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Hi all, new to this forum, but I've been on other Mopar sites over my other car ownerships. Had various FCA products over the years and was looking to get something for long drives but still have something with a "sporty" element to it that could be parked outdoors without losing a ton of sleep. Wanted a HEMI but read too many things about lifter and cam failures, so I decided the V6 is fine for now and actually not a bad engine! I started out looking at Chargers but found the 300 to be better equipped and cheaper in my area (Louisville, KY).

Went to a local dealership in my area (Cross off Gardiner lane) and had an interesting experience. Maybe could get some feedback from others. It was a 2017 C model, no accidents, but was a previous rental car and an "as-is". I generally would avoid a prior rental car, but thought I'd give it a look, since the price was pretty good and I have some mechanical ability.

We agreed on price and I wanted to do a prebuy inspection at another Dodge / Chrysler service center down the road. I always do my inspections with third parties to eliminate conflicts of interest that would arise.

They said they would NOT allow the car to be inspected by another FCA dealer in the area. Didn't matter who it was. I was shocked when I heard this. The claim is the other dealers "can't be trusted".

Called another dealer and they said they could see their point of view with another dealership being a competitor and doing a "stricter" inspection to make the car look bad, and they also discourage that practice.

It went all the way to the top with owner himself ,and he was still arguing with me. I finally just told him that this practice kind of ruined my trust in the brand and walked away from the car. If no one trusts each other when it comes to service, why would I buy your product? I even offered that if another dealer made some absurd claim about a mechanical issue we could either verify it ourselves at their place OR take it to a non FCA shop to get a third opinion. They almost sounded like they were going to do it, but the owner said he needed to talk to his partner and discuss it, but at this point I had talked to 2-3 people and I was done with the nonsense.

Is this normal?? I mean, god forbid I ever look at a preowned Hellcat and I want a second opinion on something before I buy it. Are all FCA dealers this way? Or are Louisville dealers just dramatic?

Anyone have a similar experience to share? Some of the fancy transmission software updates and Uconnect crap make me more comfortable having a certified dealer look at rather than Joe Blow Mechanic.
 

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My guess is they don't want another FCA dealer sharing the car's service history with you. It could be even simpler, they might be thinking that another dealer will just sell you their own car and talk you out of this one.

Unless they're giving the car away, I would walk. That goes for any seller that refuses a prebuy inspection.

There's no shortage of ex-rental 300s, if that's what you want.
 

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My guess is they don't want another FCA dealer sharing the car's service history with you. It could be even simpler, they might be thinking that another dealer will just sell you their own car and talk you out of this one.

Unless they're giving the car away, I would walk. That goes for any seller that refuses a prebuy inspection.

There's no shortage of ex-rental 300s, if that's what you want.
Thanks for the reply! That was my thinking, no shortage of used 300's on the market. And a rental history wasn't my first choice for sure. They were asking 15k for it with about 100k miles.

Always nice having others to bounce stuff off of.
 

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That's not at all unusual, and not something that should create a concern about the car itself. Dealers are independent businesses in competition with each other and VERY competitive as well as commission driven. This is more true for domestic dealers than import dealers as well.

It's very reasonable for that dealer to assume that a competitive dealer would try and take advantage. BOTH the service departments and used sales departments are commission driven. The service adviser has every reason to find excessive problems, then turn you to a sales person who'll offer you a car from their inventory.

One dealer can not be trusted to inspect a car from another dealer. It's just the nature of competing businesses. This isn't a FCA thing, it's a dealer thing. You'd have the same issue with Ford or GM. You wouldn't ask a competing home seller to inspect another sellers house you're considering, this is no different.

Also however the lifter failure issue is overblown and not really an issue at all in newer engines. A redesign of the lifter rollers was implemented in 2014. While of course there's outliers simply cause the lifter rollers are high stress parts in all engines. The actual issue is largely limited to 2011-2013 engines. 2014 and newer with proper care should be just fine. The V6 isn't without it's issues either, I recommend you get a Hemi and not a former rental. Heck I work for Hertz/Penske and could get a great deal on a former rental, I didn't.

P.S. You should also consider the limited nature of a pre-sale inspection. Only so much can be looked at. It isn't anything a competent third party can't do, heck you could do it. It's really only three things that can be checked. 1. Is there evidence of damage/wear/corrosion. 2. Does everything work. 3. Do the computers indicate any issues. Just about anyone that can get under the car, has the software, and has some knowledge of what to look at can do it.
 

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That's not at all unusual, and not something that should create a concern about the car itself. Dealers are independent businesses in competition with each other and VERY competitive as well as commission driven. This is more true for domestic dealers than import dealers as well.

It's very reasonable for that dealer to assume that a competitive dealer would try and take advantage. BOTH the service departments and used sales departments are commission driven. The service adviser has every reason to find excessive problems, then turn you to a sales person who'll offer you a car from their inventory.

One dealer can not be trusted to inspect a car from another dealer. It's just the nature of competing businesses. This isn't a FCA thing, it's a dealer thing. You'd have the same issue with Ford or GM. You wouldn't ask a competing home seller to inspect another sellers house you're considering, this is no different.

Also however the lifter failure issue is overblown and not really an issue at all in newer engines. A redesign of the lifter rollers was implemented in 2014. While of course there's outliers simply cause the lifter rollers are high stress parts in all engines. The actual issue is largely limited to 2011-2013 engines. 2014 and newer with proper care should be just fine. The V6 isn't without it's issues either, I recommend you get a Hemi and not a former rental. Heck I work for Hertz/Penske and could get a great deal on a former rental, I didn't.

P.S. You should also consider the limited nature of a pre-sale inspection. Only so much can be looked at. It isn't anything a competent third party can't do, heck you could do it. It's really only three things that can be checked. 1. Is there evidence of damage/wear/corrosion. 2. Does everything work. 3. Do the computers indicate any issues. Just about anyone that can get under the car, has the software, and has some knowledge of what to look at can do it.
Thanks for the reply @Korben. Seeing that you worked for a rental company, what are some of the biggest concerns? I noticed a lot in my area were once rentals. I had kind of hoped that a luxury car may not be subjected to some of the more harsh rental abuse as a Mustang or some sub compact. I guess my reasoning is that if you have the resources to rent the higher end one, and the demographic (probably older people) would be less likely to abuse the rental. Is this a bad way of thinking? Are they all pretty much dogged?

Good to know about the Hemi's not being a concern. I just assumed that was the case since most pre-owned V8's are the same price as the V6 around here, so I just assumed it was because they had issues.
 

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Thanks for the reply @Korben. Seeing that you worked for a rental company
I don't work dealing with rentals. I work for Penske Logistics, Penske owns Hertz and as a Penske employee they offer me a deal from Hertz sales. All I was saying there is that I didn't take it, wasn't worth it to me. Frankly I didn't even look at what they had to offer, I knew what I wanted, that they wouldn't have it and if by some miracle they did it'd be too risky. The car in my signature is a unicorn that I looked high and low for, only 2 were ever made exactly like it.

I think your logic is largely correct that a 300 is less likely to have been abused. But it's also going to be true that companies spend as little as possible on rentals meaning minimal maintenance. They're also more likely to have been in an accident due to being driven by unfamiliar drivers in unfamiliar places. And those accidents are less likely to have been reported as the rental company is likely self insured and does repairs in house.

Good to know about the Hemi's not being a concern. I just assumed that was the case since most pre-owned V8's are the same price as the V6 around here, so I just assumed it was because they had issues.
Yeah, I think the popular belief you see all over the internet that they're doomed engines is harming sales. You fell victim, you wanted a Hemi but got scared by the BS on the net. That's not to say that there aren't real issues. Lifter failure is a thing that happens. But it's not as big of a thing as the internet would have you believe. I'd be more cautious about buying and '11-'13 5.7 engine. But maintenance matters more than anything else.


PS two things worth adding to your shopping...
1. It appears possible to change the displayed mileage on these cars. I highly doubt a dealer would do it, they can get in YUGE trouble. But something to check for, the mileage stored in the computer would still be correct.
2. I'm biased but it appears you're willing to buy a car with some age. If so I of course recommend you attempt to find yourself a '14 5.7 AWD. The 5.7 AWD is an awesome drivetrain, '14 is the last year it was offered and '14 is in my opinion the peak year for other aspects as well. In '14 the lifters have been updated, the computers are unlocked, power/memory adjust pedals are still an option, and the front bumper looks better. All other features in '15-'20 cars were in the '14 as well, except you loose three things that were added in the '15 update. Car play/android auto, remote uconnect features, and the more modern instrument cluster. The car play/android auto thing is give and take. The older infotainment system appears less prone to common screen issues and is easier to repair when they happen. In the 11-14 cars the infotainment screen is just a screen, a separate piece, In '15 up it's a large one piece unit, so if the screen fails the entire thing needs to be dealt with. I believe it's also easier to turn on the SRT features in the older system. These things can also be added via aftermarket solutions.
 

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I don't work dealing with rentals. I work for Penske Logistics, Penske owns Hertz and as a Penske employee they offer me a deal from Hertz sales. All I was saying there is that I didn't take it, wasn't worth it to me. Frankly I didn't even look at what they had to offer, I knew what I wanted, that they wouldn't have it and if by some miracle they did it'd be too risky. The car in my signature is a unicorn that I looked high and low for, only 2 were ever made exactly like it.

I think your logic is largely correct that a 300 is less likely to have been abused. But it's also going to be true that companies spend as little as possible on rentals meaning minimal maintenance. They're also more likely to have been in an accident due to being driven by unfamiliar drivers in unfamiliar places. And those accidents are less likely to have been reported as the rental company is likely self insured and does repairs in house.


Yeah, I think the popular belief you see all over the internet that they're doomed engines is harming sales. You fell victim, you wanted a Hemi but got scared by the BS on the net. That's not to say that there aren't real issues. Lifter failure is a thing that happens. But it's not as big of a thing as the internet would have you believe. I'd be more cautious about buying and '11-'13 5.7 engine. But maintenance matters more than anything else.


PS two things worth adding to your shopping...
1. It appears possible to change the displayed mileage on these cars. I highly doubt a dealer would do it, they can get in YUGE trouble. But something to check for, the mileage stored in the computer would still be correct.
2. I'm biased but it appears you're willing to buy a car with some age. If so I of course recommend you attempt to find yourself a '14 5.7 AWD. The 5.7 AWD is an awesome drivetrain, '14 is the last year it was offered and '14 is in my opinion the peak year for other aspects as well. In '14 the lifters have been updated, the computers are unlocked, power/memory adjust pedals are still an option, and the front bumper looks better. All other features in '15-'20 cars were in the '14 as well, except you loose three things that were added in the '15 update. Car play/android auto, remote uconnect features, and the more modern instrument cluster. The car play/android auto thing is give and take. The older infotainment system appears less prone to common screen issues and is easier to repair when they happen. In the 11-14 cars the infotainment screen is just a screen, a separate piece, In '15 up it's a large one piece unit, so if the screen fails the entire thing needs to be dealt with. I believe it's also easier to turn on the SRT features in the older system. These things can also be added via aftermarket solutions.
Wow, that is awesome. Thanks for all the info. In all honesty, those things were also on the back of my mind. I was toying with adding screen mirroring for Waze instead of CarPlay (for an older model), because being a software developer by trade, I know that these cars are one Apple update away from not working whenever they cut off support. Whereas getting like a Tazer and opening up the video input to anything I want, is more future proof. So, having a more unlocked CAN bus or PCM is a huge perk for me.

And yes, I did read some threads about cluster swaps and mileage. I think it was a Tazer one. So that is great to know that the computer itself can still be checked. I wouldn't be opposed to swapping a new cluster if Tazer is able to register the new mileage. I do like the fancy new one.

I will add '14 HEMI back on my shopping list! Thanks again for the input, I really would rather have the V8. Too bad I can't find any good SRT 300's.
 

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It's another thing on my to-do list but there's products like the Uconnect Air from Coastal Tech and the navtool that provide smartphone mirroring, video in/out, HDMI input, etc. There's a member here that goes by Commander who's tried both.

A word on the Tazer/Z Automotive. The product is a near must have but be forewarned it's glitchy and their customer service blows. You can get away with that when you have such a unique one of a kind product. I don't regret buying one at all, in fact I've bought other things from them as well. But sometimes they have me pulling my hair out and I'm not sure it'd trust their cluster swap tech.

Being a software guy, I really want you to get one so I can pick your brain while you hack the car. These cars are already very hacked though. There's a guy in this forum that hacked the cruise control to give it automatic stop go in traffic. Then of course there's gizmos like AlphaOBD and HPtuner. There's things that I'd still like to hack though that I haven't found a way yet, it's not really my area. For example I'd really like to change some of the climate control defaults.

I'd like to really talk up the AWD system in these cars, it's worth it if you can find it and live anywhere with weather. It's a rather unique RWD based Haldex system, there's no center differential or any rear disconnect. The rear is always directly driven, the front is engaged by a clutch controlled by the computer. So it drives like a RWD car right up until that split second where you don't want it to anymore. The stability control also has a "partial off" setting where it removes the systems ability to pull power and lets it slide sideways some, but keeps the rest of the systems on. It makes a skilled driver and the car's systems a heck of a team.

The AWD cars also come factory with lower gear ratios, bigger brakes, higher rate shocks, bigger sway bars, and one piece front lower control arms. All upgrades popular to do to RWD cars. And all this plus the AWD system only adds about 150lbs to the car.
 

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It's another thing on my to-do list but there's products like the Uconnect Air from Coastal Tech and the navtool that provide smartphone mirroring, video in/out, HDMI input, etc. There's a member here that goes by Commander who's tried both.

A word on the Tazer/Z Automotive. The product is a near must have but be forewarned it's glitchy and their customer service blows. You can get away with that when you have such a unique one of a kind product. I don't regret buying one at all, in fact I've bought other things from them as well. But sometimes they have me pulling my hair out and I'm not sure it'd trust their cluster swap tech.

Being a software guy, I really want you to get one so I can pick your brain while you hack the car. These cars are already very hacked though. There's a guy in this forum that hacked the cruise control to give it automatic stop go in traffic. Then of course there's gizmos like AlphaOBD and HPtuner. There's things that I'd still like to hack though that I haven't found a way yet, it's not really my area. For example I'd really like to change some of the climate control defaults.

I'd like to really talk up the AWD system in these cars, it's worth it if you can find it and live anywhere with weather. It's a rather unique RWD based Haldex system, there's no center differential or any rear disconnect. The rear is always directly driven, the front is engaged by a clutch controlled by the computer. So it drives like a RWD car right up until that split second where you don't want it to anymore. The stability control also has a "partial off" setting where it removes the systems ability to pull power and lets it slide sideways some, but keeps the rest of the systems on. It makes a skilled driver and the cars systems a heck of a team.

The AWD cars also come factory with lower gear ratios and one piece front lower control arms. Both are upgrades popular to do to RWD cars.
Sure, my plan was to actually start hacking the CAN bus a little when I finally got one. Even thought about a Arduino or some other microcontroller and mimic some of the uConnect subscription features like remote start over cellular.

If I can sniff some of the messages on whatever generation I end up with, I'll be sure to open source it on the forum. I don't really need to make a profit like the Tazer folks, that stuff is just a hobby of mine. I'll share a GitHub link if I start tinkering.

Good to know on the AWD. That was something that almost scared me a little because that is just one extra component to maintain (not much snow in southern Indiana), but if it is really an exceptional system, I'll have to look at them a little closer. The Mercedes 5 speed pretty good? I like the 8, having driven one, but I'm not picky enough to snub a 5 speed. I'm more a fan of reliability than MPG, so I assume a battle tested tranny would be good in that area.
 

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Edited that last line a bit...

The 5 vs 8 transmission is a tricky one. I certainly have no complaints about the 5. While with the V8 and AWD as a priority I had no choice but the 5. However I think I prefer it anyway, at least for me and this car. With the V8 and lower axle ratios there's really no need for a lot of gears. It's plenty capable of roasting the tires, with my foot on the floor it doesn't shift to 5th until 115MPH and cruises at 80MPH at a comfortable RPM(and in MDS). Then with all the torque and wide power band of the V8 there's no need for a lot of gears in the middle. It'd just make for a lot of superfluous shifting.

The 8 is certainly faster though, if 1/4 mile times are a goal than the 8 is the way to go.

As far as I'm aware they're both solid transmissions. Both apparently have their quirks and issues but none I've heard of are anything I'm concerned about.

PS, I think I'd be a lot less satisfied with the 5 if I didn't have the paddle shifters and sport mode. These are not standard features in all cars, they all have auto-stick and it can be added though. Also of course if you haven't noticed yet I'm a bit zippy in my car, if you aren't then no worries.
 

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not much snow in southern Indiana
For me it's about rain, I'm in the Seattle area. Here the roads are wet more often than they're dry. Daily things like making a left across two busy lanes is MUCH easier when I know I can gun it and shoot the gap. Wouldn't be able to do that in a 2WD car, the HP is useless when it just spins. Most days around here in real world driving I'm faster than a Hellcat simply cause of the AWD.
 
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