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Dodge maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

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    Car ownership costs more than just the sticker price you pay when you buy your vehicle. Owning a car comes with ongoing maintenance and repair costs, but setting an exact budget for upkeep is tricky to gauge. That’s why we’ve gathered the statistics to help you learn what you can expect to spend to keep your Dodge on the road.

    Key insights

    • Dodges cost slightly less than the industry average in terms of yearly upkeep, according to RepairPal.
    • Dodge maintains an average reliability rating overall, with fewer (but more extreme) repairs than other vehicles.
    • However, your results may differ quite a bit, depending on which model of Dodge you own.
    • Dodge offers extended warranties and maintenance plans that can help you mitigate these costs, but you might want to shop around for third-party options too.

    Are Dodges expensive to maintain?

    All vehicle owners have to deal with upkeep costs to ensure their ride stays in roadworthy shape. So, how much will you spend to keep your Dodge on the road? According to RepairPal, which aggregates repair cost data, a Dodge costs an average of $634 per year to maintain, which flies just under the $652 average for all vehicles. RepairPal also gives the manufacturer a 3.5 out of 5.0 on its reliability scale, ranking it 19th out of 32 car brands surveyed.

    “Dodge seems to be mostly producing ‘just-OK’ midsized SUVs and reboots of … muscle cars,” said Steven Sunkel, a mechanic with 30 years of experience working on cars and trucks. “Muscle cars are relatively simple to maintain, but as Dodge is one of the only brands left producing true muscle cars now and the way things are going, it might be the last chance to buy a new one.”

    How Dodge compares with other automakers

    Though Dodge owners take their vehicles to repair shops less often, required repairs tend to be more severe than normal.

    According to RepairPal, Dodges visit the mechanic for unscheduled repairs half as often as the industry average, but a Dodge has a 15% likelihood of a given issue turning into a major repair. (Compare that with the 12% average for all other brands.)

    MakeAverage maintenance and repair costs*
    Dodge $634 per year
    Honda $428 per year
    Toyota $441 per year
    Ford $775 per year
    BMW $968 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    Dodge maintenance and repair costs by model

    While the above numbers serve as a decent ballpark range for expected costs, it’s helpful to zoom in on a particular model for more accurate numbers. Basically, your average upkeep costs may soar or plummet depending on which make and model you drive.

    For example, the Dodge Caliber averages just $501 per year in maintenance and repairs, earning it the 16th spot on RepairPal’s reliability rankings of 36 compact cars.

    However, the Dodge Grand Caravan tends to cost almost $200 more per year because minivan maintenance is generally a bit more expensive. (The Caravan isn’t even an unreliable model — RepairPal ranked it second out of the eight models in its category.)

    ModelAverage maintenance and repair costs*
    Caliber $501 per year
    Dart $597 per year
    Grand Caravan $673 per year
    *According to RepairPal

    It’s important to note that RepairPal’s yearly cost figures combine maintenance and repairs, which are actually distinct categories. Maintenance refers to routine checkups, such as oil changes and tire rotations. Repair services are needed when your car breaks down or malfunctions.

    While it’s convenient to see these costs combined if you’re wondering how much upkeep might cost you, it’s better to look at them individually if you’re actually trying to budget and plan ahead. We’ll take a closer look at Dodge maintenance and repair costs to help you understand why.

    Dodge maintenance schedule

    It’s vital for your vehicle’s health to stay up to date with required maintenance. We’ve outlined Dodge’s general schedule for maintenance below, but you should check your car’s owners manual for more specific plans.

    Every 8,000 miles Oil change
    Every 8,000 miles Filter change
    Every 8,000 miles Tire rotation
    Every 16,000 miles Air conditioning filter replacement
    Every 16,000 miles Multipoint inspection
    Every 24,000 miles Constant velocity joint inspection
    Every 24,000 miles Exhaust system inspection
    Every 32,000 miles Engine air cleaner filter replacement
    Every 32,000 miles Front suspension inspection
    Every 32,000 miles Spark plug replacement
    *According to Hendrick Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT Wilmington

    Dodge maintenance costs

    Although the bills for routine checkups can add up over time, keeping your vehicle in good shape is almost always worth the cost because scheduled maintenance will help you avoid larger crises later on.

    Maintenance costs are also fairly easy to budget for since you know what services will be needed and when. All you really have to do is find a local shop or dealership, ask their prices for the recommended services in your owners manual and chart those costs out over the lifetime of your vehicle.

    Dodge Dart maintenance costs

    The key factors determining Dodge maintenance costs are your car’s model, age, mileage and location. We’ve included some estimates for how much maintenance services will cost for a Dodge Dart below, but just remember that your costs will likely vary.

    Tire rotation $35 to $44
    Air filter replacement $62 to $69
    Oil change $139 to $148
    Spark plug replacement $109 to $135
    Brake pad replacement $202 to $218
    *According to RepairPal

    Since Dodge is a mainstream brand compared with more premium makes, like Audi and BMW, you can typically avoid high ownership costs. Unlike some brands, though, Dodge does not offer free maintenance with new vehicles. That means you can expect to pay full price for maintenance regardless of your vehicle’s age. You may find deals at your local dealership or shop, but it’s unlikely they’ll be a part of your purchase.

    Dodge repair costs 

    While Dodges are fairly dependable these days, that hasn’t been universally consistent across its entire lineup or history.

    “Fifteen years ago, you’d be lucky if a Dodge transmission would make it out of warranty,” Sunkel told us. “They used to make a damn good diesel truck, but the engines on those are outlasting the bodies and Dodge didn’t actually make the engine — Cummins did.”

    Some consumer reviews also mention reliability struggles that don’t line up with the brand’s overall standing. “I purchased a 2009 Dodge Journey with around 71,000 miles on it and it just keeps breaking down,” wrote Lavenus, a ConsumerAffairs reviewer from Washington. “I get it fixed and then another issue pops up. I haven't even had the chance to enjoy it because I just keep pouring money into fixing it.”

    Basically, it’s hard to predict what you’ll spend on repairs because they are, by nature, unexpected, and your individual circumstances might vary significantly from Dodge’s average costs.

    Dodge Grand Caravan repair costs

    To give you an idea of what repairs might cost you, we’ve included estimates for common repair services on a Dodge Grand Caravan below.

    Tire pressure monitor lamp diagnosis $88 to $111
    Purge valve replacement $100 to $113
    Stabilizer bar link kit replacement $109 to $121
    Windshield wiper arm replacement $137 to $144
    Throttle position sensor replacement $200 to $212
    Liftgate lock actuator replacement $262 to $280
    Brake booster replacement $475 to $514
    ABS control module replacement $719 to $742
    *According to Endurance

    The good news is that your factory warranty can save you a significant amount of money on repairs during the first few years of your vehicle’s life. As of 2023, Dodge vehicles come with a powertrain warranty that lasts up to five years or 60,000 miles and bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years or 36,000 miles.

    The downside is that these coverages won’t last forever, and once they’re gone, you’re responsible for paying to fix your Dodge when it breaks down. There is something you can do to avoid paying for surprise repair bills, though.

    » LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

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      How can an extended warranty or maintenance plan help?

      In the same way that a factory warranty can help you avoid paying for repairs when your vehicle is new, purchasing an extended auto warranty can keep your older Dodge from taking a toll on your finances when it breaks down.

      These kinds of plans have various advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of before you buy. However, it is possible for you to come out ahead financially with one if you have the right coverage and your Dodge requires significant repairs.

      If you’re interested in this kind of coverage, Dodge’s official extended warranties are a relatively decent option. Just be aware that when we looked into them in greater detail, we were able to get some considerably cheaper quotes by shopping around with different sellers and warranty companies.

      Another potentially money-saving option is a prepaid maintenance plan. Although Dodge’s plans require you to have preventative services done through your dealership, they can help you avoid future price spikes and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your maintenance is already paid for.

      » MORE: Car warranty vs. car insurance

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. RepairPal. “Dodge Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 10, 2023.
      2. RepairPal, “Dodge Caliber Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 10, 2023.
      3. RepairPal, “Dodge Grand Caravan Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 10, 2023.
      4. RepairPal, “Dodge Dart Reliability Rating.” Accessed April 10, 2023.
      5. Hendrick Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT Wilmington, “Dodge Maintenance Schedule for Wilmington Drivers.” Accessed April 10, 2023.
      6. AutoZone, “How Much Does it Cost to Replace Brakes?” Accessed April 11, 2023.
      7. Endurance, “Are Dodge Vehicles Expensive to Maintain?” Accessed April 11, 2023.
      8. Mopar, “YOUR WARRANTY INFORMATION.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
      9. Mopar, “MOPAR VEHICLE PROTECTION PREPAID OIL PLANS.” Accessed April 11, 2023.
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