Maintenance - 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Long-Term Road Test

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Easily Passes Smog

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on July 25, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Before we could sell our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 to a private party, it needed a smog check. Per California DMV guidelines, this is the seller's responsibility if the car is more than four years old. We didn't anticipate any issues, despite the aftermarket Mopar exhaust and intake installed by the previous owner. But there was only one way to know for sure.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Stuck in Park

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on May 12, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I got into our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 today, started it up and it would not shift out of park. A quick search online reassured me that I wasn't the only one with this problem. But fortunately for me, the combination of having Internet access on my phone and some screwdrivers I keep in my computer bag bailed me out.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: 78,000-Mile Service

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on April 15, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 crossed the 78,000 mile mark a few weeks back which meant it was time for another service. The manufacturer-recommended service was simple: an oil and filter change, a tire rotation and an inspection. After Carlos experienced a problem with the transmission, we decided that a tranny flush was in order. The car was set to leave for a road trip and we wanted it serviced before it left.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: An Uncooperative Transmission and a Brief Moment of Panic

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 11, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I was running some errands in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 over the weekend. This big, red and loud sedan was a nice reprieve from the monotony of cruising from one nondescript big retail store to another. Right until it wasn't.

It wouldn't downshift.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Bad Stereo Install Gets Worse

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 2, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I wasn't looking for more reasons to be frustrated by PCH Custom Audio's install job on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. Still, I found one. The large bezel surrounding most of the center console is going to crack. And being the owner of an older Nissan 240SX, I'm sensitive to cracks in the dash.

Installing aftermarket stereos often requires using what's called an adapter kit. These plastic pieces replace certain parts in the dash so your fancy new aftermarket headunit fits better.

The problem is our bezel doesn't fit.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Finding Drugs, A Lazy Stereo Installation, and Strange Sound Deadening Solutions

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 29, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

You find things when you tear apart the interior of a car that's already lived a lifetime. The trunk of our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, which we dug into during a recent Dynamat install, was no exception. Here are three peculiar things we found:

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Attempting to Fix the Drone with Dynamat

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 24, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The drone can last no longer.

It's so bad in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 that you can't have a conversation. It can be hard to think. It occurs at around 2,500 rpm indicated, which happens to be what the engine turns at normal freeway speeds. The volume is as high as 82 dB, per our decibel meter. That's a little louder than your typical vacuum.

Some in the office have adopted the Niebuhr Workaround, but we wanted a permanent solution.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Dead Key Battery

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on February 19, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

This past weekend, the battery in the key for our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 conked out, forcing us to go old-school and actually put the metal key in the door to unlock the car.

Not a big deal.

The car, however, somehow equates this move with the car being stolen, so it blares its alarm until I can get behind the wheel, put the key in the ignition and start the engine. My neighbors do not appreciate this at 6:00 a.m. Or the other five times.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Hard Start

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on February 9, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

"Even children get older," Stevie Nicks once observed, "and I'm getting older, too." I think that's roughly what our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is trying to tell us in the video below.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Kickin' It

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on January 27, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Oh, I knew that sound. That too-slow crank, then that click. Damn.

So the battery in our Dodge Charger SRT8 is dead. But before I go and call for roadside assistance, I figured I'd have a look around. But when I couldn't find an obvious culprit inside the car, I popped the hood to have a look at the battery.

Err, make that the trunk. Every idiot knows the Charger SRT8's battery is in the trunk, right? Guys?

But once I saw the battery and found no signs of corrosion or a loose connection, I knew I had to call for backup. I hate calling for backup.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: DIY Front Brake Job Walkaround

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 11, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Pt 1 | Pt 2

In our last episode, I had to cancel the brake job on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 because it turned out the old rotors were too thin and I had to get my hands on some new ones. The reality of my schedule led to a two week delay, but the situation was not yet dire. The pad wear indicators were not yet making noise.

Or were they?

Coming back from dinner with the family, I dabbed on the brakes as I wheeled the Dodge into our driveway. My wife and daughter grabbed for their ears and said, "Can you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

The alleged noise hadn't made itself known any of the multiple dozen other times I'd used the brakes that evening, so the pad wear indicators must have just barely started making contact with the rotors. Not yet a full-fledged squeal, they were warming up by emitting the dreaded high-frequency "teenager noise" that can make a dad feel like an old man.

So I wheeled the Charger down the driveway and parked it behind the house where it needed to be for the next morning's brake job.

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1966 Chevrolet Corvette: Fantastic First Date

by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on September 10, 2015

1966 Chevrolet Corvette

I try not to be one of those guys who (a) falls in love with a girl on the first date and (b) tells everyone within earshot how amazing the girl was. Those guys are saps.

I'm now officially a sap. Because I had the most magical first date the other night. Sure, she was a bit older, but at my age I can't be too picky anymore. Plus, she was friendly, easy to get to know, and made the most incredible sounds.

Whoa, slow down there. Get your mind out of the gutter. You thought I was talking about a girl of the human variety, didn't you? Nope, I'm talking about our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. I just drove her for the first time. And it was good. Real good.

There was a girl of human form along, too, but that's a relatively unimportant point compared to driving the old Vette.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: DIY Front Brake Job

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 30, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 needed front brakes. The pad wear indicators were not yet squealing, but the front pads were getting mighty thin and the pedal was getting long. Last time we had it in for service the dealer said they could replace the pads and rotors for an out-the door price of $695. That sounded steep, so we figured we might save some money and do it ourselves.

The Charger SRT8 features Brembo high-performance front calipers, which are more expensive to buy initially, but not that hard to service. These are four-piston fixed calipers, which means there are no sliding pins to inspect and lubricate. And we're not experiencing any complications. Our Charger isn't pulling to one side, there's no shudder that might indicate warped rotors, and the rotors themselves look quite smooth as viewed through the five-spoke wheels.

It was possible that we could get away with just a pad change.

So I went to my local Dodge dealer and asked for a set at the parts counter. The guy started to tell me something about the need to order them as he eyed the computer screen, but then stopped suddenly as if he'd just remembered something. Abruptly turning around where he stood, he reached into a box on the floor no more than two feet away and came up with a set of 2007 Charger SRT8 Brembo brake pads, just like that.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Cleaning the Dirty Mopar Air Filter

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on October 26, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I recently opened the hood on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 to check the engine oil level (it's fine) when I noticed the blue Mopar aftermarket cold air intake. Specifically, I noticed how dirty the air filter was. The blue fibers looked dingy and there was a lot of dust and detritus between the pleats.

Figuring I'd show our Charger a little love, I took it upon myself to clean the air filter. Now I just needed to figure out how.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Replacing Tired Trunk Struts

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 16, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

No used car will ever be perfect. Even a clean, one-owner car like our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 will have a list of things that need attention. As the new owner, your job is to triage these issues and get to them as time and budget allows.

Back in June, Executive Editor Ed Hellwig noted that the trunk struts were clearly worn out and caused the trunk lid to slam down rapidly. I had some experience with this type of repair: We replaced the hood struts on our 1996 Lexus ES 300, also known as the "Debt-Free Car."

It seemed like an easy enough job to tackle again. Here's how we did it.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: New Shoes Set Us Back a Few Bills

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 13, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

In our last maintenance post, a few readers said they didn't know that a car could have rear brake pads and brake shoes that controlled the parking brake. But our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 does. And as Edmunds commenter Blackecoram noted, these shoes wear out over time and eventually need replacement.

This forum thread offers plenty of photos and even a step-by-step guide on how to change the shoes yourself. It's for a Dodge Magnum, but our Charger is pretty much the same car, so the steps should apply. I took one look at it the install process and knew it was more than I was capable of doing.

So once the parts arrived, I took the car back to the dealership to let the pros install the parking brake shoes.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: New Shoes and an Oil Change

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 6, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Soon after we purchased the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, we started to notice that the parking brake wasn't quite holding the car in place as well as it should. After a while, you'd press the pedal to the floor and it did nothing.

"We should have this looked at," said Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing "You don't want the transmission bearing the weight of this car."

So we took it in to our local Dodge dealer and, no surprise, the mechanic confirmed that the parking brake needed new shoes.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Its Dampers Are Tired

August 11, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I took my first whirl in our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 over the weekend. Yeah, the exhaust gets old in about 10 minutes of driving.

My fellow editor Josh Sadlier is correct that the big sedan is nicely devoid of squeaks and rattles, but "tight" isn't how I'd describe the current state of its dampers.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Terrible Headlights Need Replacement

July 31, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

My oh my, behold that dim yellow glow. As you might imagine from the photo above, the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 has some pretty lousy headlights. When I got back into the car after taking the photo, I actually wondered if they had somehow been turned off leaving only the fogs on. They had not. They just stink.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Caught Up in the Takata Airbag Recall

July 16, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The Takata airbag recall has affected about 40 million vehicles worldwide, according to the New York Times. (Honda added 4.5 million vehicles outside North America on July 9.) Takata has been working around the clock to get the replacement parts shipped, but demand is exceeding supply. Early reports were estimating that it would take two years to produce the parts needed.

If you're unfamiliar with this recall, the inflators on a number of Takata-supplied airbags proved to be defective and can rupture during an accident, resulting in metal debris that flies through the cabin and in some cases has killed drivers. The problem seems to be exacerbated if the vehicle has lived in humid climates.

The 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 was among the vehicles recalled, but we knew that before we bought ours. This was a chance for us to document the recall process and how long it would take to fix.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Swapping Summer Tires for a Summer Showdown

July 13, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 had brand-new, all-season, ultra-high performance Nitto Motivo tires when we bought it. It was one of the main factors that helped swing it in our favor.

And so we took them off.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: No Parking

June 29, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

For the most part, our flashback 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is in great shape. There are only a few issues I noticed over the weekend. One of them is the parking brake.

It doesn't work.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests