Challenger Maintenance

  • Automotive Batteries

    Early cars did not have batteries, as their electrical systems were very limited. A bell was used instead of an electric horn, headlights were gas-powered and the engine was started with a crank. Car batteries became widely used, around 1920, as cars became equipped with electric starters. The sealed battery, which did not require refilling, was invented in 1971. The Hudson Motor Car Company was the first to use a standardized battery in 1918 when they started using Battery Council...
  • Charging System

    Alternators were first introduced as standard equipment on a production car by Chrysler for the Valiant model in 1960- several years ahead of Ford and General Motors. They replaced direct current generators (dynamos) because they were lighter, cheaper, more rugged and could provide a useful charge at idle speed. The present-day charging system hasn't changed much since 1960. It consists of the alternator, regulator (which is usually mounted inside the alternator) and the interconnecting...
  • How Does an Oxygen Sensor Work?

    The oxygen sensor, also known as a lambda sensor, was developed in the late 1960s by Dr. Gunter Bauman for the Robert Bosch company. This sensor was made using ceramic coated zirconia and platinum. However, in order to make the O2 sensor more efficient and capable of mass production NTK, in 1990, developed planar oxygen sensors for use in the Honda Civic and Accord. All cars that were manufactured post-1980 feature oxygen sensors. They make modern electronic fuel injection and emission...
  • Oil Catch Cans

    There has been much discussion if an oil catch can is necessary on a high performance engine. It is my opinion that the relatively modest price (usually about $100) is cheap insurance for your engine. First, let's go over what is currently happening in your engine without a catch can installed. All internal combustion engines that run off gasoline are 4-stroke engines. This means that the piston has to go up and down a total of 4 times to complete a cycle. The piston first goes down with...
  • Top Tier Gasoline

    Top Tier is a performance standard for gasoline, backed by major automakers. Since the 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency has required a minimum level of detergent for all gas sold in the United States. But some automakers say the EPA standards are not good enough. To be considered Top Tier, the gasoline must have a higher concentration of detergent added to it. Some brands use the minimum level of detergent additives required by the EPA, others add proprietary formulations of...
  1. Featured

    Pistons

    Pistons are one of the hardest working components of an internal combustion engine, where temperatures inside cylinders can reach over 1,800 degrees F. Early pistons were of cast iron, but there were obvious benefits for engine balancing if a lighter alloy could be used. To produce pistons that could survive engine combustion temperatures, it was necessary to develop new alloys such as Y alloy and hiduminium, specifically for use as pistons. A few early gas engines had double-acting...
  2. Featured

    Types of Brake Rotors

    Brake rotors come in many different types. Before you can purchase a fresh set of brake rotors, you should understand each of these different types, what sets them apart, and what are the pros and cons of every style. The four kinds of brake rotors are: Blank or Smooth (OEM replacement- most vehicles) Cross-Drilled Diamond Slotted Drilled and Slotted Why Choose Blank Brake Rotors? Best for: Street, Autocross/Track, Towing/Hauling, Off-Road Pros: Far and away, most new cars come with...
  3. Automotive Cooling Systems

    An automotive cooling system protects an engine from catastrophic failure (e.g., blown head gaskets, and warped or cracked cylinder heads or cylinder blocks ) due to overheating. Basically, it consists of the following: A series of galleries cast into the engine block and cylinder head, surrounding the combustion chambers with circulating coolant to carry away heat. A mixture of water and antifreeze in proportions appropriate to the climate. Antifreeze itself is usually ethylene glycol or...
  4. Air Conditioning

    Air conditioning was first offered by Packard, in 1939, in its production cars. These units were manufactured by Bishop and Babcock Co, of Cleveland, OH. Cars ordered with the new "Weather Conditioner" were shipped from Packard's East Grand Boulevard facility to the B&B factory where the conversion was performed. Once complete, the car was shipped to a local dealer where the customer would take delivery. Packard fully warranted and supported this conversion, and marketed it well. However,...
  5. Starter Motor

    Before the advent of the starter motor, engines were started by various methods including wind-up springs, gunpowder cylinders, and human-powered techniques such as a removable crank handle which engaged the front of the crankshaft, pulling on an airplane propeller, or pulling a cord that was wound around an open-face pulley. Among these methods, the hand-crank method was most commonly used to start engines, but it was inconvenient, difficult, and dangerous. The Ford Model T relied on hand...
  6. Charging System

    Alternators were first introduced as standard equipment on a production car by Chrysler for the Valiant model in 1960- several years ahead of Ford and General Motors. They replaced direct current generators (dynamos) because they were lighter, cheaper, more rugged and could provide a useful charge at idle speed. The present-day charging system hasn't changed much since 1960. It consists of the alternator, regulator (which is usually mounted inside the alternator) and the interconnecting...
  7. Automotive Batteries

    Early cars did not have batteries, as their electrical systems were very limited. A bell was used instead of an electric horn, headlights were gas-powered and the engine was started with a crank. Car batteries became widely used, around 1920, as cars became equipped with electric starters. The sealed battery, which did not require refilling, was invented in 1971. The Hudson Motor Car Company was the first to use a standardized battery in 1918 when they started using Battery Council...
  8. Salt Corrosion

    The biggest enemy of your Challenger’s body is salt (sodium chloride). It can severely detract the appearance of your car and result in costly body work. Unfortunately, if you live in the northern part of the U.S., and your car is a daily driver in the winter, road salt is unavoidable. Parts most at risk from salt damage include the exhaust system, muffler, coil springs, subframe and hydraulic brake system. When saltwater and metal react, a process called electro-chemical corrosion occurs....
  9. How Does an Oxygen Sensor Work?

    The oxygen sensor, also known as a lambda sensor, was developed in the late 1960s by Dr. Gunter Bauman for the Robert Bosch company. This sensor was made using ceramic coated zirconia and platinum. However, in order to make the O2 sensor more efficient and capable of mass production NTK, in 1990, developed planar oxygen sensors for use in the Honda Civic and Accord. All cars that were manufactured post-1980 feature oxygen sensors. They make modern electronic fuel injection and emission...
  10. Common Tire Safety Myths

    Having TPMS means I do not have to check my air pressure unless the warning light comes on. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is designed to provide a warning of low tire pressure in order to avoid tire failure. It will not monitor and sustain the recommended air pressure. In fact, the TPMS warning light is not required to come on until the air pressure is 25% below the vehicle’s recommended air pressure. This means that you still have to periodically check the pressure with a...
  11. Spark Plugs

    A spark plug is a device for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the cylinders of an engine to ignite a compressed fuel/air mixture. A spark plug has a metal threaded shell, electrically isolated from a central electrode by a porcelain insulator. The central electrode, which may contain a resistor, is connected by a heavily insulated wire to the output terminal of an ignition coil, coil pack or magneto. The plug has an electrode than is well insulated from heat and cross...
  12. How Long Do Tires Last?

    The average life of a tire is determined by the conditions a tire is exposed to throughout its life - not measured in calendar years. Temperature changes, sun exposure, storage conditions, usage, and maintenance schedules all contribute to the rate at which a tire ages. It is impossible to determine a tire’s exact life expectancy, because there is no way to account for the level of influence any one of these factors may have on a tire. However, you can defer to the vehicle and tire...
  13. Uses of WD-40

    WD-40 is truly a versatile product. It was created in 1953, by three technicians, at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company who were searching for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. Its name comes from the project that was to find a “water displacement” compound. They were successful with the 40th formulation, thus Water Displacement #40, or WD-40 was born. Initially it was purchased, in bulk, by the Corvair Company to protect its Atlas missile parts....
  14. Spare Tires

    If your Challenger has a compact spare tire, it can be negatively impacted by lots of conditions, from heat, exposure to UV rays, and even time. It is recommended that you check your spare every time you have your tires rotated, approximately every 6,000-8,000 miles. When inspecting your spare, check for: proper air pressure signs of aging damage excessive wear Spare tires age like any other tire. Even if your spare tire never sees any use, it is still affected by the passage of time. As...
  15. Tire Primer

    The information found on a tire sidewall contains important information about the tire size, load capacity, weather ratings, and even government ratings for treadwear, traction and temperature. For illustration purposes, we will look at a 245/45ZR-20 tire (typical size for a Challenger R/T). Section Width The 245 indicates that the tire is 245 millimeters across from the widest point of its outer sidewall to the widest point of its inner sidewall when mounted and measured on a specified...
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