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Most Common Problems To Watch Out For With The Jeep 3.6 Pentastar Engine

Chrysler unveiled its 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine in 2009 and began installing it in production models in 2011. The Pentastar V6 powered several Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler models in 2011 and beyond.

Chrysler designed and built the Pentastar V6 to replace the prior 3.5-liter V6 used by the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram automotive group. It is a highly advanced engine that greatly improves upon the prior V6 engine.

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 produced 38 percent more power but uses 11 percent less gas than the 3.5-liter engine. It is shorter and lighter by 42 pounds and has an engine block that is made from T7 aluminum. Best of all, it has a very wide and relatively flat torque curve that gives you plenty of power at low RPMs.

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is used in many popular models, including the:

  • Jeep Wrangler.
  • Jeep Cherokee.
  • Dodge Challenger.
  • Ram 1500.

While the Pentastar is a definite winner, it has had issues that are to be expected whenever a new engine is put into production. The following is a closer look at the commonly occurring problems with the Pentastar V6 and how to fix them. For a full list of prices on replacement 3.6-liter Pentastar Jeep engines for sale check out Reman-Engine.

Oil Pump Stops Working

The engine oil pump has been less than reliable in many Pentastar motors and might fail long before its normal service life ends. An oil pump failure will cease the flow of lubricating and cooling oil in the engine. That could cause major damage to the engine.

The best way to handle the issue is to have the oil pump inspected once or twice a year, which should be a quick and easy task. The inspection needs to show the oil is flowing and the pump working as intended. If not, you need to replace it.

Sudden Cylinder Head Failure

Valve seats on the second cylinder in particular have a tendency to cause the cylinder head to overheat on the Pentastar engine. An overheated aluminum cylinder head often will warp slightly and leak oil. That could lead to excessive heat, friction, and damage to the pistons, cylinder bore, and engine.

If the check engine light stays on and the engine starts to misfire, you might have a cylinder head failure. The smell of oil leaking onto an exhaust manifold and burning off could be a very telling sign.

You need to ensure the engine has clean oil and stays full to help prevent the problem from occurring. Once damaged, the only fix is to replace the cylinder head.

Leaking Water Pump

Like the oil pump, the water pump needs to work properly to help keep the engine at its ideal operating temperature. A water pump failure could cause the engine to lose enough coolant to cause overheating. It never is good to overheat an engine – especially to the point of failure.

Regular maintenance on the cooling system, including coolant flushes and fills, will help to ensure the water pump and other cooling system components are in good shape. It also helps to ensure the engine has the best possible coolant that will do its job during long drives and hot weather.

Rocker Arm Failure

If you hear a ticking or a tapping sound coming from the engine, it might have a defective rocker arm. The rocker arm helps to ensure the valves work correctly. But when the rocker arm begins to fail, the valves can produce a ticking or tapping sound. Eventually, the engine could misfire and possibly stall.

The problem became serious enough for Chrysler to issue a service bulletin detailing a fix in 2014. And newer models are supposed to have an improved rocker arm assembly.

The problem still persists on newer engines, but not with the frequency of the pre-2014 engines. If the rocker arm does fail, a replacement is needed to fix it.

While the Pentastar V6 does have some common issues, they mostly are relegated to a small percentage of engines. Good maintenance and reasonable driving habits should help to deliver good service life from any Pentastar engine.


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