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The 2006 Chrysler 300 Has an Awful Engine Problem to Watch Out For

Buyers may assume that a full-size luxury car like the Chrysler 300 won’t have any problems. Unfortunately, there’s one model year in particular where that isn’t the case. Read on for the engine problems that come with the 2006 Chrysler 300.

Why the 2006 Chrysler 300 is the worst model year

CarComplaints.com is one good site to see what problems owners are having with their cars. The website offers graphs that visually show which model years have the most submitted complaints and which problems are submitted most often. The site found that the 2006 Chrysler 300 has the most overall complaints and rated it the worst model year.

The most problematic category for the 2006 Chrysler 300 is engine problems, but the most-reported issue is that the gear shifter gets stuck in park. Its many problems earned it Car Complaints’ “Avoid Like the Plague” badge. Owners have submitted 156 issues about the 2006 Chrysler 300 so far, with 77 of those connected to engine problems.

There are two engine issues that owners submitted most often. An engine that makes a loud clacking noise and an engine that stalls or shuts off while driving were the two most common engine complaints about the 2006 Chrysler 300. Each was submitted 18 times.

In addition to the clacking noise, the website also called out two additional problems as the top three problems. Engine failure due to oil sludge was submitted by 10 owners, and a blown engine was submitted by seven people. Several of these serious engine issues required owners to replace their engines, though a few people were able to fix the clacking sound by having the side rocker arms replaced.

The engine clacking noise appeared on average at around 81,750 miles and cost owners about $2,570 to get fixed. Several owners described their cars as lemons, expressing their frustration that the engine repairs weren’t covered by a recall. The issue where the engine stalled or shut off while driving showed up later at around 109,850 miles on average, and owners shared that it cost them $950 to repair. This problem appeared the latest of these four major issues and cost the least to fix.

Engine failure due to oil sludge occurred at around 85,500 miles on average and cost $6,000 to have repaired. The blown engine happened at 92,200 miles on average and cost $7,080 to repair – definitely the most expensive of these four problems. The most-reported single problem was that the gear shifter gets stuck in park. This frustrating issue was reported by 19 owners, appearing at around 61,600 miles, costing them $390 to repair.

Other model years

2016 Chrysler 300 is on display at the 108th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Chrysler 300 | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2006 model year sticks out since it has an unusually high number of complaints when compared to other model years. No other model year has more than 82 complaints, and most have fewer than 50. And, that high 82-complaint year came in the Chrysler 300’s very first year in 2005. The 2005 model year also dealt with the stuck gear shifter as well as engine problems. The 2007 model year had issues with transmission problems plus engine issues.

2006 Chrysler 300 recalls

The 2006 model year does have four recalls. Two relate to the driver-side airbag and the passenger-side airbag. The other two are for the rear brake tubes and the automatic transmission cup plug. None of the recalls address the engine or gear shift problems.

While most model years of the Chrysler 300 have very few complaints, the 2006 model year suffers from several engine problems plus a gear shift issue. Buyers looking for a used luxury car might want to skip over this model year.