2005 Dodge Viper with 13,000 Miles needs new engine

Tiny
JRG5122007
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 DODGE VIPER
  • 8.3L
  • V10
  • TURBO
  • RWD
  • MANUAL
  • 13,000 MILES
Hi, I have a question relating to an auto repair. I have a 2005 Dodge Viper with 13,000 miles on it I recently too into the dodge dealership for repair. The Vehicle was running but noticably bouncing and jerking around when shifting and had a major loss of power. The dealership told me it needed a new clutch. They put a new clutch in and after a week called me back and told me it was still having the same problem I described. I asked the service manager so it didnt need a new clutch and advised me no it still needed a new clutch. They continued to work on it a couple weeks later after they replaced the catalytic converter and this still did not fix the problem the service manager called me and tells me it is going to need a new engine to fix the problem because the rings are leaking. The service manager told me this was because it has been sitting and not driven enough, which I advised him the car has been driven usually a few times a week, and only not driven for a few 2 week periods since I purchased the vehicle in 2005. I am trying to get some answers and advice about this because for the life of me I can't believe a Dodge Viper with perfect service history always maintained and garaged would need a new engine with 13,000 miles on it. Any advice you could give me, contacts, or avenues I could pursue would be helpful.
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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 AT 2:38 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I think you have someone that is guessing at what the problem may be. I have to agree with you. The clutch (unless you were really hard on it) shouldn't have been bad. As far as the catalytic converter, the same thought. Now for the engine, I need you to tell me a few things. Was the check engine light ever on or flashing when you felt the misfire? Based on what you described as far as driving it all the time, leads me to believe there is another problem and not the ENGINE. Just for the heck of it, tomorrow, first thing, call the shop and tell the mgr to give you the compression readings for each cylinder. Tell him you want to know if they did both a dry and wet compression test and the results. Let me know what you find out. If they are being honest, that should be info that he has at hand. Also, for them to determine if the rings are the issue, they would have needed to do a wet test. Basically, a wet test involves placing a small amount of oil in a cylinder before testing. The oil coats the cylinder and rings preventing a loss of compression. Thus, the compression would increase indicating there was a loss of compression due to ring failure.

Better yet, don't ask him about the wet compression test and see if he tells you. If he doesn't, then ask how they know it is the rings and not a stuck or burnt valve or a timing issue (which I don't think is the issue either).

I have owned Vipers myself. NEVER did I have an issue with rings. And yes, my car sat a lot because I am in PA and we get a lot of snow. My 92 only had 28K on it when I sold it last year and I had no problems with any of the things you had done or what is being suggested.
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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
JRG5122007
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the response sorry it took a few days to post this reply. I called the shop on Friday and did what you said asked the serv manager for the Compression readings for each cylinder he sounded surprised shocked that I knew what I was talking about. In addition he didnt have the information he siad he would have to call me back that was Friday, and it is now Tuesday and I still havent got thatt call back from him, pretty obvious it was never done. I dont like them playing guessing games either on my dime, I will probably have to sue in civil court because they are in too deep at this point with lies.
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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 AT 2:46 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It is interesting he hasn't replied. If he does, let me know what he tells you. Also, you may want to have the vehicle taken to a different shop that you know can be trusted.
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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 AT 6:43 PM
Tiny
JRG5122007
  • MEMBER
Thanks, I cant believe he hasn't either the level of just pure disrespect I have received from them at the Dodge dealership here in Austin is truly off the charts at this point, you would think you would be able to trust a dodge dealership who is working on your dodge car but I have learned that is not the case at all.
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Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 AT 8:20 AM
Tiny
JRG5122007
  • MEMBER
I finally got a call back today from the Service Mngr at Dodge today about the cylinder Compression readings on my Viper I'm not sure what this means can you explain what this means? He said each cyclinder 150 psi, and the specs between 155-170. I'm taking his word this is correct, but taking into account the clutch and Cad Conv they replaced in an guessing attempt to fix the problem I don't know if I believe anything the service manager tells me. The Cylinder compression readings are these set I mean unchangeable by a service mechanic? What I mean is the Dealership who is performing the service could not change them to make it look like the engine did need to be replaced? I want to make sure their is no cover up job here on the part of the dealership now that I am inquiring about these compression readings and they have replaced parts that didnt need to be replaced.
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Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 AT 12:35 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
No, there is nothing easy they could have done to change the compression. Did you ask them how they determined that the compression being at 150 is caused by the rings?

Here is what should have happened. First, the compression being at 150 across the board is a little hard to believe. Usually there is some variation or deviation from one cylinder to the next. If rings are a concern as to the cause of low compression, a "wet" compression test is done. Basically, a small amount of oil is placed into the cylinder and then retested. The oil creates a seal between the cylinder wall and the piston. Thus, the compression should increase. If it does, then rings are an issue. If it doesn't, then there is an issue with compression leakage via the valves. Again, I don't believe that is the issue.

Yes, the compression should be between 155 and 170, but 5psi difference is not going to cause what you have experienced. I really feel you need to get the car and have it checked by someone you trust. Not saying they are not being honest, but I don't feel there is anything wrong with the compression that would even be noticeable. We need a 2nd opinion and conformation that compression is the problem.

Your thoughts?
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Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 AT 7:56 PM

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