The 3.6L Pentastar V6
Patrick Rall's picture

Chrysler replacing cylinder heads on select Pentastar V6 powered models

After receiving hundreds of complaints about ticking, stalling, power loss and misfire conditions (thus check engine lights) in select vehicles powered by the popular 3.6L Pentastar V6, the Chrysler Group has begun replacing the cylinder heads on some problematic vehicles – with as many as 7,500 vehicle affected in the US.
Advertisement


According to Automotive News, the Chrysler Group believes that roughly one half of 1% of the vehicles sold in the US with the Pentastar V6 could have an unexplained cylinder head issue with the bank containing the #2 cylinder. This problem can reportedly cause a ticking noise that can escalate to misfire conditions that can cause stalling and a loss of power…although Chrysler points out that it does not render the vehicle inoperable.

It should be noted that this is not a recall but rather, owners of Pentastar powered Chrysler Group vehicles who are experiencing these issues can visit their local dealership where the cylinder heads will be replaced under warranty. The Chrysler Group began replacing the heads under warranty after a handful of complaints were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pertaining to the new Pentastar powered Jeep Wrangler SUVs. Unfortunately for Chrysler, this problem isn’t specific to the open aired Jeep as select Dodge Journey, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan models have also been found to exhibit this problem. A variation of the 3.6L Pentastar V6 is also used in the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200 and the new Ram 1500 – although none of those vehicles have been mentioned in the statements involving the problematic Pentastar engines.

Chrysler first recognized this problem around six weeks ago, at which point they began manufacturing a replacement cylinder head that is “more robust” along with fitting all newly produced Pentastar engines with these beefier heads. Chrysler has not identified the exact cause of the problem or the specific issue with the cylinder head that is occurring but a company representative has explained that the problems are a culmination of a variety of factors including (but not limited to) the quality of gasoline and the driving situations. Based on that, it sounds like the Pentastar engines are experiencing early detonation that can cause a ticking noise and as time goes on – more problems could creep up due to the incorrect firing of the #2 cylinder. If someone was to put very low quality, low octane gasoline in their Pentastar vehicle and then run the vehicle hard in very hot conditions, there is a good chance that detonation could be the issue especially when the driver keeps running the same gasoline and driving hard. However, the Chrysler Group believes that the variables needed to experience these problems will prevent the problem from occurring in most Pentastar powered vehicles. That being said, running higher quality gasoline could prevent those Pentastar powered vehicles from running into the #2 cylinder issue.

The problem for Chrysler now is that cylinder heads are not something that a company typically builds in excess for mass replacements, like an oil filter or even a headlight lens. Because of that, there is a very high demand for these heartier cylinder heads which the company is having a hard time meeting which has forced some dealerships to hold onto customer vehicles while waiting for replacement parts – all the while having to pay for a rental car while the other is without their own vehicle.

In late July, a source stated that there were approximately 1,300 Chrysler Group vehicles sitting on dealership lots while they waited for the replacement cylinder heads with an average of 300 new vehicles arriving at dealerships each week. The average number of reported cylinder head issues has now increased to around 500 per week. Luckily, the Chrysler Group sent enough replacement cylinder heads to dealerships around the country to address some 3,000 vehicles but with as many as 7,500 vehicles affected around the country – those owners who have not experienced the problem thus far could be waiting for parts once they do.

Source: Automotive News


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Comments

Noticed ticking when I bought my 2012 Wrangler Sahara. 7500 miles later came the check engine light with the CYL #2 misfire that won't clear. At 1000 miles it occurred, but cleared at next restart.
The left head on the 3.6 pentastar motor had the cooling passages drilled too small, cylinder 2,4 and 6 misfires are common due to the exhaust valves burning. It is a fairly simple fix and we can usually turn them around in a day or two. This issue is also full line up wide, I personally have seen this misfire on caravan/town and country platform, wrangler, grand Cherokee/ dodge durango platform, and 200/avenger platform.
I have a 2011 Dodge Durango, pentstar, bought new on Jan 27,2011. late Oct 2012, it started making a ticking sound, I called the dealership and would try explaining the problem, I was asked to bring it in, so I did, multiple times, but no one could find anything wrong. Thursday February 28,2013, it did the ticking noise again, it sounds like its starting and shuts itself off,(this time I video recored it with my phone) and now the seat belt/airbag light is also on. called Dodge and was able to get in first thing in morning, but not before experiencing issues, 3 more times before the morning of March 1,2013. The last time as I was on the phone with a tow truck company, it started. Once at the Dodge dealership where I purchased the vehicle,it was originally thought to be a starter issue, later, i was contacted and informed that Chrysler had been contacted to seek further information,however Chrysler was stumped and didn't have an answer at that time, as soon as new information was learned,I would be contacted. Has anyone else had a problem like this?
Its a bad cylinder head
My 2011 Durango had to have the cylinder head replaced which seems to be a known problem with the Penstar engine. I had it replaced ever since my gas mileage has went down by 3 miles per gallon at minimum has anybody had the same gas mileage problem since having the cylinder head replaced on a penstar engine?
The reason it went down is because the new cylinder head is a bigger cylinder than the old one so it uses more fuel, the reason the old one had problems is because the cooling tube was drilled to small of a diameter
I have a 2012 Durango. 27,000 miles and my engine light came on then went out. One week later, it came back on. Took it to the dealer since there was no messages on the panel and they advised it was the cylinder head. They happened to have one in stock and it should be done shortly.
I bought a low mileage 2012 dodge charger I travel a lot and now have 45,000 miles on my pride and joy . I've noticed a ticking when I start it up on a cool morning and when I take off before the car is fully heated up it gets much louder but when car is at full running temp you can hardly hear it run as its always been. I called the dealer where I bought my car and now they are telling me it may be a while before its fixed and are trying to put me in a different car. I fully understand the issue and why one would want to get away from this powertrain but in my eyes this problem is the motor itself not the car it's in therefore if I was to transfer over into a challenger or another charger or jeep etc would I not have exactly the same issue eventually? The only cure I see is to either get a car that's already got updated heads or go to a 5.7 hemi or bigger in my particular situation .
I too have a 2008 dodge charger 5.7 liter 110000 miles one day engine light turn on then it turned off the next day. I drive it for week then it wouldn't start towed it too my mechanic he diagnos it cylinder head came up. he took off one of the cylinder heads and said the vavle seats had Fallin and hit the piston now I have too buy an new engine!!!! I will never buy an dodge again.
Normally the 5.7 Liters will last a long time, someone had to run the living piss out of that for it to suck a valve, any teen agers got access to your car or have you loaned it to anyone??
Our Durango had a cylinder head go bad and is now since replacement not getting as good of gas mileage down by minimum 3 miles per gallon.
I recently purchased a new 2014 Jeep Rubicon X with the Pentstar motor. With only 5000 miles on it the check engine light has come on several times so I decided to check the code and it was for "Cylinder 3 miss-fire". Is anyone aware if this cylinder head issue has not been corrected on the 2014 Pentstar engines? I find it hard to believe, after reading these posts, that Dodge has not fitted the newer engines with this up-graded cylinder head. Any information would be helpful so I'm prepared to deal with the Jeep service dept. Thanks!!!
My 2014 Rubicon started ticking at 3000 miles. 2 days later the the check engine light came on and the engine was running rough. I put my code reader on it and got the cylinder 2 misfire message. 2 hrs later it was flatbedded to the dealer where it is now sitting and undergoing "diagnosis". The last update was the dealer was consulting with Chrysler dealerconnect to identify the problem. What bs. After all the posts I've now seen online I'm sure they know what it is. They're in for a surprise if they think I'm going to agree to a cylinder head replacement on a $42k Rubicon with 3k miles. I had a 2012 wrangler sport that would pop the check engine light during the winter for the coolant not reaching temperature. They never got it to go away which I why I bought the reader to clear it. No cylinder issues though after 30k+ miles. This is my 5th wrangler, 3rd Rubicon. The TJ Rubicon with the 4.0 had the best engine but the 4 speed auto tranny was dreadful. The 3.6 in my last Rubicon was horrible. Now with the cylinder problem on my 2014 I'm thinking its time to move on from Chrysler. Shame on them for not addressing the pentastar issue once and for all. Whats more appalling is they're putting this pos engine in more and more vehicles.
Hello hiendtime, I enjoyed reading you post, sounds so much like our selves. after many years with short wheelbase Pajero shogun 4x4s (3) over 14 years & and a bloddy good run out of all of them i might add. we thought it was time to get a new 4x4 so we bought a 4 month old wrangler sport @9000ks 2009 with the 3.8l V6. 5 years & 50000 trouble free ks later our needs had changed and my wife said we really need a 4 door car. I have allways been a Ford man Generally. My wife liked the new Chrysler 300c over the Ford Falcon & Teritory. So i found a nov 2014 300s with 14500ks on the clock with the balance of new car warranty. We purchased in Feb 2016 and thats when the Fun started. i dont think we have done 2000 ks in it yet as we have had it in the shop more than half of that time. check engine light, missfire on no 5, dropping cylinder 5 at idle more so when cold.. We have had a loan car for the last month with driving restructions etc I have had a good run out of all the ford F100s F150s so i think it might be time to put the missis in a New Ford Rapture?? Rather then go for the 6.2 300hemi. I have been in the Marine business for 35 years and i should have figered as the Chrysler outboards were crap back in the 70s, I cut my teeth on all the early fuel injection systems EFI, Ficht,Mercruiser MPI & Opti Max & DFI etc so when the young service manager tryed to string me along i drew the system infront of him and said please explain? O2 sensor or Map sensor ? which 1 is setting it off?? Any way they are now going to change the Cylhead. Not sure i want a car that will robibley have oil leaks etc 3 months out of warranty. That POS engine makes the Ford look good ?? sort of. all the best.
Regarding my issue with my 2014 Rubicon and #3 Cylinder misfire. It ended up being a broken spark plug installed at the factory.... It's been a champ ever since (10.0000 miles) In fact, I put a Super Chips tune on the motor setting it on performance 93 octane, since I only use premium, and it seems MUCH happier. Made a dramatic difference with gas mileage too. I wouldn't believe it unless I experienced it personally but these Super Chips box's do what they say...... So far so good!!!
Kevin...thanks for your July 2014 comments. I too have had several jeeps, currently 2015 GC Overland and a 2012 Rubicon w/ 16k miles, a real find. I just bought a Super chips Trail dash2, and was wondering if you could clarify your comment about your change in mpg...question - did it improve or worsen? Thank you in advance...tom
I just bought 2014 challenger I noticed a miss and a ticking noise on driver side head at around 100 miles if you buy one take it back and theyll replace the heads with a new better set. The heads are made to small .
2014 rubicon X. Head failure at 10000miles. How are they still having this issue. What happened to taking price it what you produce.
I have a 2011 Challenger with the 3.6 engine. Experiencing no problems so far. Yesterday I received a notice from Dodge that they are extending the warranty on the left cyilinder head for a full ten years. Interesting way of dealing with the situation and avoiding a full recall.
I purchased a 2014 Dodge Journey RT with 3.6 L engine recently I have noticed an engine clatters and whining sounds coming from the engine compartment on first start ups. Once the engine warms up the noise goes away. I have contacted the dealer who advises that the noise on these engines is the NORM. I have 9800 kms on this engine, changed oil 3 times and now using Mobile 1, 5-20 oil the noise is still there sounds like a worn out engine not like a new engine.
My 2012 is exactly the same. Ticky on cold start and sounds like a whining power steering pump.
The whining power steering is normal. It's a type of electric power steering unit.
chrysler !!!!!!??????!!!!!!!!....has your enginerring dept gone and P>ssed off some engine builder somewhere....i ain,t talking about just these 3.6 six bangers either !!!...every since "02"...just about every power plant you have installed in just about every thing you guys have produced.....has some sort of h.lf .ss excuse for why it,s not reliable...why isn,t it????....what changed?...dodge was always the stalwalt and par excellence of good cars and trucks for many many years...the vehicles and all inside them are good and durable...just the engines arn,t worth a d.m !!!!!...i,ve seen the inside of them...connecting rods....bearing journals... block design....where you getting this sh.t ??!!... YOU GUYS KNOW BETTER !!!!!!!......you folks got big decisions to make !!!!...your factories.....or theirs which is it gonna be??? claims and exchange....or the people that chrysler once served so well!!!...i figure from the time these troubles started...you have created about 700000 tons of aluminum...every last pound evidently wasted for exchange...leaving your customer in the lurch for about the same trade...pot metal or beer cans!!!!! either way...YOUR bond holders ain,t happy you guy,s are better than this.... start acting like it !!!! : \
I bought a 2012 Charger SXT. My first new car. I didn't want to spend all my spare time under the hood of an old junk. As soon as the Charger hit 36,000 miles I got check engine lights and codes for anti lock brakes, road suspension, and evap leaks. It's like they timed it perfect. I drive the car gently. I also got the letter extending the warranty to 10 years on the head. The Pentastar is assembled in Mexico and they screwed up the valve guides. Needless to say I'm pretty disappointed in Chrysler. A really nice looking car without the internals to match.
purchased a 2011 jeep wrangler 4 door blown motor after 16K miles
Just adding to this discussion (August 2014) as I see the issue remains, my 2012 Dodge Challenger SXT Plus with 18,900 miles is at my Dodge service department this week, they diagnosed it with the same issue, a defective No. 2 cylinder head. They're expecting 3-5 business days for repair. Hoping I get a loaner meanwhile. My "engine light" (which is actually called the "Malfunction Indicator Light" went on a few days ago, and Dodge originally said it was just a software update. Then they discovered the cylinder problem today. I didn't notice any different sounds or ticking or loss of engine power -- it drove fine the day the light came on. Appreciate everyone updating their situations here, good to know it's a known issue.
Just had this happen on my 2011 Dodge Avenger, getting fixed under warranty but had to take it in 3 times over a month to finally get it done. Light kept going off and they said nothing was wrong the first time. I am curious if this could cause future problems down the road driving it messed up for a month.. ?
2014 2dr rubicon 1400 miles on it , got p0300 - p0306 - p0209 . Now she is in the shop head tech did want to say a thing but it could be here for a while ! I wish I would of done more research before buying a car with this engine .
I got my 2012 Wrangler Sport back in April of 2012 (brand new). Noticed a ticking sound coming from engine after a cold start. Told the Jeep Service Department about it when I took it in for an oil change. The brushed me off and said it was nothing. Finally made an appointment on September 6th 2014 for a cylinder head replacement. Called their Parts Department to make sure they had new cylinder head in stock. They said they did. When I took my Wrangler in on Saturday, the srevice advisor said the thicking noice is probably the valve lifters needing adjustment, and they would not replace the cylinder head if not warranted. He also said the repair could take two weeks and they have not given me a loner vehicle. I have always been an ardent Jeep enthusiast, but this leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth. I will certainly get rid of my Wrangler, and will not purchase another vehicle from this Dealership (largest on Long Island) again. I am now thinking of getting a Toyota Forruner instead.... Screw Jeep!! MEH
Pissed does not even come close. I got the extended warranty notice. I already had the engine light on. so I took it in to FOX chrysler in Auburn, NY. Talk about up charge. This left cylinder head thing is supposed to be covered. But then they came back with an estimate of $400 and some dollars. When I barked about that, they said they forgot something and it went to $800 and some dollars in a matter of minutes. I asked them to explain every detail that they had to do. I now have to have an oil change, Fuel injectors cleaned out, coolant flushed, a new coil and I have a small evap leak E.S.I.M. WOW. And I have to pay for the diagnostic REALLY!!!! Needless to say I will be getting another opinion

Pages