Dodge SRT Hellcat Tips And Tricks New Owners Should Know

2022-01-03 15:11:03 By : Mr. Guess Lin

We mined the top info new owners need to know about their Challenger and Charger models from the owner's manual so you don't have to.

Dodge Hellcat ownership propels a gearhead into a different sector of enthusiasts. The broad range of models includes the Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Durango. Each with their niche, they all have that award-winning 6.2-liter supercharged V8, churning out over 700 horsepower. These cars appear to be all about one thing, and that's power. However, the ownership process isn't so simple, there are plenty of quirks buried in the car's infotainment system. These impact the daily use of the vehicle and make the experience more complicated than the gas guzzlers of old.

One such oddity is the inability to honk the horn when the driver locks the car doors. This makes perfect sense, disabling the horn when stationary removes the possibility of accidentally beeping when getting in and out or when parked in a quiet area. An owner can get around this by entering into the car's Settings. Under Doors & Locks, the ability to toggle “Sound Horn With Lock” is present.

The Challenger and Charger are more complicated than they first look—here's all the tips and tricks new owners should know.

Most motoring outlets documented the first generation of Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat's twin key system. On the most recent models, like the Durango Hellcat, Dodge has replaced this in favor of a software solution. These first cars had only 500 horsepower with the black key and a red key for the full power figure over 700 horsepower. The latest model years still allow the driver to choose power mode. Track and Sport drive modes give the option of changing the engine's power output temporarily.

Pressing the SRT button, which the owner will find nestled on the center console, beneath the Navigation screen, leads them to these options. Pressing this button twice puts the car in the owner's custom drive mode. The Track and Sport driving modes have limited traction control, which in certain conditions and roads isn't desirable. To rectify this, the driver can press the Traction Control button to change this back to “Street” mode.

The customization doesn't stop at the drive modes. The eight-inch center touchscreen display can display different patriotic themes of red and blue. The Driver can change these by navigating the Settings menu to Display and then Set Theme. This goes further, with the driver being able to tailor the driving experience on the software side even further. Display brightness both with and without headlights, the speed with which the rear camera shows, and the level of “Speed Adjusted Volume” are all customizable. With these software changes, it would be easy to forget some of the functionality that the Hellcat's key provisions, including a Panic button and Remote start button detailed in the 2021 Dodge Challenger owner's manual. The latter of which can let the car run for a maximum of 15 minutes.

In a move that's somewhat against the grain for plenty of manufacturers and their top-of-the-line products, the Dodge SRT Hellcats are available in both manual and automatic gearboxes. Owners of the eight-speed automatic face far more nuances. When put in “ECO” mode, the Hellcat's paddle shifters become redundant. The car will make the most efficient shifts possible to bolster its economy figures. There is a workaround with this, by sliding the shifter into manual mode the driver can make gear changes from there.

RELATED:5 Worst Engines Dodge Ever Put In Their Cars (5 That Were Amazing)

With power figures as high as 797 horsepower on the Redeye models, only the best engine oils will do to keep the engine running well. By no means is this an area to save a few bucks. Officially, the SRT Hellcat needs oil that meets MS-12633 specifications. Reputable oil brands like Penzoil, Amsoil, and Redline produce oils to this specification and usually at 0-40 weight.

Like all cars, it is possible and easy to change the car's oils at home, although dealerships can do this for under $100. The Hellcat requires its oil changed more frequently than most vehicles, the maximum distance is 6,000 miles. If a car sits around unused this change should happen sooner, perhaps at every 3,000 miles.

RELATED:Here’s Why Dodge’s Upcoming Electric Muscle Car Is Worth Waiting For

Most SRT Hellcats are garage queens, fun weekend toys for the track and drag strip. But with useable boot space, more than two seats and the comfort that modern performance vehicles provide some do get daily driven. It's obvious that with an all-wheel-drive system and a ride height to rival the Range Rover, the Durango SRT Hellcat is perfect in the snow.

For the other vehicles in the range, this is less true. Summer tires are sure to send most vehicles sideways and into grass verges, pedestrian walkways, and unsuspecting brick walls. However, with all-season tires and careful driving, the Challenger and Charger should be as useable as any other highly powered rear-wheel-drive vehicle.

In these conditions, the car must have full traction control enabled and with the driving mode in one of the less aggressive options like “Street”. To further increase the range's driveability in the snow, the smaller 500 horsepower figure will keep road users safer. The car can limit its power through either the twin key system or software trickery. Automatic owners have one more trick up their sleeve. Switching the car into “ECO” mode will further dull throttle response, providing more time to rectify any mistakes with a counter-steer or very light braking.

A Hellcat is a powerful car, but there's no telling what that hot rod is hiding. Find out in this drag race video.

Douglas Hamilton is a British gearhead with a degree in Literature. He grew up surrounded by F1, Need For Speed and Classic Cars. He has a worrying obsession with Jaguar.