A yr in the past we spoke to 3 skilled tuners, one specialist for every of The Huge Three, about tips on how to correctly tune your automotive. Whereas the main points differed about tips on how to construction a long-term tuning program relying on model, a unifying theme appeared throughout all three interviews, particularly relevant to Mopar merchandise: Correctly tuning a automotive prices correct cash. As this cautionary story associated by Carscoops reveals, fixing a damaged tune additionally prices correct cash.
The story started with the proprietor of a 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody Jailbreak, Brennon Vinet, posting on the Dodge Challenger Proprietor’s Membership web page on Fb. Vinet claimed his Hellcat engine misplaced compression after round 800 miles of driving and wanted a brand new engine and transmission. He mentioned he’d by no means pushed over 100 miles per hour, by no means abused the automotive, by no means had something achieved to the engine, saying the one modification was the favored mid-muffler delete, which removes a set of mufflers in the course of the exhaust piping.
His Fb posts present Dodge denied the guarantee declare, the automaker “alleging that [Vinet] altered the ECM.” He one way or the other acquired the scenario escalated far sufficient up the chain that he mentioned he spoke to model CEO Tim Kuniskis and VP Steve Stander, neither one in every of whom reversed Dodge’s place on the declare. The refusals left Vinet with a invoice for $36,000 if he needed his automotive mounted.
Vinet despatched Carscoops paperwork concerning the subject, one merchandise exhibiting the lack of compression in cylinder seven. Regrettably, a breakdown of that $36,000 invoice wasn’t included. As a substitute, the paperwork additionally appeared to indicate the guarantee was being denied “as a consequence of emissions tampering.” When Carscoops first reached out to Dodge with questions, the automaker confirmed emissions tampering as the difficulty. When the outlet reached out once more to confirm if the mid-muffler delete precipitated the emissions downside, Dodge was responded that it wasn’t the mufflers, however that “a Stellantis Calibration Engineer ran Powertrain Management Module (PCM) diagnostics and confirmed that the car’s PCM [powertrain control module] was tampered with and contained non-factory software program.”
Flash Dodge’s inventory PCM with unauthorized software program or swap out the PCM for a non-authorized unit, and growth, the automotive’s guarantee is vaporized. This has been a giant topic on Dodge boards for years, homeowners questioning concerning the ins and outs of the P1400 code that reveals on a scan report signifying an altered PCM. All the alarm reads, “P1400-AFTERMARKET CALIBRATION DETECTED/WARRANTY COVERAGE CONFIRMATION REQUIRED.” As soon as it reveals, it can’t be erased; a tuner mentioned the code will get saved within the automotive’s Physique Management Module; a discussion board poster wrote that Dodge up to date its software program in 2018 for the code to be written to the BCM.
As for Vinet, it seems he is gone quiet. On the Challenger Discuss boards, a poster wrote, “I am in the identical [Facebook] group and as soon as all this crap hit the fan, he deleted all of the photographs of his automotive from his FB profile and deleted any point out of it.”
We have learn posts by not less than one tuner saying it provides flashed PCMs that do not set off a P1400. That might be true. It will appear safer, although, to observe the recommendation of many different discussion board posters who recommend that when you insist on retaining your guarantee, do not mod your automotive past a cold-air consumption and cat-back exhaust. Now that automakers are de facto software program corporations, they’re solely going to get higher at determining who did what to a PCM.