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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems



  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    edited August 2011
    Heeeyyy Brooks (Steelydan), I can't believe you are still here, after all these years !

    I didn't click on this discussion group since 2008, when I got rid of our Crapacifica. You might remember that we agressively defended it for countless posts, against lots of people !

    Well ... I lost it when the transmission blew in pieces when climbing on our driveway (fixed under warranty). Fortunately I found a dealer who was selling both new Chryslers and new Hondas (on two different locations), so I got a decent trade-in value for that ****, so I got a new 2008 Honda Pilot instead.

    Congratulations for defending it for so long. Chrysler (well ... what's left of it) owes you a lot !

  • Well, steelydan. As the saying goes: opinions are like [non-permissible content removed]: everyone has (is entitled) to one. I wonder what you say to those working on projects with cars from the 60s ("guys, those cars have been DEAD for 50 years").
    Regarding 'better vehicles out there': yes, i mentioned one (Mercedes R class). But then it gets thin (if the vehicle we talking must
    - drive decent (handling, power, speed)
    - carry a minimum of 6 people in comfort
    - accept lots and bulky stuff in moments notice
    - look decent

    You must admit the air gets thin up there. The only one that comes to mind and (at one point, now 'long dead') is the Mercedes R63 (I still keep my eyes peeled on the online used car sites for rare one at an acceptable price).

    If we add:
    - affordable
    - >400 hp
    - <6 sec 0-60
    you are out of luck

    That leaves minivans (which I in deed looked into; check some of the Autobahnstormer VW T2 buses, Mercedes Vito etc. put together by top of the line tuners in Europe), but I liked the looks better.
  • I just purchased a 2005 Pacifica about 2 weeks ago. The previous owner had all four brakes replaced with new rotors and I believe the tie rods. It stills has a rattle when going over small bumps (of coarse large bumps too). Looks like I should of done my research first. I just sent an email to Chrysler about 5 minutes ago requesting information on this 10yr/150,000 warranty. Earlier today I called two Chrysler dealerships about the front end problems and the warranty. Neither were sure about the warranty and both wanted around $50.00 to check out the front end. Anyone that received a letter from Chrysler, please post a general overall view of what the letter said and what is covered by that warranty. Thanks.
  • An update on my email to Chrysler on the 10yr/150,000 Warranty. I was informed that my vehicle was not in any recall or letter to owners with front end problems. So basically, Sorry for your luck and thanks for buying Chrysler. I guess my next step is to take it to a dealer and see what happens.

    I am glad that I found this community, you all have helped me.

    After I go to the dealership and get their findings, I am going to submit a report to NTSHA about my problems and what Chrysler said and the dealership. Hope this helps to get Chrysler to MAN up to their responsibility to their customers.

    Best of Luck to you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 209
    It's the engine cradle rusting out . Nothing else is covered under the 10 year 150,000 mile warranty
  • I'm glad to hear Chrysler is taking care of the rusted cradle issue on the PAC (Piece A Chit). Makes me wonder if I'm entitled to a refund for all the money I spent on our 04 because of this problem.
    If anyone has a letter about the new extended warranty please post it.
  • I have not checked the cradle for rust yet. Thanks for the info. Sounds like all the problems PAC is having with the engine mounts and other bushings failing as soon as they do, Chrysler should do something about that also. Just my thought. Thanks again.
  • dwatdwat Posts: 2
    Replace lower control arm for that side. The original design is poor and the bushings wear out. Chryler put out a news bulletin to replace both lower control arms with their new part numbers. I think they redesigned the parts but did not recall and replace. The original part was $125 and the new part is $412 and they recommend to replace both at the same time. I found one of the original ones on Ebay for $125 inleu of buying Chrylers $412.
  • dwatdwat Posts: 2
    Replace the lower control arm on the side that is making the thumbing sound. Chryler put out a news bulletin to replace the right and left lower contol arm if there was a thumbing sound caused when braking and driving at 16mph. I think they redesigned them because of all the complaints that the bushing were wearing out to quickly. But they did not do a recall and stuck the owner with the high cost. The orignal part was $125 and Chryler's new part is $412 and they recommend you replace both. I was able to find the orignal lower control arm on E-bay for $125.
  • steelydansteelydan Posts: 133
    Happy New Year, rodut !

    So how are things up there in Canada ??? The cold probably got your transmission !!! We love to travel in Canada.....always beautiful and so clean............

    Yes , I still defend my Pacifica , although I have fallen victim to the low speed "clunk" syndrome that graces these posts regularly........Actually, my '04 Pac still looks good and the engine/tranny/brakes are really reliable...........I am still on my original rear pads at 97,000 miles !!!

    The Pac is not worth much as a trade in, so I drive on until something disastrous happens, so far , so good as I approach the 100K mark.........

    Yes, rodut, we could really pontificate back in the Pac's prime days.........Thanks for the memories , and best of luck in that beautiful country to the North..............
  • rodutrodut Posts: 343
    Happy New Year Steelydan !

    We didn't chat since about 3 years ago ! We couldn't forget each other because we were alone bravely fighting for the Pacifica ! Lots of posts really ...

    Yes, you are right, a transition from ice to clean concrete, while my wife was trying to climb on our clean driveway (from the icy road), blew both axles at the same time. Probably not the car's fault ... fortunately it was still in warranty, so Chrysler replaced the axles.

    Truth is ... I still look after Pacificas when I see them on the road. The damn beasts look beautiful !

    IMPORTANT for your safety: YEARLY CHECK if your front wheels have a play in them (caused by bad ball joints). The front end clunking, which comes standard on Pacificas, mask the clunking potentially caused by bad ball joints. I am sure you know that bad ball joints could cause the wheel to fall off, so it's lethal danger ! Check the front end YEARLY ! It's low price, because all they have to do is to lift the car, and manually push-pull the front wheels to see if they are loose or not.

    Having a bad ball joint at 40,000 Kms (25,000 miles) triggered my decision to get rid of the car. Not the blown axles.
  • Hello everyone,
    My wife and I bought our 05 pacifica 2 days before the birth of our first child. She had a Liberty and when O placed the infant seat in it, and it was against the door, I knew a bigger, stronger, safer car was needed.

    My father owns a garage, 25 years, and I have been a co-owner for 19 years. We have worked on just about every type of vehicle and the Pacifica was an easy decision.

    Purchased 3 years ago w/ 38,000 miles, it has been maintenance free (except tires and oil). Until last month...

    We have never had the CLUNK issue as described in many of these posts, but it started in December. My wife never mentioned it until I was driving it and noticed it. She said "oh that?"...

    I put it up on the lift and the first thing I see, the beginning of the subframe rot that has been mentioned.... But more on that later...

    Doing the NORMAL suspension checks, NOTHING stood out (and I am good at finding things). I did find a bad rear motor mount (leaking fluid) and it was in the area of the clunk sound. Hmmmm, could be... After changing that and driving it, No... But the mount needed to be replaced anyway. BUT, in the course of changing the mount, I had to loosen the subframe bolts to lower the cradle a few inches. Well, the upper mounts (isolater bushing) are large rubber donuts with a metal washer attached to the top. EVERY SINGLE ONE was rotted and brittle. Hmmmm, closer? Ordered new mounts (tops and bottoms) and replaced them. The ride was instantly and noticeably BETTER (didn't know it was bad until now), but the clunk was still there. Now to the internet for ideas, which brought me here...

    After reading ALL the posts, I was more frustrated but armed with the possibility of getting the $1300 subframe (my cost) replaced by Chrysler and not my pocket. I called the local Chrysler dealer and they said that MY vehicle was not covered but to call Chrysler and report it. I did and spoke with a case manager who spoke with the dealer and scheduled an appointment to evaluate the subframe. 30 minutes at the dealership and Chrysler has agreed to replace it this Tuesday 1/25/11....

    But the clunk is still there and aggravating me, so I put it back on the lift and revisited everything. The NORMAL checks I described earlier, had me pry, twist and bang on the sway bar. I disconnected the sway bar links and checked them and they were fine.... WHAT AM I MISSING!?

    I decided to tie the links up and leave the sway bar unhooked for a short test. NO NOISE, NO BANG, NOTHING.... Back on the lift, checked the sway bar bushings again and still they look good. No abnormal movement or wear visible.... KEY WORD IS VISIBLE!

    4 bolts to remove the sway bar bushings and pull them from the bar. They still look good, feel good, no wear.... UNTIL I put them back on the swaybar. They obbled. THEY WOBBLE! They were eggshaped from side to side instead of up and down. I have never seen that. $6 each and the noise is GONE!

    The car rides better that ever and goes in for the frame this week. $300 and a few hours of my time and the car is as good as new.

    So if you have the clunk/bang, when your mechanic checks your car again, ask them to remove and check the 2 rear cradle top mounts (or isolators) for the rot, disconnect the swaybar and remove/check the bushings (they are $6 each), and also the control arms (they are easy to detect bad ones but about $400 each).

    My wife loves her Pacifica and we are expecting our second child in May. This Pacifica is ready for the new arrival...
  • I know it has been awhile but it is hard to find info regarding this issue. I am about to order the lower control arms myself. Did that resolve your popping noise? thanks.
  • No, no one could really tell me what the popping noise was.
  • dbryanc,

    my mechanic replaced lower control arms, tie rod ends, new front struts, and generally "tightened" up the front end the best he could.

    Also a new 4 wheel alignment after the above repairs.......

    my clunk is lessened, but still there. I am at 96,000 miles now, so I will drive to about 120,000 and then just replace the vehicle. It is better than it was, and I think it is related to all of the bushings ( which are not replaceable) that these front suspension pieces use............maybe the later years improved on this, but my early 2004 , not quite there on this issue.

    I will chalk this up to just a bad front end design.....

    I will also say that the "popping " sound you describe can be related to the CV joints and "half shafts" in the front drive system itself. I hear a "pop" sound myself when I shift from R to D after backing out of my driveway.....Sometimes it is louder than others, sometimes not at all.

    The car does drive perfectly normally at all times, and I don't notice any braking issues, etc.

    I have learned to live with this......I have spent all of the time and money I will ever spend on this front end..........It is what it is for my 2004 Pacifica...I will not buy a brand new design in the first year of production again, domestic or foreign.......

    The Pacifica has not been a disaster, but it could have been better.......
  • Did you ever find the problem or get it fixed? I have the same problem on mine.
  • Had to replace cv shafts on both sides to resolve turning popping. Clunking when shifting r to d was engine mounts. Had to replace those 2x now & I'm at 128k
  • davesgirl93,

    You are right about the engine mounts. I had them replaced also at about 89,000 miles.......I believe the mechanic said 2 out of 3 were cracked, one was bad. I agree they are responsible for the "clunk or pop" from R to D.

    I have ALWAYS come to a complete stop going from R to D, so the only thing I ever heard with the old mounts was a little, sharp "pop" sound, but not always.

    My CV joints ( knock on wood) are still OK at 97,000plus miles.

    davesgirl93, have you ever replaced the timing belt on the 3.5L ? I noticed you were at 127K, I'm at 97K. The owner's manual says replace at 102K.

    I am going to replace it , and drive on to about 125K, then take inventory........

    I'm guessing that is a $750 job, including the water pump replacement.......any feedback on that figure would be welcome.......


    Brooks Davis
  • No, I have not donned the belt. I really should, one day its Donna leave me stranded! I still have a shifting Clunking between 2nd and 3rd gears. It was fixed one time, but OT was not what I took the car in for, so I don't know what they did to fix it! I do know that the Clunking went away for about 20k miles. Tells me its some sort of chassis or frame bolts that must rattle loose?
  • steelydansteelydan Posts: 133
    edited February 2011

    I know what you mean by clunking "going away" for awhile.....My mechanic , who is a reputable guy that makes his living by repairing cars, says he "tightens" things up when I am in for an oil change, etc, and it seems to be "tighter" when I leave.........but he makes it clear that he's not giving me any guarantees.....

    Bottom line: Clunking has many sources in the Pacifica.............None fatal, but a Clunk is a Clunk , of course, of course..........( Sorry , Mr. Ed ) younger Pacifica drivers won't get that, but some of us AARP drivers will...................... :)
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