The Five Most Common Dodge 5.7 HEMI Engine Issues. Because of its 345 cubic inch displacement, the Dodge 5.7L HEMI engine is sometimes known as the 345 HEMI. It’s a long-running pushrod engine that debuted in the 2003 Dodge Ram with 345 horsepower. The 5.7 HEMI remains largely unchanged today, but it has received modifications to boost power and fuel efficiency. Overall, it’s a dependable engine with strong performance and a pleasant sound. However, no engine is flawless, and the 345 HEMI is no exception. This essay will go through some of the most typical failures on the Chrysler 5.7L V8 HEMI.
If you want to understand more about the 5.7L HEMI in general, see our Ultimate 5.7L HEMI Engine Guide, which includes engine history, specs, and popular modifications.
HEMI 5.7L Specifications
As previously stated, the Chrysler 5.7 engine had some upgrades during the course of its long life. We believe it is critical to provide this information because certain updates are pertinent to this common problem article. Before we go any further, here are some of the vehicles that use the 5.7 HEMI:
- 2003 and later Ram trucks
- Dodge Durango 2004 and after
- Dodge Magnum R/T 2005-2008
- Dodge Charger R/T 2006+
- Dodge Challenger R/T 2009+
- Chrysler 300C, 300S 2005+
- Chrysler Aspen 2007-2009
- Jeep Grand Cherokee 2005 and after
- Jeep Commander 2006-2010
For nearly two decades, Chrysler’s 5.7 HEMI engine has powered a lengthy range of popular vehicles and trucks. That, in our perspective, demonstrates the engine’s enormous success. Writing about common engine problems might be depressing. As a result, we believe it is critical to remind ourselves and our audience that all great engines have flaws. If the 345 HEMI was a subpar engine, Chrysler and Dodge would not have kept it in their flagship vehicles for so long.
345 HEMI (5.7 Eagle) Update
The 5.7L engine was updated in 2009 to increase emissions, fuel economy, and performance. The engine has been renamed the 5.7 Eagle. Among the notable upgrades to the 5.7 HEMI are:
- Camshaft Timing Variable
- Head of a cylinder
- Manifolds for intake
- MDS stands for multi-displacement system.
Chrysler refers to variable valve timing as variable camshaft timing. This enables the engine to advance or retard cam timing to achieve peak performance at all RPMs. The flow of the 5.7 HEMI cylinder head has also been improved. Intake manifolds are also updated. However, different manifold designs are used on different variants of the 5.7 Eagle. Finally, on the 345 HEMI, Chrysler used multi-displacement system technology. In specific instances, the engine can shut down four cylinders to enhance fuel economy and pollutants.
Overall, these were good revisions. However, like with any new technology, there will always be hitches to work out over time. A number of the updates may increase the likelihood of certain difficulties on the 5.7L Eagle. We’ll go over this in further detail when we go over each of the common difficulties listed below.
5 Common HEMI 5.7 Issues
Four of the most common 5.7 HEMI difficulties are, in no particular order:
- Tick of the Engine
- Bolts for the Exhaust Manifold
- MDS (Multi-Displacement System)
- Seats for Dropped Valve
Before delving into each of these typical flaws, a few general observations are in need. Simply because we call these issues “common,” it does not indicate that every 5.7 will encounter them. Furthermore, engines are susceptible to potential issues that we will not discuss. Earlier HEMI engines are becoming obsolete, and a variety of issues have grown commonplace on these high-mileage engines. That being said, let’s get back to the issues we discussed earlier.
If you prefer to receive this content through video, see our HEMI 5.7 Common Problems video below:
1) 5.7L HEMI Engine Ticking Issues
Spoiler alert: this can occasionally be linked to other prevalent issues. We’re being cryptic about the 5.7L engine ticking concerns. Ticking on the 345 HEMI is an intriguing topic for a number of reasons. Some argue that ticking is normal and has no bearing on longevity or performance. Other 5.7L HEMI owners, however, have had to replace their complete engine due to engine ticks. What are the most likely causes of 5.7 HEMI ticking?
- Lifters who make mistakes
- Lifter roller seized
- Failure of an exhaust manifold bolt
Our primary focus here is on faulty lifters and seized lifter rollers. The most common and significant cause of the Chrysler 345 HEMI engine ticking problem appears to be this. It also appears to be more common on versions manufactured after 2009, prompting some to suspect the multi-displacement system is to blame. That makes sense. Finally, the issue is most likely due to insufficient oil flow to the lifter rollers, which causes seizure. The lifter then makes contact with the camshaft lobes, resulting in the ticking sounds. As a result of the metal-on-metal contact, shavings form in the oil. If found early enough, the oil filter should collect the majority of the shavings and prevent additional harm.
However, if the engine is left for an extended period of time, major engine damage may occur. Aside from that, the 5.7L HEMI camshaft will need to be replaced anyway. That job’s parts and labor alone can cost nearly as much as a refurbished engine. It’s a big problem. However, the magnitude of the problems has most certainly been exaggerated, as the internet does with each major engine failure.
Symptoms of a HEMI 5.7 Lifter Roller
A failing lifter roller can cause the following symptoms:
- Engine light on
Unfortunately, lifter roller issues on the 5.7 HEMI can be difficult to identify. Many people only hear ticking sounds and have no other symptoms. However, if the problems are severe enough or left alone for too long, you may notice misfires or a check engine light.
If you’re unlucky, this failure will most likely occur north of 100,000 miles. However, the issue does occasionally arise under the 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. The video following is a wonderful resource for more information on the lifter roller issues:
2) 5.7 HEMI Exhaust Manifold Bolts Broken
If we had to identify the most prevalent problem with the 5.7L HEMI, we’d say damaged exhaust manifold bolts. Some people claim to have encountered this issue several times. The rear passenger side manifold bolt is frequently the first to fail. Many people believe that this is the hottest portion of the engine and manifold, which is why the rear bolts fail first. The theory is that the manifold warps towards the back, producing the bolt failures. There isn’t much else to say about this flaw on the 5.7 HEMI.
However, one intriguing discussion topic brings us back to the engine tick. Some 345 HEMI ticks could be caused by broken manifold mounting bolts. Of course, the ticking we outlined earlier has a different failure point. If your Chrysler 5.7 engine is ticking, make sure the exhaust manifold bolts are tight. It’s a more common failure and a far easier and less expensive fix. Everything is fine. It’s still a problem, but it’s not a major one.
Symptoms of 5.7L HEMI Exhaust Manifold Bolt Failure
The ticking noise is the most common symptom of broken exhaust manifold bolts. An exhaust leak is caused by broken manifold bolts on the HEMI 345. If the situation is severe enough, you may experience power outages.
Exhaust Manifold Bolt Replacement for 5.7 HEMI
Many appear to fail even while under warranty, therefore early failures should be repaired at no cost by the dealership. Otherwise, you may have to pay for the repair yourself. The DIY crowd will have little trouble getting to the manifold. However, depending on the precise failure of the bolt, removing the failed bolt may need some effort and ingenuity.
While you’re in there, it’s probably a good idea to replace all of the bolts. For the parts, this may cost around $100. To avoid warping, some people use aftermarket exhaust manifolds. Finally, if the manifold itself is deformed, replacement bolts will continue to break prematurely.
3) 5.7 HEMI Multi-Displacement System (MDS) Troubleshooting
We’ll move through this debate and the misfires that follow at a faster pace. The 5.7 Eagle HEMI engine (2009+ upgrade) uses multi-displacement technology to shut down four cylinders while cruising. It’s an excellent technique to reduce pollutants and improve fuel efficiency. On the surface, MDS appears to be normal. The power from the big 5.7-liter displacement is still available when needed or desired. However, if you don’t, the engine runs more efficiently. That seems excellent to us. The 5.7 HEMI’s MDS can also be disengaged manually. Even better for those who don’t care.
Some owners, however, have complained about the MDS on their 345 HEMI engines. The system appears to have moments where engine operation does not feel natural. It’s also unclear how cylinder deactivation affects the lifetime of the 5.7 HEMI. Because the technology is still in its early stages, only time will tell.
Lifter roller failures may be caused in part by the multi-displacement mechanism, according to conjecture. The combustion process generates heat, but if specific cylinders are turned off, the engine runs cooler. Temperature fluctuations can be harmful to metal. The 5.7L HEMI always shuts down the same four cylinders. Concerns about longevity are understandable in this context. We don’t want to get too technical because there are so many details. This will most likely be addressed in further detail in a subsequent post.
Issues with the 5.7L HEMI MDS are speculative.
There are no concerns that can be directly ascribed to the multi-displacement system. However, engineering concepts show that MDS may have a negative impact on longevity. When it is too cold, spark plugs might foul quickly. When cylinders are too cold, lubrication may not be enough. There is a long list of potential consequences. Again, this will most likely be addressed in a subsequent piece. For the time being, we’ll leave it with one final thought: In theory, 5.7 HEMI MDS is fantastic; nevertheless, there are many unknowns that will take time to resolve. As a result, it shouldn’t be a major problem right away, but it’s something to think about.
More information on the multi displacement system and potential concerns can be found in our HEMI MDS guide.
4) Misfires in the 5.7L HEMI
Okay, we’ll speed up this section for real. Mistakes don’t actually qualify as a common concern. Misfires are typically caused by other defects, such as lifter roller failures. As a result, in those circumstances, it is more of a symptom than a problem. However, normal maintenance items might also cause misfires. The 5.7L HEMI spark plug configuration is our main emphasis here. It makes use of 16 spark plugs. The HEMI contains 16 spark plugs, which is correct. It opens the door for misfires to occur as a result of old, worn spark plugs.
Again, there are numerous more factors that might cause misfires. Ignition coils, defective injectors, internal problems such as lifter rollers, and so on. Spark plugs, on the other hand, are a basic maintenance component that is easily forgotten. We’re all guilty of it now and then. “Oh no. Please, no misfires. “What did I do this time?” We frequently forget that the spark plugs are a little older than we remembered.
That’s a lot of spark plugs. It only takes one misfire code or one spark plug that wears out too rapidly. Spark plug failures are uncommon, however on the 5.7 HEMI, they need be replaced every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. Don’t ignore spark plugs because they’re fundamental maintenance that might lead to bothersome problems like misfires.
5) Removal of Intake Valve Seats
Another major design problem, particularly in the early years of the 5.7 Hemi, was an issue with the engine dropping intake valve seats into the combustion chamber. This typically occurs when there is insufficient coolant flowing through the cylinder head and the connection between the valve seats and the head becomes damaged, enabling the seat to fall into the combustion chamber. This is obviously a major problem, as foreign objects entering a cylinder can cause irreversible damage to the cylinder walls and piston. Unfortunately, there isn’t much consistency in terms of when this happens with 5.7 Hemi engines. Some 5.7 owners have this issue early in the engine’s life, while others never experience it. A malfunctioning or clogged cooling system is one thing that most 5.7 Hemis dropping intake valves have in common.
When a 5.7 Hemi valve seat fails, there is usually little coolant pumped through the cylinder head due to a coolant leak or clogged radiator. Because Hemi engines tend to run hot, a problem with the cooling system might cause the issue to overheat quickly. Obviously, this can lead to a variety of problems, but dropped valve seats are frequently related with 5.7 Hemis overheating. When a 5.7 Hemi blows a valve seat, the severity of the damage dictates your next action. If the cylinder walls and piston are extensively damaged, replacing the entire engine may be the most cost-effective option.
If you want to learn more about the problem and what causes it, watch this YouTube video that demonstrates how serious it can be.
How to Avoid 5.7L Hemi Dropped Valve Seats
Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to prevent a 5.7L Hemi from loosing a valve seat because the problem is caused by an intrinsic design weakness in the engine. Having said that, if you were really concerned about the problem, you could have the seats reinforced. Because this is a head-on repair, it might be costly. You might also buy an aftermarket 5.7L cylinder head with strengthened valve seats. This is also costly, as aftermarket 5.7L Hemi heads are not cheap.
At the end of the day, it is a tricky issue because there is no certainty that this issue will occur with your 5.7L Hemi. As a result, opting for an expensive preventive measure is a bit of a risk. Staying on top of your engine’s maintenance plan is critical for preventing the problem in the first place. It is also critical to ensure that your cooling system is in good working order. If you discover a substantial leak or excessive engine temperatures, you should have them fixed as soon as possible.
5.7 HEMI Reliability
How trustworthy is the 5.7 HEMI engine? Overall, the 5.7L HEMI engine is strong and dependable. It’s hardly the most dependable engine in the world. It’s also far ahead of the least dependable. There’s a reason why the Chrysler 5.7L has been powering certain iconic vehicles for nearly two decades. It’s a reliable engine that people like. Problems can and do occur, but don’t blame the engine for them. All engines have issues, and this is especially true with high-performance engines. Camshaft concerns are the most worrying on the list, however they are most likely exaggerated. It is still a major issue that should be addressed.
All of this being stated, 345 HEMI dependability is determined by a number of factors. One component that we can actively influence is maintenance. Maintain the 5.7L HEMI’s essential maintenance items, notably periodic oil changes. Otherwise, some of it is simply down to luck of the draw. There are numerous more things to consider, such as how hard you push the engine, the conditions in which the engine functions, and so on.
Let’s not get too far off track. We’ll wrap up with a few final thoughts. Again, the Chrysler 5.7 HEMI engine is a solid performer. Problems can and will arise during the engine’s lifetime. However, this is a risk we accept with all engines, and the best we can do is keep them as well maintained as possible. If properly maintained, the 5.7L HEMI should last for more than 200,000 kilometers. Even with well-maintained HEMIs, folks occasionally have unlucky, fluky encounters.
5.7 Summary of HEMI Common Issues
To avoid being overly repetitive, the HEMI 5.7L engine is an amazing unit. The pushrod design is time-tested and has been used for over a century. Furthermore, the 5.7 HEMI has been in use for about two decades. If Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep have been utilizing this engine for this long, something is wrong. However, like any engine, it is prone to a few basic design errors. On the 345 HEMI, the most significant is engine tick, which may indicate lifter or lifter roller failure. If it occurs, it is a major and costly condition. However, it has most likely been exaggerated on the internet.
Otherwise, keep an eye out for HEMI engine exhaust manifold bolt problems. It’s usually not a big deal, but it might be annoying because some people get it 2-3 times. MDS may cause issues with longevity, however this is primarily conjecture at this stage. Finally, 16 spark plugs provide plenty of tolerance for misfires caused by old, worn plugs. Maintain your equipment and don’t forget the essentials.
In terms of maintenance, do everything you can to keep your 5.7 working well. Well-maintained Chrysler 5.7L HEMI engines should last 200,000 miles or more. Problems will arise due to old age and extensive mileage. This broad notion, however, applies to all engines. Overall, the HEMI 5.7 is a dependable, powerful, and enjoyable engine to operate.