior condition?
-Mechanical condition at time of sale?
-If car was originally on a lease, instant pass?
-Service and repair history?
-Personal intention for the car, keep long term or short term and move on to next?
 

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2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Wide Body
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Depends on the price. Is money no object? If so then you can afford to be choosy. Every question in your post is relative to price imo.
But generally one owner is preferable. I’m a used car dealer and the whole one owner thing is real. One owner cars that we get are almost always cleaner and better kept.
And although you didnt ask, mods are a no-no imo. Stock is almost always better. The less someone has had it apart the better the chances are that some DIY’er wasn’t in there screwing things up.
Physical condition is subjective. Obviously pristine is preferable.
Lease? I wouldnt be crazy about that but I wouldnt rule it out. I may scrutinize the car closer though.
Short/long term all depends how in love you fall.
DO have a close listen to the supercharger. The early ones had a few make noise (bearings).
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Depends on the price. Is money no object? If so then you can afford to be choosy. Every question in your post is relative to price imo.
But generally one owner is preferable. I’m a used car dealer and the whole one owner thing is real. One owner cars that we get are almost always cleaner and better kept.
And although you didnt ask, mods are a no-no imo. Stock is almost always better. The less someone has had it apart the better the chances are that some DIY’er wasn’t in there screwing things up.
Physical condition is subjective. Obviously pristine is preferable.
Lease? I wouldnt be crazy about that but I wouldnt rule it out. I may scrutinize the car closer though.
Short/long term all depends how in love you fall.
DO have a close listen to the supercharger. The early ones had a few make noise (bearings).
Thanks for the reply. In regards to short/long term, I’m generally speaking to the confidence in reliability of the car, assuming it is well kept, and not beat up (no track/mods etc)
 

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Thanks for the reply. In regards to short/long term, I’m generally speaking to the confidence in reliability of the car, assuming it is well kept, and not beat up (no track/mods etc)
Then Long term lol. You have nothing to worry about.
 

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If it's a low build number and well maintained and garage kept and the price is right can't go wrong with the first year of a model as far as value down the road goes. A nice color and a factory graphics package wouldn't hurt either.
 

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The 15's HCs had some birthing pains. Superchargers (snout bearings), Uconnect head units being some of them.
Id assume by this time however, a 15 model would have already had those problems addressed if they were going to arise in that particular car. same goes for any recalls.
Although lower miles is always best, it is not always a true indicator. How that car was treated during its previous ownership is. There are tell tale signs when a car has been treated & maintained properly VS one that has been neglected, parked outside for long periods of time and in the case of a cat, down right abused. You need to look beyond the obvious/easily seen.
I also would never buy a car of this nature, that's been modded.
Wheels/tire, sure. Minor nick nak bolt-on's is not a deal breaker, but major engine work, tunes, gutted exhaust, PCM swaps, every part from the J.C. Whitney catalog... I'm out.
Same goes with any sort of title issues, major repair/body work/ mis-matched interior parts or body panels, past accident history, etc are a No-Go.
Think of it, like a woman, the less miles, the less number of mods & the less amount of rookies in there dorking things up, before you get a turn to drive...the better!!!
 

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Just buy new. If you are thinking on spending this kind of money, buy new. Peace of mind, warranty, and you don't have to ask others. Sleep well for a few thousand more.
 

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Looking at a 15 hellcat and wanted to see people’s opinions on this. Being a first year model and completely out of the manufacturers’ 3/5 year warranties at this point, under what circumstances and conditions would you buy a used ‘15 hellcat?

-How many miles is too many?
-Only one owner? Open to multiple owners?
-Interior/exterior condition?
-Mechanical condition at time of sale?
-If car was originally on a lease, instant pass?
-Service and repair history?
-Personal intention for the car, keep long term or short term and move on to next?
Opinions don't count for much.

Back in June 2009 I bought a low miles < 10K used 2003 Porsche Turbo. Car was pristine. One owner. No mods. No accidents. Well maintained. Came with a 2 year 100K mile warranty.

I bought the car for less than half what it cost ($119K) new.

Drove the car. Awesome. Had some problems. I don't recall the order now but the shifter broke. Then an idler roller bearing went bad. Clutch power booster went bad and clutch slave cylinder was leaking. Radiator fan motor shaft snapped and both fan motor and fan and radiator replaced.

6-speed developed a leak around selector shaft seal. Transmission was replaced with a new one sent from Germany.

All of the above in 2 years and around 40K miles of driving. Then 2 years after I bought the car the warranty expired.

I had assumed the problems were behind me.

Wrong.

The problems kept coming. I won't list them here but they were considerable.

And this with a low miles one owner well maintained car with no mods and which had not abused.

Bottom line is you pays your money and you takes your chances.

Now granted I'd rather start with a low miles one owner un mod'd well maintained car than just about any other except new but just because all the boxes are checked doesn't mean the car will be problem free.

I'm of two minds regarding miles. A low miles car even if 3 or 5 years old is still a new car. For the most part problems arise from miles driven not elapsed time, so a low miles car could be a car just waiting to spring unexpected "surprises" -- aka new car problems -- on you as you add miles.

Which brings up another thing about low miles. You pay a premium for low miles and then you drive the car and add miles and that premium evaporates. The result is you will take a depreciation hit when you sell the car.

OTOH a low miles car can be "like" new. That Turbo was as I mentioned above in pristine condition. The previous owner had an indoor cover for the car -- which came with the car. He even put down mats on top of the factory floor mats to protect them. (The top mats were some cheap BMW mats.)

The biggest problem I found shortly after I bought the car was the holes in the disc brake rotors were filled with dust/rust. The first owner washed the car all the time and over time the rust/dust just filled the holes. I had to take a coarse round file and clean out every hole of both front brake rotors.

Have to say I'm generally not a fan of buying a 1st year example of a new model. There are teething problems that as the production year progresses are addressed. Then the 2nd year cars are better. The 3rd year cars even better still.

My SOP is I avoid 1st even 2nd year cars preferring to buy the 3rd year. This is the most mature and sorted car -- generally speaking. That 2003 Turbo was a "3rd" year car. Might as well been a prototype for all the grief it gave me.

Still I think avoiding the early examples is generally going to better.
 

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Being the owner of a 2015, all the things you list are important. Mechanical/power mods would be an instant red flag for me. Also I would probably only buy if I could talk to the original owner. When I traded my 2009 SRT, the prospective buyer called me and we had a nice conversation. I authorized the dealer to allow that of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I’m covering all bases on the current one I’m looking at. Dealer selling the car agreed to have it inspected by my dodge dealer(sells and works on the most hellcats in the state). It’s had multiple owners (3) but the fax looks good with at least what’s been reported. Interior exterior are in immaculate condition and it’s got 22k miles. Asking price is extremely fair. The expired warranties are concerning due to the nature of this car but I’m waiting for the go ahead to set appt to bring to dodge inspection. I’ll know a lot more after that of course but in the mean time looking for experience/opinions in this type of situation. For those who say go new, my budget now and in the near future does not allow that. I’ve purchased a used 2011 CTS-v coupe from this same dealer back in 2014 and haven’t had a single issue with the car(and we know how to have our fun with it)....but the Cat is an entirely different animal and I’m trying to fully understand the risk that is involved with it. We take exceptional care of our cars and in all likelihood it would never see a track, certainly never a mod.
 

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I’m covering all bases on the current one I’m looking at. Dealer selling the car agreed to have it inspected by my dodge dealer(sells and works on the most hellcats in the state). It’s had multiple owners (3) but the fax looks good with at least what’s been reported. Interior exterior are in immaculate condition and it’s got 22k miles. Asking price is extremely fair. The expired warranties are concerning due to the nature of this car but I’m waiting for the go ahead to set appt to bring to dodge inspection. I’ll know a lot more after that of course but in the mean time looking for experience/opinions in this type of situation. For those who say go new, my budget now and in the near future does not allow that. I’ve purchased a used 2011 CTS-v coupe from this same dealer back in 2014 and haven’t had a single issue with the car(and we know how to have our fun with it)....but the Cat is an entirely different animal and I’m trying to fully understand the risk that is involved with it. We take exceptional care of our cars and in all likelihood it would never see a track, certainly never a mod.
Not to put too fine a point on it but my Turbo never saw the track. The problems were "baked in" when the car was made. Or perhaps more accurately when the parts that failed the systems that failed were made/assembled.

I can understand if your budget does not allow for purchasing a new Hellcat.

But consider this. The Hellcat is an expensive car to buy new. It is going to be an expensive car to maintain and service. Just because you get the car at less than its new selling price does not mean the dealer extends you any discount on service or repair.

At the same time I had the Turbo (sticker price $119K; purchased for $57.7K) I owned a Boxster (purchase price around $43K which reflects a $5K discount from sticker). Every Turbo service was more expensive than the comparable service for the Boxster. They used the same oil about the same amount of oil (9 quarts). Tires were different and for the Turbo larger (18" vs. 17" for the Boxster) but wider, too and cost more. Every service every repair (water pump, fuel pump to name two that I had to have done for both cars) were just more expensive for the Turbo.

Likewise I think for the Hellcat. A used Hellcat is not the car to buy if one is on a tight budget.

The general rule of thumb for a used car purchase is to have set aside 10% of the used car's purchase price to have just in case. (For some cars I would bump this to 15% even 20%.)

While you can be the world's best used car appraiser you don't have a crystal ball. I spent no little amount of time considering the Turbo. I made more than one trip to the dealer -- 40 miles away -- to look at the car (after hours). I would read about problem X online then drive there at night to do what I could to determine the car was not manifesting signs of problem X.

Yet, the shifter broke. I have never ever broken a shifter in nearly 1M miles of driving. I don't power/speed shift. The tech never had encountered a radiator fan motor shaft breaking. Selector shaft seal leaks were rare.

Now it so happens the above problems and another problem or two all happened while the car was under warranty but I still had 10% (easy) of the car's purchase price ($57.7K) in reserve for just in case.

While I didn't need it for 2 years as the warranty was in effect, I sure needed it and then some after. New power steering tank: $1000+. New hydraulic power spoiler hardware: approx. $2K. Rear main seal and front axle flange seals: $2K+. 3 new radiators: $4K+. New water pump: close to $2K. New fuel pump: $1K+. New alternator: $1K+. New O2 sensors: $1K. New coils/plugs: $1.5K. Heck even a new rear view mirror (the original one developed leak): $400. And the replacement failed after 25 months. This time I sent the orignal mirror out to be "rebuilt" and this cost me around $100.

'course, you can buy the Hellcat if you want. Just be aware of what you may be in for.
 

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I bought this 15 a year ago, it had 10,400 miles....one owner. 100% stock except they added some Michelin 4s. build date of 8-15. i was told the SC issues were late 15s and early 16s. early 15s had weak drive shafts. i’ve had zero issues with my hellcat. i ran at the track 6-7 times this year for about a total of 20 runs or so with a best of 10.83 @127. about to pull the trigger on a pulley and a tune.
564215
 

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I bought a used 15 earlier this year from the second owner. Car had just a little over 3k miles on it. It's been perfect so far. I did just have the emissions recall taken car of so have new cats etc. I think these cars have proven to be pretty durable all things considered. Not cheap to fix if something goes, but nowhere near what most imports with comparable power would be.
 
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