3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems – A Good Buy Or Not?

3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems – A Good Buy Or Not?

August 11, 2022 2 By CarGuy

Are you planning to purchase Chrysler or a Dodge and you are interested in learning about the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic and we are going to elaborate on everything you need to know when it comes to this engine.

Doing a proper research is a good thing. Especially if you want to spend a ton of money on a new or a used vehicle. Knowing the possible issues that a vehicle has might be really beneficial for you because you could save a ton of money if you do so.

Not every engine out there is good. There are some bad engines as well. Some of them even have problems that could cost you thousands of dollars to fix. This is why you really need to ramp up your skills and learn more about the possible problems that an engine has before you make the call to purchase the vehicle. Do, this in advance and you will never have to pay a ton of money on expensive repairs in the long run. And luckily for you, we are going to help you out.

First, we are going to learn what is the 3.6 Pentastar engine and its applications. Then we will move on and cover all of the specs that this engine comes in and also the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems. After that, we are going to cover the best years, as well as the years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more, please follow along till the end.

What Is The 3.6 Pentastar Engine? – 3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

Now let’s introduce ourselves to the topic and learn more about what is the Pentastar before we dive into the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems. This will be a really good introduction for beginners who are not into cars and want to learn more about this engine and what it represents. So, let’s get into it.

The Pentastar is a lineup of V6 engines made by Chrysler. They introduced it in 2010 and this new generation of engines replaced the old engines that Chrysler was using since the 90s. This was basically a fresh start since these engines were a great improvement in comparison to the previous ones in terms of power and also efficiency.

And the Pentastar name if you didn’t know refers to the star with five spokes which is the logo of Chrysler. A little easter egg for you.

Nevertheless, there were three engines, a 3.0L, 3.2L, and a 3.6L in this lineup. And we are solely interested in the 3.6L Pentastar engine since this engine is the engine that is only offered in the US market.

And we can say that this engine is easily one of the most popular engines out there. There are probably millions of vehicles produced with this engine. But still, this engine has some issues, to be honest. So, what are the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems? Well, more on that we are going to cover later on in the article. Now first, let’s dive into the applications in which you can find one of these engines if you want to buy a new or a used vehicle.

3.6 Pentastar Application

Now before we start discussing more about the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems, let’s take a look at the applications in which this engine is included.

Frankly, there are a ton of them. From its inception, this engine was designed to be the entry-level when it comes to the bigger vehicles and also the standard option when it comes to smaller displacement vehicles.

So, this engine was included on the Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300, Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler Pacifica, and Chrysler Voyager.

When it comes to Dodge vehicles, we can say that this model came on the Dodge Charger and Challenger, Dodge Durango, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

The engine also comes in Jeep cars as a standard as well. Namely in the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Gladiator, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

And also, this engine can be found in some odd applications as well. Namely, the Lancia Thema, which is a Chrysler 300 for the European market, Lancia Voyager, Ram ProMaster van, Volkswagen Routan, and Fiat Freemont.

As you can see, there are plenty of models that include this engine on them and in each of them, the engine is tuned specifically for optimum performance. But what bout the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems? Well, more on that we are going to cover later on after we learn more about the specs in which this engine comes in because as you probably know, specs matter as well when it comes to buying a new car. So, follow along.

3.6 Pentastar Engine Specs – 3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

Before we dive into the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems, let’s cover another topic. And that are the specs in which this engine comes in. Knowing the specs is really important, especially if you are on the market for a new or a used vehicle with this engine.

A thing that we want to mention before we start is to note that this engine was installed into a lot of applications. So, it was specifically tuned for each of these applications. This is why the power number varies from application to application. But still, we will mention some of these numbers later on.

Nevertheless, the 3.6 Pentastar is a V6 engine that has 3.6L in displacement. That is about 219cu if you want to know the old-fashioned way of measuring displacement.

This engine has a cylinder bore of 3.78 inches and a piston stroke of 3.27 inches. As you can see the stroke is pretty short.

The engine block as well as the engine head is made of aluminum. Thus making this engine very light in the process.

The engine head is a double overhead valve design (DOHC) with 4 valves per cylinder, with 24 valves in total. The compression ratio is 10.2:1.

When it comes to power numbers, we can say that this engine produces different numbers in different applications. The minimum horsepower that this engine produces is 285hp and 250lb-ft of torque in the Jeep Wrangler. While the most powerful version is installed in the Dodge Challenger and this engine makes 305hp and 268lb-ft of torque.

So, you can notice, about a 20hp difference between the two of them. But what about the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems? More on that we are going to cover next.

3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

Now let’s dive into the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems finally and learn more about the issues that this engine has.

Take note that we are going to cover the most common and most serious problems of this engine that could cost you thousands in possible repairs if not detected on time. So, pay attention carefully because if you miss one of these problems, the repair will be rather expensive.

1. 3.6 Pentastar Cylinder Head Failures

Now let’s begin with the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems. And the first problem on our list is the most serious problem. Which is concerned with the cylinder head failures.

This engine is notorious for cylinder head failures. But what is worth noting is that this flaw happens only on engines produced between 2011 and 2013.

The cylinder heads happened to overheat on the left bank because of an issue with the valve seats. More precisely, the valve seats on cylinder number 2 tend to overheat and this overheating will cause the cylinder head to fail.

3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

This problem was most pronounced on the Jeep Wrangler. So, if you are after a Wrangler built between 2011 and 2013 with this engine, be vary of this issue because the problem is serious.

Because of this problem Chrysler FCA has extended the warranty period of the cylinder heads produced during this time to 10 years or 150,000 miles. So, there is still hope for some of the owners to address this problem if they have an engine produced between 2011 to 2013. But how this problem is represented?

Well, when you have a problem like this, you could face the check engine light, engine misfires, engine down on power. These are the most common symptoms.

What is bad when this problem occurs is that if your engine is not under warranty, you could end up paying thousands of dollars to fix these 3.6 Pentastar engine problems. Now let’s move on to the next problem.

2. 3.6 Pentastar Rocker Arm Failure / Engine Ticking

Now let’s move on with the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems and dive into the next engine problem that is out there.

What can happen is that there could be rocker arm failures on some of the engines. And when the rocker arm fails, it creates a 3.6 Pentastar engine ticking problem.

So, whenever people face this problem they don’t have a clue that the rocker arm has failed. But simply say my engine is ticking.

In fact, there was a service bulletin issued on this problem when a technician notices a ticking sound to remove the valve cover and perform a proper inspection of each roller bearing on the engine. There are a total of six roller bearings since this is a V6 engine.

3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

So, if there is a ticking sound, the valve covers need to be removed in order to be determined if there is a problem with the roller bearings or the needle bearings, in addition to this, the lash adjusters can also collapse and have to be checked as well.

This problem most often appears on vehicles that have above 15,000 miles. So, this is why before you make a purchase, make sure that the engine is not ticking because if it ticks, you will have to replace these components and this can be pricey.

Also, other symptoms that you will notice are the engine misfires as well as the check engine light. So, be really aware of these symptoms.

3. 3.6 Pentastar Cooling Problems / Water Pump Failures

Another very common problem in our list of 3.6 Pentastar engine problems is the issue with the cooling.

As you probably know, the engine block as well as the cylinder heads are made out of aluminum with a sand casting process.

And what can happen is that some of this sand will be left inside of the engine cooling compartments.

And according to many owners, the sand deposits that are left could really affect the lifespan of the cooling system. Namely, components like the water pump, radiator, heater core, etc.

But except these deposits, there could also be gasket material and metal shavings from the wear and tear inside of the engine.

It is really useful before you make a purchase to see how the engine is working and whether it overheats or not. Pay attention to the temperature gauge to make sure that the engine runs perfectly stable under heavy loads. If you have the temperature gauge rising, this is not a good sign and better stay away from this engine because it tends to overheat and can carry a lot more 3.6 Pentastar engine problems.

4. 3.6 Pentastar Oil Pump Failure – 3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

And the last in our list of 3.6 Pentastar engine problems are the issues with the oil pump. This is rather one of the rarest issues that can happen but still can.

What can happen is that this oil pump can start to work poorly and you will notice a drop in oil pressure. So, it is really useful to check your oil pressure gauge when you want to purchase this engine and make sure that the oil pressure is good.

This is really important if you don’t want to end up with a lemon and repent that you purchased this vehicle. But what about the 3.6 Pentastar reliability? Well, more on that we are going to cover next.

3.6 Pentastar Reliability

Since we covered the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems, we think that now it is time to discuss a bit more about the reliability of this engine and see how reliable this engine is.

And the answer to this question is that this engine is really good. Especially the years after 2013. After the issue with the cylinder head failures, there are not a lot of problems concerning this engine.

These engines are proper workhorses that if run in the right application can be a really good performing machine. So, whenever you get a 3.6L engine, we would recommend you go after an engine that is in a lighter chassis. Something like the Wrangler, where you will experience the most out of this engine. If you are looking for a truck engine or an SUV engine, you would better be with the 5.7 HEMI.

3.6 Pentastar Best Years

So, we learned about the reliability of this engine, now let’s take a look at the best years when it comes to this engine. What are the best years for this engine?

Well, we would say that you should get a 3.6 Pentastar produced from 2014 onward. Mainly because the problems that this engine had in the early inception were sorted out there are no major 3.6 Pentastar engine problems later on.

So, if you want to play it safe, better go for a later model year engine, and also with low miles which is more important. The more miles this engine has, the more wear and tear to the internals are done and the less likely it will last in the long term, so keep this in mind.

3.6 Pentastar Years To Avoid – 3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

So, we covered the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems, now let’s take a look at what are the 3.6 Pentastar years to avoid. What engines you should avoid?

Well, when it comes to models to avoid, we would say that you should definitely avoid the ones produced between 2011 and 2013. Why so?

Well, this is because these engines have problems with the cylinder heads. Even though Chrysler warrantied them for 10 years with the extended warranty. Still, if you don’t want to take any chances, avoid these early years of production and go for a model that has lower miles and also fewer problems.

3.6 Pentastar Rebuild Cost

What about the rebuild costs? Let’s say that your engine is too worn out. How much money can you expect to rebuild this engine?

According to owners on the Wrangler forum, a remanufacture will cost you about $4,000. Some places will even do it for $3,700.

But still, it is a lot of money. And if you have the possibility, you should definitely go for a low mileage used engine if you can find one for a good price. Now let’s conclude this article.

Conclusion To 3.6 Pentastar Engine Problems

In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the 3.6 Pentastar engine. We have covered a bit on the history and applications of this engine. We also discussed the specs in which this engine comes in.

Then we moved on to the 3.6 Pentastar engine problems and learned what is the most problematic concerning this particular engine. Lastly, we have covered the best years for this engine and the years to avoid.

F.A.Q

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Is The 3.6 Pentastar A Good Engine

Yes, the Pentastar 3.6L is a really good and reliable engine. Even though, we would recommend avoiding the years between 2011 and 2013 because of problems with the cylinder heads.

Who Makes The 3.6 Pentastar Engine

This engine is produced by Stellantis North America. Formerly, this company was known as Chrysler as we all know. But since Stellantis took over, they rebranded the Chrysler company into Stellantis North America. They produce all the engines that Chrysler did, including the 3.6L Pentastar.

How Much Horsepower Does A 3.6 l V6 Have

The horsepower number for this engine depends on the application. In some applications like the Jeep Wrangler, this engine is producing 285hp. While in the Challenger this engine is producing 305 hp.