If you want to get the most mileage out of your car, you need to know what’s going on inside your engine and how much gas your using at any given time. While a lot of cars provide instant fuel economy gauges these days, the 2009 Dodge Challenger SE does not.
Enter the Ecometer …
The Auto Meter Ecometer taps into the OBDII port that can be found in every car built from the 1996 model year forward. The Ecometer extracts the information sitting on a (post 1996) vehicle’s on board computer and shows the data on its cleanly designed display, providing a handy readout for instant fuel economy, average fuel economy, RPMs, and MPH.
To install the Ecometer, the first thing you need to do is find the OBDII port. Get ready to climb under the dash, as that’s where the port’s located … in one spot or another. Some manufacturers tuck the OBDII port away in a tight spot, but that’s not the case with the Challenger, as Chrysler’s engineers have placed the port in an easy to reach location.
After you’ve found the OBDII port, simply pop the Ecometer’s plug into the port with the engine running.
The EcoMeter will start communicating with your car within thirty seconds. Once it does, you’ll go through a simple setup procedure that includes entering the engine size in liters.
We chose a location at the left side of the dash, to make it easy to route the wire. This makes for a fast and clean installation.
(Although AutoMeter supplies duralock industrial fasteners to mount the Ecometer, we’ve been moving our test unit from vehicle-to-vehicle … hence the spiffy blue stickytack mount.)
Once the wire is routed, you’ll want to tidy up the excess length and secure it under the dash.
The goal with the Ecometer is to keep its colorful ecograph in the green. The fewer bars that are lit, the less fuel you’re burning. As you take off from a stop, the bars will light counter-clockwise, moving from green, to orange, to red.
The simple and colorful display provides quick visual feedback, as the numeric display delivers the specifics. As you reach your target speed and let off the accelerator, the bars will extinguish in a clockwise manner.
You’ll soon learn to modulate your right foot, keeping the lightest possible pressure on the throttle. Maintaining an even cruising speed is the real trick, as the ecograph flips between orange and green. When you descend a hill, take your foot completely off the throttle, and watch the MPGs crank up as the ecograph falls all the way to the right.
Proper instrumentation is a boon for fuel-efficient driving. We were able to achieve significantly improved mileage results in our 2009 Challenger SE review car when using the Ecometer. With conscientious use, the inexpensive Ecometer will pay for itself in just a short time through fuel cost savings.
– by Daniel Gray