Missing Fender Clip - 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye Long-Term Road Test

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye: Missing Fender Clip

July 31, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye

A clip from the 2013 Dodge Dart SXT Rallye's right rear inner fender has popped out.

Since one of the door handles also previously came off in my hand, I'll be honest, I'm starting to have some questions about the build quality of the new Dodge Dart.

But to be fair, I don't know the full story here. Did the clip just pop off randomly on its own, or did something cause it to pop off?

Regardless, we'll either pop a clip in if we find one that fits at the office, or we'll have it addressed at the car's next dealer service.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 12,695 miles


  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    You're going to question the build quality of the Dart, for which every function has continued to actually, you know... WORK? As opposed to the build quality of the SLS AMG?

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @duck87, Ah, but there is a difference between build quality and reliability. The SLS is a fantastically well built car. The tolerances in its panel gaps and the quality of the materials it is constructed from are a work of art. It is, however, also fanta

  • No excuses, but I'm sure this issue has already been written on the "needs fixing" whiteboard in the Belvidere plant. As an aside, this reminds me of the time I traded in my '89 Toyota Tercel, and the appraiser said, "Where's the front left inner fender piece?" And damned if it wasn't missing! To this day I don't know if it was stolen or fell out (I certainly think I would've heard the latter). But the car was stone reliable.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @mercedesfan: Yes, the tolerances are so tight that the convertible top is prevented from opening. And the wheel paint is at such a specific thickness that it peels off after a slight curbing. The door handle, glass and trunk spikes I can believe would be

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    This is not your fault; Dodge has yet another bug to fix. You'd have to catch the fender liner just right to pull that clip out, and the driver would have heard it; moreover, the tire/wheel would likely have been involved.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Actually, I've had cars that lost clips in that location. I took me all of one clip in my garage to fix it. I hardly consider this to be a build quality issue. Mechanical reliability and interior quality are much more important, and harder issues for me to fix if lacking...

  • quadricycle, great point and one that irks me on ratings on cars. A clip coming out I can live with more easily than a regular rattle deep in the dash that nobody can find and fix. And a rattle I can live with more easily than the car dieing from time to time and so on up the list of complaints and how they matter

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @duck87, Well there is something fundamentally wrong with their convertible top so it has to get thrown out of this conversation. That goes way beyond a build quality. There is something basically wrong with the way their entire top is assembled and until

  • unionbuster unionbuster Posts:

    I honestly cannot believe there are Detroit apologists still making excuses for this car. The Dart is NOT a good product. It was designed poorly, assembled poorly, and its Fiat/Chrysler [non-permissible content removed] heritage promises that things will only get worse as time passes. Look at all that's gone wrong in, what, six months? Broken door handle. Missing trim components. Cheap trunk finish that can cause gouges in skin if you aren't careful when loading. Cracked windshield glass caused by chassis flex. Just because the engine hasn't blown up yet, or the piss-poor transmission hasn't cratered into the SoCal asphalt, does not make this a competitive vehicle - or even a semi-decent car.

  • I don't know if I would blast it's build quality because of a missing fender clip. It happens on a lot of cars, it's just the way they make them these days. However the door handle and the other things are a concern. @misterfusion You were lucky with that Tercel. They had problems with engine seals that would lead to oil burn. Probably the only bad Toyota in recent years.

  • done37 done37 Posts:

    This little Darts build quality is significantly better than the dodge Stratus and Sebrings of the past that had most drivers side inner fender liners missing or clips missing. You had to remove half of the inner liner to get access to the battery and trying to put it back together and have the clips not pop was nearly impossible. "Yes sir, I have the front wheel off of your car because I have to change the battery".

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Apparently you're now a "Detroit apologist" if you make a comment that doesn't involve slandering every single car coming out from the Detroit 3 automakers, or by not using login names like "unionbuster". No, I've obviously never talked about any of the other cars on this website, and I've obviously only defended every single one of the Detroit 3 vehicles. Seriously, where do all these nutbags come from?

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @duck87: At least he isn't using all caps, and can spell. Nothing gets a point across like going on a blatantly ignorant rant...

  • sabalito sabalito Posts:

    Chrysler will be Chrysler, I consider the quality of americas three as this.. Ford>GM>Chrysler

  • unionbuster unionbuster Posts:

    Get over yourself, duckie.

  • well unionbuster....Sounds like you either purchased one of the Darts that had to be scrapped as a lemon or something (which every car from Toyota Carolla and Camry and Ford Focus and all the rest end up cranking out cars every year that are built with defective parts and the cars either go on recall or are scrapped as lemons) Or you are a disgruntled former employee of the Chrysler corporation who is just mad that under the restructuring that Chrysler Corporation went through your job got cut....These cars are definitely not anything near the rambling bunch of junk you wrote about....For over a year now the cars have been on the road, and they have very high reviews for safety and looks and reliability....Unlike what you said....They are stylish and practical and safe, as well as reliable and fun to drive....Unlike everything else in the compact class which all of the rest in the compact class are so small, tin cans, unsafe in car wrecks and gutless....The Dart is so far ahead of everything else in the class....It IS a GREAT car.

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