What Are The Most Common Issues With Dodge 5.7 HEMI Engine?

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The Dodge 5.7 engine is solid. If it has grabbed your attention, then you must know what it is capable of. Excellent fuel efficiency paired with a high-power output gives you this beast of an engine.

No matter how many points the 5.7L engine racks up in terms of positivity, it cannot consider the problems that ship with this engine.

Let’s outline some of the common Dodge 5.7 HEMI engine problems.

  1. Unexpected Misfires – Failure Of The Spark Plugs
  2. Failure Of The Exhaust Manifold Bolts
  3. Problems With The MDS
  4. Ticking Sounds Originating From The Engine

Now, I know that some of you may have been taken by surprise by these problems, but you don’t have to take any stress because all of them are repairable and avoidable.

So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it.

The 4 Most Common Dodge 5.7 HEMI Problems

I would advise that you read this section of the article in its entirety to know, in detail, what type of problem you are dealing with. I will not only be explaining the problem but will also enlighten you on how to get them fixed.

1. Unexpected Misfires – Failure Of The Spark Plugs

Let’s start with a problem that is the least common of all four, spark plug failure. A faulty spark plug causes misfires because a cylinder does not produce adequate power to satisfy the engine’s needs. This issue is a serious cause of concern for anyone who is not aware of it.

The Issue

A misfire can be caused due to various reasons. But, in the HEMI engine, the most common reason for this is the failure of spark plugs. Now, this issue is something that does not occur on new engines. Spark plugs usually fail when there has been too much wear and tear.

If you did not know, the 5.7L engine has 16 spark plugs. Yes, that is right. So, there is a very high probability of one going bad after extensive usage. You can expect a spark plug failure after around 100000-miles.

Symptoms

Fortunately, a spark plug issue is quite easy to identify. There are many things that you can check or observe to confirm if this is indeed the issue.

Some of those checks are:

  • The check engine light is turned on.
  • Trouble starting the vehicle.
  • Poor acceleration.

I must clarify that these issues can be caused due to other reasons. They may or may not indicate the failure of the spark plugs. But, if more than one of these symptoms occurs at once, there is a high probability of a spark plug issue.

How To Avoid The Issue

A spark plug can be easily replaced. It is better to get the job done via a mechanic, which means you won’t have to worry about making a mistake.

The original engine required a replacement every 30000 miles. That was indeed very short. But the company improved the engine, and the final variants had a replacement interval of 100000-miles, a massive improvement.

2. Failure Of The Exhaust Manifold Bolts

Now, let’s jump directly to the most common problem users face, the failure of the bolts used for the exhaust manifold. The bolts have a common tendency to fail unexpectedly. For those who don’t know, let me tell you the importance of these bolts.

The Issue

As you all know, a failure of the exhaust system can cause many problems. The failure causes a leakage, which then causes the engine to not dispose of the toxic gases properly.

When the bolts break, they cause a leak, which also results in similar symptoms. Apart from the leakage of dangerous emissions, you can run into many problems.

You may notice:

  • A decrease in power.
  • Hesitation while accelerating.
  • Worse fuel efficiency.

These are a few things that will happen if the issue is not addressed as soon as possible.

Symptoms

A bad intake manifold is not easy to spot. The easiest way to identify the issue is to hear ticking sounds coming from the engine. The sound commonly starts when the intake failure has just begun or when the bolts have not broken off completely.

If the issue persists and increases over time, it is very rare to identify the issue as soon as it happens. We will talk more about this issue further down in this section.

Repair

Fortunately, the repair of this issue is as easy as switching out the bolts for new ones. New bolts will cost you very little, and the new ones can be installed by yourself. So, you can save yourself some cash by performing the replacement process at home.

It is advised to get the repair done as soon as possible because the added strain is not good for the engine in the long term. Plus, the unprocessed carbon monoxide gas can have adverse effects on people near the vehicle.

3. Problems With The MDS

Function

The Multi-Displacement System, more commonly known as the MDS, is an integral part of the 5.7L engine. Before you continue with this section, I must tell you that this issue is on the HEMI engine variants released post-2009. If you are interested in or have an engine older than that, you have nothing to worry about.

The thing with the MDS is system is that it is responsible for shutting down four cylinders when the vehicle is cruising. Although it is not a critical part of the engine, it does help in saving fuel and reduce emissions. The MDS can even be disabled for those who do not want to compromise on performance.

The MDS technology is quite new; as of writing this article, in 2021, the technology has been out for around 15 years. Chrysler introduced it. It still has not matured to the point that it can be trusted blindly.

Symptoms

Users reported that when the MDS system kicks in, the engine’s performance drops down quite a bit. They even went ahead to say that the driving experience became unnatural. This should never be the case with an engine.

Although there has not been a solid reason for this issue, it is speculated that the cooling and warming of the cylinders, again and again, is bad for the metal. Plus, there is no variation of which cylinder will be shut down, so those four will be subject to extreme changes.

Thoughts

The MDS system itself is great. It does the job of turning the cylinders off efficiently. But there is collateral damage that the company did not take into account.

For example:

  • The cooling of the spark plugs.
  • Poor lubrication.
  • Uneven wear of the cylinders.

These are some things you should take into account if you are looking to use the MDS system.

4. Ticking Sounds Originating From The Engine

The Issue

This final problem is more than a symptom rather than an issue. Owners of the 5.7 HEMI engine reported that their engines produced a lot of ticking sounds. Now, I did discuss that this problem could originate from the failure of the exhaust manifold bolts, but that is not the only reason.

Reasons

The ticking sound on an engine can be a result of various issues. I will be discussing some of the more common ones, so you may have a vague idea of what you are dealing with, given that your engine has also developed a tick.

People reported that when they went to get their engine checked, the tick originated from three areas:

  • When the exhaust manifold bolt failed.
  • The lifters became faulty.
  • When the lifter roller stopped working.

These are the most common reasons for the persistent tick problems that frustrate users.

As we have already discussed the bolt issue, we will be focusing on the other two for the course of this article. Again, this problem was reported by users of the 2009 or newer HEMI 5.7L engine. Some people outright blamed the MDS system, which is a source of many other problems too.

Regarding the lifter roller, there has been a deduction that when it does not get the adequate amount of oil for lubrication, they stop working. The lifters then rub against the camshaft, hence causing the ticking issue.

Damage

As both of these rubbing parts are made up of metal, the continuous contact without lubrication will create metal shavings that contaminate the oil. It is advised to get the issue repaired as soon as possible as there have been reports of users that had to get their whole engines replaced due to this issue.

What Is The Dodge 5.7L HEMI Engine?

The 5.7L engine was released in 2003. The HEMI engine, soon after its release, became popular among consumers, especially because it was used in so many trucks and vehicles.

The engine can output a hefty 345 HP of raw power, paired alongside 375 ft. lb of torque. Although this engine is almost two decades old, it holds up pretty well nowadays. Taking cues from the Magnum series, its predecessor, the engine has a 90-degree V8 layout.

The engine went through major revisions in 2009, six years after its release. There were many improvements, including the addition of the MDS feature loved and hated by people.

The newer models also used variable valve timing that helps improve fuel economy. Even the cylinder heads have been improved so that the flow can be increased. All in all, the revisions were pretty major.

Is The Dodge 5.7L HEMI Engine Reliable?

The HEMI engine is extremely reliable. Users have tested it for hundreds of thousands of miles, and it is still holding up pretty nicely.

I know that the engine has some faults. Issues like unexpected misfires and the exhaust manifold bolts break only when the vehicle has been used extensively. Frankly, this issue can occur on any engine as bolts and spark plugs are not designed to last forever.

As for the MDS issue, it is indeed something that the company did not take into account. Users had to disable this excellent feature because it had long-term effects on the engine. At least, you have the option to turn it off, eliminating the chances of further damage.

All in all, if the engine is kept in pristine condition, with regular oil change intervals and maintenance check-ups, then there is a high chance that you will not run into any of the issues that were the focus of this article.

What Cars Use The Dodge 5.7L HEMI Engine?

With the engine being released in 2003, you would think that it would have become obsolete by now. That is where you would be wrong. The 2009 revisions of the HEMI engines made it capable of withstanding even more abuse than ever.

For example, the Ram Pickup, the first vehicle to ship with this engine, still uses it under the hood. 2004 saw the Dodge Durango being unveiled with this engine under the hood. With a gap of two years, from 2009 to 2011, the vehicle is still using the same engine.

Other vehicles that use this engine are the 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum GT, the Chrysler 300C, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. They have had the same bad boy under the hood since 2005.

The Chrysler 300S V8 used the engine in 2010 and was rereleased with it again in 2012.The Dodge Charger and the Challenger are also vehicles that still use this beast of an engine.

Dodge 5.7L HEMI Engine Specs

Cylinder block composition Cast iron
Chamber head composition Aluminum
Fuel Unleaded gasoline
Fuel injection type Multi-point fuel injection
Arrangement V configuration
No. of chambers 8
Valves in each cylinder 2
Valvetrain layout OHV
Bore 99.49 mm or 3.92 cubic inches
Stroke 90.88mm or 3.58 cubic inches
Displacement 5.7L or 5654 cc
Internal combustion engine (Type) Four stroke, Naturally articulated
Compression ratio 9.6:1 – 2003-2008, 10.5:1 – 2009-present
Power 345-395 HP @ 5600 rpm
Torque 375-410ft.lb @ 3000 rpm
Weight of engine oil SAE 5W-20
The capacity of engine oil 7 quarts w / filter
Firing directive 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2
The interval between oil change 6000 miles (10000km) or six months

The Benefits Of Choosing The Dodge 5.7L HEMI Engine

If you have become hesitant after reading this article, you should not worry too much. All of the above issues are fixable. Let me outline some of the pros of the engine, which you can then consider before making the final decision.

  • The HEMI-shaped design has flat shelves, which improve efficiency while reducing emissions.
  • Newer models have implemented variable valve timing to increase stability.
  • The new crankshaft is very durable and can handle abuse.
  • It has been in use for almost 20 years, which means it is a reliable option.
  • The new cylinders have 14% more airflow than the original ones.

FAQs

Instead of turning to the web and getting more confused, I suggest that you read this FAQs that has been constructed specifically for the 5.7 HEMI engine.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A 5.7 HEMI Engine?

A HEMI engine has been designed to last anywhere from 250000-300000 miles. This is definitely on the upper end of the spectrum. But this mileage is only possible if you keep the engine maintained at all times as V8 engines require more attention than usual.

Is A 5.7 HEMI Engine Worth Rebuilding?

Yes, it is. A rebuild will not only give the engine a new lease on its life, but it will also cost you significantly less than a new one. So, if you are getting a used and worn-out engine at a good rate, then my advice is that you should go for it.

Did Ram Fix The HEMI Tick?

As you all know, the Ram trucks are the oldest ones shipped with the HEMI engine. According to online forums and articles, you would expect the problem to phase out over the years, but unfortunately, it is still present.

Can The HEMI Tick Be Avoided?

A few things can be done to ensure that the issue will not cause too much frustration for you. Engine additive, high-quality oil are some of the ways that can help in reducing the engine tick noise. You could also try flushing the engine, but that has rarely helped users in this scenario.

How Can I Make My HEMI More Powerful?

So, you are one of those people who like to push their engines to the limit. Well, you could buy a tuner, install a high-quality cold air intake, and reduce the engine’s weight to improve the engine’s Horsepower output greatly. You can visit this link to check out the highest intakes designed to work for your engine.

Conclusion

If you managed to read through the entire article, then it can be concluded that you are serious about buying the Hemi engine. I must say that it is an excellent decision that you have chosen this V8 beast.

Despite there being some 5.7 HEMI problems, the engine itself is pretty reliable. It will give you a long and excellent driving experience.

It can also be rebuilt means that you can use it for as long as you want, with minimal decrease in overall performance and efficiency. I hope that this article helped you in deciding whether the HEMI engine is worth it or not. I think the engine is worth it. After all, Dodge does make some pretty solid engines.

Resources:
1. https://tuningpro.co/the-4-most-common-dodge-5-7l-hemi-engine-problems/
2. https://www.motorreviewer.com/engine.php?engine_id=182