The 4 most common problems with the FCA Pentastar 3.6 liter engine (2023)

The FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) 3.6L Pentastar engine powers many Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler models from 2011 to present. There's a reason this 3.6-liter V6 engine has been around for so long. Power is solid for a 275-305 hp NA V6 engine. In addition, the Pentastar 3.6 liter engine is efficient and reliable. However, all engines are prone to problems and the Pentastar is no exception. In this article we look at the reliability of the FCA 3.6L Pentastar along with some common issues.

The 4 most common problems with the FCA Pentastar 3.6 liter engine (1)

Common problems Pentastar 3.6L

Some of the most common Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Chrysler 3.6 Pentastar engine problems are:

  • Cylinder Head (2011-2013)
  • Kipphebel
  • cooling system
  • oil pump

Below we describe each of these issues in detail. It's a good time to quickly add a few notes. Just because we classify these failures as common does not mean that all Pentastar engines will experience these problems. Also, engines are prone to many problems, especially with age and mileage. 3.6 Pentastar engines can have faults that we do not cover in this article.

Finally, Pentastar is used in dozens of models that serve a variety of purposes. They range from Ram 1500 trucks to off-road jeeps and performance-oriented models like the Challenger, Charger and C300. Certain errors may appear more or less frequently on different models depending on the specific use of the vehicle. Before we get into the common Pentastar 3.6 engine problems, below is a list of all the cars the engine is found in.

What cars use the 3.6 Pentastar?

The Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler and Ram 3.6 V6 Pentastar can be found in the following vehicles:

Chrysler 3.6 Pentastar

(Video) 3.6L Pentastar V6 Overview, Common Problems and Reliability

  • 2011–2017 Chrysler 200
  • 2011-present Chrysler 300
  • 2016-present Chrysler Pacifica
  • City and Country Chrysler 2011-2016
  • Chrysler Voyager 2020-height

Dodge Pentastar 3.6L

  • Dodge winner 2011–2014
  • Dodge Challenger 2011-present
  • Dodge Charger 2011-present
  • 2011-year Dodge Durango
  • Dodge Grand Caravan 2011-2020
  • Alternative trip 2011-2019

Motor Jeep 3.6 Pentastar

  • 2011er Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler 2012-2018

RAM Pentastar 3.6L V6

  • Ram 1500 2012-present
  • 2013-present Ram ProMaster
  • Ram-Transporter 2011-2015

1) FCA Pentastar cylinder head damage

This is a good issue to get rid of first as it mainly occurs on early 2011-2013 Pentastar engines. Some of the early 3.6 L V6s had bank cylinder head failures. The underlying cause is overheating of the valve seats in cylinder #2. Fiat-Chrysler fixed the problem in mid-2013 with hardened valve guides and valve seats. They also went out of their way to accommodate customers. FCA has extended the Pentastar 3.6L warranty to 10 years or 150,000 miles on left cylinder heads for 2011, 2012 and select 2013 models.

It appears that the Jeep Wrangler was more prone to head problems than the 3.6-liter Pentastar. However, the problem affected many different models. The good news is that most FCA Pentastar motors should still be covered by the extended warranty. The problem or problems have already been solved.

Symptoms of Pentastar Cylinder Head Problems

Symptoms of a cylinder head failure on the Pentastar 3.6L include:

  • Check the engine light
  • misfires
  • Tick-Tack thin Motor
  • energy loss

The ticking and check engine lights are usually the most noticeable symptoms. However, if the problem is corrected, the cylinder may lose compression. This leads to symptoms such as misfire and loss of power.

(Video) The Specs and Fatal Flaws of the Chrysler 3.6L Pentastar V6 Engine

Cylinder head replacement for the Pentastar 3.6L is not cheap. Again, most classic cars should have an extended warranty. If there is no warranty, replacing the head can cost thousands of dollars. It's also important to note that head failure can happen any year. However, it is not a common problem on later engines.

2) 3.6 Troubleshoot the Pentastar-Wippen myth

Sometimes this problem is confused with the previous one. The rockers are on the stem, so that's understandable. However, Pentastar's rocker problems are not the same. Rockers are also called cam followers. The FCA has issued a service bulletin on this issue, shown below.View the full service bulletin here. There is an aftermarket part as of Bulletin 2014. However some newer Pentastar 3.6L engines have the same faults. So the updated part doesn't seem like a perfect solution.

The 4 most common problems with the FCA Pentastar 3.6 liter engine (2)

Although the service bulletin exists, we are not aware of any additional warranty period for rocker arm problems. As such, you'll pay out of pocket when your factory warranty expires. However, since this is a known issue, you may be able to work with the FCA to get a discount. Rocker arm failures are probably not as common as the internet would suggest. At the same time, it's an important issue since rockers are one of the most expensive problems in Pentastar 3.6.

FCA 3.6 Baggerfehlersymptome

Common symptoms of Pentastar rocker arm problems include:

  • Tick-Tack thin Motor
  • Diagnosefehlercode (DTC)
  • misfires

The most common symptom of rocker arm failure is ticking in the top of the engine. You can also get error codes, also known as DTCs. Codes usually indicate cylinder misfire.

3.6 Replacing the Pentastar rocker

Interestingly, some seem to be reporting that dealers have replaced the entire cylinder head for this issue. This job does not require stock removal. However, the cam follower replacement does not come cheap. It's quite a hassle because the valve covers have to be removed. This repair should be left to qualified mechanics or DIYers. Fortunately, the parts are quite cheap. Most Pentastar rocker arm repair costs are labor costs. Expect to pay around $500 to $1000 for the job. It might be a good idea to replace any seesaws while they're there.

(Video) BEWARE! Dodge Jeep Chrysler 3.6 Pentastar Owners | Major Engine Flaw

3) Problems with the FCA Pentastar 3.6L cooling system

Our main focus here is on the Pentastar water pump and cooler. Instead of writing similar information about the two issues, let's group them together. There are also other components that can fail, such as: B. the heater core and the oil cooler. FCA manufactures the V6 Pentastar using sand casting. Of course, there are some sand deposits that need to be thoroughly cleaned before installing the bearing. However, it seems that sand deposits are sometimes left in the engine after production.

Over time, sand gets into the cooling system and can cause sludge and deposits throughout the cooling system. This eventually leads to Pentastar problems such as water pump, radiator, heater core and oil cooler failures. As with most things, the problems are probably not as common as the internet suggests. However, it is not difficult to find forum members who have gone through the same fixes multiple times.

Problems with the cooling system can also occur independently of the sand causes mentioned above. Many of the components of the Pentastar 3.6L cooling system are wear parts. Failures due to natural wear and tear are not uncommon north of 100,000 miles.

Fiat-Chrysler 3.6L cooling system trouble symptoms

Look out for the following symptoms of Pentastar cooling system problems:

  • Engine overheating
  • Heating or air conditioning problems
  • Visible coolant leak
  • Error codes or check engine light

Overheating is usually a sure sign that something is wrong with the cooling system. An issue with the Pentastar 3.6 liter water pump or radiator is preventing coolant from flowing properly through the engine. You may also find that your heating or air conditioning systems are not keeping up with your desired temperature. There can be faults that do not cause coolant loss, but most result in a visible leak or rapid coolant loss. Eventually you may get error codes and a Check Engine Light depending on your specific cooling issue.

Repair Pentastar 3.6 cooling system

We'll keep it brief as this section is vague and doesn't focus on any specific part. Most cooling system problems are not too expensive or challenging for a do-it-yourselfer to troubleshoot. Depending on the specific problem at hand, you may end up spending $200-$800 for a repair shop. However, with the sand issues mentioned above, chances are you may need to replace multiple parts. This is where the costs can add up.

4) FCA Pentastar 3.6L oil pump failure

We will be quick in this section. This is probably the least common Pentastar issue discussed in this post. It might not even be worth mentioning. However, oil pump failures are a serious problem as they can lead to a lack of oil flow. The ECU must quickly detect the loss of oil flow and do whatever it takes to prevent further damage. It appears that the 3.6 liter oil pump failures are not complete failures, but rather a drop in oil pressure. This is good news as the computer should quickly limit RPM and power. As long as oil is flowing through the engine and the engine is not running heavily, no further damage will occur.

(Video) 3.6L V6 Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Promaster Common Engine Problem Repair It With SPELAB Autoparts

In fact, many oil pump failures can be traced back to the same reason cooling system component failures. Both oil and coolant flow through the Pentastar's cylinder head. If sand deposits remain, they can accumulate over time and become trapped in the oil pump.

Is the Pentastar 3.6L engine reliable?

Short answer: yes. The FCA 3.6L Pentastar engine is reliable. We will give Pentastar above average marks for its reliability. Again, there's a reason this engine powers so many iconic Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram vehicles; It has existed for a decade for the same reason. The FCA 3.6 liter engine is reliable and efficient, delivering solid performance.

That said, it's not hard to keep researching the Pentastar 3.6L engine and find many owners struggling. To date, over 10 million Pentastar engines have been produced. There are many engines. All engines are fraught with problems, especially at this production level. Mistakes happen. No machine or person is entirely perfect. Sometimes reliability simply depends on the luck of the draw.

Luckily, it seems that the vast majority of Pentastar V6 owners have had excellent experiences with the engine. One of the things we can control is maintenance. Take good care of your FCA 3.6L and it will likely be a great engine to enjoy for years to come. There are even instances where the Pentastar reaches over 500,000 miles. How's that for longevity?

3.6 Summary of common Pentastar problems

It's always scary to read about common problems. At least it is for us; suddenly we start thinking and assuming the worst. That's the last thing we want when we're writing posts about common engine problems, and that's especially true for the Pentastar 3.6L. It's really a sound engine in general. Reliable, efficient, smooth and solid performance. There's not much to complain about, but no engine is perfect.

Some early examples of the Pentastar 3.6L had cylinder head problems due to overheating of the valve seats in cylinder #2. Rocker arms, cooling system parts and oil pumps are among others. Well-documented issues. However, we believe they are well documented thanks to over 10 million Pentastar engines. The 3.6 liter FCA Pentastar really is a great and reliable engine. No engine is perfect, but there's a reason there are so many Pentastars. We think the reason is this: he is very good at his job.

What is your experience with the Pentastar 3.6L? Leave a comment and tell us!

(Video) Why I think the 3.6 Pentastar is a great engine.

Do you want more performance?Check out our post on common 5.7L HEMI problems


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