2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums banner
1 - 20 of 106 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2018 Pacifica

So I’m new here but Chrysler has lost me as a customer. I can’t justify ever recommending one of their products.
So me and the family come back from a trip to the ocean. When I get home we shut the van off and come back the next day to a no start with the starter clicking.

I replace the starter. Didn’t fix it. Both starters test good, batteries test within spec. Place the original starter back on and tow it to the dealership.
Dealership investigates. Says I need a starter so we get a starter coming, then says I need batteries so we put batteries on, dealer then states the motor is seized and is only rotating a little past 100 degrees and that there is metal shavings in the oil.
Dealer states that one of the cylinders is filled with coolant and internal damage had been sufficient enough that a it needs a new engine.
This absolutely turns my stomach. I had faith in the Chrysler brand so much and now im looking at replacing an engine.

have y’all seen this issues at this low of miles?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: MercZuckerborg

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,526 Posts
2018 Pacifica

So I’m new here but Chrysler has lost me as a customer. I can’t justify ever recommending one of their products.
So me and the family come back from a trip to the ocean. When I get home we shut the van off and come back the next day to a no start with the starter clicking.

I replace the starter. Didn’t fix it. Both starters test good, batteries test within spec. Place the original starter back on and tow it to the dealership.
Dealership investigates. Says I need a starter so we get a starter coming, then says I need batteries so we put batteries on, dealer then states the motor is seized and is only rotating a little past 100 degrees and that there is metal shavings in the oil.
Dealer states that one of the cylinders is filled with coolant and internal damage had been sufficient enough that a it needs a new engine.
This absolutely turns my stomach. I had faith in the Chrysler brand so much and now im looking at replacing an engine.

have y’all seen this issues at this low of miles?
What’s your mileage
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
@DJLisso check this out. I’m having almost the exact same problem with the exact same time line and mileage
This seems to be EXACTLY the same situation I'm having.

Mine was at 77k miles.

I've been without my Pacifica now since 8/19. This last round they've had it since 9/27. Over a MONTH now. There has been ZERO Movement.

I went in on 10/20 to discuss a loaner vehicle and they had me authorize an Engine teardown... It has now been 12 days, and they havent even STARTED it.

@ChryslerCares Has been involved, but my dealership doesn't seem to care...

I feel for your situation COMPLETELY... This is my THIRD Chrysler/Dodge vehicle... and my Experiences have been middling at best...
 

·
Registered
2018 Pacifica Touring L+
Joined
·
738 Posts
I see a trend beginning on higher milage Pacificas. Report your finding to NHTSA | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Well, this is certainly discouraging, but not sure this is a widespread problem. I've seen used 2017 and 2018 Pacificas for sale with well over 70k miles. Moreover, the Pentastar 3.6L V-6 has a pretty good track record for reliability.

I am curious, though, if the dealer found anything that could trace the problem back to, say, improper maintenance. Was the vehicle purchased new or used? I would hope there are records somewhere of oil changes using Chrysler-approved oil and filter, or of topping off coolant if needed with the proper Chrysler-approved coolant. Remember the early rollout of DexCool? It was always the case that if you put anything other than DexCool into a GM vehicle that required DexCool, head gaskets would fail.

Another angle is to know if the motors in question were all built during the same time frame. Maybe an insect flew into a master mold casting process for the block allowing coolant to leak into a cylinder. Who knows? If it turns out to be a manufacturing defect, I agree that Chrysler should take care of all those affected.

Not mentioned by OP is the conversation, if any, they had with the dealer regarding goodwill assistance. For now, though, ThisSuckersElectrical offers the best advice and that is to report the problem to NHTSA at the link provided. DJLisso might do the same.

I'll be following this thread with hopes that Wesg1989 will keep us up to date with any new developments. Same with the similar thread started by DJLisso.

In the meantime, fingers crossed that both cases are resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
 

·
Registered
2017 Pacifica Hybrid
Joined
·
37 Posts
Its not just pacificas.. anything using the 3.6 liter gas engine is suspect. The biggest issue is poor hardening of the rocker arms. You can hear a "tick, tick..tick" that sounds like a bad lifter or exhaust leak. Mine died in my 2015 TC at 60K miles. Took out the entire engine which was replaced under warranty. The service writer didn't even bat an eye when I pulled in. Knew exactly what it was without opening the hood. Took a month to get a new long block. The trans died 20K after that. I had extended warranty and I think after 2 months they are finally giving in this week to OK the work to fix it.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Well, this is certainly discouraging, but not sure this is a widespread problem. I've seen used 2017 and 2018 Pacificas for sale with well over 70k miles. Moreover, the Pentastar 3.6L V-6 has a pretty good track record for reliability.

I am curious, though, if the dealer found anything that could trace the problem back to, say, improper maintenance. Was the vehicle purchased new or used? I would hope there are records somewhere of oil changes using Chrysler-approved oil and filter, or of topping off coolant if needed with the proper Chrysler-approved coolant. Remember the early rollout of DexCool? It was always the case that if you put anything other than DexCool into a GM vehicle that required DexCool, head gaskets would fail.

Another angle is to know if the motors in question were all built during the same time frame. Maybe an insect flew into a master mold casting process for the block allowing coolant to leak into a cylinder. Who knows? If it turns out to be a manufacturing defect, I agree that Chrysler should take care of all those affected.

Not mentioned by OP is the conversation, if any, they had with the dealer regarding goodwill assistance. For now, though, ThisSuckersElectrical offers the best advice and that is to report the problem to NHTSA at the link provided. DJLisso might do the same.

I'll be following this thread with hopes that Wesg1989 will keep us up to date with any new developments. Same with the similar thread started by DJLisso.

In the meantime, fingers crossed that both cases are resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
In my particular case, zero problems with the motor existed ( aside from it starting to idle rough ) until AFTER they did the maintenance, including plug change and oil cooler replacement...

I drove it into their service department on 8/19, and have had this problem since the day I paid for those repairs And it failed to start In their service lot...
 

·
Registered
2018 Pacifica Touring L+
Joined
·
738 Posts
Its not just pacificas.. anything using the 3.6 liter gas engine is suspect. The biggest issue is poor hardening of the rocker arms. You can hear a "tick, tick..tick" that sounds like a bad lifter or exhaust leak. Mine died in my 2015 TC at 60K miles. Took out the entire engine which was replaced under warranty. The service writer didn't even bat an eye when I pulled in. Knew exactly what it was without opening the hood. Took a month to get a new long block. The trans died 20K after that. I had extended warranty and I think after 2 months they are finally giving in this week to OK the work to fix it.
I guess I read the article a little differently. It says the "biggest issue" is cylinder head failures on the left bank in 2011-2013 Pentastar V-6s. Rocker arms came second. The article says, "Rocker arm failures likely aren’t as common as the internet may suggest. At the same time, it’s an important topic as rocker arms are one of the more expensive 3.6 Pentastar problems." Third is cooling system issues stemming from residual sand from the casting process, and fourth is oil pump problems that may be related to the same sand clogging issue.

The writer asks near the end if the Pentastar 3.6L is reliable. "Short answer – yes. The FCA 3.6L Pentastar engine is reliable. We’ll give the Pentastar above average marks for reliability. Again, there is a reason this engine is powering so many flagship vehicles from Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram; the same reason it’s been around for a decade. The FCA 3.6L engine is reliable and efficient all while providing solid performance.

"That said, it’s not hard to continue Googling the 3.6L Pentastar engine and finding plenty of owners with problems. As far as we’re aware, some 10 million plus Pentastar engines were produced to date. That’s a lot of engines. All engines are prone to problems, especially with that volume of production. Mistakes happen. No machine or person is completely perfect. Sometimes reliability simply comes down to the luck of the draw.

"Fortunately, it appears the overwhelming majority of Pentastar V6 owners have great experiences with the engine. One of the things we can control is maintenance. Maintain your FCA 3.6L well and chances are it will be an excellent engine that you can enjoy trouble free for years and years. There are even a few cases of the Pentastar holding up to 500,000+ miles. How’s that for longevity?"


The writer then summarizes, "Reading about common problems is always scary. At least it is for us; suddenly we start thinking and assuming the worst. That’s the last thing we want when writing common engine problem posts and it’s especially true with the 3.6L Pentastar. It truly is a sound engine, overall. Reliable, efficient, smooth, and solid performance. There’s not much to complain about, but no engine is perfect.

"Some early examples of the 3.6L Pentastar ran into problems with the cylinder head due to overheating valve seats on the #2 cylinder. Rocker arms, cooling system parts, and oil pumps are among a few other well documented issues. However, we believe they’re well documented thanks to the 10 million plus Pentastar engines. The 3.6L FCA Pentastar really is a great, reliable engine. No engine is perfect, but there’s a reason so many Pentastar’s are out there. We believe that reason is this: it’s pretty **** good at its job."


In my particular case, zero problems with the motor existed ( aside from it starting to idle rough ) until AFTER they did the maintenance, including plug change and oil cooler replacement...

I drove it into their service department on 8/19, and have had this problem since the day I paid for those repairs And it failed to start In their service lot...
Ok, well, this sounds like you may be the victim of a problem that was caused by the service department and not necessarily by an inherent problem with the engine itself. Hope you can get to the bottom of it.

Wesg1989 and DJLisso, please keep us updated!

 
  • Like
Reactions: Peddler

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
I guess I read the article a little differently. It says the "biggest issue" is cylinder head failures on the left bank in 2011-2013 Pentastar V-6s.
That is EXACTLY the problem I was referring to in an earlier post. I had a 2014 T&C with a rare build date that included mine with that problem. This is why these several reports of coolant into the combustion chamber on this forum recently need to be reported to the NHTSA. It would be great to know from several forum users that have experienced this if it is the same cylinder causing the issue. If so, it would appear an old SNAFU Gremlin has returned to the production of the 3.6.

With the previous failure, the warranty on those engines was extended by Chrysler. Those that were out of warranty and paid for the repairs later got a refund after it was investigated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PacificaMinivanFan

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I didn't have the coolant issue.. I guess thats a good thing :/ My rocker arms ended up shedding metal and taking out the bearings. It was ugly ..
Just got off the phone with the dealership... Looks like they're going to be requesting a new motor. They said they THOUGHT it was going to be a head gasket, but it appears one of the Cylinders Cracked. They don't know HOW that happened... ( My guess is, as someone alluded to earlier, that the mechanic who went to change the plugs perhaps dropped a portion of the plug into the hole and then put the new plug on top of it.. but I might be a BIT Cynical/Jaded at this point...)

So they're going to wait for an inspector to come look at it, and then go from there... Looks like i'm still at LEAST another 2-3 weeks out... Happy thanksgiving to me, I guess... grumble
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
I didn't have the coolant issue.. I guess thats a good thing :/ My rocker arms ended up shedding metal and taking out the bearings. It was ugly ..
That is a common problem with the 3.6. Did not have the head or block problems with my 2014 T&C but I did get the tap tap tap rocker arm issues that ate out the exhaust cam and had to be replaced along with all new rocker arms and lash adjusters on one side of the engine (firewall side). Someone in this forum in the last year was telling me those problems were fixed and would never happen again with the new Pacifica. LOL, My response was only time tell, and now time apparently is beginning to tell for some.

For hybrid owners, the block is the same but the cams, and valve timing are different, but the same rocker arms. If it is a manufacturing defect with the block and affects the hybrids with coolant, those owners that charge daily will most likely not see this problem until way out of the warranty period.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Just got off the phone with the dealership... Looks like they're going to be requesting a new motor. They said they THOUGHT it was going to be a head gasket, but it appears one of the Cylinders Cracked. They don't know HOW that happened... ( My guess is, as someone alluded to earlier, that the mechanic who went to change the plugs perhaps dropped a portion of the plug into the hole and then put the new plug on top of it.. but I might be a BIT Cynical/Jaded at this point...)

So they're going to wait for an inspector to come look at it, and then go from there... Looks like i'm still at LEAST another 2-3 weeks out... Happy thanksgiving to me, I guess... grumble
What cylinder number was it? This would be good to know for others with coolant issues. Perhaps a pattern will emerge pinpointing this.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
I did not know that the NHTSA took care of warranty claims.
I didn't either. That's news to me. Maybe you can provide a link?
 
1 - 20 of 106 Posts
Top