Tuning a car can make it significantly more fun to get behind the wheel. A vehicle can quickly become even more enjoyable with more speed and power. However, if you’re looking to tune your vehicle, it’s best to pay the extra amount of money to do it right than to screw up your car and shell out even more money later. An excellent example of this is a 2023 Dodge Challenger Hellcat owner who tuned their vehicle and ended up with a $36,000 repair bill for damages that occurred.
Dodge Challenger Hellcat Tune Fail: Details
According to Autoblog, Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody Jailbreak owner, Brennon Vinet, claimed that his Hellcat engine lost compression after around 800 miles of driving and needed an entirely new engine and transmission. However, he stated he had never driven the car over 100 miles per hour, never abused the car, never had anything done to the engine, and said that the only modification done was the popular mid-muffler delete.
When the Dodge Challenger was brought to the dealership, the warranty was denied “due to emissions tampering.” But it wasn’t the muffler delete that caused the issue. Instead, Dodge stated that “a Stellantis Calibration Engineer ran Powertrain Control Module (PCM) diagnostics and confirmed that the vehicle’s PCM was tampered with and contained non-factory software.” Meaning an aftermarket tune resulted in the loss of compression in the seventh cylinder.
So, the PCM code tells a dealer that a vehicle has been tuned. Since the code can’t be erased, there’s no hiding the fact that either unauthorized software or the PCM was swapped out, eradicating any warranty on the vehicle. As for Vinet, after it was revealed that a shady tune was applied to the car, all photos of the Dodge Challenger and any mention of it were removed from his Facebook post. So, it’s best to use a Dodge Direct Connection tune to the car if you plan to add one, and don’t lie about tuning the car to a dealership because the PCM will always reveal the truth.