Servicing the 2008 – 2009 Chrysler 300C

The 300C is equipped with the Mercedes-inspired FOBIK system, which some refer to as a “Smart Key.”


As the Chrysler Corporation battles for its life in this new era of bailouts for the auto industry, we seem to forget that the Chrysler Corporation brought us some of the most innovative and interesting cars on the road today, including the original Mini-Vans, the PT Cruiser, and the 300C. The...


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In this article I’m using the Tech-Train 1017, which has a small “V” shaped hook on each end of the tool. The two hooks face in opposite directions, which allow you to grasp the linkage rod from either side, by choosing one end of the tool or the other. I’m inserting the tool forward of the lock button, and using the end that will allow me to grip the linkage rod from the closet side of the linkage.

As I insert the tool, I first lower the hook as far as possible and then rotate the tool so that the hook is always as deep inside the door as it will go. In the 36 years that I’ve been working in this field, I’ve only broken one car window, and I did it with a prototype version of the TT-1017. The hooks on the production tool are much smaller than on the prototype, but it is still important to keep the hooked end of the tool from binding against, or getting hung up on, the window glass. That is why I always use great care while inserting and removing the TT-1017 tool. (I was in the process of removing the tool from the door when I broke that window back in 1993.)

Once the tool is inside the door, the hook will be horizontal so that you can grasp the vertical linkage rod. When the tool is inserted forward of the lock button and positioned properly, it will grip the rod. While using the TT-1017, I always watch the inside lock button for movement as I probe for the linkage.

Once the tool is hooked onto the linkage rod, I pull the entire tool forward to bind the linkage and then pull up on the tool to unlock the door. These vehicles can also be unlocked with a long reach tool such as the Jiffy-Jak Vehicle Entry System, but the thin aluminum trim around the door can be easily damaged.

The door lock can also be picked with conventional picks. A key can be made for the lock by using decoders designed for the Chrysler 8-cut system, such as the EZ Reader, Kobra Reader or the Determinator.

SERVICING THE DOOR LOCK

The door panel on the 300C is easy to remove in comparison to most new vehicles. The door panel is secured to the door with five Phillips-head screws and three plastic upholstery fasteners. Four of the screws are easily visible while two are concealed behind pop-off plastic covers. All of the upholstery fasteners are in plain view.

Three of the screws are located along the lower edge of the door, where they are not obvious. A fourth screw is located on the forward edge of the door panel just below the door hinge. Another screw is located behind a pop-off plug in the center of the inside door handle. The last screw is located behind a pop-open plastic flap, just below the grab-handle that is incorporated into the armrest.

Five plastic upholstery fasteners are located along the edge of the door panel. Only the three fasteners on the lower edge of the door panel need to be removed. To remove the fasteners, press in on the center post gently until the post pops in about a quarter of an inch. This will release the fastener so that you can pull it out of the door. To replace the fastener, remove the center post, then insert the fastener back into place, then push the center post back into position, and it will snap down flush with the top of the fastener.

Once the screws and upholstery fasteners have been removed, the door panel will pull away from the door easily. This will give you access to the plastic clip that secures the end of the inside handle linkage rod to the handle. After this rod has been released, you will be able to pull the door panel far enough away from the door to easily release the electrical connections.

The number and location of the electrical connections will vary according to what optional equipment is installed on the vehicle, but this one had three electrical plugs that had to be disconnected. Each plug is slightly different, so there is no danger of replacing a plug into the wrong socket.

There was also one courtesy light located along the bottom of the door panel that had to be released before the door panel could be completely removed.

After the door panel is out of the way, you will have to peel back enough of the heavy rubber moisture barrier to reach the lock. Do not cut this moisture barrier because it is all that protects the inside of the door panel from the water that gets inside the door.

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