Chrysler 300 Problems – A Good Buy Or A Basket Case?

Chrysler 300 Problems – A Good Buy Or A Basket Case?

Are you in the market for a good and reliable luxury sedan? And you want an all-American product? Then the Chrysler 300 should probably be one of your top picks. And you now probably want to learn more about the Chrysler 300 problems? Well, we are going to tell you everything about it. After this article, you can consider yourself as a Chrysler 300 expert.

The luxury sedan market is ruled by the German trio, Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. American cars were never quite competitive with German cars until the inception of the Chrysler 300. The 300 has brought some innovations with its retro-futuristic design lines and became an instant hit in 2005.

And it is still in production until this day. That is telling you a lot about it. Not that the Chrysler 300 is a car without faults. But even with all these faults, the 300 is still a popular product and is enjoyed by many proud Americans. Some have even done Hellcat swaps with the 300, and they are amazing.

In this article, we are going to learn everything you need about the Chrysler 300 and the Chrysler 300 problems. We start from the background on the Chrysler 300 and its long history. Then we are going to discuss the engines and the trim levels that were brought to the market through the years.

Next up, we are going to cover the Chrysler 300 problems to give you a better idea about the Chrysler 300. And lastly, we are going to share our recommendations for the best engines of the Chrysler 300. So, let’s dive into it.

Background Of The Chrysler 300

The name 300 drives its roots from the early 60s. The first 300 has rolled from the production line back in 1962. From its inception, the goal of the 300 was to become a full-size personal luxury muscle car.

It was considered a muscle car because it implemented all the luxury from Chrysler’s luxury lineup and all of the muscle from its Mopar division. This mixture made the 300 a unique product for the people who wanted power and a comfortable ride at the same time.

There were three generations until the production ended in 1971 and only in 1979 the badge 300 has returned once as a special trim package for the Chrysler Cordoba. And until 2005, the name 300 was dead and nobody was talking about it until Chrysler has reintroduced the 300 back in 2004.

Chrysler 300 Problems

This new generation of 300 has followed the same footsteps as its predecessors and has included the best and most powerful engines that Chrysler had. But more about the engines in the next chapter, where we are going to discuss the specs.

The 300 was an instant hit and it sold well during its first years. The new 300 implemented a retro-futuristic design that brought old memories and also brought new modern sharp lines that made the 300 a unique vehicle at the time.

It was based on the LX platform and since 2011 Chrysler had shifted the 300 to the new LD platform. This modern platform allowed the 300 to live on and be produced until this day. But what about the Chrysler 300 problems? Well, we are going to cover the problems later. First, let’s learn more about the specs of the Chrysler 300 and the engines that this model included throughout the years.

Chrysler 300 Specs

As we said, the Chrysler 300 was built on the LX platform which was derived from the Mercedes Benz platform for the E-class model. This means that the 300 shares some from the mechanical components with Mercedes vehicles, mainly the suspension. This LX platform was later updated to accommodate new technologies and safety and this new platform was named the LD platform and is still in production until this day.

First Generation Chrysler 300

The 300 has a wheelbase of 120 inches and 126 inches for the executive version and a length of 197.8 inches. It weighs between 3,721 and 4,046 lb. depending on the engine option and trim.

This model came with 5 different engines. There were two V6 engines that had 2.7 and 3.5 displacements. Then there were two V8 HEMI engines, and these were the good and proven 5.7-liter and the 6.1, or 392, as it’s known. These engines delivered a lot of performance and made the 300 one of the fastest road-legal sedans available on the market. There was also one turbodiesel V6 for the European markets.

There were two automatic transmissions and no manual available. One was a 4 speed and one 5 speed transmission.

Second Generation Chrysler 300

The second generation was released in 2011 and was based on the new LD platform which was greatly improved over the base LX platform.

This platform has kept the same numbers and specs when it comes to the wheelbase and length of the vehicle. There was only a 1-2 inches margin in the difference between the two platforms.

This new generation has come with refreshed engine lineup. Some of these engines were brought from FCA, which was the owner of Chrysler at the time.

There were two V6 Pentastar engines. One 3.0 liter made for the Chinese market and one 3.6-liter made for the US market. The HEMI lineup stayed the same with the 5.7 and the 6.4 which was an updated 6.1 HEMI.

The transmissions were updated as well and they include 5 speed and 8-speed automatics. But what about the Chrysler 300 problems? Well, we are going to cover the Chrysler 300 problems next.

Chrysler 300 Problems

Like every other vehicle, the Chrysler 300 has a fair share of problems under its belt. It is worth noting that this model has over 1.1 million units sold over its lifetime. And it is logical that it had some problems over this long lifespan and we are going to discuss these problems in this chapter. We will discuss one generation at a time to avoid confusion. So, let’s dive into it.

Chrysler 300 First Generation Problems 2005 – 2010

These first-generation models are the ones that sold the most and accumulated the larger proportion of the Chrysler 300 sales and, understandably, they include most of the Chrysler 300 problems. So, which are the problems?

Chrysler 300 Engine Problems

2.7 V6 Engine Problems

This engine was the base engine and since its inception, this engine was included in the Chrysler 300 and as well other products from Chrysler such as the Charger and Magnum.

This engine cannot be considered a powerhouse by any means, making only 178hp and 190 ft of torque.

The problem with this engine was the lack of power that this engine made. It was very underpowered for the cars that it was installed in, resulting in extremely slow acceleration and 0-60 times.

Reliability was another issue. This engine was prone to building oil sludge. It didn’t matter how regularly you serviced this engine, it just kept making sludge. This resulted in engine overheating issues because the oil couldn’t flow very well and some engines have failed because of this.

Also, the timing chain-driven water pump was leaking into the crankcase. This is another of the failure points of this engine resulting in complete failure.

Another problem was the water pump gasket that was leaking and allowing the coolant to leak internally and make a sludgy mess out of your oil. This also resulted in catastrophic engine damage as well.

Another problem with this engine was the rod knock that it made. This rod knock was pretty much a sign that your engine is totaled and you have to replace it. This problem appears on the early models up to 2008 and is very frequent on these engines that were included in many Chrysler products.

The best thing you can do if you want to save some money is to avoid this engine and get 300 with another engine that has fewer issues. This engine basically makes up most of the Chrysler 300 problems. But we are going to cover the other engines as well.

5.7 HEMI Problems

The HEMI was included in many Chrysler and Dodge products as well. This engine is basically Chrysler’s workhorse. This engine is the engine to buy when you are planning to get a Chrysler 300.

But even though it is a hugely reliable engine, there are still has some issues that are tormenting the 5.7. These issues are not serious, but they can be if left untreated. That’s why you need to learn more about them before you get the 5.7.

The HEMI Tick

This problem is one of the most frequent issues that comes with the 5.7. Basically, when the engine accumulates a higher mileage, it starts ticking. This tick can become really annoying when you notice it.

Many claim that the ticking does not affect the performance and the longevity of the engine. But some of the owners claimed that the engine has failed. This problem usually appears because of faulty lifters or a seizer lifter roller.

After a lot of miles, these two components wear out and the engine doesn’t work as it used to before. So, one of the outcomes of this is the HEMI tick.

Broken Exhaust Manifold Bolts

Broken exhaust manifold bolts are also one common occurrence on the 5.7 and are one of the most common Chrysler 300 problems. This is because the engine is exposed to so much heat and the bolts are going through many heat cycles. This is damaging for the metal, and the bolts as the weakest parts tend to fail.

When bolts are breaking, they create exhaust leaks. These exhaust leaks can then causing some loss of performance, and check engine lights because the O2 sensors do not get a proper reading. Replacing these bolts can be expensive because the whole engine needs to come out for the bolts to be replaced, and this can cost a lot to repair.


Misfires happen often on the 5.7. This is the case because the 5.7 is running 16 sparkplugs in total. And most probably some of them would not work if they are old. This will result in misfires in many cylinders.

Chrysler 300 Problems

The solution for this problem is to replace all the spark plugs. Replacing them will guarantee that you are not going to experience misfires on your engine. It can be pricey, but it’s the only way to solve this issue once and for all.

6.1 HEMI Problems

The 6.1 also had a fair share of problems, some of these problems were shared with the 5.7 while some of these issues were new for the 6.1.


The 6.1 also had the infamous HEMI tick. This ticking sound usually started to appear on higher mileage engines and resulted in engine noise. This tick was not that serious of an issue and was mostly connected with the wear and tear of the lifters and lifter rollers. A simple engine refresh would bring the HEMI back to OEM spec.

Engine Misfires

Тhe 6.1 also has the same misfire problem as the 5.7. This problem appears because of the sheer number of sparkplugs which are 16 in total. After 40,000 miles or so, some of these sparkplugs tend to fail and misfires are starting to develop. The solution for this problem is replacing the sparkplugs every 40,000 miles to avoid your HEMI misfiring.

Oil Consumption

Another problem with the 6.1 is the oil consumption. This engine can consume more than 1+ quarts every 1000 miles. And before you buy, you need to bear this in mind.

Also, keep an eye on your oil levels all the time to avoid leaving your engine without oil. This is not a serious problem and can be somewhat fixed if you use quality oil and regular oil changes.

Chrysler 300 Transmission Problems

The transmission in the early models was not something that Chrysler was not proud of. Namely, because the transmission had numerous issues that occurred during the transmission lifetime.

These problems include jerking, shuddering, slipping gears. Leaks developing from the oil pan. Also grinding or shaking noises, torque converter issues, and more.

Not a bad transmission as a whole. But also, not great. If you are on the market for a 300 from the first generation, look for one that has a good transmission and low miles. This transmission usually lasts around 180,000 miles. And if the car has more miles than this, you should be worried.

Chrysler 300 Second Generation Problems 2011 – 2021

The second generation was released in 2011 and was greatly improved compared to the previous version. It included a new design on the front end and a new modern dashboard and interior. Also packing some new modern safety features to keep the Chrysler 300 up to date and increase the safety of the vehicle.

Chrysler 300 Engine Problems

Pentastar V6 Problems

The Pentastar was a new engine that FCA introduced when it purchased Chrysler from Daimler. This new engine was far ahead in terms of technology compared to the previous 2.7 V6 that we discussed. But the Pentastar also had a fair share of issues as well. They compromised much of the Chrysler 300 problems.

Cylinder Head Failure

Between 2011 and 2013, the cylinder head failure was most prevalent. This cylinder head failure occurred on the left bank. This problem appeared because of bad valve guides which failed and made the valve lose its position and completely destroy the head.

In most of these situations, a head replacement was necessary, and Chrysler has increased the warranty for these engines up to 10 years because of this issue. If you are looking for a Chrysler 300 produced between 2011 and 2013. Make sure that the cylinder head problem was properly addressed.

Rocker Arm Problems

Rocker arms failure is also one of the Chrysler 300 problems. The rocker arms are located on top of the engine head and when they fail, they start ticking and will throw an engine code. The solution is replacing the rocker arms with new ones and this job usually costs between $500 to $1,000.

Cooling System Problems

Cooling problems are also some of the most common problems with the V6 engine. If your engine overheats and the temperature gauge is moving into the red, you can be sure that your engine is suffering from overheating issues.

Oil Pump Failure

Oil pumps also tend to fail more often on the Pentastar engine compared to other engines. If you have a drop of oil pressure then you can be sure that your oil pump has failed.

5.7 HEMI Problems

Basically, all of the problems from the previous generation were inherited into the new generation. The new issues arise with the MDS system.

In 2009 the 5.7 HEMI was refreshed and got MDS and that is a multi-displacement system that allowed the engine to shut down some of the cylinders to save fuel.

This system had a negative impact on the engine and it caused some problems. Because one part of the block was cold, while other parts were hotter. This resulted in a lack of lubrication and spark plug issues and often misfires can happen.

6.4 HEMI Problems

The 6.4 HEMI was introduced in 2005 and is known as the 392 because it has 392 cubic inches of displacement. This engine has replaced the 6.1 found in the high-performance Chrysler and Dodge products.

This engine shares the same common problems with other HEMI engines. Like the engine tick, the misfires, and problems with the MDS. But overall, the engine, like with the other HEMI engines, is bulletproof and is a real powerhouse making 500 hp and delivering performance to all Mopar lovers.

Chrysler 300 Transmission Problems

This generation saw the use of improved and more advanced transmissions than the previous generation. There were two transmissions. One was a 5-speed automatic borrowed from Mercedes and the other was an 8 speed ZF automatic.


The 5G Tronic transmission was installed in some of the models until 2020. This Mercedes transmission was praised for its durability and longevity. The only problems were the problems with the electronics pack and the problems with the torque converter. Besides that, with regular fluid changes, this transmission would last for a lifetime.

The 8 speed ZF was introduced in 2020, and this transmission is regarded as one of the best in its class. This transmission is installed in a ton of high-performance products and is regarded for its durability and snappy shifts. If you want reliable transmission, this is the way to go.

Should You Get A Chrysler 300?

Yes, you should get a Chrysler 300. If you are on the market right now for a Chrysler 300, you should take a look at the newer models. Old cars are pretty outdated when it comes to safety and technology.

The engine to recommend is the 5.7 HEMI. It’s extremely durable and has the least Chrysler 300 problems. This engine with the 5G-Tronic transmission is the best buy. Or, if you want more power from your Chrysler 300, you can always go for the 6.4 HEMI.

If you are not a gearhead, the V6 will also fit the bill. Just try to get one that has the engine head issue solved and avoid getting yourself into a huge money pit.

Facts about Chrysler 300 Issues:

  1. Chrysler 300 owners seek the car for its engine and looks but have experienced various issues ranging from electrical problems to transmission failures.
  2. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has issued recalls over the years, including one to replace the powertrain control module for certain 2018 Chrysler 300 vehicles and other models in the 2017 to 2019 lineup on October 2, 2018.
  3. Another 2018 recall involved vehicles rolling out of park after the automaker installed the incorrect transmission park lock rod.
  4. Chrysler also recalled certain 2020-2021 Chrysler 300 vehicles due to a manufacturing error during the bonding of the windshield.
  5. Certain model years of Chrysler 300 cars are affected by the widespread, Takata airbag recall.
  6. Dealerships compound problems when they cannot fix warranty issues, sometimes because a new part needs to be designed or manufactured.
  7. Transmission defects and fluid leaks often lead to larger transmission problems and severe long-term damage to the Chrysler engine if not repaired.
  8. Chrysler 300 owners often experience rough or jerky shifting through gears, difficulty shifting in and out of park, and shifting past the second gear.
  9. Drivers of the Chrysler 300 may experience vibrations, shuddering, and buzzing sounds while accelerating through third, fourth, and fifth gears, typically after the transmission fluid has been contaminated by water.
  10. Vehicle stalling is a dangerous issue experienced by some Chrysler 300 owners that increases the risk of a collision, which may happen at low or high speeds, when shifting gears or turning the car.


In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the Chrysler 300 problems. We paid the most attention to the engine and transmission issues because these components are the most important, and you have to look out for them whenever you are on the market for a used vehicle.

The Chrysler 300 list of problems is not big and the 300 has proven itself to be a reliable vehicle. You just need to find the right 300 that has the least problems and has lower mileage. By doing this, you will save a lot of money in the long run. A lower mileage Chrysler 300 will guarantee that you will not have any major issues that will potentially cost a lot of money to fix.

Also, if you are on the market for a high-performance sedan, you can take a look at the Charger. Especially the Scat Pack version of it. It includes the same engines that the high-performance version of the Chrysler 300 includes but with improved suspension and brakes.

These components can come in handy when going on the drag strip to run your car on a quarter-mile. Also, the Charger is a more popular platform that offers a lot more in the aftermarket. The aftermarket is basically full of parts for Chargers and Challengers. It’s your call at the end of the day. Some people just love the 300 more.

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