By on January 16, 2020

The yellow front splitter guards on Dodge’s Charger and Challenger have become a major point of conflict among automotive enthusiasts. In one corner, we have traditionalists who believe protective coverings used for shipping have no business appearing on a road-going car. In the other? A bunch of maniacs who think keeping the guards on adds something to the aesthetics, sort of like how you see people maintaining the stickers and tags on a new baseball cap.

Your author has seen a Challenger where the protectors had been on so long, they became sun-bleached and had started to lose their color. Dodge/SRT design boss Mark Trostle expressed his distaste for the trend in October, saying the guards were never part of the concept drawings and basically just ruin the paint.

Despite the issue causing a ruckus online, including some top-shelf trolling, some people still refuse to take them off. Dodge appears to have a plan, however. It’s swapping the protective coverings’ coloring from yellow to hot pink, presumably in an effort to discourage the trend. 

Car and Driver noticed the change over the last month and asked Fiat Chrysler to weigh in on the matter.

“The splitter guards on Dodge Charger and Challenger have taken on a life of their own. They originally made their debut in the 2015 model year to protect the performance fascias on SRT models during shipment from the manufacturing facility to the dealer, and, yes, they are designed to be removed before delivery. But today, they have their own Facebook page, and many of our performance enthusiasts have active debates on whether to keep or remove them. Some owners say they are even selling them in the aftermarket,” an FCA spokesperson said.

“Obviously, they weren’t part of the original design, so we started with yellow guards and shifted to pink, but they are still so popular that we may shift them yet again to black.”

While the trend encouraged many to post photos of their own Challenger or Charger with bananas or pool toys taped to the front splitter in jest, there are also kits (both comical and legitimate) sold to help keep the guards pristine and protected. It’s a lot of attention to give something that’s supposed to be taken off at the dealership. But at this point salespeople know some customers might actually dig having them on, with a few providing the option to take them off at home.

Truth be told, the new hot pink probably looks decent juxtaposed with black paint — and this doesn’t seem any dumber than truck nuts or most bumper stickers. Still, it’s best to have the guards removed if you care about the condition of the enamel. Long-term usage of the guards tend to scratch up the paint rather badly as they’re buffeted by the wind. Besides, a bunch of Mopar enthusiasts will think you’re a moron for leaving them on.

[Image: Khairil Azhar Junos/Shutterstock]

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40 Comments on “Fade to Pink: Dodge Changes Splitter Guard Color...”

  • avatar

    Dumbest trend ever.

    I rented a Charger GT in October that still had the guards on. I didn’t have any tools with me on the trip or I would have removed them myself. I felt like a tool the entire time I had the car.

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    They look good to me. Y’all is just some hateful people.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought it was a feature, no different than racing stripes. I don’t see what the big deal is, they add some pizazz.

      I guess it might be offensive to the senses of some of those uppity individuals that think 2.0T silver colored euro cars are aspirational.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I don’t see why anyone cares outside of maybe FCA being concerned they’d be on the hook for a repaint of the splitter should it be damaged as was pointed out in the article. I have a “Commodore Computer” and a Sonic Youth sticker on my car and don’t really care if or what the driver behind me thinks of them. It really doesn’t take much to offend nowadays.

    • 0 avatar

      Far better than the truck nutz ever were.

      • 0 avatar

        That was at least owner installed aftermarket um, personalization. The strips are like the clear plastic protection on a cell phone or tv screen. The buyer is supposed to take it off, and as I’ve pointed out, the original buyer – the dealer – should have removed them before public sale.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. This is terrible, distressing news to a guy looking at a 2020 Charger Scat Pack. I was absolutely, 100% going to leave them on. The pink looks hideous and it goes all the way across the front lower spoiler on the Widebody cars. Ugh. Ugh! Uggggggh! Why does FCA even care what we do with our own cars once we’ve bought them. Seems nothing good ever lasts these days.

      • 0 avatar

        ” This is terrible, distressing news to a guy looking at a 2020 Charger Scat Pack. I was absolutely, 100% going to leave them on.”

        There are a could push pins that hold them on. Easy to remove and re-use. Remove + scuff + paint whatever color your heart desires.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I recently purchased a leftover 2018 Challenger GT. When the dealer manager gave me the vehicle he did the usual prep work. He removed the plastic from the seats and left the paper mats on the floor.
    In the back of my mind I thought about the yellow splitter guards as being only on the RT, SRT and Hellcat versions. I personally wouldn’t mind a black set of them since they blend in with the air dam.

  • avatar

    The guard color changes will be used as a point of pride amongst these people, to identify who has the newest whip.

    • 0 avatar

      Corey gets it. However the yellow will be the “collectors edition” and thus still be popular.

      GM solved this problem on the C7 Grand Sport / Z06 by shipping them without the splitter. Instead its a dealer installed part that is put on at delivery. Some poor owners have been screwed by clueless dealers that never actually fitted the part. So they are just collecting dust back in the parts department.

    • 0 avatar

      Some aftermarket vendor needs to make an LED illuminated version of the fascia guard. Preferably a version that changes colors with the push of a button.

    • 0 avatar

      They are PINK, and look just dreadful. A slap in the face to the kind of macho muscle man who’s going to be seen in one of these. Go on eBay and check it.

  • avatar

    Should have made them black. Or better still, clear. Then they become just another annoying piece of plastic to remove asap.

  • avatar
    FWD Donuts

    ’17 Challenger SRT still has them on. Painted black. Take them off once a quarter to clean the surfaces underneath. No damage to the splitter. These have prevented the splitter from getting gouged a couple of times. So instead of having a goofed up splitter, I just take the guards off and hit them with paint again.

    If I had a Charger I’d do the same — except the guards would be painted body color. I’d have a layer of clear film placed underneath it as well to keep the paint from getting sanded by anything that got between the two surfaces.

    These people who get all bend out of shape over them need to find better ways to occupy their time.

  • avatar

    Oh to be 19 again and actually worried about stuff like this. Yellow hockey tape – how much do you need? Canadian Tire has giant rolls of it for $5.49. Do your fellow Charger friends a favor and do theirs too. The stuff really sticks.

  • avatar

    FCA has been firing on all 8 cylinders for many years but this is a misfire.

    Let people customize the color for a price. Or, if they choose to decline that, keep em pink for cancer awareness.

    Then market the hell out of it.

  • avatar

    “…guards were never part of the concept drawings and basically just ruin the paint.” How would they ruin the paint? I don’t think the spoiler is painted at all- maybe I’m wrong but it doesn’t appear to be.

  • avatar

    Being from Russia I am all for it. It never hurts to have couple of guards beside you even if they are yellow.

  • avatar

    I leave mine on solely because it gets some people all worked up. The damn cart boy at Kroger’s yells, “TAKE THEM OFF!” anytime he sees me. I just laugh and say, “Nope, they’re on forever!”, and he groans and moans.

  • avatar

    I mean, I hope that whatever your position on the guards is, we can all agree that selling more guards to put *on top of* the guards to protect them while they’re protecting the splitter is going too damn far. How long before people realize that their guard-guards are getting messed up, and buy guard-guard-guards to protect *them*? Stop this madness!

  • avatar

    Quite the tempest in a teapot.

  • avatar

    Unrelatedly, where is the TTAC article about the near hundred thousand Chargers sold in 2019? Massive sales increase that I’d thinkis newsworthy. I guess that goes against the narrative that Americans hate sedans and only buy crossovers huh? Would writing about that potentially cause them to lose their high-end lodging and meals paid for by GM and Ford?

  • avatar
    kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh

    Make them any color you want dodge… **people are starting to custom paint them already**. Just make more colors people want and sell them for 300$ a set and make some money.

  • avatar

    Changing the color would be of no deterrent at all if you like them on – Fusion spraypaint will bond to any material and let you pick any of a bunch of colors.

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