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West Coast Challengers
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West Coast Challengers, Southern California Chapter
Dodge Challenger Tips & Tricks
an exclusive article from
West Coast Challengers

June 17, 2009:

     Below is a list of TIPS and TRICKS for the Dodge Challenger. Some of these tips and tricks you may already know of, some you would never have discovered, and still some have that Wow factor. Enjoy!

     1. The push button start button can be popped off with your fingers by slipping a fingernail under the bottom and pulling the button towards yourself. The key fob can then be inserted into the hole and used to start in the car by turning it to the right. This can be used in the case of a "key fob not detected" message or a push button start failure.

     2. If you have the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) option, you can activate its hidden "extended" mode by holding down both the COMPASS (or HOME on 2010 and newer cars) and MUSIC NOTE buttons together for 7-10 seconds anytime the key is in the ON position (engine running/car moving or even engine off). Cycle through the series of various displays (such as a large-font digital speedometer) by using the up/down arrow switch on the left of the steering wheel. Caveat: It's not wise to start changing things unless you're confident that you know what you are doing. To get back to the normal EVIC operation, press the COMPASS button once again.

     3. On R/Ts with automatics (24J package) built after November 17, 2008, that have the Multi-Displacement System (MDS), there is a way to enable/disable the Economy Mode (ECO) indicator and/or change it to an icon. Using the "extended" EVIC display (mentioned above) scroll through until you find Personal Settings, then toggle down a few clicks and you'll find "ECO Display." There you will find the option to turn the ECO notification ON or OFF. Note: This does not turn MDS off, only the indicator light. Also, on some software versions, there is an option to change the ECO that appears on the EVIC when MDS is activated to an icon such as a leaf, or a globe, or variations of a few ECO icons.

     4. If you gently push IN on the signal/wiper lever (along the length of the shaft), you can get the wipers to swipe JUST ONCE (without using washer fluid). Handy feature in light misty driving conditions.

     5. If you actuate the turn signal lever either way and let go quickly without pushing it far enough to latch into the fixed position for signaling, the signals will flash three times and stop. Handy for merging into traffic and freeway lane changes.

     6. Pressing the stick pin button on the trip odometer for a moment will cycle the odometer display between Total miles, Trip A and Trip B. If you DON'T have the EVIC option, the display cycle will also include the outside temperature. If either of the trip odometer's are currently displayed and this knob is held in for a second or two, that trip odometer will be reset to 0.0 mi. (This may or may not work depending on your software version).

     7. You probably know by now that the high-beam headlights are switched on by pushing the turn-signal lever towards the dash until it latches, but did you know when in low-beam position, if you PULL the lever TOWARDS you you can activate the high-beams momentarily, until you let go? Great for telling that slow poke in front of you to yield to the bad ass. Also, by pulling back on the lever, it does NOT turn off the fog lamps. A quick way to get MAXIMUM light ahead. Otherwise, pushing the lever forward to "lock" the high beams on will turn the fog lamps off.

     8. The factory oil filters have been installed by a 900 lb. gorilla with a 30 inch wrench! They are VERY difficult to remove. You might want to consider having the first oil change done by the dealer, even if you do it yourself every other time!

     9. Like driving with your headlights on in the daytime for safety? Instead, think thought about having your Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) enabled! It runs your parking lamps (the orange ones) at a greater intensity whenever the headlights are OFF. It takes a trip to the dealer to get them activated because it requires the car to be hooked up to the StarScan module. After that, with the press of a few buttons on StarScan, you're ready to go.

     10. Inside the fuel door is a little hook in which to hang your fuel cap, by the cord, so that the cap doesn't hang down against the car.

     11. There's a way to disable the seat belt reminder chime: Step 1. With the ignition switch in any position except On or Start, buckle the driver side front seat belt. Step 2. Turn the ignition switch to the On position and wait for the seat belt indicator reminder function to conclude (about six seconds). Step 3. Unbuckle and buckle the driver side front seat belt three or more times, ending with the belt buckled. Step 4. Turn the ignition switch to any position except On or Start to toggle the belt-minder feature from its current setting (from active to inactive, or from inactive to active). A single chime tone will provide an audible confirmation that the programming sequence has been successfully completed. (This does NOT disable the INITIAL chime, only the nagging repeats every few seconds).

     12. Tired and ashamed of having to use the prop-rod to keep your hood open? You can buy Mopar hood struts to do the job for about $55. A five minute install and if you look under the hood, you'll notice, near the hinge, that you already have one-half of the ball joints installed on the hood. To install, start the bolt provided into the hole in the fender and apply pressure while tightening with your deep socket wrench (metric). The bolt will self thread. Tip: The struts are NOT the same. They are marked right and left on their respective packages so pay attention before unwrapping them.

     13. If you detach the sun visor from the clip holding it to the headliner, you can not only swivel it down or around to your side window, it ALSO slides out along the shaft attaching it to the roof, giving even greater placement flexibility. Also, a smaller plastic visor pulls out from inside of the visor to block the sun if it happens to be in that gap between the visor and the rear view mirror. Look for the the little thumb depression on the edge of the visor, and pull out.

     14. When ESP activates, it will turn OFF (not deactivate) your cruise control. You'll also lose your previous SET speed.

     15. All Challengers have a small trinket tray in front of the shifter area. Did you know that the tray liner is removable for cleaning? As is the bottom tray liner on that rectangular slot to the left of the cup holders.

     16. When using cruise control and going down a steep hill, the transmission will downshift to try to keep you close to your set speed.

     17. If you have the NAV unit, the FASTEST way to enter a destination (if it is a POI) is to enter the phone number! You need to scroll down to get to where it allows you to enter the phone number (it is out of sight). But the numeric keypad entry is faster to use than the full alpha keypad, you don't need to mess with list of names (POI names or street names). And there are no collisions on the entry (exactly one destination comes up). It also enters the dashes automatically.

     18. If you have EVIC, holding down the Compass button for several seconds will place EVIC into a diagnostic mode for the compass which also allows you to reset its calibration, i.e. fluctuation between true north and magnetic north.

     19. If you are equipped with the EVIC, if you leave the key in the "ON" position while fueling, you can not only watch the gas gauge rise, if you leave the EVIC in "Distance to Empty" mode, you can watch the numbers change as the tank fills. Distance to Empty can be found in the standard EVIC mode without having to go into the "extended" mode.

     20. If your turn signal is flashing at a faster rate for one side or the other, check the flasher light bulbs on that side; one of your bulbs has failed.

     21. You cannot open the trunk with either the button on the dash or with the key fob button until the transmission is in PARK.

     22. Need to look something up in the owner's manual? Download it here for free as a pdf file! Just choose your year and model. Courtesy of Dodge. See: My Dodge: Dodge Owners Service Manuals - Dodge Cars, Trucks, Minivans, SUVs, Wagons, Hatchbacks

     23. If you like driving with parking lights or headlights on in the daytime, there is a Parade Mode (daytime brightness feature) of the dash and panel lights. Rotate the dash light dimmer control upward to the first detent to select it. This feature brightens all displays such as odometer, EVIC and radio when the parking or headlights are on.

     24. If you are viewing the "extended" EVIC display and you push the trip odometer stick pin button once, the EVIC will display your top speed recorded since you started the car. (This may or may not work depending on your software version).

     25. When you leave your blinker on for a while and forget it while driving, the car will chime (in sync with the blinker) to tell you, "Turn the blinker off stupid!"

     26. If you hit the door lock switch on the armrest while the door is open and the car is running, it will NOT lock the doors. You can unlock them but it will not let you lock the doors to prevent you from accidentally locking yourself out.

     27. To (almost) completely disable the ESP/Traction Control in an SRT8, press and hold the ESP button while in park for about 5 or 6 seconds. The ESP beeps and shows bypassed. It's now disabled (almost) completely until you turn off the engine.

     28. To completely disable the ESP/Traction Control. While moving at more than 15 mph, you turn the key to START and hold it for a few seconds until the system chimes. (Don't worry, the starter won't engage). The chimes indicate that the ESP is now completely disabled until you turn the engine off. This is known as the "key trick."

     29. If you have the push button start feature and your check engine light comes on, your key fob remote start will work but it will only run for about 10 seconds, then quit (as if to say, "Check the light dummy"). After that, you'll have to restart the car by popping off the start button start and inserting the key.

     30. Did you know that the center console arm rest adjusts forwards and backwards? Just give it a nudge forward to release and it will slide back and forth to your desired position. Caveat: Moving it all of the way forward covers one of the cup holders.

     31. To reset the "Oil Change Required" message in the EVIC, turn the key to "ON" but don't start the engine. Press the gas pedal to the floor and release 3 times within 10 seconds. In some cases, the EVIC may display "Oil change reset" as an acknowledgment. Turn the key to OFF and you're done.


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