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Chrysler Pacifica Transmission Problems

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  • Wow! in reading the horror stories, it makes me wonder what is up with our 2007 Pacifica Touring. We purchased the car used, with 26,000 miles on it. The carfax was clean, it had been a lightly used fleet vehicle before being sold into the wholesale chain that got it to our dealer. It was at a really good price, and very low mileage compared to the other cars. The transmission issues were the only warning we received in our research, but it appears that only some people have the issues.

    Here we are a few years down the road, and my wife thinks this is the best car she has ever had. She is a bit of a lead-foot, and drives a high-speed toll road with aggressive 90 mile an hour drivers every day in her 45 to 70 minute commute each day. So this isn't grandma driving. We are past 100,000 miles now, and the only problem we have had is the shifter interlock broke. The interlock is a small plastic part with a spring that presses on a switch, to tell the computer you are in park, and it is ok to let you start the car. If the interlock is broken, it thinks you are not in park, and the car won't start. This is a common problem, I have seen it in many makes of car. They often get gummed up, sticky, or the switch wears out, or in the case of the Pacifica the plastic anchor point for the return spring broke off, so the engine would not start as a result. And this didn't just suddenly fail, intermittently it would refuse to start, then for no apparent reason after many attempts it would start... So I think that the Interlock was probably failing for a while before the spring broke completely off.

    The interlock part is a small plastic part, but the replacement includes the entire shifter assembly, which is fairly pricy. being a dealer-only custom order part, there is no way to get on on a weekend, and being without the car means I have to give my wife my pickup, since I have a shorter drive to the office... and I can't be without my truck for that long... So I decided to repair the unit, I took a very small drill bit and made a hole in a stong part of the interlock cam, so I could attach the spring. I intended to order the part anyway, as who knows how long my repair would last... Well, I never got the part ordered, and it's been over a year since I did the repair.

    I'm getting ready to have a brake job done, the first one, but they tell me the back brakes are still almost like new, only the front breaks need R&R (about $450). The front pads are about gone, and the front rotors are a bit warped, so the $450 covers new rotors, caliper rebuild parts, and a good flushing for both the front and rear.

    I also need a new set of tires ($650 to $850 installed depending on whether we get the good tires or not (we are getting the good ones)).

    The guy that did my safety inspection told me that the dealer had skipped some of the maintenance items on the 90k service, so I'm not really happy about that... But other than the fact I avoided a $500 repair on the shifter interlock, no unexpected issues have occurred.

    We have the front-wheel drive version, so that may be part of why our problems may be fewer than others here... We also don't have any teens driving it. Lead-foot 50-something adults with safe driving habits... but no peel-outs or aggressive driving.

    We do notice a small hard-shift sometimes, and when the wife is backing out of the driveway, it sometimes makes a low moan as she steps on the brakes... but I think that sound is just a minor noise from the rear of the vehicle where there are few parts of consequence... could be the brakes, or perhaps the rear shocks. But these are just minor intermittent sounds, nothing like the other reports here.

    Wonderful car!!

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,372

    Yep, over the years there have been some horror stories with the Pacifica. Not that people don't have issues, but it IS nice to hear someone come around and post that their car is OK :)

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  • Hey. Please help. Pacifica, when engine warms up well, on red light it shuts down. After it can be started by putting gear to neutral. After that if I put it in Drive, it shuts down again! Anyone had similar problem? Changed transmission output sensor.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,372
    So it starts fine, you drive it OK, and once it's warmed up, it shuts down when you stop (and are still in gear) at a red light? Put it back in neutral, restart OK. When you put it in gear again, you're on the brake and not moving? Just trying to get a clear picture of what's happening.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 2,308
    Does it slam into gear and just quit like you dropped the clutch on a manual transmission? If so, the torque convertor lock-up clutch might be locking the convertor. You might need a transmission shop to look at this.
  • ohbryanohbryan Posts: 1
    I have had a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica for a little over 3 years. Purchased in 2011 with only 30k miles. Replaced transmission between 50k-60k and now at 110k i believe its going to be number 2. Anyone know a place to purchased a cheap reconditioned one near the Quad Cities? Davenport Ia.
  • bigtenfourbigtenfour Posts: 1
    We have a 2005 Pacifica, FWD bought used now has just over 85K.  We have the pesky tire pressure sensor message-and I just can't see spending all that money for parts/labor just to have that message go away-is there a HACK for that?

    We had the shifter lockout problem-fixed that with a aluminum billet replacement found online-100% fix.
    we took the car in for a free inspection 2 weeks ago because we noticed a "thud" on acceleration.  Shop said it was engine misfires (no codes) and lower A-arms were bad.  I took the car home-bought my own parts and replaced them myself.  The A-arms looked ok to me, all rubber looked good, but I replaced them anyway (bought online $45 each).  I also pulled off the intake plenum and did the plugs and spark boots (not the 6 coil packs). We did pop a code (P0441 EVAP EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM PURGE FLOW FAULT PURGE FLOW FAULT) - and I did NOT use a new intake plenum gasket when I put it back together thinking it looked fine and would probably do the trick.  It's $9 and I plan to replace it today to see if it makes that code go away.  I'll be searching the internet before I buy one and dive into that little job beforehand to hopefully save myself the trouble.  So, after putting the plenum back on-Test drive='Thud'!
    I popped the hood and told my wife to drive off-'thud'-FRONT MOTOR MOUNT.  I came across a YouTube video that showed me what I was about to get into and offered GREAT tips on easy removal. The front mount was cracked open from acceleration and is filled with oil-prepare for that mess because you have to rotate the entire bracket 360 degrees to get the housing frame and mount out-then you replace the mount in the housing frame-and reverse the procedure to get it back in. It was still difficult and I would advise this maintenance for just anyone; but if you've dropped subframe-type maintenance before-then you can probably handle this. Replaced the front motor mount (looks like a rubber air bag, is filled with oil inside and is mounted in a housing frame bracket ) and left side torque mount (little dog bone) that is bolted in next to the wheel well and front bumper shroud underneath-so be sure to turn the wheel all the way left AFTER you jack it up and get the car on jack stands-ALL OF THIS would be much easier on a lift, but (after removing the left side torque mount) I had to jack the engine up to get the front motor mount housing frame bracket out.  Car seems to work fine, but there is a bit of a 'shudder' when you let off the gas just after the last shift point-I'm guessing this is probably leaking seals inside the transmission and possible a torque converter.  The wife is complaining about the shudder-only because she is daily city driving to school, stores, etc, with occasional road trips no more than 4 hours at a time.  I don't know if I should bother with transmission trouble shooting or just avoid the entire hassle and get a (HOPEFULLY) good rebuilt transmission with NEW torque converter and hope for the best; the other option is to let it ride then wait for the no question signs of a bad transmission to rear their ugly head.  It seems to shift fine, no lagging, slipping or hard shifting-just a shudder after the last up shift during acceleration and only if you let off the gas just as it happens.  I feel like it might just be a fluid flow or pump "interruption" just as its done doing its job-like I'm dropping the RPMs and it's justifiably complaining a little-I don't think it's a huge deal-but I could be wrong.
    I also decided to do the brakes while I had the wheels off and found out that the front wheels turn in Park while up on Jack stands-the Emergency Brake Was the only way to stop the wheels from turning while removing the loosened lug nuts.  Cold this be because of the aftermarket aluminum billet shifter lockout bracket?  We still have to put our foot on the brake to shift (which I messed with a little while I had it apart-figured out how that lockout works to see if it could be bypassed).  It could not be bypassed; and the car does not roll when in park-so no worries-just though that it was weird for a FWD car to have the wheels moving while up on Jack stands.
    The rear brakes were more than 50% more worn than then front brakes, which I feel is probably appropriate, knowing that it's a city driven car-all the rotors looked REALLY good, so I saved money there (they checked straight with a 'homemade jig' that checks for warpage-like checking a bicycle wheel for straight).
    It's all back together except for a new air filter and intake plenum gasket-any suggestions on that P0441 Code?  
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  • wife4kidswife4kids Posts: 1
    Wow I was good until yesterday, I have 2006 Chrysler Pacifica 3.5 fwd touring 110,000 miles bought in 2012 smooth vehicle, until the engine went, the warranty people tried so hard to say I ran it with no oil but I had my oil change records, the result was they had to replace engine never told me how oil disappeared, if that's not horrible enough upon them replacing engine (Chrysler dealership) I got vehicle back and three days after engine replacement am on the highway and get off my exit come to a light and boom bright white light then fire, then alot shorts followed make a long story short the tech had crossed a wire from starter and it was making contact which made the battery smoke, even after all this I kept it and had them fix the issues they caused which in their words was just the starter and the battery, so why does my radio speakers go in and out and only three work out of the eight, anyway this was less then a year ago yesterday I pulled into parking spot and as I always do I put it in reverse but this time something was different I stepped on gas and nothing it just sat there one second later I lightly step on gas and it just started jolting accelerating on its own, am in reverse, I release gas and step on brake pedal and still this thing is going accelerating well the inevitable happened I smashed into the car to the side of me damaging door and mirror going at least 7 to 8 mph and still I think that's not the worst part after all this I try and start it and shift into gear and this thing sounded like it was trying to transform no more jolt just sounds like a sword fight when I try and shift gears she has been officially side lined. it could of been worse. Has anyone experienced this at all p.s. a year ago I would be driving and hit gas then car shuts off any advice would help me as per my screen name
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Chrysler Pacifica Transmission Problems - Page 29 - Car Forums at Edmunds.com