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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, all. Been lurking here for a bit, and picked up a new 2020 Citadel AWD (3.6) a few months ago to replace our aging (but bulletproof) 2009 Pathfinder.

Loving this thing so far. We picked it up on a Thursday afternoon, and drove it from Chicago to central Florida the next evening. Just a fantastic cruiser, and around home, it tows our 5500lb boat wonderfully.

A few little things here and there have been sorted out, and am still chasing a HUGELY annoying clicking noise in the rear when the body twists (not the tailgate, it seems to be the bumper on the driver’s side rubbing against the sheet metal of the fender). If anyone’s got a suggestion there, PLEASE let me know.

So, here’s the question: Knowing what you know now after having yours for a while, what do you wish you had done differently when it was new, from a maintenance perspective?

For example, I’ve got a 2015 Wrangler. Wranglers have common areas on the frame where they rust, so people use various treatments to protect against it, like Fluid Film. I’ve done some of that, but I’d have been a bit more diligent in some areas (it’s all surface rust, and not bad at all, just ugly).

Thanks in advance for any wisdom!
 

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Maybe not so much of a maintenance thing per say, but I do wish I had gotten PPF (Paint Protection Film) on the front bumper, hood, and mirrors. So far I don't have too much damage from rock chips, but I do have some and that bugs me.

Something I do which is a personal preference, is I change over to full synthetic oil at the 1st oil change of an engine's life. I feel it prolongs the life of the vehicle, even if it doesn't it makes me feel better running it verses conventional oil.

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe not so much of a maintenance thing per say, but I do wish I had gotten PPF (Paint Protection Film) on the front bumper, hood, and mirrors. So far I don't have too much damage from rock chips, but I do have some and that bugs me.

Something I do which is a personal preference, is I change over to full synthetic oil at the 1st oil change of an engine's life. I feel it prolongs the life of the vehicle, even if it doesn't it makes me feel better running it verses conventional oil.

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Been thinking about PPF on the leading edge of the hood. Thanks for the reminder.

Definitely going synthetic (had very good results with Amsoil and the Mopar filter in my Jeep, so I’ll use the 0W-20 version that meets the MS-2395 spec in the Durango). Every 5k mi usually, but a bit early this time in advance of another road trip. And samples each change with Blackstone, just to keep tabs on it.
 

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Jfire72 is exactly what I should have done. OP look into PPF, those rock chips will make a way, I try to take care of our truck and it seems the more I do, the more happens to it lol
 

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I would’ve gotten the warranty that covered the electronic. I’m not having any issues but still with all the computerized gadgets, just want to have peace of mind that I don't have to sell my kids and arm to have it repaired. Also would’ve gotten the captains chairs.
 

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If I could do it again, I would have put the little rock guards on right away from ZL1, I have some chips on the leading edge of the rockers...

I'm a major fan of the Canvasback in the back half to protect the carpet.
 

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Oh ya, I highly recommended Canvasback covers. It saves your carpet and seat backs, and pays for itself the 1st time you haul anything, this can include animate and inanimate objects alike LOL! Literally tore up all my carpet and seat backs in my last Durango. Another plus is cleaning is super easy, which is a big deal with the amount of cargo area in these things.

Along this line is floor protection. I personally like Husky Liners as I found Weathertrchs to be a bit stiff and not as soft on my feet just IMO. I've had both and both do the job, and there are others out there as well that will probably be a good choice.

Between Canvasback and any name brand floor liner, you will be protecting your interior pretty well.

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As other have said, PPF is my number one recommendation. The ZL1 flaps aren't my jam, the film solution is (in all vulnerable areas).

I follow the OEM maintenance schedule, however I do change the engine and rear diff fluid at around 500 miles on all cars. I don't subscribe to the myth of break-in oil or the rings needing to seat (after 500+ miles), there is zero evidence of this at OEM level. I do subscribe to the myth that there is a higher level of junk in the oil when new, so it's what I do. My cars never use even a 1/2 pint of oil between changes.
 

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PPF for sure on the front edge of the hood. I've already have good size rock chip that I had to repair there.

I did the splash/rock guards early on. I just wish that the Mopar splashguards would fit the R/T in the front. The rears fit ok, but I had to find something different for the front. I started out with ZL1 SRT guards then switched to the R/T version once ZL1 came out with those.

Good mats are also a must. I have Weather Tech mats in the front and Lloyds from my 13 Durango in the second row and behind the second row in the cargo area. The Lloyd"s are okay, but I would prefer something with higher sides behind the second row.

Speaking of mats, we bought a Chrysler Pacifica for my wife a couple of months ago. When I was looking for mats for it, I found the 3D Maxpider Kagu all weather floor mats. They are awesome. Flexible, yet soft and laser cut to fit. If I didn't already have the Weather Techs I would buy a set of the 3D Maxpiders for the Durango.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, looks like leading edge of hood mask is now on the list. Also looking at the Mopar all-weather mats for when the weather gets lousy (I have them in my Wrangler, and they’re great). I probably should do something about the sills, shoes are already scuffing them up (not mine, of course...)
 

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We're pretty happy with our '17 R/T.

If I had a do-over ... I'd have looked for / ordered one with blind spot alerts. The Durango has great visibility, but the nifty little lights in my Challenger mirrors have spoiled me.
 

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I also have weathertech liners, what I don’t like about them is how the drivers mat area where the foot rest gets covered doesn’t go high enough. It only goes halfway up so when my shoes are dirty it is not covered all the way.
Edit: here’s a pic of it, With my size 12 shoe up next to it :p
110546
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I also have weathertech liners, what I don’t like about them is how the drivers mat area where the foot rest gets covered doesn’t go high enough. It only goes halfway up so when my shoes are dirty it is not covered all the way.
The Mopar ones seem similar. I’m surprised the dead pedal area is just carpeted like that. Even my Fiero has vinyl there.

Think I might pick up a roll of that self-stick carpet sheeting you see used in new houses to keep things clean from foot traffic. A roll will last a lifetime, and I can just cut off/install enough to cover areas that’ll get trashed in winter (so much salt here - black carpet is going to be a nightmare).
 

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As other have said, PPF is my number one recommendation. The ZL1 flaps aren't my jam, the film solution is (in all vulnerable areas).

I follow the OEM maintenance schedule, however I do change the engine and rear diff fluid at around 500 miles on all cars. I don't subscribe to the myth of break-in oil or the rings needing to seat (after 500+ miles), there is zero evidence of this at OEM level. I do subscribe to the myth that there is a higher level of junk in the oil when new, so it's what I do. My cars never use even a 1/2 pint of oil between changes.
Great advice on the early oil change. I always try to do the first change before 1,000 miles, then the next change at 2,500 miles, then at 5,000 miles, and follow the maintenance schedule after that. Like you, I have virtually no oil loss between changes. And have never had the "Hemi Tick" in any of my vehicles.

BTW ... I had a 2016 Chevy SS (SomeLikeItHotRed, A6, Sunroof, Full Spare) from July to December of 2016. I liked it ... though the Chevy infotainment system drove me insane. So, when we rescued a dog that turned out to be a Lab/Great Dane mix and my wife wanted a SUV to haul him around, we traded "my" SS for a '17 Durango R/T. Then I traded "her" '13 Charger R/T for a '15 Challenger SRT. :)
 

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I also have weathertech liners, what I don’t like about them is how the drivers mat area where the foot rest gets covered doesn’t go high enough. It only goes halfway up so when my shoes are dirty it is not covered all the way.
Edit: here’s a pic of it, With my size 12 shoe up next to it :p View attachment 110546
That was another thing I didn't like with Weathertech. At least in the case of Husky Liners it does go up a little higher, maybe some others do too?. My foot is about 10 1/2" and just my toes are over the top edge left edge of them.

Ya I know, no foot in the picture haha!


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Great advice on the early oil change. I always try to do the first change before 1,000 miles, then the next change at 2,500 miles, then at 5,000 miles, and follow the maintenance schedule after that. Like you, I have virtually no oil loss between changes. And have never had the "Hemi Tick" in any of my vehicles.
That's interesting. I've seen recommendations for changing your oil the first time at anywhere from 500 to 3,000 miles. However, changing your oil three times in the first 5,000 miles seems like a lot. Did you use synthetic oil for any of those changes? I changed my oil the first time at 3,000 miles. I figured that the engine had broken in enough by then to change from the factory fill to fully synthetic oil (Pennzoil Ultra Platinum) and most of materials in the factory fill from break in would be drained out. I'm just slightly over 5,000 miles at this point and now I wondering if I should consider changing my oil again. Otherwise, my plan is to stay at 5,000 mile intervals as I do a lot of short trips and it usually takes me 8 to 10 months to accumulate 5,000 miles.
 

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That was another thing I didn't like with Weathertech. At least in the case of Husky Liners it does go up a little higher, maybe some others do too?. My foot is about 10 1/2" and just my toes are over the top edge left edge of them.

Ya I know, no foot in the picture haha!
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I was told the huskies were taller, after the fact of course...oh well maybe I will upgrade someday.

Oh and about the oil changing early on..why not? Oil is pretty cheap, and it would be peace of mind. You can always say you did it, and not wonder “what if” down the road.
 

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That's interesting. I've seen recommendations for changing your oil the first time at anywhere from 500 to 3,000 miles. However, changing your oil three times in the first 5,000 miles seems like a lot. Did you use synthetic oil for any of those changes? I changed my oil the first time at 3,000 miles. I figured that the engine had broken in enough by then to change from the factory fill to fully synthetic oil (Pennzoil Ultra Platinum) and most of materials in the factory fill from break in would be drained out. I'm just slightly over 5,000 miles at this point and now I wondering if I should consider changing my oil again. Otherwise, my plan is to stay at 5,000 mile intervals as I do a lot of short trips and it usually takes me 8 to 10 months to accumulate 5,000 miles.
Even now at age 61, I try to blend the old lessons with what modern technology teaches me. This second Muscle Car era is a great time to be alive!

Yes, I use Full Synthetic engine oils and quality filters for every fill. I used Mobil1 for many years, but switched to Pennzoil Platinum (Ultra Platinum for my Challenger SRT) a few years ago. I'm banking that the FCA engineers are smarter than me. Searching for sales on the oil and filters and doing the changes myself means I can usually do the change for about $55. Cheap insurance and most of the mats that we're talking about cost considerably more.

Back in the day, my engine guy mentors preached getting the break-in oil out before 1,000 miles and to do a thorough inspection of the oil in the drain pan, the magnetic drain plug, and even cut open the filter to look for metal particles. Doesn't mean they were right, but they did seem to have fast and reliable engines in their hot rods and family cars. I know today's engines don't use a "break-in" oil, but I'm still in the habit of taking a look -- and I'm the curious type when it comes to such things. I readily admit that three times in 5,000 miles is probably overkill.
 

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Even now at age 61, I try to blend the old lessons with what modern technology teaches me. This second Muscle Car era is a great time to be alive!

Yes, I use Full Synthetic engine oils and quality filters for every fill. I used Mobil1 for many years, but switched to Pennzoil Platinum (Ultra Platinum for my Challenger SRT) a few years ago. I'm banking that the FCA engineers are smarter than me. Searching for sales on the oil and filters and doing the changes myself means I can usually do the change for about $55. Cheap insurance and most of the mats that we're talking about cost considerably more.

Back in the day, my engine guy mentors preached getting the break-in oil out before 1,000 miles and to do a thorough inspection of the oil in the drain pan, the magnetic drain plug, and even cut open the filter to look for metal particles. Doesn't mean they were right, but they did seem to have fast and reliable engines in their hot rods and family cars. I know today's engines don't use a "break-in" oil, but I'm still in the habit of taking a look -- and I'm the curious type when it comes to such things. I readily admit that three times in 5,000 miles is probably overkill.
I'm not that far behind you, I'm 56, so I can relate. It is a great era as far as technology and cars go. Muscle cars or otherwise.

I agree with you that using a good quality oil and filter is the key with maintaining any vehicle. I plan on using only Pennzoil Ultra Platinum and either a Wix XP or Mobil 1 Extended Life filter in my R/T. We just purchased a new Pacifica and I'm probably going to do the same in it, although since I have some I might use Pennzoil Platinum in the first oil change. I have two sports/sporty cars that I typically only drive on the weekends. One is German and one is Japanese. Since I drive them hard, but drive them so few miles, I use Redline Oil in both along with K&N oil filters. But I only change the oil in them both once a year.

Based on my research I think giving the new technology and manufacturing changing your oil after the initial 500 miles isn't really necessary, but it can't hurt either. I'll probably do my second oil change in the R/T around 6,000 miles just to be on the safe side. I checked yesterday and after about 2,000 miles since my first oil change I'm at 74% oil life.

And I'm with you about the cost. I can normally buy a 5 quart jug of Pennzoil Ultra Platinum online for less $25 and a Wix XP oil filter for less than $10, so an oil change in the Durango runs about $45. I wish I could find Redline oil that cheap. LOL!
 

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First thing I do is a complete exterior detail. The Dodge paint is good, but the factory finish leaves a lot to be desired. It needs a good polishing (granite seems to need two passes), and then 2 coats of some sort of paint sealant a month or so apart. Yes, detailing such a big vehicle takes some time -- even if it's clean from the factory...

Interior floor liners are good (we have WeatherTech in all 3 rows) and a cargo liner is key (we're using a leftover from our 2011 GL450, which fits perfectly).

I used to be the 1,000 mile, then every 3,000 mile oil change person, but have recently been of the mindset that the factory maintenance interval is just fine if using full synthetic oil. I have never seen an analysis of a Dodge 3.6L engine's oil, but having seen the analysis o fseveral of German cars using Mobil 1 after 10-12k miles, I've resigned myself to the fact that modern engines are so well designed, that oil life is irrelevant. Also, when I had a 2002 Porsche 911, the factory maintenance schedule was 20k miles or 2 years per oil change (really). Granted those German engines all use 8 quarts of oil, but ~8k on a 6-cylinder Durango running full synthetic seems like no big deal to me. Now, if I towed anything, that might be a different story.

Otherwise, i think the only other thing I'd do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. We're on our 3rd Durango (2014, 2017, and 2019), and have had only a differential fluid leak issue with the 2017, which may have been caused by an accident. Otherwise, they were oil changes, air/cabin filters and wiper blades for the first 45k on each.

If you're going to keep it for a while, consider shopping around for a MOPAR Extended Warranty. It's a good idea, since some of the electronic stuff could get expensive. Get the bumper-to-bumper version, which I think we paid $800-900 for 6/85 (we drive 15k/year), and I am likely to buy out this lease when it ends if the 2019 is as reliable as the previous 2 were (i'd have bought out the 2017 if it didn't get sideswiped -- but it just had a lot more road noise after that, and the body panels didn't fit as well as they did from the factory).
 
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