Founded in 1900, clever thing has been behind some great high performance vehicles such as the Charger and Challenger. Both cars are among the most popular models for the company, primarily due to their features, performance and various trim levels that offer optional technology and performance upgrades.
In addition to their performance, the Charger and Challenger are loved for their superior handling, especially the newer models. They provide smooth, bump-free rides on most terrains and incredible handling when pushed hard. However, there are some common issues owners have encountered over time.
10/10 Power steering leakage
Some Challenger models had problems with the power steering hose. The Challengers affected by this problem had corrugated assemblies that would come loose from components and leak power steering fluid.
As a result of this problem, there was a major recall for the 2010 Dodge Challenger. It was a big problem for the Challenger because the fluid would leak into the engine compartment and potentially cause a fire. Anyone who owns or is considering purchasing a Dodge Challenger should check to see if this recall affects the vehicle.
9/10 Unexpected airbag deployment
Dodge Challengers from 2008 to 2013 have a history of unexpected airbag deployment. Some incidents were more serious than simply inflating an airbag because the airbag could explode. The problem eventually resulted in a major recall for the Challenger.
The main cause of the airbag deployment problem had to do with the propellant gas used in making the airbag. It was defective and Dodge prevented further damage by replacing it. When the deployment took place, it would throw a number of metal shrapnel into the Challenger’s cabin.
8/10 Brake problems
Not many chargers have faced braking problems; however, the problem was quite pronounced with the 2019 Dodge Charger. According to some owners, the brakes would have excessive vibration and become too erratic.
Other owners complained about poorly fitted rear brake pads leading to broken rotors. These problems made driving the Charger dangerous and diminished the driving experience. The best solution was to replace the brake pads.
7/10 Faulty air conditioning
Not all Challengers have a problem with the AC system; however, the problem was common in the 2014 model year. The main cause of the problem was leakage around the compressor and cab. When Challenger owners were driving and using the AC, it either started blowing hot air or it went out completely.
The solution to this problem was to install the compressor, AC or evaporator coil. These Challenger models also had heat issues where the heater would run for a few minutes and then shut off completely or make the cab unbearably hot.
6/10 Hard shifting of the transmission
The 2009 through 2016 Dodge Challenger models had hard shifting issues. Some owners claimed that the problem started with no apparent cause. Most noticed the problem when they reached 34,800 miles, which started as a weird metallic noise when shifting.
After a while the problem developed into a noticeable thump from the transmission when shifting. Some owners complained that their transmission was not engaging at all. However, Dodge has solved this problem by offering an updated TCM (Transmission Control Module) software.
5/10 Check if the engine light comes on
From 2009 to 2010, Dodge Challengers were known to have a signal loss from the crankshaft position sensor. This can activate the Check Engine Light under the P0339 trouble code. The problem would normally appear out of the blue for most owners.
The solution was to add a shim or wedge to the crankshaft sensor. However, this would not completely solve the problem. The Challengers sometimes needed a flex plate replacement to fix the problem.
4/10 Alternator defective
Owners of the 2011 Challenger also experienced problems with the alternator, with some experiencing a distinct burning smell and abnormal squeaking noises from the hood. Some owners experienced a failure while driving, causing their Challengers to stall and not restart.
Dodge has issued a recall for the same, as failure of the alternator can cause unexpected stalling, which can lead to crashes or accidents. A malfunction of the alternator can also cause a short circuit, which can lead to a fire. Dodge solved the problem by replacing the alternator.
3/10 Premature suspension wear
Several problems can lead to premature wear of the Charger’s suspension system. One of the biggest problems was that the stabilizer pins and tie rods were worn out prematurely. However, there were also cases where the front inner tie rods and ball joints would wear out.
Most suspension problems can be expensive to fix, especially when parts don’t last as long as they should. The problem can quickly shorten the life of the vehicle, making it a more expensive car to keep.
2/10 Fully integrated power module electrical issues
Another common problem related to the Challenger is the TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module). The module may encounter electrical issues and was common in the 2008 to 2021 model years. The TIPM plays an integral role as the hub of electrical operations.
Some functions of the module are to operate the windshield wipers and the fuel pump. Therefore, if the part fails, it can cause serious problems such as the deployment of the Challenger airbags, starters not firing when starting the Challenger and random horn sounds.
1/10 Premature Engine Failure
Engine failure is the Dodge Charger’s most serious problem. The problem was common with the Dodge Chargers from 2008 to 2014, making them the best examples to avoid. Even though the vehicles were built to hold a lot of power, that was no excuse for engine failure.
Unfortunately, once the loaders started showing engine symptoms, the solution was not as simple as replacing a gasket. In most cases, the engines had to be rebuilt, meaning that unlike most vehicles, the charger had to be replaced regularly.