Last post on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:38 PM
You are in the Dodge Charger
What is this discussion about?
Dodge Charger, Dodge Charger SRT-8, Sedan
#939 of 1087 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" - Total Shock
Jun 22, 2006 (11:36 pm)
I've joined this forum in an attempt to determine if my experiences are unique, or if others are having similar issues.
Nineteen days ago, I left my beloved 2002 Magnetic Red Corvette Coupe at the Dodge dealership, and picked up a 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" in the "Top Banana" trim, to replace it (lease ended with equity in the 'Vette). The car is wonderful to drive in, as it has countless creature comforts, and a quiet but firm ride that almost lulls one to sleep in the plush suede/leather covered seats. The car is loaded, with no option omitted, as the XM, satellite navigation, and BlueTooth voice link are all things I sorely wanted in any new car that I purchased. To top it off, I get countless stares and many thumbs up as I drive around town, as the car has a striking look in yellow, with the hood, trunk, spoiler, air dam, and rear quarter panel all blacked out.
Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends.
I was determined to give this car a good break-in, so I decided to drive the car gently for the first 600 miles, rather than 300 as stated in the owner's manual. The owners manual says that this vehicle does not require a long break-in period, but just to be sure, I let the car go double the recommended distance before I put my foot more than even 1/3 of the way down.
In the meantime, the car was getting very poor fuel economy. On the highway, I was lucky if I could average 19 mpg under "normal" driving conditions, and if I drove as if I were walking on egg shells, I could squeeze 21-22 mpg out of the motor at 60 mph, playing feather-foot (the cruise control actually degraded fuel economy). Around town, the gas mileage was atrocious; 9 mpg was average, and if I concentrated on nothing but my throttle position, I could squeeze 11 mpg out of the car. These figures were a complete shock to me; my 'Vette normally yielded about 28 mpg on the highway with the air running, and over 31 with it off. Around town, the car could easily average out to 19 mpg, unless I drove like a jerk, which is not something I did often. To be fair, the 'Vette had significant advantages over the Charger. Around town, the fact that it weighed 900 lbs less made a big difference in stop and go traffic, and on the highway, its Cd of .29 allowed it to knife through the air with a minimum of losses to parasitic drag. Still, I am amazed that the Charger is performing so poorly in the economy category, as I would have hoped that it could at least hit the EPA numbers posted on the sticker.
Unfortunately, things didn't go much better in the power department. When I finally allowed myself to push the accelerator a bit further down, I was completely disappointed with the results. The car is lethargic as all hell, and has terrible pull at low speeds. Once you get the car moving, and the RPMs up, then it seems to want to redeem itself, but the end result is pitiful, to say the least. Not to mention the fact that a power band so high up in the RPM range is not very practical for a daily driver, and even less so when one considers that the motor eventually sees a 2.88:1 rear axle ratio.
To sum things up, here are my observations / questions / remarks;
First, does anyone have any information to indicate that Dodge is off base with the 300-mile break-in figure that it publishes in the owner's manual? Obviously, excessive internal friction could easily cause all of the stated symptoms, and 300 miles just doesn't seem to be enough of a break-in period for a V-8 designed to last 100,000 miles or more.
Secondly, break-in periods aside, does anyone have any general data about how these cars are doing in the economy department? I would be truly saddened to discover that the figures Dodge posts on the sticker are just fantasy.
Next, does anyone have any experience with aftermarket exhaust/intake systems to try to unload this motor a bit? I was thinking of going with a well-tuned set of long tube headers, and possibly some air box or intake work. I would appreciate any feedback on this.
Well, there you have it. I really like the car, but mechanically, it is leaving much to be desired. I knew that the Charger would never hang with my 'Vette, but I hoped that it could at least give a respectable account of itself, mechanically, and it is *FAR* from doing so. It did not help to discover today that Dodge's "Hemis" are not really hemi-heads, but rather, more like a modified bathtub design rotated 90 degrees, thereby losing much of the advantage that a true Hemi enjoys when supercharged. Further, if one must sacrifice performance or power, they hope that they can at least gain fuel economy in a natural physical trade-off, but in this case, not only does one experience luke-warm performance, but they also get to watch the needle in the gas gauge very quickly sweep to empty.
In my 27 years of swinging wrenches, I have never seen such a lop-sided mechanical relationship; something is just not right here........
Thanks for listening and answering.
#940 of 1087 Re: 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" - Total Shock [used2bfast]
Jun 23, 2006 (8:25 am)
Take your car back to the dealership to be evaluated because there is something wrong. I rented a 300C which is almost the same car (hemi engine) and I averaged 13mpg in the city with me flooring it half the time.
#941 of 1087 Re: 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" - Total Shock [used2bfast]
Jun 23, 2006 (3:51 pm)
Your not alone on your fuel mileage problem.On the 300 forum there are some complaints about bad mileage on the
300c Hemi.There are some getting 18 city which I think would be great ,but some like you with a mpg problem.I'm wondering if there is a MDS problem,and its not shutting down the cylinders.That would give you the bad mileage.Ask the dealer to check the MDS and make sure its working.I
have the SXT with the 3.5 and on my last tank I got 20 mpg all city driving.No complaint with my MPGs.
#943 of 1087 Re: 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" - Total Shock [batista]
Jun 24, 2006 (4:21 pm)
Thanks for the feedback.
#944 of 1087 Re: 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" - Total Shock [xtec]
Jun 24, 2006 (4:29 pm)
Your 3.5L 24-valve V-6 is a completely different animal than my elephant wannabe. It is far more critically tuned, breathes better, and delivers more hp/litre than my motor (215 hp for your 3.5L V-6 vs 266 hp for my 5.7L V-8). Therefore, it would be natural that you would see better economy than I, especially when we consider that your final drive ratio is 3.15:1, rather than my 2.88:1. The lower (mechanically) ratio of your diff allows your engine to move your car with less load than mine, yet another fuel-saving feature I do not posses. Thanks for your input.
#945 of 1087 Re: 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" - Total Shock [used2bfast]
Jun 24, 2006 (9:24 pm)
Used2bfast-Did you take your car to have its hp measured with a Dyno?
It sure lost a lot of hp at the rear wheels, why?
Normally you lose 15% which would be 340x0.85=289hp and for the V6 it would be 250x0.85=213hp, correct?
Also, I am pretty sure that a car with a ratio of 3.15:1 will consume more gas than a car with a 2.88:1.
I could be wrong but that was what I had read a few years ago.
#946 of 1087 Re: 2006 Dodge Charger R/T "Daytona" - Total Shock [batista]
Jun 25, 2006 (3:40 pm)
batista is right on this one.The 2:88 gear is better for fuel mileage.Plus you have to look at the car power to weight ratio.All said the Daytona should get near the 17mpg for city unless your hammering it all the time.
#947 of 1087 Re: Help a prospective buyer.... [xtec]
Jun 26, 2006 (8:37 am)
I also use mid-grade, with the 3.5L. I guess I am a bit of a led-foot. I think the So. Cal. freeway traffic I also experience daily, negates any freeway miles I get.
Going for Dual Cat-Back next week, although I havent decided whether to go to the dealer, or somewhere else...
#948 of 1087 Upcoming Charger Bargains?.............
Jun 26, 2006 (11:11 am)
A Dallas based radio talk show on the auto industry reported last Saturday that in 2 weeks Chrysler will start a new "employee discount" sales promotion on virtually all Chrysler products! The commentator specifically said it DOES include the Chrysler 300 series, so one would assume it will apply to the Charger as well.
I've been debating when to purchase a new R/T, so I'm certainly going to check it out in a couple weeks myself.