Taking Care of Your Dodge Viper Engine

Since it was first released in 1992, the Dodge Viper has been one of the most well-liked sports cars in the world. In addition to sleek design, the Viper features high-performance engines that give it its famous power. Though they are certainly impressive, these engines need regular maintenance, just like any other. From time to time, they will also need new parts as old ones wear out.

Basics of the Dodge Viper Engine

The engine of a Dodge Viper is, in most regards, structurally similar to most other gas-powered engines, with one very important difference. While the majority of motors have four, six or eight cylinders, the engine in a viper features a total of 10, meaning that there are more of the individual parts assigned to each cylinder. Parts with added replication in the Viper engine because of its cylinder count include: -Rods -Valves -Pistons -Spark plugs -Lifters The 10-cylinder configuration of the Dodge Viper engine is what accounts for its superior horsepower and torque. The distribution of strain across 10 cylinders also means that each cylinder is subjected to somewhat less strain under normal operating conditions that in a six or eight-cylinder engine, giving it a somewhat longer effective engine life.

Why Do Viper Engine Parts Wear Out?

Even with their surpassing durability, the parts in a Dodge Viper's engine are prone to wear, just as all car parts are. As you drive your Viper, every part in your engine is, at a very slow rate, wearing down because of mechanical usage. If you own your car long enough, all of its moving parts will, at some point, need to be replaced. The non-moving parts of the engine, such as the cylinder heads, are somewhat different. Under normal conditions, they should receive little to no wear or damage. If your engine is running too hot, however, your cylinder heads can still crack. When this happens, your oil, coolant and gas will no longer be fully separated within the engine. Also included in your engine are gaskets and seals, rubberized components that help to keep the seams between metal parts fully closed off. These components are unlike the other parts of your engine in that they are affected by the weather in your local area to some degree. As your gaskets heat up and cool down, they can get brittle, making them more likely to break or crack. In Chicago, Illinois, where we're located, the summers can be very hot and the winters extremely cold. Over several years, these shifting temperature conditions can make a gasket break down. Aside from gradual wear to parts, there's also the rare but not impossible occurrence of sudden part failure. Generally, catastrophic engine failures are due to improper maintenance, such as failing to properly secure the oil drain plug after an oil change and then running the engine out of oil on the highway. Generally, if a major part in your engine fails suddenly, it will also do damage to the parts around it, meaning that more than one part will need replaced to restore your motor to proper running order.

How to Tell an Engine Part is Going Bad

Because each engine part performs a different task, there are many different indications that a part in a Dodge Viper engine may be going bad. A common symptom of engine trouble is a knocking sound that gets louder and more frequent as you accelerate. This means that one of the engine's internal moving parts, such as a valve or a rod, is not working properly. Another common sign of engine problems is an oil leak around the head cover or cylinder head, which generally indicates a bad gasket. This kind of a leak may not be very noticeable at first, but will generally get worse as it goes on. A side-effect of such as leak is often a tiny bit of white smoke being visible while the engine is running. This is a result of oil that has managed to work its way out of the engine and onto its surface being burned as the engine heats up. Finally, if you have an engine part going bad, you will almost certainly notice a decrease in power, performance and responsiveness from your engine. Though there are several reasons this can happen, a bad engine part is certainly among them. If you do notice such a decrease in power, look into it as soon as possible. Diagnosing and fixing a problem early can save you time and money that you would have to spend to deal with larger issues down the line.

How to Maintain Your Engine Parts

If you want the parts in your engine to last, there are several regular maintenance steps you can take. First and foremost, you need to be sure you are changing your oil and oil filter regularly. Your engine's moving parts need clean oil to lubricate them, so be sure that is what they have. Secondly, you need to be sure your engine has enough coolant and that it is getting changed out as needed. Excess heat is more detrimental to engine parts that almost anything else, so proper maintenance of your cooling system is key to keeping your engine parts in good shape. Making sure your engine can keep itself cool is especially important for preventing cracks in your cylinder heads. You should also use high-quality gasoline. Gasoline blends with higher octane will tend to keep your engine cleaner and running more efficiently. Gas with too much ethanol isn't quite as good for your engine over the long haul, so try not to use it too often if you don't have to.


Even though a Dodge Viper's engine and engine parts are made to be tough and durable, they still need proper maintenance and occasional repair. If you are in need of factory OEM parts for your Dodge Viper, use MoparMonster.com to find exactly the parts you need. From our base in Chicago, Illinois, we distribute genuine factory parts for Mopar vehicles of all sorts to customers all around the country.