2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 4-year-old Pacifica brand new off the lot. Now has about 67,000 miles on it, of course, just past the manufacturer’s power train warranty. At the 4-year old mark almost on the nose, without any previous issues, the check engine light came on & the car was running “rough” while in idle. Garage identified “head gasket issue.” We brought it to the dealer & filed a claim with Chrysler in shock this could happen to a 4-year-old car. Dealer has had it for a month now & diagnosed “warped engine block” and “needs new catalytic converter due to warped engine block causing coolant to leak into engine cylinder.” Has this happened to anyone?? It was a brand new minivan purchased at a an authorized Chrysler dealership. I am told $10,000 worth of parts & labor work, with a month backlog on parts. I am lost and angry!!! Any suggestions??
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
938 Posts
Oh wow! Did they say what led to the warped block? Did you lose coolant and continue to drive? This is pretty wild. Sorry to hear.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,212 Posts
This is tough. I don't remember anyone with a similar problem. As @irpilot pointed out, it could happen from overheating. The coolant temperature gauge is hidden deep in the menu, and the warning light is small but the audible alarm should be hard to miss. This is what the manual says:
Engine Coolant Temperature Warning Light
This light warns of an overheated engine condition. If the
engine coolant temperature is too high, this indicator will
illuminate and a single chime will sound. If the tempera-
ture reaches the upper limit, a continuous chime will be
sound for four minutes or until the engine is able to cool:
whichever comes first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,578 Posts
So let’s get some background , when was in service date of the vehicle , any service records regarding oil changes / fluid changes ? Any prior service history prior to this . If the coolant was leaking you’d notice the level inside the engine bottle practically disappear, you’d also see smoke out of the exhaust , and whomever changed the oil would also possible pick up on oil discolouration . So I think the big sticking point would be serving the vehicle as per the factory recommendations. But this is a rare occurrence because the 3.6 is basically used on jeep , Chrysler , ram , dodge vehicles and warped blocks are pretty rare . In fact the block is used on Maserati vehicles and was built by Ferrari .
 

·
Registered
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L
Joined
·
915 Posts
None of the engine parts could possibly be warped unless the engine was overheated and/or ran with not enough coolant. There have been a few owners that had head gasket issues. In all fairness, I don't know the context of those cases. However, numerous owners have reported low coolant levels. It's reasonable to suspect that may have contributed to these major failures.
 

·
Registered
2018 Pacifica Touring L+
Joined
·
575 Posts
This one falls into the "Heartbreak" category. Sorry to say, it appears the engine coolant was allowed to fall below its normal level leaving the engine susceptible to overheating, and it continued to the point where the condition warped the cylinder head.

Many of us on this forum are auto enthusiasts. We check things all the time; tire pressure, tread depth, oil level, brake fluid level and color, coolant level, etc, etc. Along the way we might spot a leak somewhere and attend to it right away.

But there are others, many others, who don't have the time nor the interest in such matters. They may have learned that the oil needs to be changed every 10k miles (or whenever indicated on the dash), but the coolant doesn't need to be changed out for 100k miles, so no worries. After all, this is 2021 and cars are made so much better than they were 20 years ago.

Some dealerships used to offer "Care and Feeding of Your Vehicle" classes to new owners who fell into that second group. I attended one such session even though I thought I knew it all (I didn't; actually learned something!). It was a good way to learn how easy it is to take the few minutes a month it takes to check stuff before things go south.

To OP (spmatus), you could check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for recalls and complaints related to your issue. I took a cursory glance, but was unable to find any similar complaints registered by other owners to the site (there were 246 engine complaints to comb through).

It is possible that the head gasket failed on its own (it happens) and that's why the coolant leaked to begin with, but at this point it may be impossible to prove. Obviously it would have been better if the low coolant level in the overflow tank was caught early before it caused engine damage.

My best advice would be to try negotiating with the dealer for a "goodwill" price on the repair, but to do so you will somehow (I know it's hard) need to lower your anger and frustration levels. If you love everything else about your Pacifica, let them know. I guess I'm just suggesting that you give them a chance to make the repair with the belief that you will end up as another satisfied customer. Or you could try finding an independent garage that can do a quality job at less cost.

And then, if you aren't already doing so, check the owner's manual to learn how to check your Pacifica and other vehicles each month to spot problems beforehand. Might save a lot of frustration down the road.

Good luck and all the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
PacificaMiniVanFan has some good suggestions. For 10 grand it sounds as though the dealer is quoting to put a new motor in your car. If your attempt to get a goodwill repair at no or reduced cost fails, seek quotes from an independent garage to replace your motor with one salvaged from a wrecked Pacifica.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
DO NOT pay. Get a quote from another garage. $10,000 is like a new motor and Transmission.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Francie31

·
Registered
2021 Pacifica Pinnacle Hybrid
Joined
·
70 Posts
If you have a local community college with ASE classes, see if they have time to do a full engine swap for you. Often they will quote you way less than garages/dealers because they use it as a learning opportunity for the students (with a master ASE certified teacher)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,578 Posts
If you have a local community college with ASE classes, see if they have time to do a full engine swap for you. Often they will quote you way less than garages/dealers because they use it as a learning opportunity for the students (with a master ASE certified teacher)
That would be the last option , I’d wish it would ignite before having a community college do a engine swap .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I seriously doubt that the block is warped, a possibility but not likely. Just a guess without seeing engine all it needs is heads surfaced and head gaskets.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top