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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2020 hellcat widebody... found a clean used one for sale, dropped off the deposit yesterday

15,500 miles

what should i look for in or on the car before i sign on the line? any areas problematic? (i.e look for the supercharger seal)

what maintenance should be perform formed?
 

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2020 Challenger Hellcat Redeye Wide Body
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Tbh there’s not really much that stands out as far as common issues to look for. Maybe have a listen to the supercharger for bearing noise, look for rubber in the rear wheel arch areas. See what it has for tires on it, drag radials may or may not mean it’s been ridden hard. I myself would look for any cheesy mods that the last owner may have done. Check to see if they modded the exhaust and made it into an obnoxious ricer. That type of stuff is a pure no-go for me.
 
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The manual will tell you all of that. Don't let the "experts" tell you otherwise. The design engineers now a LOT more than we do! :)
 

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2020 hellcat widebody... found a clean used one for sale, dropped off the deposit yesterday

what should i look for in or on the car before i sign on the line? any areas problematic? (i.e look for the supercharger seal)

what maintenance should be perform formed?
  • look at the brake rotors for wear
  • look at tires for wear; check tread depth
  • rubber buildup in the rear well liners = burnouts
  • ask when the last oil change occurred
  • Hellcat Known Issues
Enjoy!
 

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The manual will tell you all of that. Don't let the "experts" tell you otherwise. The design engineers now a LOT more than we do! :)
Pretty sure the manual wont tell a buyer what areas are typically problematic when it’s used. Maybe it‘s just me but I cant seem to find it anywhere in mine lol.
 

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what maintenance should be perform formed?
That's a question for the previous owner. What maintenance did they do? Without the required maintenance especially an engine oil change minimum every 6 months, you might not have an engine warranty.

So that's the first thing I'd want to see. Get the dealer to print out the service history on the car and check for these oil changes every 6 months from new.



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2020 hellcat widebody... found a clean used one for sale, dropped off the deposit yesterday

what should i look for in or on the car before i sign on the line? any areas problematic? (i.e look for the supercharger seal)

what maintenance should be perform formed?
Used car? You look for any and every thing. See below.

As for maintenance any service that is due or close to being due that you have no proof was done prior to your buying the car.

The manual calls for oil/filter services every 6K miles or 6 months. I would hazard a guess if the car needs any service it would probably be an oil/filter service and based on time.

Might mention I'm a fan of early oil changes so unless the car has an oil/filter service very recently I'd get the oil/filter service done just on general principles.

Not the final word on the subject but something I hope you find of some value.

For a used Hellcat checkout:
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My 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. 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.

For the Hellcat I'll add of course you listen to the supercharger for any real noise. But as I mentioned above if the supercharger is "bad" I think the noise would clearly have you thinking "that doesn't sound good".

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. Check the tires. Ideally they should be factory sanctioned tires and in good condition. Drag radials is a flag for obvious reasons. 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.

In fact ideally none of the engine hardware wants to show any signs of any wrenching. If it does this suggests someone had been in the engine and this is generally never a good sign.

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 smoohtly 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. With my 2020 Scat Pack 4th gear is 1:1.

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 let the car get away from you and wrap it around a telephone pole.

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

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.
 Any judder/shudder when taking off is not a good sign. This can arise from wear -- the rivets in the disc are in contact with the flywheel or pressure plate or the flywheel has been overheated and has developed hard spots. Or a clutch pedal that requires a lot of effort to operate is not a good sign either. This suggests clutch wear.

The pre test ride/drive idle time coupled with the 15 mile test ride and then 15 mile test drive serve -- among other things -- to 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 that the car probably 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.


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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Rockster, I gotta say, excellent write up. I appreciate the time it took for you to type that. It'll certainly help me on my search too.

General question, would you advise a PPI if the car is at a dealership? Whether it be a Dodge or Toyota or whatever dealership. I ask because I'm looking at a nationwide inventory and don't want to get screwed upon my arrival at a long range dealership.
 

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Buy some motorkote put 14oz in the engine oil keep this up every 3rd oil change,it’s cheap insurance,it has many uses, get on motorkote.com it will explain how it works,I’ve used it in all my vehicles for years!!
 

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If I missed it, does the dealership have an inspection sheet they perform first? Even if they are lousy at it, you'll still have that sheet.
 

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Rockstar covered 99%. The last 1%, with your OBD2 scanner look for P1400 code. That will tell you the computer is unlocked and the cars been tuned. That code also voids warranty on several parts of the car to. A lot of people return their car to stock when trading in but, to my knowledge, no way to clear that code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If I missed it, does the dealership have an inspection sheet they perform first? Even if they are lousy at it, you'll still have that sheet.
[/QUOTE
]i will ask, i would assume they do. I looked at another one, another dealer in PA, and noticed they conveniently left out the tire tread depth on the rear tires and the pad thickness on the fronts. took it for a test drive and engine didn't sound too good, like it got hurt... said id be back LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i found out the charger was purchased at an auction before it went to the dealership. i asked for the inspection report and was told that's not for the public. then i asked about the service records (2) i found on carfax. they said that cannot be released either, but the first was the inspection of the car, the second for an oil change/tire rotation.

wish i could get more info, but they really are being tight lipped about it. i really can only talk to the salesman, who is really cool. kind of scary, but i think he's a decent, honest guy who has his hands tied by the dealership, if i buy the car, it will come with the remainder of the factory warranty, and ill get an extended warranty. carfax came up clean on the vehicle. looks flawless, i really like it. been looking for 5 years, and this one fell in my lap.

what's weird, and maybe a blessing, is this car has no window sticker. none.

i researched this, and best answer i found out is if a car is built for someone at FCA (ie CEO, CFO, CIO ,etc) then it is basically optioned out by them, and as the car is not for "public sale" it won't have a window sticker.

if anyone can verify this, id appreciate it.
 

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I'd worry big time. Why the secrecy if there is nothing to hide?????? It should have at least two oil changes, if every 6K right? Isn't there a window sticker link on Car Fax? Did you run the Car Fax, or did they give you something? Contact Car Fax direct and ask them. Plug in the VIN at FCA and see if anything pops up. I've gotten those cars from GM (Cadillac V's), but they all had window stickers. Lastly, who is giving you the extended warranty, FCA? If so, they have to submit a form to add it to the car. Go chat with "chryslerwarrantydirect". "IF" these facts are correct, maybe it a pre-production model, which would make me really steer away from it.
 

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So this is a Dodge dealer and you are saying they are refusing to print out the service records for you? If so, that's a major red flag and you need to walk.

One oil change on a 2020 car doesn't sound good enough, needs one every 6 months from when car was first put into service.

Dealer says you have remainder of the factory warranty? You have no way of knowing that is true unless you have the service records or other documentation showing the oil changes every 6 months and other required maintenance. FCA sets the rules on this, not the dealer.

So it gets back to the service records.

On the window sticker, put the VIN here and see what comes up.




Paste these links to your browser and put your complete VIN in all caps right behind the equal sign.

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Rockster, I gotta say, excellent write up. I appreciate the time it took for you to type that. It'll certainly help me on my search too.

General question, would you advise a PPI if the car is at a dealership? Whether it be a Dodge or Toyota or whatever dealership. I ask because I'm looking at a nationwide inventory and don't want to get screwed upon my arrival at a long range dealership.
Sorry to be so late in responding.

My 2nd hand info is dealer PPIs are all over the map. Some are good others miss things.

While I might recommend a PPI mainly what you want with a used car is after you give it a thorough used car check out to get the car in the air to check very carefully and thoroughly for any signs of any issues under the car, mainly leaks. But also for signs of undercarriage damage or repair.

IOWs, you want to give the car a thorough PPI so you know for yourself about as much as you can about the car and its condition.

While I advise shopping globally for a used car I prefer to buy locally. I want to be able to kick the tires and light the fires.

Buying a used car at a distance is a risk. You are told the car checks out no issues. You get to the car and long story short you spot issues that should have been mentioned. Now you have zero confidence in the PPI.

Or you get to the dealer and the car checks out and you decide to go forward.

But the price has gone up. "Salesman made a mistake". "Web site error." Or the dealer just tacks on an extra charge because it thinks with you there you are unlikely to leave empty handed.

About the only leverage a used (or new) car buyer has is to be able to walk away. Buying at a distant dealer makes this a more expensive tactic in that you now have to pay to get yourself home. You are faced with the trip there (and back) was or will be for nothing and the time you have "invested" in the car is just wasted. (Well, there is the experience you gained.)

If you are at the car and have given it a thorough used car check out and can find no reason to reject the car you have some "leverage" to ask for and get the car on a lift and maybe at no cost to you. You won't get a PPI but you at least get under the car and can look for any signs of any issues. Leaks, repaired damage, signs of wrenching on motor mounts, transmission mounts, diff bolts, etc.
 
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