How to Tune Up a Dodge Charger

by Quinn Marshall

The Dodge Charger is a sports sedan from Chrysler. Like all vehicles, the Dodge Charger requires regular service to maintain optimal performance and increase lifespan. The Dodge Charger's Maintenance Manual recommends a regular tune up starting at 12,000 miles, and again at each 12,000-mile interval. Performing your own tune up gives you precise control over how the job is done and the materials used.

Open the Charger's hood. Remove the plastic cover from the air filter by releasing the clasps. Slide the air filter off the air hose and slide a new one into place. Reattach the plastic cover and secure with the clasps.

Inspect the air conditioner filter. If the Charger's air conditioning is warmer than usual, or if the air filter is dirty or covered with dust, replace the filter by lifting it out and inserting a new one in its place. Close the hood.

Loosen the lug nuts on all four tires using a lug wrench so that the nuts can be removed by hand before jacking up the Charger.

Jack up the front end of the Dodge Charger using the jack that came with the vehicle. Place jack stands under the frame of the Charger.

Crawl under the Charger and identify the oil pan; is it square and has a single bolt on one end. Use a ratchet and socket to remove the bolt from the oil pan. Catch the oil in a pan. Set the pan aside after the oil is drained. Remove the oil filter by sliding the oil wrench over it and turning the wrench counterclockwise. Set the old filter aside. Screw the new filter into place and hand-tighten it; be careful not to cross-thread the filter. Use the oil wrench to tighten it the rest of the way. Screw the bolt and washer previously removed from the oil pan back into place. Tighten with a ratchet and socket.

Crawl out from under the Charger. Open the hood. Unscrew the oil cap and place a funnel inside the opening. Pour three quarts of motor oil into the funnel. Remove the oil stick and check the oil level. Add more oil as needed until the oil level on the stick is in the "Full" range. Remove the funnel and replace the oil cap. Close the hood.

Inspect the front-end suspension by crawling underneath the front end of the Charger. Identify the tie rod ends and inspect them for cracks, bends or any other malfunction. Replace them if any problems are identified. Identify the boot seals. Replace the boot seals if they are cracked. Trace the brake lines up from the calipers and look for any cracks, nicks or other problems. Replace the lining if any problems are found. Identify the CV joint behind the tire and inspect for breaks or leaks. Replace the CV joints if any problems are found.

Crawl under the back of the Charger. Inspect the exhaust system for any problems. Weld any holes found, tighten any loose bolts and neutralize any rust spots before the corrosion eats through the metal. Lightly knock on the catalytic converter and listen for a rattling sound, which indicates that the catalytic converter is bad and needs to be replaced.

Jack up the rear of the vehicle with another jack. Place jack stands under the rear frame of the Charger so that the vehicle rests evenly on four jack stands. Unscrew the lug nuts by hand and set them aside. Remove the front and rear tires on one side of the Charger. Place the rear tire onto the front axle and the front tire onto the rear axle. Repeat this process with the opposite side. Replace the lug nuts and hand-tighten them. Remove the rear jack stands and lower the rear jacks so that the tires are on the ground. Remove the front jack stands and lower the front jacks. Tighten the lug nuts using a lug wrench.

Warnings

  • close Do not crawl under the vehicle if it is only resting on a jack.
  • close Ensure all the lug nuts are completely tightened before driving the vehicle.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Based in New England, Quinn Marshall began her writing career in 2004. She was a featured writer for Laptop Logic and contributes to publications such as "Smashing Magazine."