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2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Long-Term Update 1

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/4/2016 Jonny Lieberman, Motor Trend Staff

This is one hungry, hungry Hellcat. Hungry for oil at any rate. After a trip overseas, I popped the big, red cat's trunk and found an unopened quart of synthetic 0W-40 oil. "Hmmm," I thought to myself. "That's not good." I flipped through the fuel log to see who last put gas in the tank. Moments later I was on the phone with Scott Evans. "Robin thought the oil level was low, so I bought a quart to top it up," he said. "But then I checked it, and the oil level was fine." What our photographer noticed was the oil life gauge in the instrument cluster. With just below 6,000 miles on the odometer, it was reading 0 percent. Also, on start up, a message would flash: "Oil change required."

2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat instrument cluster logo© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat instrument cluster logo

I decided to do something I never do: read the owner's manual. I found this on page 255: "The engine oil change indicator system is duty cycle based, which means the engine oil change interval may fluctuate, dependent upon your personal driving style." Italics added by me. Boy, I thought back and realized the second thing I ever did with this Hellcat was run a few laps around the Streets of Willow. Mind you that was after Jason Cammisa and Randy Pobst decided to have an impromptu drift contest on the skidpad. And yeah, the first thing I did was a big burnout for some CHP officers. What can I say? Cops love cars. Anyhow, the oil was no doubt ready for a transplant.

2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat front three quarter in motion 05© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat front three quarter in motion 05

But is this normal? After all, Hellcats come from the factory loaded with six quarts of synthetic blend, and the rumor mill holds that despite what dealerships and mechanics want you to think, synthetic oil is good for 15,000 miles. So I checked in with the kind folks/power-mad power junkies at hellcat.org. The Hellcat owners on that site hit me over the head with information, but essentially nothing with "my" 'cat was out of the ordinary. Despite the synthetic oil, you need to change it out every 6,000 miles. And with the way I and the rest of the Motor Trend gang drive it, we should bump that up to every 5,000 miles. The good news? The oil change cost less than $80 at a dealer.

More on our long-term Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat here:

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