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Anyone shopping for a 2017 Pacifica might benefit from this explanation of my problems for the Chrysler service manager that follows. My research before we bought the '17 Pacifica last April of 2019 (7k miles). I was FULLY aware of the transmission problem before we bought, but the vehicle was the perfect color for us, perfect interior for us, AND the almost fully glass roof was what did it-we were sunk. I bought the '17 Pacifica with the dopey ZF Z9 transmission and just hoped that the problems would be in other '17 Pacificas and not mine. NOT. As you can see in the following note to the service mgr, those problems DID find me:

  • Transmission - where to start. This ZF Z9 transmission has colorfully lived up to all the warnings I saw online from Pacifica AND Odyssey owners as I researched the 2017 Pacifica before I bought one. Here we go:

  • No gas pedal response. This catastrophic and life threatening behavior has the gas pedal to the floor…and the transmission is doing absolutely NOTHING. Pedal to the metal and ZERO response. The remedy is to let up on the gas, shift into N and then back to Drive so the dopey transmission can reboot itself (not reasonable in traffic situations).
  • …This has happened 2 or 3 times in forward, once while trying to cross in front of oncoming traffic-which was terrifying and undeniably life threatening.
  • ….Most often it happens in reverse, often -but not always- with the rear of the car slightly elevated trying to back up a small incline
  • ….what seems to provoke this transmission failure is going slow, sometimes very slow, and then pressing the gas pedal down asking for normal acceleration
  • ….equal, for me, to all the inconvenient and soul frightening moments of this transmission failure was when a reverse failure occurred downtown ST Pete with another couple in the vehicle and the husband, a Ford owner, said to me……..”remind me to never buy one of these things.” I have to be humiliated because ZF ships known faulty transmissions?
B. Slam, bang shifting. This is widely reported in the Pacifica forums. .
……in the lower gears, the transmission will violently…B A N G...into the next gear for one of its shifting sequences (maybe 2nd to 3rd or 3rd to 4th) instead of an expected smooth shift
…..doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens often enough given that it should not happen at all.

It’s a transmission. Zillions have gone into cars for decades. How hard is this? These failures are for very simple things: working at all and shifting.

ON the other hand, we drove to PA from St Pete with 4 adults, according luggage, a small dog, and the AC on all the way. Everybody was comfortably seated with plenty of room and the vehicle delivered an impressive 28.4 mpg (approaching 30 mpg on the highway) while doing 70 to 75 mph. That is remarkable mileage for that weight and size of vehicle with a not small load.
 

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If I’m not mistaken that the tranny is not made by ZF but by FCA . I think that FCA bought the rights to build the tranny from ZF . I think the issues you are seeing is not from the tranny itself but the software / programming . I drive both the ice and gas versions and bought the electric one. , the powertrain on the ice one is far superior in terms of smoothness ( transmission ) . My perception is that when you have 9, 10 spd trannys the whole programming issue comes at certain costs . Have you driven a 2020 to see the difference ? . As technology becomes more and more rampant ( drive by wire , numerous gears on trannys, cylinder deactivation, stop n start , etc ) the quality of ride will become compromised either thru feel, sound or programming .
 

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I'm in the same boat. Plan to be infuriated by the dealers as they tell you:
1. Its because two people are driving it (nevermind its a family car...)
2. Its normal
3. we reset shift adaptations and it'll be fine now
4. we did nothing since we couldn't duplicate it with a 3 second test drive by a flat-rate "mechanic" who doesn't actually care if he fixes anything, so long as he makes 18 hours of flat rate in an 8 hour day
3k left on my powertrain warranty. I guess I'll go flip out one more time before it expires, then get rid of the car.
 

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Our 2017 Pacifica just passed 30K and started exhibiting transmission issues. Dealer and even Chrysler Cares has offered up little in the means of actually doing anything. Don't know how Chrysler corporate refuses to acknowledge the issue and doesn't really have a remedy. They simply the dealer to keep flashing the "re-learn" of the adaptive transmission. 4 times now to no avail.

Exactly the same list of excuses from SawDoc.

It's really a shame as the rest of the Pacifica design and features are so good, but Chrysler doesn't have any engineering / durability credibility at this point. And this is the brand's flagship product. If this can't get the best resources, what does? It's terrible that the 2021 Pacifica will also use this with the AWD.
 

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We also have a 2017 Pacifica Limited that has experienced similar transmission issues. The latest left us stranded 739 miles from home and Chrysler Cares has done zero to help because "there is no diagnosis". We were without the Pacifica for two weeks before we went on vacation while they replaced the valve body due to the "hesitation/BANG" shifting issue. We got it back and it was banging and lunging in every gear. When we got near our destination, the dash lit up with a whole array of lights (adaptive cruise, lane assist, check engine, et al), and it was grinding in park and would not accept throttle inputs. We took it to the dealer where they applied a software update. It has only been a couple of days, but so far so good. I give high marks to the dealer. Chrysler Cares (paritucularly Sharnay or Charnay--sorry, spelling phonetically) was a complete joke, and the $2900 we spent for the Mopar Lifetime warranty was wasted as page 5 calls for rental coverage, but they refused. They said we could pay for it out of pocket and try to get reimbursed, but since there was no diagnosis, it would likely be denied. I understand product issues. Everyone has them. What I don't understand is Chrysler taking our money for the warranty, but not covering what they said they would cover. It's because of this that we will not be buying another Chrysler product. Also, we have three kids and I have made them promise never to buy a Chrysler product in their lifetime either.
 

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I can't speak to all of the issues mentioned but I can say there is a fix to the laggy gas pedal. I personally can't take credit for the find, it was recommended in another thread on this forum; Pedal Commander Pedal Commander - Throttle Response Controller Installation is very easy. Literally plug and play. The installation of this little gem has improved the drivability of my 2018 Limited immensely. It takes off from a stop when I press the pedal not half a second later. When I pass another vehicle the downshift is appropriate not one or two gears too low which left the engine screaming on the pass. Same goes for down shifts when going up steep hills. It also allows me to accelerate appropriately when cornering. Any acceleration attempt while cornering used to confuse the tranny and leave it lost between gears now it downshifts as needed and keeps the suspension settled. I have seen a minor decrease in fuel mileage but I think that's more a function of the lead footed driver.
 

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We also have a 2017 Pacifica Limited that has experienced similar transmission issues. The latest left us stranded 739 miles from home and Chrysler Cares has done zero to help because "there is no diagnosis". We were without the Pacifica for two weeks before we went on vacation while they replaced the valve body due to the "hesitation/BANG" shifting issue. We got it back and it was banging and lunging in every gear. When we got near our destination, the dash lit up with a whole array of lights (adaptive cruise, lane assist, check engine, et al), and it was grinding in park and would not accept throttle inputs. We took it to the dealer where they applied a software update. It has only been a couple of days, but so far so good. I give high marks to the dealer. Chrysler Cares (paritucularly Sharnay or Charnay--sorry, spelling phonetically) was a complete joke, and the $2900 we spent for the Mopar Lifetime warranty was wasted as page 5 calls for rental coverage, but they refused. They said we could pay for it out of pocket and try to get reimbursed, but since there was no diagnosis, it would likely be denied. I understand product issues. Everyone has them. What I don't understand is Chrysler taking our money for the warranty, but not covering what they said they would cover. It's because of this that we will not be buying another Chrysler product. Also, we have three kids and I have made them promise never to buy a Chrysler product in their lifetime either.
Hi ctomis,

We are very sorry to hear of your experience and understand the frustrations this has caused you. What is the date of the last time your vehicle was in service? If you'd like to discuss this further, we would be happy to via private message.

Alex
Chrysler Cares
 

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Mine has the same issues. Anyone guess why Honda made their 10-spd transmission standard on all models this year? I love everything about my Pacifica except the ZF designed 9-spd. I hate this transmission, so much that if it is still the transmission in the Pacifica when I am ready to get a new one I will be looking at Honda or Toyota for my next van.
 

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I can't speak to all of the issues mentioned but I can say there is a fix to the laggy gas pedal. I personally can't take credit for the find, it was recommended in another thread on this forum; Pedal Commander Pedal Commander - Throttle Response Controller Installation is very easy. Literally plug and play. The installation of this little gem has improved the drivability of my 2018 Limited immensely. It takes off from a stop when I press the pedal not half a second later. When I pass another vehicle the downshift is appropriate not one or two gears too low which left the engine screaming on the pass. Same goes for down shifts when going up steep hills. It also allows me to accelerate appropriately when cornering. Any acceleration attempt while cornering used to confuse the tranny and leave it lost between gears now it downshifts as needed and keeps the suspension settled. I have seen a minor decrease in fuel mileage but I think that's more a function of the lead footed driver.
I have had the Pedal Commander for a year and agree. IMO believe if Chysler had added the Sport option like the they have in the Jeep it would allow us to switch to a more responsive drivetrain. I have been in a Pacifica when the transmission clunks into gear at 15mph before and can tell you I don't have that issue. I actually love driving the van around now. I have towed a golf cart 200 miles and the van throttle response with PC was flawless.
 
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