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Dodge Charger: Lock Car with Engine Running
How do you lock the doors on a late-model Dodge Charger while the engine is running? Like many cars today, the police package Dodge Charger is designed to prevent the driver from accidentally locking the keys in the car with the Key In-Engine On.
With the engine running and either the police-only metal key or the retail FOBIK in the ignition, the doors will lock with the electric door lock switch or when the lock tab of the FOBIK is pressed. However, the driver’s door will unlock when the door is closed.
The officer may want to leave the car running to keep the battery charged by the alternator or to keep the cabin cool or warm with the HVAC system. At the same time, for security reasons, the officer needs to lock the patrol vehicle.
In the case of the Charger, the key to understanding the solution is to think about how drivers “accidentally” lock the keys in the car. By habit, drivers depress the electronic door lock or press the lock tab on the FOBIK when they exit the vehicle. This is so habitual that it can be done by “accident.”
On the other hand, almost no one today presses the manual door lock to lock a car. That is not something a driver would do by accident out of habit. So that is exactly how Chrysler decided to allow the driver’s door to be locked with the engine running.
With the metal key in the ignition and the FOBIK attached to the duty belt, press the electronic door locks to lock all four doors, open the driver’s door, press the manual door lock knob down and close the door. It’s as simple as that. This deliberate, manual move will allow the door to remain locked with the engine running. To unlock, simply press that tab on the FOBIK.
This lock-while-running method, while useful, only works if the Charger has not been driven over 15 mph since the last time it was started! That means the officer pulling up to the scene will not be able to lock the car with the engine running using this method. Chrysler Fleet is working to get this lock-while-running feature incorporated into both the new 2011 Chargers, and a software flash for earlier generation Chargers.
This method can be used to lock the Charger with the engine running as long as the automatic door locks have not engaged. They engage when the Charger reaches 15 mph. So, until a flash has been developed for older Chargers, or the feature incorporated into the new Charger, simply turn the key to the off position, restart the car, and the Charger can be locked with the engine running.
Published in Police Fleet Manager, Sep/Oct 2010
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