Timing chain failure on the Dodge Challenger - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums
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post #1 of 6102 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Timing chain failure on the Dodge Challenger

I have been finding many reports of the timing chain breaking on the Dodge Challenger, mostly in the 5.7L Hemi engines. The timing chain breaks in most reported instances around the 35K-40K mile range.

Once the timing chain breaks, the end result is usually the valves smacking the pistons which bend the valves, damages the pistons and leads to catastrophic engine failure. This often requires a new long block.

How many of you have had the timing chain break? How many miles on the car when when it happened? and what was your experience in getting it repaired?


Known instances of the timing chain breaking on the 5.7L Dodge Challenger just in this forum alone in the past few months:

1. 06/27/2011 -- mileage not mentioned -- ... come to find out the timing chain broke ...

2. 07/19/2011 -- 85,000 miles -- ... and the timing chain broke...

3. 09/27/2011 -- 33,385 miles -- 2009 R/T Motor Broke

4. 11/23/2011 -- 38,000 miles -- Club member's car. Broken timing chain. Car in shop for over two months.

5. 12/07/2011 -- 34,000 miles -- I found this thread the hard way...

6. 12/19/2011 -- 22,600 miles -- 2010 Challenger - Timing Chain Breaks...

7. 01/21/2012 -- 60,000 miles -- Engine went..........

8. 02/02/2012 -- 38,000 miles -- 2009 Challenger R/T lost a second motor .. (Second occurrence. See #3 above. 4,000 miles on new motor).

9. 03/08/2012 -- 50,000 miles -- BLOWN ENGINE 50,000 miles

10. 03/23/2012 -- 14,000 miles -- ... my timing chain snapped

11. 04/04/2012 -- 53,500 miles -- My timing chain just broke today ...

12. 04/16/2012 -- 46,000 miles -- Mine is in the shop with a broken timing chain...

13. 04/27/2012 -- 31,000 miles -- My chain broke back in December of 2011 ...

14. 05/22/2012 -- 37,000 miles -- Here's another 2010 Auto R/T with a broken timing chain! ...

15. 06/13/2012 -- 40,257 miles -- I too have a broken timing chain ...

16. 06/23/2012 -- 38,485 miles -- Guess I can be added to the list ...

17. 06/26/2012 -- 38,500 miles -- Just happened last Saturday ...

18. 08/02/2012 -- 59,134 miles -- ... all of a sudden Bam the engine shuts down

19. 08/03/2012 -- 38,000 miles -- I had this happen at 38000 miles, 2010 R/T Auto

20. 08/08/2012 -- 27,000 miles -- The timing chain on my 2010 R/T just broke ...

21. 08/10/2012 -- 59,300 miles -- ... timing chain broke again. (Third occurrence. See #3 and #8 above. 16,000 miles on new motor).

22. 08/10/2012 -- 63,000 miles -- ... timing chain broke cruising at 70mph on the highway

23. 09/03/2012 -- 40,000 miles -- ... while driving to dallas my timing chain broke

24. 09/11/2012 -- 24,000 miles -- Welp - chalk up another one ... (first 2011 to be reported here)

25. 09/21/2012 -- 31,100 miles -- This just happened a few days ago ...

26. 10/10/2012 -- 42,559 miles -- Well it's looking like I'm the latest timing chain victim ...

27. 10/24/2012 -- 65,000 miles -- ... driving on the highway 65MPH and "Pop goes to weasel"

28. 11/18/2012 -- 40,000 miles -- Mine just broke...2010 mopar 10, no mods, auto ... (first to break not at highway speeds)

29. 11/19/2012 -- 39,000 miles -- just got another 2010 with 39000 in today ...

30. 12/04/2012 -- 40,000 miles -- The timing chain on my 2010 Auto RT broke last Friday ...

31. 12/09/2012 -- miles pending -- ... R/T not running at the moment timing chain broke ...

32. 12/11/2012 -- 27,000 miles -- ... cruising on the interstate at 70, MDS on, when suddenly loss of power ...

33. 01/03/2013 -- 58,000 miles -- ... the dealer has confirmed that I did have a timing chain failure.

34. 01/22/2013 -- 40,000 miles -- It has been confirmed I as well did have a broken timing chain

35. 01/22/2013 -- 43,000 miles -- 2010 R/T, 5-speed auto with mds. No mods at all.

36. 02/22/2013 -- 52,000 miles -- ... it happen to me this weekend ...

37. 04/15/2013 -- 55,000 miles -- I have now become victim to a failed timing chain

38. 04/20/2013 -- 73,000 miles -- cruising at 65 mph, in MSD, engine 'shut down'

39. 05/13/2013 -- 66,000 miles -- lost it on the interstate doing 73 in MDS

40. 05/20/2013 -- 56.616 miles -- ... on the freeway headed to work in the rain and Wham

41. 05/24/2013 -- 28,000 miles -- the chain went on the highway at 70+ mph

42. 06/07/2013 -- 88,256 miles -- ... driving down the highway heard a loud pop ...

43. 07/01/2013 -- 52,000 miles -- Timing chain broke on freeway ...

44. 07/23/2013 -- 54,057 miles -- Was in a canyon going uphill at about 55mph ... (claims MDS not engaged)

45. 07/26/2013 -- 49,000 miles -- Cruising along 65 mph engine stalled.

46. 08/10/2013 -- 22,281 miles -- I wish I found this topic sooner

47. 09/17/2013 -- 40,091 miles -- driving 74 mph in cruse control just died ...

48. 10/04/2013 -- 68,000 miles -- Add another one to the list OMG.

49. 10/22/2013 -- 89,000 miles -- Timing chain went on my 09 Challenger

50. 11/13/2013 -- 55,320 miles -- I had hoped I would never be posting this message ...

51. 11/13/2013 -- 42,342 miles -- Just got up to highway speed Bam Powerloss ...

52. 11/21/2013 -- 53,000 miles -- Add me to the list of failures ...

53. 11/27/2013 -- 73,000 miles -- I was cruising at highway speeds (70 mph), in MDS

54. Recall initiated, see below.

Remember, these reports are from this forum alone. Real world numbers are greatly increased.

The things in common when the timing chain breaks so far are:

1. MDS is activated (auto trans., so 6-speed are excluded)
2. Traveling at freeway speeds (or coming off of freeway)
3. 2009-2011 model years affected so far.
4. Limited to the 5.7L motor so far
5. Dodge Challenger only

Things ruled out thus far:

A. 6-speed manual transmissions not affected
B. Other 5.7L vehicles not affected, i.e., Charger, 300, Ram truck
C. New guide shoe (white color) has also failed (see #8 on list of failures)
D. New crate motor has also failed (see #3 and #8 on list of failures)
E. Both stock and mod cars affected
F. Both stock tune and Predator tune (with MDS turned on) affected
G. All oil change intervals affected, i.e., 3,000 miles, 5,000 miles, etc.
H. All types of oil affected, i.e., both synthetic and conventional oil

* Author's notes (last updated 10/28/13):

(1) When I created this thread, I was so taken back by a timing chain failure happening and discovering at least a half dozen similar occurrences, that I attempted to discover if anyone here had experienced a timing chain failure and what their dealership experience was. I got a lot of adverse feedback along the lines of "alarmist" and "chicken little" and other name calling, including some from dealerships and master mechanics, as can be seen in just the first few hundred posts below. Many attempted to derail this thread by taking it off-topic on many, many occasions. Some are still out there promoting denial of the issue. Still, the problem remains, it is real and it continues to plague fellow Challenger owners.

(2) The timing chain concern can be alleviated by disabling MDS (a band-aid solution not a fix). All but one recent report have shown that MDS was engaged and the car was traveling at freeway speeds. You can prevent MDS from being activated by switching into manual mode while driving on the freeway. You can read How to use the Autostick feature and manual mode here. You can also use a tuner to disable the MDS feature, but be forewarned, if the dealership discovers your use of a tuner on the car, you are in for a fight to get the repairs done under warranty.

(3) Chrysler is aware of the issue and has been monitoring this thread for some time regardless of they might tell you. In addition, many people have already telephoned customer service and have written to Chrysler directly. But, even without all of that, you don't have timing chains, tensioners, heads and short blocks rolling out of the warehouse in the numbers that they have without raising some internal red flags of a potential issue.

(4) Talks of running off to court and filing a lawsuit over this issue are misguided. Your warranty specifically states that you MUST first submit the matter to arbitration. Any lawsuit would be immediately dismissed, and now you are out the filing fees.

(5) When I first created this thread, the weekly parts demand for timing chains was at about 15. It is currently hovering around 35 at the moment.

(6) Chrysler has switched from the black tensioner and guide to white (supposedly stronger) and then to an aluminum tensioner and guide with a plastic face plate (the current part). Both black and white guides have failed. No reports of the aluminum failing yet but they are relatively new first showing up in mid-2013 R/T's.

(7) The exact cause of the timing chain failure is still unknown. In fact, it may never been known. There are just too many factors involved to isolate the problem, and if we haven't discovered the cause in over 350,000 page views, how can we expect Chrysler to? While there is a lot of speculation as to the exact cause, which seems to go round-and-round every few hundred posts, it is all just that -- speculation. What we do for for certain is that MDS is playing a part in the timing chain failures.

(8) Special shout outs to Desert Bum, Hal H, hmk123, Force10, 19johned53, and the nameless many who have helped to keep this issue real and on topic. Your comments are appreciated.


* Author's notes (last updated 02/12/14):

Customer Satisfaction Notification P01
Engine Timing Chain and Chain Guide
IMPORTANT: Some of the involved vehicles may be in dealer used vehicle inventory. Dealers should complete this repair on these vehicles before retail delivery. Dealers should also perform this repair on vehicles in for service. Involved vehicles can be determined by using the VIP inquiry process.
2009-2012 (LC) Dodge Challenger
(LD) Dodge Charger
(LX) Chrysler 300
NOTE: This recall applies only to the above vehicles equipped with a 5.7L Hemi engine (sales code EZD or EZH), automatic transmission (sales code DGJ) and rear axle ratio 3.06, 3.73 or 3.92 (sales code DMP, DME or DMH) built from August 04, 2008 through July 10, 2012 (MDH 080406 through 071008).
The engine timing chain guide on about 50,800 of the above vehicles may fracture. A fractured engine timing chain guide could cause the engine timing chain to break. A broken engine timing chain will result in severe engine damage.
The engine timing chain, timing chain tensioner and timing chain guide must be replaced.
Customer Satisfaction Notification P01 Engine Timing Chain and Chain Guide Page 2
Part Number Description
CBPRN291AA Engine Timing Chain Package
Each package contains the following components:
Quantity Description
1 Chain, Engine Timing
1 Guide, Engine Timing Chain
1 Tensioner, Engine Timing Chain
1 O-ring, Oil Pick-up Tube
1 Gasket, Engine Timing Cover
NOTE: Order two heater tube O-rings separately listed below for each repair.
Part Number Description
53013736AA O-ring, Heater Tube (order two per vehicle)
Each dealer
to whom vehicles in the recall were assigned will receive enough Engine Timing Chain Packages to service about 5% of those vehicles.


Recall type:

Customer Satisfaction Notification - Customer Satisfaction Notifications are preventive in nature and involve warranty or customer satisfaction issues such as non-safety repairs. Chrysler will correct the problem, at no charge, even if the vehicle is out of warranty and you are not the original owner.

You can check if your vehicle is subject to the timing chain issue recall (or any other recall) by visiting the Chrysler website and entering your vehicle's VIN number. Visit: http://www.chrysler.com/en/mobile/webselfservice/


Originally Posted by DodgeCares View Post
We really want to thank everyone who wrote us, (Pietro), with their timing chain concerns. The engineering team has completed their work and the following statement has been released. If there are any questions, reach out to us on this forum as opposed to sending an email as that will be quicker.

Chrysler Group is launching a customer-service action to bolster timing-chain system durability in certain cars equipped with 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines.

The decision follows an extensive investigation to determine the precise issue and appropriate remedy.
The investigation discovered the engine’s fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology may cause an adverse interaction with the timing-chain system. (Chrysler Group is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.) As a result, the Company will replace – at no cost to customers – the timing chains, tensioners and guides in certain vehicles built between Aug. 4, 2008 and July 10, 2012.

Affected are certain model-year 2009-2012 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 full-size sedans, and Dodge Challenger sport coupes. The scope is limited to vehicles equipped with 5-speed automatic transmissions and axle ratios of 3.06, 3.73 or 3.92.

Beginning this month, Chrysler Group will contact affected customers with instructions to schedule service appointments with their dealers.

Chrysler Group greatly appreciates the patience demonstrated by its customers while this issue was under investigation. The Company also values and shares the passion expressed on these pages by customers and fans alike.



Article: Timing Chain Failure on the Dodge Challenger – Ground Zero


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Last edited by raVenX; 09-09-2014 at 08:11 PM. Reason: Update list of reported timing chain failures
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post #2 of 6102 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:51 AM
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never seen one, the 5.7L Hemi in the Challenger is basically the same one in the Ram, again never seen one break ever!!!!!
in the last 5 years we have replace 5, 5.7L Hemis, 3 in the same police car, yep Chrysler permanently restricted the warranty on that car.....

also search it on dealerconnect, no case and no bulletins



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post #3 of 6102 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 10:02 AM
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I thought I saw a post about a month ago here about a timing chain breaking on a 5.7 and the poster even had pics showing it. Several others stated this had happened to them as well.

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post #4 of 6102 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 10:10 AM
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the majority of these cars have 5 year 100,000 mile warranty, some 2009 have lifetime powertrain,

if they were breaking, we would see them!!!!

one incident doesnt make it a common failure

now 3.5L rocker shaft is an whole other story.....

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post #5 of 6102 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:23 PM
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Oh well, 41k is less than 100k, I'm not going to be any easier on it than I have been

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post #6 of 6102 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stevewhiteparts View Post
... if they were breaking, we would see them!!!!
You can't see the wind, yet it exists. Curious about what you do for Christmas. I bet you close shop, don't you?

Originally Posted by Hemi666
Where did you hear about this issue?
One of our club members has his car in the shop right now -- broken timing chain, 36k miles on the car. Almost the exact same story as below. Just cruising down the highway at 70 mph -- pop goes the weasel.


October 2011: While driving home from work last night with the cruise control set at 74mph she started to shake rattle and roll. CEL and ETC lights came on (flashing). Went to "N" and limped to the shoulder, waited a few seconds and attempted a re-start. Ouch. sounded real bad. ... (I'm at 35200) ... . Adviser called me this morning to tell me the tech thinks the timing chain broke! ... Foreman told me the 5.7 Hemi timing chain is on back order. When I questioned him he told me that the chains are popping all over the country on the Challengers and they have run completely out.
October 2011: WOW this is like the 3rd one i have heard about??
October 2011: Had the same thing happen to me about 30 days ago. Had it towed to the dealer and after the tear down they determined that it was a broken timing chain.

So that's just three reports right there, and there are more. In my 30+ years of driving and racing, I have personally only encountered one instance of a timing chain breaking. It's a rare occurrence, no doubt about it. So, when you see reports coming in like the above, you kind of scratch your head and ask yourself, "Is there a problem here? This shouldn't be happening so frequently."

There are to date some 52k Challenger 5.7L Hemis out there. Many are just now coming up on 35k miles. Hence, the problem, if it is a problem, is just now beginning to materialize.

Anyway, this thread was intended for those who HAVE experienced the timing chain break. A depository for information to see if there is an actual problem out there that needs to be addressed by the manufacturer.

So, once again, if you have had the timing chain break on your Challenger, please post up how many miles on the car when when it happened? and what was your experience in getting it repaired?
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post #7 of 6102 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:07 PM
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we sell 240/250 units a month, service 80 to 110 vehicles a day.........does it happen, im sure it does, anything can happen, but dont start a stampede because one coughed....

receiver hitch for Rams are also on back order, doesnt mean there falling off.........thats the number one selling accessory by the way

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The only timing chain "issues" that I've heard about are on this forum. In my neck of the woods, there's not many Challengers, but a TON of RAM Hemi's running around.

Most have lived a "hard life", and the owners really like them.

This alone helped me decide on the 5.7l motor as being a "good one".

Yes, anything can happen, and that's why I bought the Chysler Lifetime Bumper to Bumper warranty. The drivetrain has the normal 5/100 coverage, and after that, the extended takes over for $100 deduct.

I'm running mine as usual, and not losing any sleep over anything on the Challenger. It's covered, and it's been a great ride for over a year now and 16k + miles

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My experience in instances like this is along the lines of what Luke/stevewhiteparts is conveying.......My brother has worked (dealer level) automotive and truck parts sales and service for about 20 years.....whenever I have an issue I go straight to him.......doesn't matter the part or the make.............. he says that when you have a component that has large failure rate like the timing chain is being portrayed in this instance..... it is pretty obvious that there is a problem just by the sheer volume of that part that goes thru the shop .....

If Luke is saying he isn't seeing it..... I'm thinking there's not a problem......

my $.02

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I found this thread the hard way...

Last Friday I was driving home on the highway at about 70-75 mph when all of a sudden my engine just quite. There was no noise, nothing that would have suggested that there was a problem with the engine or that there was a major problem. It acted as if the car was out of gas and so I shifted to neutral and tried to coast as far as possible. I checked the fuel gauge and that was above half a tank so I knew it wasn't out of gas. I attempted to restart the engine and it just cranked and cranked and cranked.

Had the car towed to the nearest Dodge dealership and had to wait till Monday to find out what was wrong. "BROKEN TIMING CHAIN", sorry but I have to disagree with those who think this is not a problem! If all of the "HEMI's" are not built on the exact same line then you can not compare the truck "Hemi" and the Charger "Hemi" with the Challenger "Hemi". Like many others my car had only 34,000 miles on it when it failed. I am currently waiting to hear how much damamge it did to the motor and what they are going to do to repair it. The ironic thing is that this car has not been driven hard at all. I have only smoked the tires 3 times, never topped it out and never drag raced it. It is my daily driver and I drive around 50 miles one way on the highway 4 days a week.

I think that no matter how little the damage is, if the heads, valves or pistons were damamged I am going to demand a new motor. In today's age of "CarFax" all of this information gets recorded and a new engine would be more favorable then a rebuilt engine. If the "CarFx" report showed a major rebuild of the engine at 34,000 miles we all would be less likely to pay the true value of this car.

At first the dealership was not going to provide me with a rental or loaner car, then they called Chrysler and they apporved a 5 day rental for me. I doubt that they will be able to get this car repaired in 5 days. One failed is a fluke, 3 failed a bad batch of parts, 20+ a problem! Look, two Chevy Volts caught on fire and they start a major investigation into the cause of these fires, think about the possible consequences of losing all power at 70 mph in rush hour traffic...I am just saying!
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