The Dodge Dart was introduced in 2013 and ran until 2016, when it was discontinued due to poor sales and longevity. It was based on the same platform as the European-made Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which means that the Dart combined a European sporty car experience with US design. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about all the problems the Dodge Dart suffers from, so stick around and find out!
The 2013-2016 Dodge Dart suffers from various powertrain issues such as the car stalling, slipping gears, losing power, getting stuck in gear/park, or even rolling out of park by itself. The engine also isn’t free of faults as it tends to suffer from a bad thermostat, excessive oil consumption, and possibly ignition coil issues.
Now it is time to go in a more in-depth look at all of these issues specifically. So, if you are in the market for a 2013-2016 Dodge Dart, you should read this article!
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Almost half of all the complaints associated with the Dodge Dart have been in the powertrain realm, which means that the powertrain (transmission) is by far the most fragile part of the Dodge Dart. The most common powertrain-related issues with the Dodge Dart are loss of power and stalling, transmission slipping, the car getting stuck in gear/park, and the vehicle rolling.
Many people who filed complaints about the Dodge Dart pointed out that car stalling is incredibly common. This issue primarily affects the 2013 Dodge Dart model and all the other model years. On many forums, owners report that these issues tend to happen multiple times per week, so much so that it even forces some owners to stop driving the car altogether.
It is said that this issue is also followed by check engine lights coming on and off without any prior warnings. A few owners said this issue is down to the P2096 trouble code, which includes problems with the O2 sensors and the PCM (Powertrain Control Module). Dodge also issued a recall to combat a “similar” issue in June 2013 (13V238000) for 2013 Dart models due to the PCM causing the car to stall in cold weather.
Loss Of Power
Loss of pulling power is also a prevalent issue with the Dodge Dart, and it seems to be happening in all four model years of the Dart. These issues can present themselves in a few different ways. One is when the car loses power, and any transmission input could cause the vehicle to just rev into oblivion. Another one is when the car manages to maintain a certain speed, such as 45mph, but can’t go any faster.
The issue is that the car tends to shift into neutral without any reason, while at other times, it can switch between drive and neutral, making matters even worse. Dodge did acknowledge this issue, which is why it recalled 2013-2015 Dart models in August 2015 (15V542000) to replace a faulty TCM that caused the problem and the bracket on which it sits.
Transmission slipping is a relatively common issue in all generations of the new Dart, but some people seem to have it worse than others. Usual transmission slipping symptoms are the engine’s inability to maintain consistent RPM, pathetic acceleration, check engine light, burning or other strange smells, grinding, whining, or other odd noises.
Some will experience these issues occasionally and not bat an eye, while others will not be able to commute daily without experiencing transmission slipping a few times. It seems like this issue is mainly associated with a lack of oil or with contaminated transmission oil, which needs to be replaced soon as possible in order not to do any more harm to the transmission.
Car Getting Stuck In Gear/Park
Another fairly common issue with the Dodge Dart is that the car refuses to get out of gear or can not be shifted out of park. This issue is customary to all four model years of the Dart, and no, it is not ALWAYS due to the cable, as many people usually tend to point out. It seems like the solution to this issue was to replace a faulty tension strut that connects the cast lever and a bushing which often tends to fall off.
Replacing this part might prove to be a challenge for uninitiated mechanics, but this mechanic, thankfully, was kind enough to outline the entire process of replacing a tension strut in great detail.
Car Rolling Out Of Park
One of the more worrying issues with the Dodge Dart is where the shifter cable bushing snaps off and detaches from the transmission, rendering the entire transmission completely useless. This means that you will not be able to do any inputs, making your Dart unusable. However, a few Dodge Dart owners were rightfully worried to report that their Dart models even rolled out of park completely autonomously and thus caused accidents.
Dodge wasn’t the quickest to react to this issue, but it finally did in April 2019 when it recalled specific 2013-2016 Dodge Dart models (19V293000) to replace the faulty bushing, the side shifter cable, and all the associated parts.
The engine in the Dodge Dart is also not without fault, which is why we will also list the most common Dodge Dart engine issues here. These include problems with the thermostat, excessive oil consumption, and issues with the ignition coils.
One of the most severe issues with the Dodge Dart engine is one where the thermostat refuses to open, and thus the engine overheats as it can’t get any coolant. If you don’t deal with this issue soon enough, there is a great deal of chance that your head gasket could blow, which can be extremely costly and challenging to repair.
As such, check the thermostat and replace it immediately, as a new thermostat is much easier and more affordable to replace than a new head gasket or potentially even an entire engine.
High Oil Consumption
Likely the most common engine-related complaint is that the Dart is known to burn through oil way too quickly. This can also result in terminal engine damage if it isn’t dealt with soon enough. Many owners have reported that they tend to top up the oil way too often, while some have also reported a plethora of issues caused by a lack of engine lubrication.
It is said that this issue is probably down to the valve seals or piston rings, which will have to be looked at and replaced if needed.
Engine Coil Issues
To round up our list of the most common Dodge Dart engine issues, we also need to discuss ignition coil trouble. These may not be as common as previous oil-related issues but are worth mentioning as they seem to happen to quite a number of 2013-2016 Dodge Dart owners. These are typically associated with poor acceleration, engine misfiring, poor fuel economy, and difficulty starting the car.
The ignition coil can not be repaired as it must be replaced. You can watch the video below to learn how to replace engine coils on a Dodge Dart.
As far as electrical issues with the Dodge Dart are concerned, there are countless of these, but thankfully most aren’t all that particularly serious, but they sure are annoying. Issues include the trunk popping up constantly, the TPMS system light coming on, the car not getting the key fob signal, the touch screen going blank, the radio not working, the backup camera failing, the stereo failing, and the exterior trunk release button failing.
Whenever any of the said issues happen, you can take your car to a professional who can examine your car’s electric system and to all the amends necessary for your vehicle to return to the road. These are likely caused by short circuits or an electrical fault, which can usually be dealt with quickly and relatively effortlessly.
Also, we need to mention that Dodge recalled specific 2016 Dodge Dart models in November 2016 (16V813000) due to an electric issue with the windshield wipers, which caused the entire wiper circuit to fail.
Many owners of all generations of the Dodge Dart complained about the car losing braking power and flashing its “service electronic braking system” and its “brake” lights. The brake fluid from the master cylinder can start leaking and thus can affect your overall braking performance. If you sense your brakes becoming soft or weak, immediately stop the car and take your vehicle in for a service.
However, the issue gets terrible when the fluid from the master cylinder finds its way into the brake booster and destroys the vacuum line. Eventually, Dodge issued a recall for 2013-2014 Darts back in November 2015 (15V800000) due to internal damage to the brake booster that could result in partial or complete loss of brake assist.
However, we do need to point out that many 2015 and some 2016 Dodge Dart owners also complained about this issue, but the 2015 and the 2016 Dart was not part of this recall which is something to keep in mind if you are looking at a used 2015-2016 Dart.
Marko´s interest in cars runs in the family. His father was a car trader and regularly took him to car dealerships when he was younger.
These days, when he isn´t watching Drivetribe or Doug DeMuro videos, he´s building up quite a resume as an automotive writer since he´s also a regular contributor on Cararc.com, Tirehungry.com, and Luxurycarsa2z.com.