What Are Common Dodge 3.6 Engine Problems?

Dodge released the Pentastar 3.6-liter engine in 2011. This motor is found in a wide range of Chrysler- and Dodge-branded vehicles. Upon its release, there were a few common problems that were noticed. These issues included advanced exhaust cam phasing, cylinder head problems, and radiator clogging. While some of these issues are not a threat to the performance of the vehicles, others have detrimental effects and needed to be corrected. Dodge has addressed the problems experienced with the Pentastar 3.6L engine. Look at the information below to see how this may affect you.

Common Vehicles Affected

The problems reported with the Pentastar 3.6L motor can affect all Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge branded vehicles in which they are installed. These include these models from 2011 to mid-2013:

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Ram 1500
  • Ram ProMaster
  • Ram Cargo Van
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Charger
  • Dodge Durango
  • Dodge Avenger
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Dodge Journey
  • Chrysler 300
  • Chrysler 200
  • Chrysler Town & Country
  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Fiat Freemont
  • Lancia Thema
  • Lancia Voyage

If you own one of these vehicles and experience one of the common problems reported with the Pentastar 3.6L engine, you should contact an authorized Chrysler dealer. They can provide you with the best course of action to take to get the issues resolved quickly.

Advanced Exhaust Cam Phasing Issues

The Pentastar 3.6L motor was built with an advanced exhaust cam phasing design. The manufacturer did this to improve the low-end power and throttle response. In the 2011 model engine, this caused an issue that triggered the engine warning light. Upon investigating the issue, it was determined that this problem had no negative impact on the performance of the motor.

Cylinder Head Failure

The 2011 to mid-2013 model Pentastar 3.6L engines were known to have cylinder head problems that affected the left bank, which contained cylinder number two. This was noticed due to a ticking sound that was emitted from the cylinder. Performance issues including misfire conditions, loss of power and, in some instances, stalling were reported. While there were several model vehicles affected by this problem, the Jeep Wranglers had the greatest number of vehicles reported with this problem. 

Radiator Clogs

The cylinder heads in the Pentastar 3.6L motor are sand-cast. While they undergo strict inspections to ensure they are clean before reaching the assembly line, there is the possibility that some residue may be left behind. This is a problem that occurred with some of the vehicles that were equipped with this model engine. The residual sand did clog up radiators and cause the need for frequent replacements for water pumps, thermostats, and oil pumps in the vehicle.

Chrysler’s Action

Chrysler revamped its Pentastar 3.6L engine following the complaints of the 2011 to mid-2013 models. Their actions included redesigning the filter and cap O-rings. Current vehicle owners were able to have a single filter and gasket kit installed on their vehicle by a dealer to correct the issues that they were experiencing.

The automotive manufacturer also extended the vehicle warranties for some model vehicles. This was announced in their warranty bulletin D-14-12, which was dated June 10, 2014. The extended warranty covers the left cylinder heads of the Pentastar engines for the model 2011 through mid-2013 years. This warranty was extended for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever was to occur first.