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2006 Dodge Magnum has a new engine but

Hello mechanics, I have some fun for your expertise . I bought a 2006 Dodge Magnum from one of my closer friends who owns a well-known franchised tuneup shop, he’s a master mechanic and his dad owns 2 himself. I hang around the shop sometimes just shooting the breeze with my friend and needed a new/used car. He had the Magnum owned by an old pit crew boss (also a friend), they rebuit the motor and I bought it very cheap. The idiot light wouldn’t shut off so they had me drive it until the ECM would clear to allow it to pass smog. The idiot light returned, I brought it back and they replaced some sensor, light returned, the car would die at lights, no-start, slow up hills until one day it refused to turn over. Long story short, a piston fried and seized the engine=total rebuild. Honorable guys, they rebuilt it again, had me buy a new fan and idler pulley but he’s still “tweaking” it to run perfectly (it is running, I saw it, but the serpentine seemed to “wobble”). What could be the problem? I don’t “need” the car soon, with the covid lockdown we’re working from home, but I don’t want to embarrass my friend without a valuable suggestion. Thanks everyone PS The pit boss thought I let it overheat, but I know cars enough not to drive it running hot, I never saw a heat warning, it never ran low on coolant, and why would I worry about a brand new rebuild overheating anyway, I think he was just bummed it would cut into his profit on a 2nd rebuild

Why not , he sold you a vehicle that had problems and is most likely to continue to have problems. Maybe the master mechanic title is not correct.


He’s someone I’ve known for years, he is a “master”, his father sent him to school before giving him one of his shops. The “Hemi” is a complicated engine, probably what you get when you put a racing motor that can do 170 mph in a fancy-looking station wagon LOL

I’m also sure that’s why he hasn’t returned the car yet, so I don’t have further problems, the future problems you allude to can’t be any bigger than a total rebuild which has been done.

No, it isn’t a complicated engine. It is a simple pushrod V8 with similar electronic controls common to every modern car. That “idiot light” you are referring to is known as a Check Engine Light (or CEL).

That CEL is telling you the computer recognizes something is wrong and that error codes are stored. If it was flashing, you should stop driving the car immediately as it recognizes a serious problem. The computer can help save the engine from the problems it sees by reducing power.

You can’t tell us what those error codes are so we can’t help you diagnose your car’s problem. Seems like the “master mechanic” is having difficulty with that, as well. Nothing I can tell you without those codes.


You casually heard an explanation and are running with it. A piston does not “fry”. A motor usually seizes due to oil issues.
It’s common for modded turbo motors to have bad tunes which results in conditions that break piston lands. Your motor is not turbo’d.
You could have had a stuck injector and gas washed 1 cyl down and maybe the rings scored the cyl wall and resulted in the diagnosis of “seized”, as in, not running.
Car was in shop. A problem. A poor repair. You got it. Another problem surfaced. It’s in shop again. I think you are not savvy enough to determine issue even with the explanation. At this time. Everyone can learn. Or try too.

I’m not sure why either, of course, but consider that he might be embarrassed that he sold you a car with big problems that he hasn’t solved yet. It seems to me that if you want him to or he can’t solve the problems soon, he should take the Magnum back and refund your money. Whether he loses money or face in this is secondary to his promise to provide a car that runs properly. As it is right now, you can’t drive it on the street, and he is responsible. I’m sure he understands that and I hope he wants to make good on that promise.

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I understand completely, I expected to see some message about excess temperature as I have with any previous car I’ve owned, I didn’t realize the red light was probably telling me that. I’ll get the codes, thank you

I’m certain of my lack of knowledge which is why I come here my friend. I know very little about engine work, I’ve done many automotive repairs myself, but never engine work. I saw the aftermath of the damage and
on the block, I saw what looked like the piston had melted into the cylinder (if I’m describing the right parts)

I’m sure you’re right, I’ve also been to his shop recently and he literally doesn’t have a space to put another car, mine is surely low on his priority list as he knows I don’t “need” it back soon.

I should explain the car he sold me was owned by the elderly former pit crew chief, a guy who worked at his shop for awhile when my friends employee got fired. He needed a second mechanic and the retired crew chief came in to give him a hand. When the shop isnt busy, they buy cars at auction and rebuild them for resale so I technically bought it from the crew chief

When he pulled your head(s) this is what it should have looked like. You have a n iPhone? No pics?
If there were more then 1 ugly pistons, I would be very worried.
He bored block? New pistons? That’s rebuilt in my book

I understand, thank you, yes one of those 4 holes (cylinders?) had melted metal and pieces of
metal they found

Wyatt , just in case you don’t know your replies are seen by everyone so it is not necessary to reply to each person.

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I did not, thank you

My kid bought a used hemi Cherokee for towing. He sold it 2 months later. Not hard to find cheap magnums in the inner city. Or at auction sites. I like the refund path myself.
Melted piston? No no no. Run.

Rule number 1 for vehicle sales .

Never buy from or sell to ( Friends , Relatives or Coworkers ) .


That’s good advice, I would never have tolerated this from a dealer…

Unless, you and friend both work on car and both know issues. Not the case here. It’s a good way to learn. Either you are a car guy, or not.

I know nothing about engine work, just the school of hard knocks owning used cars for 40 years, I learned everything else through trial and error, and from guys like you, electronics, cooling issues, fuel stuff, brakes, trim but no engine or suspension (didn’t have the tools). It’s a pretty awesome car when it runs, I’ve never had one more powerful and I owned a '78 Camaro Z28 350 4 brrl Holley balanced and blueprinted, the Magnum is even more powerful