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Chrysler Pacifica Transmission Problems



  • 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: 6,173

    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: 6,173
    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: 1,853
    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.
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