Dodge maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

Expect slightly below-average maintenance and repairs costs with Dodge

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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 repair and maintenance costs, but setting an exact budget for upkeep is tricky to gauge. Interested in Dodge ownership? We’ve gathered the statistics so you’ll know what you may be spending to keep your Dodge on the road.

Key insights

Dodges cost $867 in yearly upkeep, according to RepairPal. That’s slightly less than the industry average.

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Dodge maintains an average reliability rating overall, with fewer (but more extreme) repairs than other vehicles.

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Your average maintenance and repairs costs may vary drastically, depending on the Dodge model you own.

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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.

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Are Dodges expensive to maintain?

All vehicle owners have to deal with upkeep costs to ensure their ride stays in roadworthy shape. But how much can you expect to spend to keep your Dodge on the road? According to RepairPal, which aggregates repair cost data, a Dodge costs an average of $867 per year (adjusted for inflation) to maintain, which flies just under the $891 average for all vehicles. RepairPal also gives the manufacturer a 3.5 out of 5 on its reliability scale, ranking it 19th out of 32 car brands surveyed.

Compare that with J.D. Power’s 2024 rankings of the most reliable car brands on the road, where Dodge came in 10th out of 29 vehicles.

“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

Although 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, compared with a 12% average for all other brands.

*Based on figures from RepairPal adjusted for inflation

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.)

*According to RepairPal data (not adjusted for inflation)

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, 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 cost and schedule

It’s vital for your vehicle’s health to stay up to date with required maintenance. While you should always check your car’s owners manual for specific plans, here’s what you can generally expect from Dodge: oil and filter changes and tire rotations every 8,000 miles, multipoint inspections every 16,000 miles, constant velocity joint and exhaust system inspections every 24,000 miles and front suspension inspections and spark plug replacements every 32,000 miles.

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

Your car’s model, age, mileage and location will determine its maintenance costs. But we’ve included some estimated maintenance expenses for a Dodge Dart below. (Just remember that your costs will likely vary.)

*According to RepairPal data (adjusted for inflation)

Since Dodge is a mainstream brand, you can typically avoid high ownership costs (compared with more premium makes, like Audi and BMW). 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.

Schedule maintenance for severe driving conditions

You can find specific maintenance schedules for vehicles that are driven under severe driving conditions in your owners manual. But in general, these schedules tend to be more rigorous than those for normal driving conditions, and that’s to account for the additional stress and wear that severe driving can cause on the vehicle. For example, Dodge may suggest oil and filter changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles instead of the standard 7,500 miles.

Severe driving conditions may include frequent short trips, extensive idling, driving in dusty, rough, muddy or sandy conditions, driving in extreme temperatures, towing a trailer or consistent driving in stop-and-go traffic.

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.”

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.

*According to Endurance

The good news is that your manufacturer’s 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.

How can an extended warranty 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

Article sources
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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