The modern Dodge Dart is a sporty compact sedan with nimble handling and an affordable price.
Despite sharing names with the popular muscle car from the 1960s, the new Dodge Dart only lasted from the 2013 to 2016 model year.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common problems and issues Dodge Dart owners have reported.
Table of Contents
1. Excessive Oil Consumption
The Dodge Dart’s more powerful 2.4-liter engine has a known issue with excessive oil consumption.
The oil consumption problem is often caused by poor implementation of the MultiAir variable valve timing system.
Similar issues have also been reported for other Chrysler vehicles that use the same engine such as the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Renegade and Chrysler 200.
Common symptoms of oil consumption include:
- Blue smoke from exhaust
- Barely any oil on the dipstick
- Low oil pressure warning
- Check engine light
- Engine stalling
Lots of people only discover that they have oil consumption issues after their engine stalls due to low oil levels.
Here’s what a few users on Dodge-Dart.org forum had to say:
“I bought my 2014 Dart December of 2013. I still love it, but I started noticing the oil consumption about mid-2015. I’ve probably added about 8 quarts of oil in the past 2 years.”
“Got a 2015 with the 2.4 – about 45k miles. Using about a quart of oil every 1-2k miles which is way too much.”
“My 2016 Dart Gt is doing the same thing. I took it to the dealer and they told me that it is burning oil too quickly. They have been doing a combustion test. I go every 2 months for them to check my oil to see how much is burning in a certain amount of time. My service guy told me that it shows that I need a new engine.”
Dodge and Chrysler have a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) that recommends performing an oil consumption test on cars equipped with the 2.4-liter engine.
If there is too much oil consumption, dealers often just replace the entire engine.
Otherwise, in cases where the oil consumption is within the threshold, owners just have to religiously check their oil levels and top it up in between oil changes.
2. Key Stuck in Ignition
Another widely known issue that many Dodge Dart owners encounter is the key getting stuck in the ignition.
The key can only be removed if it’s in the “Off” position. When the problem appears, the key stops turning after the “Accessory” position.
Here’s how one owner described their experience:
“I have a 2014 Dart with a 2.4. Every once in a while my key gets trapped in the ign cyl because it won’t get past the accessory position to get to the off position (as I turn it to the left). If I try different things I can usually get it out.”
Normally, the key can only be turned to the “Off” position and removed when the shifter is in Park.
When the microswitch that detects the Park position breaks, getting the key out can be an issue.
One workaround that seems to work for a lot of people is to shift the transmission out of Park and back in again.
Disconnecting the battery also makes the key turn normally again, but can take a lot of time.
Lots of owners also suggest bending the switch/lever contacts or even cutting the wires that go to the switch and just splice them together.
3. Turbo Issues
The Dart’s 1.4-liter engine has a tendency to suffer from turbocharger related issues.
In a lot of cases, dealers simply replace the entire turbo, but this might not be the most cost effective solution if you’re out of warranty.
Common symptoms of turbo issues include:
- Lack of power
- Rough idle
- Check engine light
- P0299 underboost trouble code
Here’s how a few Dart owners described their issue:
“I have a 2015 at about 34k, no mods, and I noticed I’m either getting very little or no boost. I haven’t gotten any error codes (yet), but I can definitely hear a difference in the turbo spooling and blow-off from a few days ago and it’s much weaker.”
“Driving home tonight, under mild acceleration, it shuddered and lost power with a flashing CEL… the CEL then went out and it drove OK for a bit, but the issue reoccurred, and wouldn’t go over 40mph (limp mode?). Got home and checked for codes… P0299 (underboost) and P0302 (misfire #2).”
The most common culprit for these turbo issues is a faulty boost control solenoid. Cracked hoses and vacuum leaks can also create similar symptoms.
In some cases, the internal wastegate goes bad which requires an entire new turbo.
4. Bluetooth Module
The Dodge Dart’s Bluetooth module has a tendency to have issues and stop working altogether.
This problem typically only affects cars equipped with the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen.
Common symptoms of a faulty Bluetooth module include:
- Won’t connect to paired devices
- No Bluetooth option in settings
- Stuck on loading/waiting screen
- Handsfree stops working
Here’s what some users on Dodge-Dart.org had to say:
“My 2013’s Bluetooth went out and I had to purchase a new hands free module. I purchased a “new” one on eBay for about 60 dollars.”
“I have a 2013 Dodge Dart with the 8.4 inch display. My issue is that the Bluetooth and the hands free system just say that they are loading. When I go into my settings to connect a device, it won’t even let me click on the Bluetooth option.”
“Pretty sure the bluetooth module went in my 2013 dart sxt today called the local dodge dealer they said it was $497.28.”
A new OEM Bluetooth module for the Dodge Dart costs a few hundred dollars, but a lot of the repair cost is labor because the old module is buried deep behind the dash.
Enthusiasts and DIY mechanics have successfully replaced the module on their own in their garage, but it’s still a lot of work.
In some cases, disconnecting the battery for a few minutes can reset the computers and modules, and help get the Bluetooth working again.
5. MultiAir Problems
The Dodge Dart’s MultiAir variable valve timing system has also been known to suffer from failures as the engine’s mileage adds up.
MultiAir variable valve timing makes the engine more efficient and powerful, but can be costly to fix when it goes bad.
Common symptoms of a faulty MultiAir solenoid include:
- Check engine light
- P1062 and P1067 trouble code
Here’s how one user on Dodge-Dart.org described their experience:
“I currently have a misfire issue caused by a cylinder #2 VVA solenoid. It only happens cold… once the engine begins to come up to temp, it runs fine and the fail codes revert to stored. Once it sits overnight, fail codes are active again and the misfire returns.”
Fixing MultiAir related problems can get expensive really fast because individual parts are usually not available.
To replace the MultiAir solenoids, you’ll have to get an entire MultiAir assembly which can cost over $1,000 new at the dealer.
Installing the new MultiAir part also needs special tools to get it properly calibrated.
6. Stuck Rear Calipers
Modern Dodge Darts have a tendency to have premature wear and issues with their rear calipers.
After a few years, also it’s not unusual to see the rear calipers seize up or get stuck due to excessive corrosion and debris buildup.
Common symptoms of a seized rear caliper include:
- Parking brake issues
- Dragging brakes
- Grinding and vibration
Lots of owners only discover the brake issues once they start having problems with the parking brake.
In a lot of cases, it’s mostly the mechanism that handles the parking brake engagement that gets stuck and stops working properly.
A skilled mechanic should be able to clean and refurbish the old caliper, or just install new parts which might cost a few hundred dollars.
7. Electrical Issues
Dodge Darts can suffer from strange electrical issues that can be hard to diagnose as they get older.
A lot of owners have also noticed that the Dodge Dart can act strangely once the battery gets a little weak.
Some of the more common electrical and battery issues reported include:
- Won’t start
- No lights/locks
- Flickering lights
- Gauge dials move up and down
- Battery drain
Here’s how a few users on Dodge-Dart.org described their issues:
“Our ’13 factory battery died at ~18months…. and as of today,we needed yet another battery… the Exide we replaced the stock battery with also took a powder after ~18months.”
“My girlfriend has one a 2015 and she’s had to replace the battery 3x in the past 2 years since we’ve started dating and now the alternator just went and drained the new battery I just put in.”
Before doing any kind of troubleshooting, you should try testing if the issue persists with a new battery.
Even if the battery you’re using is new or only a few months old, it could be defective from the factory.
The Dodge Dart’s ground connections are also known to corrode and cause all sorts of strange and intermittent electrical problems.
8. Transmission Problems
Some turbo models of the Dodge Dart have a 6-speed DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission) which has been less reliable and more expensive to fix compared to the other transmission options the Dart came with.
The Dart’s DDCT (Dual Dry Clutch Transmission) is more responsive than regular automatics but is also much more complex.
Here’s how one user on Dodge-Dart.org described their experience:
“We bought the car brand new 2015 Dart Aero 1.4l with this ddct and only 45k miles now in 2021 when all this started. Service transmission, check engine light on, can’t find gear. She had it towed to the dealer they got the same 3 codes as everyone here. They quickly said needs the entire transmission gonna be $5900.”
If you want to make the Dart’s DDCT last, you should be on top of the transmission fluid changes throughout your ownership.
The same is true for any other transmission, but it’s even more important for DCTs because of how expensive they are to fix and replace.
Sometimes, a quick fluid change can also get rid of different kinds of shifting issues.
9. Stuck Clutch Pedal
Dodge Darts equipped with a manual transmission have a known issue with the clutch pedal intermittently getting stuck to the floor and not coming back up.
In most cases, it will pop back up on its own but very slowly. The pedal will sometimes also have to be pulled up manually.
Here’s how a few Dart owners described their dilemma:
“My clutch pedal went limp today. Flops around at about 1/4 travel from the floor. Won’t decouple engine from tranny. 27,000mi.”
“Own a 13 dart and having same issues with clutch sticking on floor after sitting several hours. First started with pedal slightly sticking and popping right back up.”
Stuck clutch pedals are often caused by a faulty clutch slave cylinder which isn’t very expensive to fix.
However, the problem can also occur again after some time so you’ll have to repair it every few years.
Some owners have also decided to install a CDV (Clutch Delay Valve) Delete Kit which has claimed to be a more permanent fix to the problem.
Dodge Dart Pros & Cons
- Sporty looks
- Nimble handling
- Affordable price
- Spacious for a compact sedan
- Value for money
- Top safety ratings
- Sluggish base engine
- Resale value
- Fuel economy
What Do The Reviews Say?
“The 2016 Dodge Dart is an affordable sedan to check out if you are seeking something with personality. It’s got a sporty look, and it’s relatively fun to drive around turns.”
“On paper, the base engine makes an impressive amount of power, but in reality a base Dart is one of the slowest cars in its class. The smaller, turbocharged engine in the Aero is peppier but is marred by an automated-clutch transmission that is slow to shift and causes the car to lurch at low speeds.”
“The 2.4-liter engine that tops the range is more in line with the performance of other cars in the class, but EPA-estimated fuel economy is mediocre.”
“The 2016 Dodge Dart makes a nice first impression, with padded surfaces, dash stitching and available flares of colorful trim. Build quality isn’t exactly up to that of the segment leaders, though.”
What’s the Resale Value of a Dodge Dart?
Here’s a quick look at the Dodge Dart SXT’s used pricing on Edmunds at the time of writing.