2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My Pacifica, which I believe to be a lemon, has had numerous problems, with the major ones being front end /axle issues that the dealership and a Chrysler engineer think the problems are related to the upgraded wheels I put on the Pacifica. I have a 2017 Pacifica purchased new last August and went with the exact wheel setup specifications that Ralph Gilles (Gilles was the President and CEO of Chrysler's SRT brand and Senior Vice President of Design at Chrysler before being promoted to Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in April 2015.) put on his Pacifica (see Project Venessa on You Tube). The front end problems started at around 5,000 miles and initially I heard a clicking/creaking sound coming from the front end. I took it to the Chrysler dealer and they replaced bearings and sent me on my way. Shortly thereafter I was driving with my three kids in the van and all of a sudden heard a horrible grinding sound and I immediately pulled over and when I put the van in park it started rolling backwards as if it was in neutral ( we were on a hill). I thought the transmission had failed. The dealer said the right axle had failed. After being in the shop over a week, I picked up the van, this was on a Monday, that following Friday, the same problem occurred. This time they said the left axle failed. Since then, I have taken the van back multiple times because I am still hearing the clicking sound. It has had two TSB's completed, various service on the bearings and front end parts and still I have problems. The clicking can be heard at slow speed when backing out or turning. I have looked on the Pacifica forum and found that there are others that have said they hear the similar sound on their Pacifica. They have the factory wheels. I don't believe the issue is the upgraded wheels, if it is, what does it say about the strength and quality of the Chrysler suspension? I have upgraded the wheels on every car I have ever owned, without any issues. In trying to get a resolution, I first dealt with someone from Chrysler Escalation. This was a total waste of time. I am now dealing with Mike McDonald at Chrysler corporate who I received a call from because my wife happened to do a Chrysler Pacifica focus group and she told them about all the problems we have had and so they had Mike call me. He had me take the van in when a Chrysler engineer could look at it. The end result is they are telling me the problems stem from the larger wheels. They suggested I go back to the factory wheels and see how it goes. This has been a horrible car owning experience because I have spent so many days driving loaner/rental Dodge Caravans instead of what I paid for. This isn't the only problem I have had, so that's why I really think I have a lemon of what is I think is otherwise a great family hauler. So disappointed in the Chrysler runaround. I've asked them to replace the vehicle, but to no avail. You would think it would make more financial sense to replace a lemon vehicle than to have a disgruntled owner spreading the word about the poor quality telling others to avoid a Chrysler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Looking at the description of the YouTube video it sounds like that van was a test mule for a design project and not necessarily a road worthy daily driver. In fact, they specifically mention that it's a "rolling concept" with specific mention that the mods were not endorsed as they hadn't been validated by the engineers. I don't think your vehicle is a lemon and I think that FCA has been more than accommodating in completing the repairs that they've already done. I'd follow their guidance and put the stock wheels back on and see if the issue persists. If not then you know your wheels were the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
As I mentioned, I have had a number of other problems with my Pacifica having nothing to do with the wheels, and based on the number of days in the shop I think I'm already over the lemon law threshold, but just haven't gotten an attorney involved. I did go back the original wheels, which in my opinion look aweful and handle even worse. The front end problems have occurred with other Pacifica owners that haven't upgraded the wheels. Ralph's Pacifica, was his personal vehicle, that in the video had over 12,000 miles without issue. The way you replied in defense of Chrysler, it sure makes it sound like you work for Chrysler. What makes you think you are the expert on whether my Pacifica is a lemon? The Pacifica is a great minivan, but like all brands, there are problems, mine has had too many of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
No, I don't work for Chrysler but try to look at some of the issues folks throw out here with a level head. I get that you've made wheel changes to your other vehicles, but when you make those changes there's other things to be considered such as added stress put onto components that may exceed their initial design. I've changed wheels and added lifts to my truck in the past and had to make other changes to accommodate (new control arms, drive shaft spacers, etc) otherwise problems would pop-up. While the van in the video may not have had any issues, it's unknown if any further mods were made to the vehicle that may have affected his outcome. After all, he created a test mule internally within the company as a proof of concept and not something to be publicly released. As with any mods we make to our vehicles YMMV.

I never claimed to be an expert on whether or not you have a lemon on your hands, and your thread to which I replied only made mention of your suspension woes that I happen to agree with the FCA assessment on the root cause. If you feel the need to pursue the lemon law then by all means seek legal counsel and go down that path.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,163 Posts
Hawkfan, I agree with your comments. I've had more than casual experience in this area. Critical to wheel performance (especially in modern front drive cars) are several factors. If you increase the wheel diameter, you need to use lower profile tires to maintain the same diameter. The total wheel-tire weight should not be increased. Most important, the offset (the vertical plane where the wheel contacts the hub) should never be modified. This last item is where many aftermarket wheels fail the buyer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
With regards to Ralph's Pacifica, he didn't make any other changes except for the wheels which he gave me the exact specifications to his. I agree with you that if you are adding lifts, wheel spacers, etc you can definitely run into trouble. For the various front end issues to occur that I have experienced just because a minor change in the wheels size, (especially for the axles to fail completely) speaks to either a defective vehicle or such poor manufacturing quality that it lacks durability. Upgrading wheels is so common to the point that it's even offered by most dealerships, its shocking that the parts would fail so easily if that is the cause. We'll see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
758 Posts
Hey RAC, do you have the original wheels and tires to go back to? Then you can eliminate the upgrades wheels as an issue if the dealership supposedly fixes whatever the clicking issue may be. If it returns with the factory wheels then they have no leg to stand on as far as clicking goes.

did you have the factory wheels on long enough to know or notice if the same clicking etc occurred with them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
RAC, I don’t think it’s a problem due to replacement wheels, though in most cases after market equipment does in someway inhibit performance or doesn’t exactly work like OEM stuff. There is always a 19/20 difference.

This issue that you have, is a design flaw or faulty components used in the front end of the vehicle. Can’t say which one exactly because even Chrysler’s techs haven’t been able to figure it out after changing my rack and pinion, struts, strut mounts, bearings, rotors, calipers and the list goes on. After all this they state that the sound is a common characteristic. This is a lousy waY for them to stop spending on dealership labor and parts because they have no solution in sight. I have the OEM 17” spoke wheels with Yokohama Avid tires. I started having this issue when I just had 600 miles. My van has been in the shop for well over 4 months getting repaired. Just like you, I have been in dodge caravans, town and country vans. I have been in talks with Chrysler’s resolution group and it this whole episode is a nightmare. Far from acknowledging that this van is a lemon, they will not even attempt to fix it, because after all this time spent in repairs and parts put in it - this is supposed to be a common characteristic. This is the worst experience I have had in my life. Big mistake buying this brand!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
We have a 2018 Pacifica with same issue, front end makes noises. Have taken it in 4 times to have parts replace on the front end. Now the steering is so tight you can barley make turns, and when you come out of the turn if you aren’t holding onto the wheel tight it has a severe speed wobble that is bound to cause an accident. Have taken it to dealer multiple times and they are now saying they can’t find any issues. Chrysler is a huge POS, lucky my lease is almost up and won’t be making the Chrysler mistake again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
We have a 2018 Pacifica with same issue, front end makes noises. Have taken it in 4 times to have parts replace on the front end. Now the steering is so tight you can barley make turns, and when you come out of the turn if you aren’t holding onto the wheel tight it has a severe speed wobble that is bound to cause an accident. Have taken it to dealer multiple times and they are now saying they can’t find any issues. Chrysler is a huge POS, lucky my lease is almost up and won’t be making the Chrysler mistake again.
James86,

I am very sorry to hear of your concerns persisting. What is the date of the last time your vehicle was serviced for your concerns? Please feel free to follow up via private message with more details if you'd like to discuss this further.

Alex
Chrysler Cares
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top