What Are the Most Common Dodge 3.6 Engine Issues?

In 2011, Dodge introduced the Pentastar 3.6-liter engine. This engine can be found in a variety of Chrysler and Dodge automobiles. There were a few issues with it when it was first released. Advanced exhaust cam phasing, cylinder head difficulties, and radiator clogging were among the problems. While some of these faults do not pose a threat to the vehicles’ performance, others have negative consequences and must be addressed. The concerns with the Pentastar 3.6L engine have been addressed by Dodge. Take a look at the details below to understand how this can effect you.

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Typical Automobiles Affected

The Pentastar 3.6L motor has been linked to problems in all Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles in which it is installed. These models were produced between 2011 and mid-2013:

Jeep Grand Cherokee is a vehicle manufactured by Jeep.

Wrangler Jeep Wrangler

1500 Ram

ProMaster Ram

Cargo Van Ram

Dodge Challenger is a muscle car manufactured by Dodge.

Dodge Charger is a car manufactured by Dodge.

Dodge Durango is a vehicle manufactured by Dodge.

Dodge Avenger is a car manufactured by Dodge.

Dodge Grand Caravan is a vehicle manufactured by Dodge.

Journey by Dodge

Chrysler 300 is a car manufactured by Chrysler.

200 Chrysler

Town & Country is a Chrysler model.

Pacifica Chrysler

Fiat Freemont is a car manufactured by Fiat.

Lancia Thema is a car manufactured by Lancia.

Lancia Voyage is a car made by Lancia.

If you own one of these vehicles and are experiencing one of the Pentastar 3.6L engine’s regular problems, you should contact a Chrysler dealer. They can advise you on the best line of action to take in order to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

Issues with Advanced Exhaust Cam Phasing

The Pentastar 3.6L engine features a cutting-edge exhaust cam phasing system. This was done by the manufacturer to improve low-end power and throttle response. This produced an issue in the 2011 model engine, causing the engine warning light to illuminate. After further investigation, it was discovered that the fault had no significant impact on the motor’s performance.

Failure of the Cylinder Head

The left bank of the Pentastar 3.6L engines, which comprised cylinder number two, was known to experience cylinder head difficulties from 2011 to mid-2013. A ticking sound was heard coming from the cylinder, which was noticed. Misfire circumstances, power loss, and, in some cases, stalling have all been cited as performance concerns. While various models of vehicles were afflicted by this issue, Jeep Wranglers had the highest number of vehicles reported with this issue.

Clogs in the radiator

Sand-cast cylinder heads are used in the Pentastar 3.6L engine. While they are subjected to stringent checks to ensure that they are clean before being sent to the assembly line, some residue may remain. This is a problem that has been reported in some vehicles equipped with this model engine. The leftover sand clogged radiators, necessitating repeated water pump, thermostat, and oil pump replacements in the car.

Chrysler’s Response

Following concerns from 2011 to mid-2013 models, Chrysler redesigned its Pentastar 3.6L engine. The filter and cap O-rings were redesigned as a result of their efforts. Current vehicle owners could have a single filter and gasket kit installed on their vehicle by a dealer to fix the problems they were having.

Some vehicle warranties were also extended by the automaker for certain models. This was announced in their D-14-12 warranty bulletin, dated June 10, 2014. The Pentastar engines’ left cylinder heads are covered by the extended warranty for model years 2011 through mid-2013. This warranty was extended for an additional ten years or 150,000 miles, whichever came first.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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