Hitting the upshift paddle can actually cause a downshift. Is it bad engineering or user error?
Ford and Chevy guys – along with just about every other group of performance car brand loyalists – have a long list of jokes they can use to make fun of Dodge owners, usually centered around weight. From the looks of things, there's about to be a new one: their cars have a built-in money shift button.
A "money shift" refers to an accidental downshift when racing. For example, shifting at redline from second gear to first gear instead of third? That's a money shift – as in, it's going to cost you a lot money to fix the damage you just did to your engine.
Mopar Insiders clued us into this video by R/T Life on YouTube. Bizarrely, the video starts with an unrelated jump scare at an abandoned church before a group of comically stereotypical Mopar owners gets down to business. I guess you need that extra little bit of pizzazz to keep people interested – it's just another Charger R/T video, after all.
You might be wondering how it's possible to money shift an automatic. Paddle shifters make things pretty simple, and many automatic transmissions have software that prevents the engine from downshifting above a certain RPM.
The issue with the Charger, Challenger, and Chrysler 300 is that, for whatever reason, touching the lower part of the upshift paddle will result in a downshift. The driver of car in the video has even tried fitting his car with aftermarket paddles that are "taller" in an effort to prevent this from happening, but it didn't fix the issue.
Thankfully, as one of our commenters has pointed out, the shifting error won't actually destroy your engine, and instead, you'll get a message that tells you that a downshift is not permitted. Another commenter said that the only thing hurt was his pride when he accidentally downshifts in front of onlookers. Still, it shouldn't be a problem in the first place.
As we can see in the video, the problem seems more prevalent at higher RPMs (we also get a nice, close look at the driver's Autozone-tastic steering wheel cover). Throughout the video, reference is made to several other higher-profile YouTube Mopar guys having the same problem.
While the issue is sporadic and not always easy to replicate, we recommend that owners avoid using the paddle shifters until the issue is fixed. As of yet, no issues have been reported with the console shifter.