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I'm the original owner of a 2014 2.4L Dart and I'm at the crossroads of whether I should keep the car or sell it. I go back and forth on this as on the one hand, it's nice to not have a car payment especially when you are looking at purchasing a house, while on the other, it does have some random problems (average MPG has dropped by 4, other day it shut off because it burned through almost all the oil) and is coming up on semi-expensive maintenance (brakes, shocks, new tires, etc.) so selling it would be beneficial given what I could get out of it. If I did decide to keep it, I would spend some money on performance parts (light weight crank, CAI, etc) while tackeling the maintenance in order to drive it for several more years, but my fear is the possibility of a money pit that can occur as cars get older. With that said, how do the Darts last? Do you recommend keeping or selling?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm the original owner of a 2014 2.4L Dart and I'm at the crossroads of whether I should keep the car or sell it. I go back and forth on this as on the one hand, it's nice to not have a car payment especially when you are looking at purchasing a house, while on the other, it does have some random problems (average MPG has dropped by 4, other day it shut off because it burned through almost all the oil) and is coming up on semi-expensive maintenance (brakes, shocks, new tires, etc.) so selling it would be beneficial given what I could get out of it. If I did decide to keep it, I would spend some money on performance parts (light weight crank, CAI, etc) while tackeling the maintenance in order to drive it for several more years, but my fear is the possibility of a money pit that can occur as cars get older. With that said, how do the Darts last? Do you recommend keeping or selling?

Thanks in advance.
I too have been at that same cross road. Congrats on getting to the point of looking at houses though! I too just bought one, and yes not having a car payment will help with that and your house will actually be a good investment, while this car is not. Which pretty much ALL cars are not when you are an original owner like you and myself.

I am keeping my car, as it's still not paid off. But not much left on it! But when it is, with the value that they are worth and the amount of tech and features I have, it's almost silly to GIVE IT AWAY. Which is what I would be doing. I mean yes, I plan on upgrading to a Charger Scat Pack :) but when it comes down to it, if the dealer offered me a couple grand for the car, it just would not be worth it. I can save up when the car is paid off and just have those "payments" go into my savings account for the car. I can make up trade in in about a year vs giving away a perfectly good car.

I understand the point of maintenance. I will need tires too. I just bought all new pads and calipers. I haven't even looked into shocks and any of the steering and suspension components. My buddy just traded his 14 Sonic in on a new 19 Accord. And he was in the point where he was starting to have things go bad and needed to pay these repair bills. He wasn't having that, but at the time of car shopping, the car was in all working condition. One dealer offered him like 1000...I said dude you're an absolute IDIOT if you take that deal. Sure every bit helps, but having a second car in working condition is worth not that kind of low offer, even if it will need some more work. He ended up getting a bit more somewhere else and traded it anyways.

The thing that really throws a red flag though is that you're burning oil in your 2.4. That's BAD. You're never going to have that go away. The only solution is going to the dealer, praying that you fail the oil consumption test (which is insane) and getting a new engine. That right there, is a reason to take a hit and trade it. To fail the test, you need to burn like 1 quart every 750 miles or something insane like that. So 4 quarts gone before you even hit 3k...on oil and an engine that says in the manual "go until the light comes on" which in my 2.4s case is around 7500 - 8000 miles. I do lose a bit of oil, maybe a quart in that time frame. Nothing terrible. Yeah you'd be about empty before 3k so it's almost impossible to fail that test if they are still using that one. Before you make that decision though, I would do the test. Maybe it's different now. Maybe they aren't as strict and you can get a new engine. If you pass though, and still burning oil like crazy and have the dangerous case where the engine shuts off randomly because of it (sadly all too common with the 2.4) then I don't think it's worth it. If you weren't burning oil, I'd say keep it. So my recommendation would be to check on that oil consumption issue.
 

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If the oil consumption issue was consistent, I would dump the car immediately, but it's random with no rime or reason. It's only happened about 2-3 times in the 6 years I have had it. With that being said, I will call the dealer to see what this test cost and go from there.
 

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Is the car your daily driver? If not then can it sit and wait for repairs? Tires will run $400-600. Brakes and shocks will run anywhere from $100-200. That's not even close to what car payments will run. The big question mark then is the oil issue. If it's only happened randomly then I would just check the oil more frequently. All three of my current stock: 2013 Dart Rallye, 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 60th anniversary edition, and 1977 Chevy C10, are paid for at purchase. For 15 years I drove a 2000 Chevy Blazer (payed off) and put that monthly car payment into a savings account. That savings account allowed me to make repairs to it, and later on to buy the Dart and the Jeep in full. It would allow you to fix that oil issue later on. But with that all said it really comes down to one thing: do you like the Dart enough to want it for a long time or is it just another means of transportation?
 

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If you do keep it, check the oil every week. Learn to do some of the easier maintenance things yourself. Brakes are actually pretty easy to do yourself. The longer you keep a car the less it costs in the long run. I don't buy cars very often but every time I do, I am shocked by how much more they cost. I bought my 1970 Dart for $2,500 new. The 2016 Darts we have now were about $20,000 apiece. I hate car payments. I am hoping these Darts were the last new cars I'll buy in my lifetime. But I do all my own work and I like visiting junkyards.
 

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How many miles do you have?

How often do you do oil changes? At what interval?

Don't forget, winter gas blend is here if you live in a cold state. That drops your mpg down about 5.
 

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Unfortunately the Dart isn't the kind of car you want to sell or trade off, as they're worth very little on the market. Believe it or not there are still dealers out there with unsold new Darts, by now likely scavenged for parts to keep customer cars running. I have less than a grand to go with my car payments and will try to enjoy having a fully paid-off car for a few years before I jump back in again. Like the others have said new cars are ridiculously expensive nowadays. Dealers try to offset that with 7-year loans, but then you're stuck in a payment rut even longer.

Oil burning is an issue with the 2.4 engine, and my Dart goes through a couple of quarts between changes. But as long as the consumption isn't too bad it's really no big deal to top it off every few weeks or so. But if yours is so bad that you're topping it off every week then you'll have to make a decision. The fuel mileage on mine has dropped since new, but all cars do that once the engine wears or carbons up inside. Put some fresh plugs in if you haven't already, and run some fuel system cleaner through the next few tankfuls to clean the crud out. Also know that worn tires will definitely reduce your mileage, so if they're due for replacement that could also be the reason why your fuel economy has gone down.
 
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