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Skip Shift Woes on the Dodge Challenger

By now, if you’re not aware of the crises in the Middle East and Northern Africa, you must be living under a rock, and surely need to be reading more news than car blogs. Other than the obvious effects of the troubles around the world, the effects that are rippling through the world’s petroleum pricing are clear and should inspire most of us to lay off the right pedal a tad more than usual. So, with that in mind, it’s a fair assumption that by pussyfooting the accelerator you’ve encountered the notorious skip shift function that Dodge has implemented on their more gas-hungry vehicles in order to drive MPG up. In theory, it’s a brilliant idea- in practice however it seems more a nuisance than a luxury.

The idea behind skip shift is to improve gas mileage on non-aggressive accelerations, and to improve overall efficiency of the power plant under the hood. The drawback is, most people buying a sports car don’t like being forced to shift into fourth gear from first. The evidence skip shift comes when the gate for 2nd gear is “closed” and the driver is forced to shift to the wide open gate of 4th gear. The ensuing bog of the engine is not a welcomed feeling, nor does it inspire confidence. The result is undeniably a slight bogging of the motor or a rapid jump from fourth to second gear to make up for the miscalculation. This has been more than frustrating for more than a few people. The idea of not being able to choose which gear you want to select on a six speed almost seems like blasphemy. After all, wasn’t that the point of buying a manual in the first place?

But the skip shift eliminator is the solution to all of your skip shift woes. There are a number of these on the market, but chose to speak with the guys over at Southern Car Parts and after a quick couple of questions, they informed me that they actually make an inexpensive ($21.99) solution to the skip shift problem without interrupting the factory performance in any way. Since the install is a simple ten minute plug and play, it’s really a mindless decision to install it, if for nothing else than the convenience of being able to shift into 2nd gear whenever you choose. Here’s a brief description of how everything comes together (the solenoid is located on the left side of the transmission – 1 & 2):


The PCM controls the skip shift solenoid, locking out second and third gear when all of the following conditions are met:

  • Engine coolant exceeds 41°C (106°F)
  • Vehicle speed is between 12 and 20 MPH
  • Engine operating above 1322 RPM
  • The PCM verified first gear speed/RPM
  • Throttle position sensor (TPS) signal is less than 0.68 volt above closed throttle (23 percent throttle opening)

The solenoid resets when vehicle speed drops below 3 MPH.

Overall, the added annoyance of the skip shift is just a small speed bump on the road to awesome that the Challenger travels over, and is nothing that a few minutes of work can’t remedy. So, our recommendation- if skip shift bothers you, pick up a Challenger Skip Shift Eliminator from Southern Car Parts and tell them Challenger Blogger sent them your way. Their Challenger Skip Shift Eliminator will be able to hook you up with a remedy to your woes.

Picture below shows the skip shift installed…Takes about 5 mins.


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