2012 Cherokee 5.7L Camshaft Lifters/Rollers Destruction

We are thinking of leasing a Nissan Sentra and the deal is $139/mo with $4k down so the trade in would eat the $4k down payment.

Most leases have a 12000 mile limit per year . Will that cover her Uber and delivery mileage ? If not there will be a huge penalty at turn in time. Even if she buys it at lease end she might pay more than market value of the vehicle.

She is thinking short term. Least amount of money spent NOW to get a car with a low payment.
Yep, take a loss on Jeep. That’s life. A lease is ok. Buying is better over the long run. But, I would not buy/keep a Sentra. Maybe a Toyota.

Between working at a shop and having a side gig as an arbitrator of new car warranty disputes handling Chrysler products, my experience is that Hemi cam failures are common enough that poor quality parts has to be the most likely cause.

The last Hemi at the shop that ate a cam had the oil changed regularly at 5000 mile intervals using the proper spec 0W40 oil. And still a failed roller lifter wiped out a cam at 85,000 miles.

Since that repair is major league (and keeping in mind I am not familiar with that particular repair) has there ever been any metallurgical testing done to verify that the materials or hardening processes are at fault?

It would seem to me the prudent thing to do especially with warranty repairs. Even at warranty discounted labor rates and repair times that repair would add a bundle.

And just curious; should I assume Chrysler farms out cam and lifter manufacturing?

I have no idea. I’m not sure who or what department anywhere would get into that level of research into parts pattern failure.

Also no idea. My experience is just anecdotal, but real life. It’s not unusual to have a Ford 5.4 towed in with blown out or broken spark plugs. It’s not unusual to see a VW/Audi with excessive oil consumption. It’s not unusual to see a Subaru with failing head gaskets. Hemi cam and lifter failure is just another pattern failure.

I will say that when I get called in to arbitrate a warranty dispute and am told that a pickup with 30,000 miles is out of service for 3 weeks at the dealership because replacement lifters are on back order (even pre-pandemic), I have to assume the dealer has tried using both factory and aftermarket sources.

I’m curious if it’s certain lifters and cam lobes that fail…. Wondering if it’s associated with the cylinders that go dormant when MDS activates?

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I’ve never really paid attention to which specific cylinder, but I will try to keep track as I see more of them. I don’t do a lot of the heavy line work at work anymore, I’ll diagnose the problem and hand the repair over to one of the other guys. I will say that it seems to be an issue with the Hemi engines.

We have another fleet customer who has a few late model Ram Promaster vans. One of them, with the 3.8 V-6, came in with an intermittent valvetrain noise. One of the other guys checked it out and came up with noisy lifters, recommended removing intake and valve cover and replacing lifters. I then told him that they bought the van new and drove it for 85,000 miles before doing the first oil change. His recommendation (with my approval) changed to just living with the noise until it caused driveability issues and then replacing the engine!

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If it made it 85k without an oil change and the only complaint is engine noise…well…maybe I will buy another Dodge some day!



What’s the verdict? New stanza?

I was actually just gonna respond to the thread lol. No Stanza lol. So we sold the Jeep for $5500 to a mechanic who is going to put an engine in it. She ended up getting a 2017 Kia Forte with 26k miles on it for $15k. She financed around $10k. Now she can get around 30mpg while doing door dash and instacart. All in all, it worked out well. She picked up her “new” car today and is loving it.

Thanks again to everyone for all the advice and opinions.


Yes that has been implicated in scenarios like this . If she was using it as a Uber then that is severe service and should have been changing the oil like every 4-5000 miles . Probably why it ate the cam and lifters .

She wasn’t doing Uber. She was just doing instacart locally. The engine had 163k on it and we didn’t know how it was maintained before she got it. In the end, all is well now. She has the right kind of car for what she is doing and will hopefully get a 9-5 and not have to drive for work.

How much did jeep cost? Cash?

She paid $15k for it 4 years ago.

From what I’ve seen and read about this problem it is a problem with the MDS itself and not oil related or camshaft metallurgy. When the cylinder re-activates, the roller lifter can turn sideways and that wipes out the cam. There are “tuners” sold to defeat this system as well as full cam and lifter kits to swap out all the MDS hardware.

Apparently that is GM’s problem as well on their cylinder de-act system. So much so that there is a little OBD plug-in device sold to defeat this feature for $208. If the cylinder never deactivates, it can’t turn crossways and wreck the cam.


Right, I was already aware of the GM issues. Had an 08 with the 5.3 liter for a while. Also, GM’s AFM lifters, that were designed to collapse when in 4 cylinder mode, had some issues with not extending fully into the locked position, I believe. I don’t remember the exact details. They had a TSB to replace lifters back around 2007-08 or so. So…the Range device or a tuner that disables AFM wasn’t a complete fix. Had to remove the AFM hardware to be sure you would avoid those issues.

Dad bought a Challenger with the Hemi. So I was curious. I haven’t heard of as many failures with the Hemi MDS. Of course, there aren’t near as many on the road as 5.3’s. Ford’s 5.0 has cylinder deactivation now (for the F150, anyway). I have no idea if it works in a similar way. Going to be somewhat different with the OHC motor. Those heads have got to be stuffed with even more parts now!

Does newer car have warranty? Since she is not first owner?

It has about 10 months left of the factory warranty.