2005 Chrysler 300 - AGAIN with the "crown sensitive" crutch/gambit!

doctonydoctony Member Posts: 7
edited March 2014 in Chrysler
My last post in this forum was in July of 2004 and I commented on the "crown sensitive" issue for the 2005 Chrysler 300 series which in effect 'translated' to the vehicle chronically pulling to the right!

I got so tired of repeatedly trying to get the problem corrected and receiving a constant dealership litany that the 300 model series is "crown sensitive" [read: pulls right] as allegedly "normal" [!?] that I traded the vehicle in within 6 months for an identical model year [2005] 300 T only this time with "All Wheel Drive" believing this might make a difference! Nope! It still pulls right although not as pronounced as the first rear-wheel drive 300 did! And AGAIN I get from the dealership that the 300 series [AWD inclusive] is "crown sensitive" !

I see it as faulty design engineering and many websites even now in 2007 show various and sundry Chrysler 300 model owners being told that the vehicle is "crown sensitive" -- in other words, nature of the beast kind of thing and, PS, you'll seemingly get used to it! Say what?

Someone please tell me: HOW can a brand new vehicle discernibly pull or track to the right by itself where you have to literally HOLD the wheel to keep the vehicle straight on the road to counter the right pull in 'any' sense of the word allegedly be considered "normal" ? I'm being told there is nothing that can be done and I honestly believe this "crown sensitive" [sic] business is an ad hoc excuse or crutch if you will for what is in reality faulty alignment engineering!

So too, if the Chrysler folks themselves take the so-termed "crown senstive" [sic] posture and position or handy 'excuse', what is possibly gained by going the quite lengthy and laborious Chrysler arbitrator or 'buy-back' route when the manufacturer 'itself' claims the right hand pull or 'tracking drift' to be allegedly "normal" under the guise [or 'gambit'] of the vehicle being merely "crown sensitive" ?! In effect, those who have and well know and duly experience the right hand pull on the 300 model series every day they drive it are essentially stuck with it!

Doc Tony


  • vic10vic10 Member Posts: 188
    Well, I for one buy into the "crown sensitive" scenario. After 30K miles I still note that depending on the road, my car does or does not track to the right. If I'm on a "country" 2-lane, I note significant right pull. But if I pull out to pass, I get significant left pull. If I'm on a highway going through a sweeping right turn, there's a pronounced right pull; a sweeping left turn gives a left pull...since most interstates are slightly banked. I also notice that the degree of perceived pull is dependent on whether I'm controlling the wheel more with my right hand or my left (with the left hand control giving the perception of more right pull). I've also noticed that front end directional control has deteriorated with the wear on the Conti tires. Now that they're just about down to the tread wear marks, the front end is positively skittish.

    I don't doubt that many owners had legitimate problems with alignment. But I think the majority of us were just not prepared for what I consider a hyper-sensitive front end, especially if like me, you came from a front wheel drive car where the best description of road feel would be "numb".
  • doctonydoctony Member Posts: 7
    The thing of it is, it shouldn't be that way! If ==all== vehicles had that right pulling propensity ==or== there was a known propensity for this pull right situation of so-called "crown sensitive" or, as you put it, "hyper-sensitive front end" between front wheel drive vehicles and rear or AWD vehicles, well, that's one thing, but this does not show up as a general axiom with other vehicles. It is, IMO, unique to the LX frame of the Chrysler 300 series and 'many' websites that I've seen [much less owning and driving a 300 T AWD] are filled with owner comments "specific" to the right pull.

    What I object to from Chrysler and subsequently the dealerships is the response to such owner remarks, again, 'specific' to the right pull as being allegedly "normal" or the result of "crown sensitivity." But get this Vic-10, various dealerships 'themselves' say that there 'was' a problem with "early model 2005 300's" but this has [allegedly] been allegedly corrected! Oh?! I went from the rear-wheel drive 300 to the AWD 300 T and the same problem exists! A discernible pull to the right. How can this be "normal" and I'll add to that the TBS [acronym sp.?] that Chyrysler itself came out with [shim and bolt 'kit'] to deal with the 'excess drift' [read: the right pull matter] problem but it didn't work!

    From what I can put together, the worst of this pull right "crown sensitivity" occurs in the early 2005 300 series for BOTH the rear-wheel and AWD with subsequent 300 models and years [2006/2007] being 'somewhat' improved especially on the V8 300 C 'Hemi' AWD models. But for Chrysler and the dealerships to say that a pull to the right is somehow "normal" or "the nature of the beast in the 300 series model" or "you'll get used to it over time" is utter nonsense!

    The easiest thing in the world is for 300 owners to identify a common problem and then the manufacturer [and hence a requisite albeit parroted 'echo' by the dealerships] is to come up with an 'excuse' or handy 'crutch' to explain this alignment fault away -- and they did --- under the guise of "crown sensitivity." That's a lot cheaper than issuing a national recall! Bottom line message from Chrysler and the dealerships by default to the 300 series owners: "Live with it!" At least until enough folks who experience this pull to the right problem with their 300 [AWD inclusive] get together and force a class action recall situation on the matter or some kind of viable alignment fix that works ... without chewing up the tires!

    Doc Tony
  • xtecxtec Member Posts: 354
    When Chrysler tells you this is normal, ask them why is there a service bulletin for this problem,and why don't the Chargers have this problem.I have a 06 Charger and mine goes straight down the road and the steering wheel is centered.I think you have a dealer who doesnt want to deal with Chrysler screw up.I would try A differant dealer,and tell them you know about the service bulletin and you want your alignment problem taken care of.You have a right under your warranty for them to fix any defect and thats a defect.Otherwise they are breach of contract and you can demand a buy back or lemon law.For lemon law you have to bring it back for the same problem 4 times.Good luck I hope this helps.By the way I used to live in central N.Y(Syracuse)
  • vic10vic10 Member Posts: 188
    Acknowledge that there was a legitimate problem with some of the 300's. But I still maintain the sensitive front end for drivers use to the dead feel of FWD'ers has contributed to the number of complaints. And dealers looking to correct that sensitivity by re-alignment led to more problems than cures.

    As for the how-can-you-design-something-like-this issue, for 3 years I drove a late model Ford Taurus, frequently from Montreal to NYC, and was always amazed at how this open stretch from Montreal to the border had such horrific crosswinds that driving was a tight-gripped, two-hands-on-the-wheel-experience. I then got an Intrepid and was looking forward to seeing how it would deal with those crosswinds. Well you know, there must have been a shift in the weather pattern because there were no crosswinds after that. Driving was a one-hand, almost one-finger, on-the- wheel experience. A friend had a first year Taurus and he had the same complaint. The car had a skittish front end at highway speeds and it remained that way through the entire run of the model. So you can have suspensions with unique, and not necessarily desireable, characteristics.

    My main issue with the 300's suspension is with the noise level of the rear end. They could have used some softer mounts back there....

    I'll finally be replacing the Conti's with Goodyear Assurance tomorrow and will be interested to see how that affects the dynamics of the car. Several contributors claim it's miraculous.
  • lacadelacade Member Posts: 12
    I took my 2005 300 to an old runway and on absolutely flat surface it tracks absolutely straight, pulls to the right on right side of the road and pulls left on left side of the road. I don't see it as an issue. I actually like to feel the car's reaction to the road.
  • doctonydoctony Member Posts: 7
    Well, one thing about public forums, all kinds of responses begin to come in, some public and others via email [I've commented on this issue elsewhere as well] and much is learned ... with excellent references and, more importantly, professional automotive engineering citations to boot! For example, most roads de facto have slight inclines in order to avoid water pooling and thus provide water run-off if you will while preserving the road-bed in the process inclusive of discouraging chronic pot holes. Ditto for melting snow. This explains, so another reader says, why such things as camber and caster [and toe-in adjustments] have various 'degrees' of setting on different makes and models of vehicles to permit alignment adjustments else virtually every vehicle would have the propensity to 'pull' either left or right -- it's not 'just' a matter of preserving tire tread. Hence when a vehicle requires an alignment and the chief complaint is a pull either left or right, generally the problem can be corrected via wheel alignment. Or toe-in adjustment. I say 'generally' .

    On the Chrysler 300 series LX frame, the alignment issue WAS and IS the basis for a Chrysler issued 300 series TSB and at first this "shim and bolt kit" [sic] fix was tried but didn't make the problem go away. It helped somewhat but was not a "cure" as various of the 300 series continued to pull right. But read on ...

    However, the problem became better controlled [although not eliminated] with later 300 model years [2006 and 2007] and after the early 2005 300 series [AWD inclusive] VERY pronounced "crown sensitivity" [read: pull right].

    Right now, I'm negotiating for yet another trade-in for a V8 300-C AWD and this model from 2006 onward has the least manifestation of the "crown sensitive" issue . What else can be done? If Chrysler itself takes the position that the "crown sensitivity" issue is allegedly "normal", hey, all the dealerships or arbirators can do is follow the prescribed, shall we say, "line", yes? So, I either trade up for a lessening or even hopeful disappearance of the pull/drift to the right "crown sensitive" problem or go for another model vehicle entirely where such issues as pulling right by itself and having to literally HOLD the vehicle straight via the steering wheel to 'manually' counter the right drift/pull is NOT considered "normal" [sic -- Chrysler] by other vehicle manufacturers and their wares!

    Doc Tony

    Ahh well, I can always hope to hit the multi-state "Mega-Millions" lottery, right? I mean with over 200 mill' [Ohhh yes -- the pot about a month ago was 370 million on a one dollar ticket! There were 2 winners! NJ and GA], then I'll get a Rolls Royce Phantom and get it over with although with my luck it would no doubt ... pull to the right! ;-)
  • rerone1rerone1 Member Posts: 1
    Glad to see I wasn't imagining things. My 2005 300C is very crown sensitive. If the car had been like this when I first drove it,I would not have bought it. Anyway the dealer adopted the same "see no evil hear no evil" and acts condescending. Anyone out there have a front end rattle/vibration that stops when the brakes are applied when driving city streets? The dealer acts the same way about this problem too.
  • doctonydoctony Member Posts: 7
    On the 'crown sensitive' issue for the 300 series, I think it's a matter of Chrysler simply running out of options! When the "bolt and shim kit" [sic] to correct the pull to the right didn't work, well, what then? Ahhh, suddenly it became a matter of convincing [read: bamboozeling] Chrysler 300 owners that the right side pull was either "in their minds" [!], or this gem, "quite possibly used to 'front' wheel drive performance vehicles" although this excuse quickly fell apart when the 'crown sensitive' problem even effected AWD models! Then it was "the nature of the LX frame and vehicle itself" with the dealership admonishment, and get this now, "One should never take their hands off the wheel!" [!] so that HOLDING the vehicle straight to counter the pull to the right becomes somehow "normal" [!?] even though other model vehicles [GM, Ford, etc] don't do this!

    The more I read the comments of 300 owners, the AWD models and V8 'C' inclusive, the more I am convinced that this 'crown sensitive' business is an engineering design flaw where compounding the problem is that a 'fix' is not available or simply doesn't work! So, you guessed it, the 300 owner gets dealership double-talk as in "relax ... you'll get used to it!"

    I'll go one better! On one of the websites, a 300 owner sought the opinion of a wheel alignment independent expert and the response was "Sure, we can force [via front end mechanical tinkerings] the vehicle to run perfectly straight without the pull to the right ... but within a few months the tires will be chewed up!", so what does that suggest? It suggests to me a serious engineering design flaw under the rather handy guise of the vehicle being "crown sensitive." In effect, the Chrysler/dealership message to the 300 series owner is ... "live with it!"

    Doc Tony
  • xtecxtec Member Posts: 354
    I have A '06 Charger with the same suspesion you have.I don't have your problem so its not the design.My car goes straight down the road,and the steering wheel is straight.The alignment problem is mostly on early built 2005 300.There is A Service bulletin for your problem so I don't know why your dealer didn't do this.They all know about this problem.The Service Bulletin # is tsb-0200304
    the date of bulletin is Mar/12-2005.This is a revised version from their first bulletin that didn't solve the problem.You could go back to your dealer and ask them to perform this bulletin on your car.Or try a differant dealer.
    I hope this helps,Good Luck
  • doctonydoctony Member Posts: 7
    Xtec-- This is what gets me tho', your Charger "does not have the problem" and that is the crux of this whole issue where the dealerships and Chrysler make with the "WHAT problem?" thing when it comes to the 300 series vehicles yet it was THEY who issued the 2005 TSB!

    On my first rear-wheel V6 300 T, I had the "shim and bolt kit" performed and the problem remained although 'somewhat' lessened and that's why, out of total frustration, I moved to an AWD 300-T albeit same year model and there it was again and this ###$#$# [fill in the blank with the appropriate frustration word(s)] "crown sensitive" excuse for what, as in the case of your Charger, 'should' be NO pull whatsoever! Now THAT is normal -- NO PULL -- straight down the road 'without' the right hand pull and having to 'hold' it straight -- indeed!

    You're right tho' in the sense that there are dealerships and then there are dealerships! Right now, I'm looking into the later year 2006/2007 300 C 'Hemi' AWD and/or a dealership that has better experience with whatever fix is out there but, in all fairness and hardly making myself to be any sort of an authority on vehicle suspension systems, to be sure, I'm to a great extent relating not just my own problems with this "crown sensitive" pull to the right business but a veritable wealth of 'other' websites and 'other' Chrysler 300 owners. This pull right problem pops up over and over and over again! The very fact that there was and is a Chrysler TSB is obviously telling in itself yet to hear some dealerships, it's a question of "getting used to it" if the quick-fix bolt and shim thing doesn't work which I feel is merely dealership 'make the problem go away' rhetorical nonsense.

    BTW, the media rumblings are that the Mercedes/Chrysler "marriage" is on the rocks! So who knows what will happen next in terms of who makes the call on Chrysler 'looks', technology and engineering!

    Doc Tony
  • xtecxtec Member Posts: 354
    If I remember right your in the Syracuse area.I lived in that area ,and I used to go to the Chrysler dealer in
    Fayettville.At the time I went there they did good work,I'm not sure about now.I would if you can,get a 07 so you know most of the bugs are gone.I'm worried also about what going to happen to Chrysler,I've been buying Mopars for over 30yrs.Good Luck..
  • batistabatista Member Posts: 159
    Doc Tony you are a hardcore Mopar man.
    You are considering your 3rd 300?
    I would have avoided DC after the first no fix.
    I guess I am not very loyal. I have owned 2 chevys and one DC.
  • doctonydoctony Member Posts: 7
    Well, it was a progressive kind of thing: When I first saw the new Chrysler 300 series model in 2005, I loved the looks of the car. It was unique and I felt the Mercedes influence on the vehicle or 'Euro' design, if you will, was rather striking! When the 'crown sensitive' thing happened and the 'bolt and shim kit' fix really didn't help matters, it was then that the first AWD models began appearing [if you recall there was an initial delay with the All Wheel Drive models] and this AWD option was a plus especially with the severe winters up here in the Adirondacks! Then too, I figured the 'crown sensitive' issue would be eliminated with the AWD model. It wasn't! Lessened, but not eliminated.

    Further, as the model years went on [2006 model and then the first 2007's], the problem became much lessened and who is to say what design modifications were done when the 2005 models showed such a heavy propensity for the 'very' discernible right hand pull, AKA 'crown sensitive' issue.

    I tried a 300 C 'Hemi' V8, late 2006 model, and the car was smooth and straight. Problem is when you make the move to the 'C' class V8 'Hemi' 'and' you want the AWD, well, the difference in trade-in plus up-front cash layout for the V8 Hemi with AWD can be considerable! But there are always deals or specials here and there or in some cases low mileage 'C' class vehicles available [including demo types] and the savings can be equally considerable. Sidebar: I really like that "magnesium pearl" paint scheme! As most know, including myself, when you buy brand spanking new, you 'pay' big too! :-(

    And there IS great truth to the axiom that the moment you drive off the lot with a brand new vehicle, thousands suddenly disappear in almost instant "depreciation" because even after a first owner driven 100 miles, yeah, 100 miles, the vehicle is suddenly "used" or, as they [read: the dealerships] say today, "pre-owned", not to mention getting banged for the taxes! But that's another thread where the owner gets the hit for the trade-in/trade-up and then the same vehicle is subsequently sold for thousands 'more' than when the owner was allowed for the trade-in! Akin to the 3 or 4 thousand dollar 'detail job' so to speak. Let's face it, dealerships are in the business of making a profit any way they can!

    My gripe is having to deal with the bugs of a new model and then doing the up-trade thing for what was originally a 'known' [witness the 2005 TSB] problem but explained away with such terms as, you guessed it, "crown sensitivity" or, get this one, "overly sensitive tracking issues on 'certain' [emphasis mine] roadways" passed off as "the nature of the vehicle" with the word "vehicle" no doubt duly substituted ... for the word "beast."

    Doc Tony

    Hey! There's always the lottery! ;-)
  • brit5brit5 Member Posts: 12
    There are two issues here.

    First issue is the incorrect jigging of a number of early C300's. This is a genuine manufacturing flaw & it is partly corrected by the offset bolt bandaid. Depepending on the magnitude of the jigging error, the offset bolts may or may not correct the problem, but the chassis fault itself cannot be fixed.

    Second issue is crown sensitivity. This results from a deliberate design feature that is intended to give the front tires more "bite" in cornering & provide reduced understeer and sharp steering response that is normally completely absent in large heavy cars with long wheelbases. The front end geometry is similar in concept to that seen on a road grader -- the front wheels lean into the turn as they are deflected right or left. This greatly reduces lateral tire slip and sharpens steering response. It also introduces a pronounced crown sensitivity -- it is neither a manufacturing nor a design flaw and cannot be removed.

    It is there for sure on a crowned road, but takes only a little steering pressure to correct, and on flat roads it is absent. I quite like the sharp response -- the car has amazing right-left transitional response & tracking despite its 4,000 lb weight, slow steering ratio and 120 in wheelbase. My 300C is enormously more agile than my 300M ever dreamed of being.

    Chargers have exactly the same geometry & have identical steering response.

    Some folks don't like it -- so be it. I'll keep mine, thank you very much
  • smithedsmithed Member Posts: 444
    Can you describe what the incorrect "jigging" actually means?

    Certainly my 2006 300C seems to run straight on flat surfaces (and like a scalded dog, as is said), and has some sensitivity to a crowned road, but only if I think about it. :shades:
  • brit5brit5 Member Posts: 12
    In this case jigging refers to the positioning of chasis components for welding and other assembly operations. The incorrectly aligned chasis assemblies had front suspension attachment points so far out of spec that there was insufficient alignment travel to make the vehicles run straight. Some cars could be more or less satisfactorily fixed by using offset bolts that increased alignment travel. Others were beyond remediation.
  • pipexpipex Member Posts: 14
    There is a TSB for "pull to the right" problem

    You have to move the "rack" and resecure it with new bolts.

    I found the TSB myself and brought it in to the dealer. Wheel alignment guy said he had never been shown thyat TSB before. He proceeded to do mine and we road tested the car. I now have 62,000 miles on it and it;s still steers perfect.

    After the first wheel alignment and nothing had changed, the dumbazz Service Manager told me that they were made to pull to the right so that in case of a medical emergence the car wouldn't drift into oncoming traffic. I informed him that he had a mental problem and should see a psychiatrist ASAP. lol
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