The 5 Most Common Dodge 5.7 HEMI Engine Problems (2024)

The Dodge 5.7L HEMI engine is also commonly referred to as the 345 HEMI in honor of its 345 cubic inch displacement. It’s a long-running pushrod engine that debuted with 345 horsepower in the 2003 Dodge Ram. The 5.7 HEMI remains much the same today, however, it did go through updates to improve power and fuel efficiency. Overall, it’s a reliable engine with stout performance and sound. However, no engine is perfect and this applies to the 345 HEMI, too. In this post, we discuss a few common failures on the Chrysler 5.7L V8 HEMI.

If you are interested in learning more about the 5.7L HEMI in general, check out our Ultimate 5.7L HEMI Engine Guide, which covers engine history, specs, and popular modifications.

The 5 Most Common Dodge 5.7 HEMI Engine Problems (1)

HEMI 5.7L Info

As noted above – the Chrysler 5.7 engine underwent some updates during its long life cycle. We feel it’s important to lay out this information as certain updates are relevant to this common problem post. Before let’s look at the various cars and trucks that feature the 5.7 HEMI:

  • 2003+ Ram Trucks
  • 2004+ Dodge Durango
  • 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum R/T
  • 2006+ Dodge Charger R/T
  • 2009+ Dodge Challenger R/T
  • 2005+ Chrysler 300C, 300S
  • 2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen
  • 2005+ Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2006-2010 Jeep Commander

Chrysler’s 5.7 HEMI engine deserves respect for the long list of popular cars and trucks it’s powered for nearly two decades. In our opinion, that goes to show the great success of the engine. Writing about common engine problems can paint a dreary picture. As such, we feel it’s important to remind ourselves and our readers that all great engines suffer from problems. If the 345 HEMI were a below-average engine it’s unlikely Chrysler and Dodge would keep it around for so long in their flagship cars.

345 HEMI Update (5.7 Eagle)

In 2009, the 5.7L engine was revised to improve emissions, fuel economy, and performance. The revised engine is known as the 5.7 Eagle. A few notable updates to the 5.7 HEMI include:

  • Variable camshaft timing
  • Cylinder head
  • Intake manifolds
  • Multi-displacement system (MDS)

Variable Camshaft Timing is Chrysler’s terminology for variable valve timing. This allows the engine to advance or retard cam timing for optimal performance at all RPMs. The 5.7 HEMI cylinder head is also reworked to improve flow. Intake manifolds receive an update, too. However, the 5.7 Eagle uses different manifold designs on different models. Finally, Chrysler implemented multi-displacement system technology on the 345 HEMI. This allows the engine to shut down 4-cylinders in certain situations to improve fuel economy and emissions.

These were solid updates, overall. However, as with any new technology, there are always kinks that must be worked out over time. A few of the updates may make certain problems more likely on the 5.7L Eagle. We’ll detail this more as we move through each of the common problems below.

The 5 Most Common Dodge 5.7 HEMI Engine Problems (2)

5 Common HEMI 5.7 Problems

In no specific order, four of the most common 5.7 HEMI problems are:

  • Engine Tick
  • Exhaust Manifold Bolts
  • Multi-Displacement System (MDS)
  • Misfires
  • Dropped Valve Seats

A few more general notes prior to discussing each of these common faults in-depth. Simply because we refer to these problems as common does not mean every 5.7 will experience them. Also, engines are subject to potential problems that we won’t cover. Earlier HEMI engines are getting old and a lot of problems become fair game on old, high mileage engines. That said, let’s move on to the problems we outlined above.

If you would rather consume this content via a video, check out our HEMI 5.7 Common Problems video below :

1) 5.7L HEMI Engine Tick Problems

Spoiler – this can sometimes tie into other common problems. We’re taking a vague approach to the 5.7L engine ticking issues. Ticking on the 345 HEMI is an interesting discussion for a few reasons. Some claim that ticking is normal and doesn’t affect longevity or performance. However, engine ticks have led to other 5.7L HEMI owners replacing their entire engine. What are the potential common causes of 5.7 HEMI ticking?

  • Faulty lifters
  • Seized lifter roller
  • Exhaust manifold bolt failure

Faulty lifters and seized lifter rollers are our primary focus here. This seems to be the most common and serious cause of the Chrysler 345 HEMI engine ticking problem. It also appears most common on 2009+ models leading some to believe the multi-displacement system is to blame. It does make sense. Ultimately, the problem likely boils down to inadequate oil flow to the lifter rollers which results in seizure. The lifter then contacts the camshaft lobes which results in the ticking sounds. The metal-on-metal contact then results in shavings in the oil. If caught soon enough the oil filter should catch most shavings and prevent further damage.

However, if left for too long serious engine damage could occur. That’s besides the fact the 5.7L HEMI camshaft will require replacement anyways. The parts and labor alone of that job can cost nearly as much as a remanufactured engine. It’s a pretty serious issue. However, the scope of issues is likely been blown out of proportion as the internet tends to do with any major engine faults.

HEMI 5.7 Lifter Roller Symptoms

A few symptoms to look out for with a failed lifter roller include:

  • Ticking
  • Misfires
  • Check engine light

Unfortunately, lifter roller problems on the 5.7 HEMI can be tough to diagnose. Many simply experience the ticking sounds and no other symptoms. However, you may notice misfires or get a check engine light if the problems are severe enough or left alone for too long.

If you’re unlucky and run into this failure it’s most likely to occur north of 100,000 miles. However, sometimes the problem pops up under the 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. For more information on the lifter roller issues the below video is a great resource:

2) 5.7 HEMI Broken Exhaust Manifold Bolts

If we were to name the number one common problem on the 5.7L HEMI we would be inclined to say broken exhaust manifold bolts. Some report running into this problem multiple times. The first to give is often the rear passenger side manifold bolt. Many suspect this is the hottest part of the engine and manifold, which is why the rear bolts give out first. The idea is that the manifold actually warps towards the rear thereby causing the bolt failures. There’s not too much else to this fault on the 5.7 HEMI.

Although, one interesting talking point leads us back to the engine tick. The cause of some 345 HEMI ticks may actually be due to broken manifold mounting bolts. Of course, the ticking we discussed above is different in terms of the failure point. However, if your Chrysler 5.7 engine is ticking make sure you check the exhaust manifold bolts first. It’s typically a more common failure and a much easier and cheaper fix. All good news. It’s still a problem – just not a serious problem.

5.7L HEMI Exhaust Manifold Bolt Failure Symptoms

The primary symptom of broken exhaust manifold bolts is the ticking noise. Broken manifold bolts on the HEMI 345 create an exhaust leak. If it’s bad enough then you may notice power loss.

5.7 HEMI Exhaust Manifold Bolt Replacement

A lot seem to fail even under the warranty period, so initial failures should be fixed by the dealership at no cost. Otherwise, you may be on your own for the repair. Access to the manifold isn’t too complicated for the DIY group. However, depending on the specific failure of the bolt it may require some effort and ingenuity to remove the failed bolt.

It probably makes sense to replace all of the bolts while you’re in there. This can run about $100 for the parts. Some opt for aftermarket exhaust manifold to prevent the warping. Ultimately, if the manifold itself is warped then it will continue to cause premature failures of replacement bolts.

3) 5.7 HEMI Multi-Displacement System (MDS) Issues

We’ll speed things up a bit moving through this discussion as well as misfires coming up next. When cruising the 5.7 Eagle HEMI engine (2009+ update) utilizes multi-displacement technology to shut down 4 of the cylinders. It’s a great way to improve emissions and fuel economy. On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with MDS. The power from the large 5.7-liter displacement is still there when you need or want it. However, when you don’t then the engine is more efficient. Sounds good to us. The MDS on the 5.7 HEMI can also be deactivated manually. Even better for those not interested.

However, some owners complain about the MDS on their 345 HEMI engines. Occasionally, the system seems to have its moments where engine operation doesn’t feel natural. It’s also up for debate how cylinder deactivation may affect 5.7 HEMI longevity. The technology is still relatively new so only time will tell.

There is speculation that lifter roller failures can be partially attributed to the multi-displacement system. Heat is generated by the combustion process but if certain cylinders are shut down they run cooler. Constantly changing temperatures can be bad for metal. It’s always the same 4 cylinders that the 5.7L HEMI shuts down. Concerns over longevity make sense in this aspect. We don’t want to get too technical since there are a lot of details. This is something we’ll likely address in greater depth in a separate post.

5.7L HEMI MDS Issues are Speculation

There aren’t any issues attributed directly to the multi-displacement system. However, there are engineering concepts that do suggest MDS could have negative impacts on longevity. Spark plugs can foul quickly when too cold. Lubrication may not be sufficient when cylinders are too cold. It’s a long list of possible implications. Again, we’ll likely address this in a separate post. For now, we’ll leave it with one final comment: 5.7 HEMI MDS is great in theory, however, there are a lot of unknowns that will take time before we have definitive answers. As such, it shouldn’t be a huge concern up-front, but it’s something to consider.

Check out our HEMI MDS guide for more info on the multi displacement system and potential issues.

4) 5.7L HEMI Misfires

Alright, for real we’ll speed this section up. Misfires aren’t really fair to call a common problem. Usually, misfires can be caused by other faults, like lifter roller failures. As such, it’s more of a symptom than a problem in those cases. Nonetheless, standard maintenance items can cause misfires, too. Our big focus here is the 5.7L HEMI spark plug arrangement. It uses 16 spark plugs. Yes, that’s correct – 16 spark plugs can be found in the HEMI. It leaves a lot of room for misfires to start due to old, worn spark plugs.

Again, there are a ton of other things that can cause misfires. Ignition coils, faulty injectors, internal issues like lifter rollers, etc. However, spark plugs are a basic maintenance item that can easily be overlooked. We’re guilty of it from time to time. “Oh no. Please not a misfire. What did I break this time?” Often, we simply forget the spark plugs are a bit older than we remembered.

16 spark plugs is a lot. All it takes is one spark plug that wears too quickly or fails to throw a misfire code. Spark plug failures are rare, but they should be changed every 30,000 to 40,000 miles on the 5.7 HEMI. Don’t overlook spark plugs as it’s basic maintenance that can cause annoying issues like misfires.

5) Dropping Intake Valve Seats

Another one of the main design flaws especially present in the earlier years of the 5.7 Hemi was an issue where the engine would drop intake valve seats into the combustion chamber. This usually happens when little coolant circulates through the cylinder head and the connection between the valve seats and the head can become compromised, allowing the seat to fall into the combustion chamber. This is obviously a very serious issue, as you never want foreign objects entering a cylinder, potentially doing irreparable damage to the cylinder walls and piston. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of consistency here in terms of when this typically happens to 5.7 Hemi engines. Some 5.7 owners run into this issue relatively early in the engine’s life while others never encounter the issue. One commonality between most examples of 5.7 Hemis dropping intake valves is a failing or clogged cooling system.

Generally, when a 5.7 Hemi drops a valve seat, there is little coolant circulated through the cylinder head due to a coolant leak or clogged radiator. Due to the fact that Hemi engines tend to run quite hot, an issue in the cooling system can cause the issue to overheat rapidly. Obviously, that can cause a whole array of issues, but dropped valve seats are commonly associated with 5.7 Hemis overheating. When a 5.7 Hemi drops a valve seat, the extent of the damage will determine your next move. If the cylinder walls and piston are heavily scored, there is a chance that replacing the entire engine will be the cheapest route.

If you are interested in learning more about the issue and what causes it, check out this youtube video that shows how severe the problem can be.

Preventing 5.7L Hemi Dropped Valve Seats

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do in the way of preventing a 5.7L Hemi from dropping a valve seat, as it is an issue caused by an inherent design flaw in the engine. With that being said, if you were really concerned about the issue, you could opt to have the seats reinforced. This can be an expensive endeavor, as it is a head-off repair. Alternatively, you could purchase an aftermarket 5.7L cylinder head with reinforced valve seats. This is expensive too, as aftermarket 5.7L Hemi heads aren’t cheap.

At the end of the day, it is a complicated issue as it isn’t a guarantee that this issue will ever happen to your 5.7L Hemi. For that reason, going with an expensive preemptive fix is a bit of a gamble. When it comes to preventing the issue in the first place, staying on top of your engine’s maintenance schedule is of paramount importance. It is also important to make sure that your cooling system is in good shape. If you notice a significant leak or abnormal engine temperatures, it is a good idea to get those issues addressed as soon as possible.

5.7 HEMI Reliability

How reliable is the 5.7 HEMI engine? Overall, the 5.7L HEMI is a stout and reliable engine. It’s certainly not the most reliable engine in the world. It’s also miles ahead of the least reliable. There’s good reason the Chrysler 5.7L has powered some flagship cars for nearly two decades. It’s a solid engine that people enjoy. Problems can and do happen, but don’t hold that against the engine. All engines have problems and this is even more true when you look at high-performance engines. Camshaft issues are the most concerning on the list, but likely a problem that is blown out of proportion. It’s still a serious problem that should be considered.

All that said, 345 HEMI reliability comes down to several aspects. Maintenance is one of the aspects we can actively control. Keep up with basic maintenance items on the 5.7L HEMI, especially timely oil changes. Otherwise, some of it simply comes down to the luck of the draw. There are plenty of other factors like how hard you push the engine, conditions the engine operates in, etc.

Let’s not stray too far off-topic. We’ll finish this with a few final thoughts. Again, the Chrysler 5.7 HEMI is a pretty reliable engine. Problems can and will occur at some point in the engine’s life. However, it’s a risk we take with all engines and the best we can do is maintain them as well as possible. 5.7L HEMI longevity should be north of 200,000 miles if well maintained. Though, sometimes people have unlucky, fluky experiences even with well-maintained HEMIs.

5.7 HEMI Common Problems Summary

Not to be too repetitive, but the HEMI 5.7L engine is an impressive unit. The pushrod design is well-proven and has been around for about a century. Also, the 5.7 HEMI specifically has been in use for nearly two decades. Something is right if Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep are using this engine for that long. However, as with any engine, it’s susceptible to a few common design flaws. The most significant is engine tick which may indicate lifter or lifter roller failure on the 345 HEMI. It’s a serious and expensive problem if it occurs. However, it’s likely blown somewhat out of proportion on the internet.

Otherwise, look out for frequent exhaust manifold bolt problems on the HEMI engine. It’s typically not a major issue, but it can be a headache since some experience it 2-3+ times. MDS may cause problems with longevity, but it’s mostly speculation at this point. Finally, 16 spark plugs leave a lot of room for misfire problems due to old, worn plugs. Stay on top of maintenance and don’t overlook the basics.

Speaking of maintenance – do what you can to keep your 5.7 running well. Chances are, well-maintained Chrysler 5.7L HEMI engines should last to 200,000+ miles. Problems will occur along the road to old age and high mileage. However, no engine is exempt from this general concept. Overall, the HEMI 5.7 is a reliable, powerful, and fun engine to drive.

What’s your experience with the 5.7L HEMI? Or are you in the market for one? Drop a comment and let us know.

Check out our 6.4 HEMI Common Problems article

The 5 Most Common Dodge 5.7 HEMI Engine Problems (2024)


What is the most common problem with the 5.7 Hemi? ›

Some of the most common problems associated with the third-gen HEMI include engine ticks and stalling issues. Whether you're in the market for a used pickup or are planning a custom hotrod build, here are the best and worst years for the Dodge 5.7L HEMI engine.

What years to avoid for the 5.7 Hemi? ›

A: The Dodge RAM 1500 years to avoid are 2003, 2010-2013 (specifically models with the 5.7-liter V8 engine), 2014, 2015, and 2016. These model years have had various problems and recalls related to the engine, transmission, suspension, and electrical systems.

What years did the 5.7 Hemi have lifter problems? ›

2009 was the year the Hemi went to the VVT system with different lifters and cam. That is also when the lifters and cam starting failing left and right since it was a poor setup on this engine that was not specifically built to be a variable cam timing engine. The Gen III Eagle has not been updated since 2009.

What is the problem with the Hemi engine lifters? ›

Hemi engine lifter failure is a common issue that can occur in the 5.7L and 6.4L engines. One of the primary causes of this problem is a lack of oil flow and pressure, which can lead to wear and tear on engine components, including the lifters.

What is the life expectancy of a 5.7 Hemi? ›

Some owners have reported over 200,000 miles on their engines without the need for an overhaul [1]. There are even examples of engines with 400,000-450,000 kilometers (approximately 250,000-280,000 miles) still going strong [2]. Driving Habits: How the vehicle is driven can also impact the engine's lifespan.

What is the big deal about a Hemi engine? ›

Essentially, the fuel burns more quickly. The intake and exhaust valves are also angled to match the dome-shaped chamber room. That means they can be larger, which maximizes intake and exhaust flow. The hemi setup is worth the somewhat more complex system to get the most out of the engine.

What year is the Dodge Ram best to buy used? ›

5 of the Most Reliable Used RAM Trucks
  • 2020 RAM 1500 Classic. For the 2020 model year, RAM redesigned the appearance and features of its trucks. ...
  • 2016 RAM 1500. Slightly earlier into the fourth generation, we can recommend shopping for a 2016 RAM 1500 for a couple of reasons. ...
  • 2021 RAM 1500. ...
  • 2018 RAM 1500.
Mar 17, 2023

How much does it cost to have a 5.7 Hemi rebuilt? ›

A check on the prices of stock rebuilt 5.7 Hemi engines here suggest that a similar unit to ours can be had starting around $2,400, but won't come with the same satisfaction of rebuilding it yourself.

What is the most reliable engine in the Ram 1500? ›

Is a 5.7 l The best Hemi engine? The Hemi was made for Northwest Indiana farmers and other Heavy Duty work. The Hemi family is legendary for its dependability very dependable. However, it's the 5.7L Hemi that stands out as the most reliable Ram Truck Engine Option.

What years are the Hemi tick? ›

A lawsuit claims the Hemi tick can be dangerous. The defect is in Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM models with certain Hemi V-8 engines from 2014 to 2022.

How do you prevent a lifter tick on a 5.7 Hemi? ›

Thicker oil will help to reduce the clearance between the lifter and the pushrod, which can help to quiet the tick. You may want to try a 10W-30 oil or a 15W-40 oil.

How much does it cost to replace lifters on a 5.7 Hemi? ›

Expect to pay somewhere between $1000 and $2,500 to get a professional to replace an engine lifter.

Is a lifter knock bad? ›

If you hear lifter noise, get it checked out. Sometimes they'll hold up for a while, but if it's bad enough the lifter could shatter. If it's caught early on, a new lifter is all you'll need - if neglected, a lifter can ruin a camshaft or entire engine in no time.

What are common lifter problems? ›

Ticking Noises: A common sign of lifter problems is a ticking or tapping noise coming from the engine. This noise is often most noticeable at startup or during acceleration. Poor Performance: Lifter issues can also reduce engine performance, including rough idling, misfires, and decreased power and fuel efficiency.

What are the drawbacks of a Hemi? ›

Most experts agree that a major drawback of the Hemi design is that it cannot incorporate four valves per cylinder. And that's OK when it comes to racing cars, which are limited to two valves anyway – but modern cars use an alternative design with four slightly smaller valves that let the engine breathe more easily.

What is special about the 5.7 Hemi engine? ›

A HEMI® engine is composed of a hemispherical combustion chamber with dome shaped cylinders and matching piston tops. This creates less surface area than traditional engine which means that less heat and energy lost, and more power is produced.

Is the 5.7 Hemi easy to work on? ›

It also features advanced technologies such as Variable Valve Timing and Multi-Displacement System, which help to improve performance while conserving fuel. The 5.7 Hemi is also designed to be easy to maintain, with fewer moving parts than other engine types.

Why is Dodge killing the Hemi? ›

Hemi V8 engine makers, Stellantis announced that they will discontinue this specific engine by the end of 2023 because of new emission laws and overall industry evolution.

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