2015 Dodge Viper GT: Road Trip Oil Change Proves Puzzling
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on August 27, 2015
It appeared as though I'd be in Denver roughly near the point when the odometer reached the 6,000-mile mark for its first service. This would work out well, I thought, until later in my trip when my arrival plans firmed up. That is, it became clear that my arrival in Denver would be on a Saturday evening, and I would be leaving Denver on Sunday. Dealers are closed until Monday. Furthermore, logistics precluded getting the oil changed at my previous stopover in Kansas City.
My next stopover/oil change opportunity after Denver was in Richfield, Utah. I called the Dodge dealer there to arrange an appointment for that Monday morning. The service advisor checked to ensure they had the correct Viper-y oil in stock, confirmed it and said 'see you in 30 minutes.' Richfield is apparently a pretty sleepy place.
When I arrived at the dealer, I received the bad-ish news: they had the correct oil in stock, and enough of it, but didn't have the Viper-specific oil filter on hand. Oops. He called the next dealer on my route that would be big enough to have the right stuff on hand and made arrangements to have the Viper serviced in St. George.
I arrived in St. George about 30 minutes before closing. They took the Viper in right away and I milled about in the waiting area. While there, I noticed the technician trying to open the trunk. He was struggling with the key fob's trunk release button and pushing and pulling the hatch. It wouldn't open. He seemed frustrated by its obstinacy.
To be fair, the Viper's hatch is kind of a hassle to open. The latch doesn't really release even when the popper's popped. I've since figured out that to successfully open it, you press the release button located above the license plate while simultaneously pushing upward on the hatch with the heel of the same hand. It almost looks graceful now.
Anyway, I wasn't sure why he needed to get in the trunk, but I figured I'd clue him in on its idiosyncracies nevertheless. I went into the service bay accompanied by the service manager and mentioned that the trunk is indeed weird and opened it for him.
Reading my mind, the service manager asked the technician: "So, why do you need to get into the trunk?"
His response was one of the more baffling things I've heard in my car-guy life: "I was looking for the engine."