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Chrysler Pacifica Suspension Problems

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Comments

  • abuckleyabuckley Posts: 5
    After contactng the Attorney General's office and filing a complaint, Chrysler contacted me and agreed to pay for the repair. I contacted the dealer where the car was at for a time frame and they proceeded to inform me that not only did the car need the engine cradle repaired but they had found another $2900 in repairs all in the front suspension that need replaced. I had the car inspected by the lot I purchased it at before it went to the dealer. I have only had this car since Feb 17. The lot I purchased it at checked the entire vehicle before they sent it to the dealer. I have pictures from them of the damage to the cradle. They did not find anything wrong with any other parts. The dealer even stated that the tires needed replaced as they said all four of mine were leaking. The tires on that car are brand new! So first Chrysler didnt want to honor their own warranty, it took the Attorney General to get involved to make them, and now they are trying to inflate the repair bill to get their money back! Good thing I didnt buy the car from them! The lot I purchased the car at agreed to inspect it again when it comes back to them and repair anything that needs it at no cost to me, Chrysler just seems to want money.
    I read on another forum that Chrysler did the same thing to a gentleman who lives in Illinois, they told him his VIN number wasnt covered.
  • I am glad you found a way to get Chrysler to take action. Today it is all to often when companies attempt to move away from promises to repair vehicles while maintaining the image of trying to resolve design issues left with their customers. This is a shameful and greed based approach to customer care and vehicle safety.

    What did you have to do (anything other than explaining the problem) to get the Attorney General to contact them so quickly? Knowing this may help us and many others who have similar issues with Chrysler and other automakers in the future.

    Knowing how serious this engine carriage issue is it clearly can cause other suspensions related deterioration because of the engine misalignment. You noted Chrysler also mentioned another group of repairs that were needed. Did Chrysler agree to also pay for the cost (time and materials) to make those repairs or was this left for you to pay? Seeing how this developed I assume they wanted you to pay those charges.

    If I were you I think it would be wise to have the dealer provide a list of other repairs the vehicle requires (according to them). Then I would take the car to 3 different mechanics to inspect those areas and any other area which may have been affected by the misalligned engine in the cradle. If 2 or more of these mechanics agree damage was likely caused by the engine cradle problem you may then have the proof to persuade Chrysler to fix anything else damaged as a result the initial problem. Certainly a statement from mechanics detailing areas that could be affected by engine alignment, even if it is not detectable now, may help you recoup any future cost for repairs should they develop.

    I wish you well, the pacifica is a nice vehicle and would be highly desireable if Chrysler had not taken the cheap road by under designing the car and its components. We love our pacifica but knowing all of the design flaws keeps me awake at night wondering if tomorrow is the day our pacifica will literally fall apart on the road. Any company that takes chances with the lives of those occupying vehicles they make simply to reduce manufacturing cost by a few dollars is totally unacceptable and criminal in my books.
  • abuckleyabuckley Posts: 5
    I had originally purchased the Pacifica from a used car lot on Feb 17. I originally took the vehicle back to them for the repair because I had not even had it 30 days. When I had googled the symptoms I came across the warranty, so I took it to them as well. When they put the car up they inspected everything and photographed the rust in the engine cradle. They provided copies of the photos to me. They took the car to the Chrysler dealer that they always work with. When Chrysler started to say my car had gone to Washington state, the used dealer I had purchased the car from got involved too. They sent me the Carfax report showing the car had been originally sold in West Virginia. When I contacted the Attorney General's office, I attached copies of the warranty letter, the photos, and the Carfax report with it. That was all I sent. It seemed to do the trick. The district manager got involved and they agreed to the repairs.
    As far as the other repairs, they did not agree to fix any of them. They gave me a list including the tire rods, bearings, etc. The original lot where I purchased the car said when they get it back they are going to go back over it and if anything else needs repaired they will fix it for free. They have amazing customer service and have been super easy to work with, unlike Chrysler. They even offered me a car to drive while this was all going on. They also contacted all of the customers that they have sold Pacifica's to in the past and offered a free inspection for the engine cradle, so Chrysler may have a few more to repair. But that is what makes the difference. They aren't trying to rip me off.
    I will take your advice though about the other repairs, I might have a case to get the other stuff covered and paid for espacially since my engine cradle is rusted clear through.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Please keep us updated
  • n9zn_extran9zn_extra Posts: 11
    edited March 2012
    You are a very fortunate person!

    The reason I said you are fortunate is not because of Chrysler agreeing to fix their problem engine cradle design but rather because you had the extremely good fortune to find a very reputable used car dealer with mechanics.

    I would sure go the extra mile with the used auto dealer and leave as much positive feedback on the Internet as I could Angie's list would be a good place to start and there are many other sites where you can do the same.

    Because of your reply to my last message I also will have pictures, copies of the letter from Chrysler, a car facts report, information off the Chrysler web site showing the dealer of origin, and a statement from our auto mechanic in hand prior to visiting Chrysler re: our Pacifica.

    In addition to the above I believe I will also have the car thoroughly inspected (cost about $100.00) by certified mechanics and have that report handy as well. It seems a good practice just in case Chrysler tries to pull the same thing on us as they did on you (assuming Chrysler is up to something not so good).

    After over 20+ years in the same metropolitan area of Florida (Tampa Bay) our family has yet to locate what we could reliably call an honest mechanic or used auto dealer. Our suspicion is this may be the result of faulty state ordinances governing how these people operate coupled with poor state and local enforcement standards.

    Although some appear honest to begin with, things turn questionable after having to visit them over and over to repair the same area of the car. In addition we normally do not get acknowledgement that we were there a month or 2 before for similar troubles and certainly no mention of any warranty ever takes place unless we raise it first.

    As things are I believe I could easily carve out a great living exposing questionable practices along with out right lies which are all too common in the service industry in my area. Maybe I should pursue this endevor, no doubt there would be plenty of happy consumers on our side. Unfortunately it is not just autos, instead it is everything and anything which requires service after the sale.
  • jft26jft26 Posts: 35
    Thank you for the response. True I don't back up that often. If I park the car in the driveway front end out it will not make noise braking forward out of the driveway. Braking during back up when the car is cold only presents the clunking ....... sounds almost like loose parking brake shoes. But if I try backing up after about a mile of driving after the car is warmed up, the sound goes away. I hope to find the reason ..... I'm not giving up.
  • xunderworldxxunderworldx Posts: 14
    edited April 2012
    Hi everyone,

    I really appreciate all the valuable information everyone has provided here. I actually had a rust hole as big as my fist on the right side of the subframe. I had gotten the letter about engine cradle being covered.. However with my lack of understanding I had no idea it covered it. Thanks to you google and reading your posts I was able to get this taken care of.

    Its funny with all the work I have get done on my car and all the service checks they do, no one told me I had a big hole. What alerted me on this was being told there was rust. After taking it to a mechanic I knew he showed me that it isn't just rust its a hole!

    I did have a question that someone here might be able to answer. Apparently in an attempt to remove the subframe or simply after removing the bolt. They claim that the engine mount needed to be replaced. They said the stud that the subframe rested upon just fell. Honestly felt to fishy to me. So they charged me to get the rear engine mount replaced and fixed.

    Any thoughts?
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    They told me some of mine were bad and that they replaced them free. I think it was because of the 8 year 80,000 mile warranty
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Not to bad one mount in 110,000 miles
  • So its normal for the stud holding the engine mount to brake from sub frame removal?
  • Can you send me a copy of the warranty letter please? I'm having the same issue. You can send it to [email protected]
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    link title
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    No not if it's done right
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    link title
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    I looked it up in my Alldata repair manual and no it should brake. They have a bracket that goes across the two front fenders and holds the engine up. Then they remove all hose and wire brackets from the engine frame and set a dolly under the frame. Then they remove bolts holding frame up and lift car up off the frame. Doing it like it says it should not brake unless the engine slipped or the dolly was not used and the frame was taken down crooked and broke the bolt.
  • I was very interested in the letter you posted. Is there a reference number attached to the letter, or any header information that would identify who at Chrysler wrote it? If so, please post it. Thanks.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    edited April 2012
    That is the letter except for my name and address
  • Thanks for your feedback, I called the main Chrysler number & they opened up a case. They said a case manager will contact me tomorrow, so we will see what happens!
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Good luck
  • What number did you call to open up a case? I have an 04 and at 102,000 miles. I get loud noises when I turn and hit bumps in the road. We are about to make a long road trip and would like to get some answers. Thanks for the help.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    At 100,000 miles it sounds like you need to replace the stabaliser bar bushings and that is up to you. If there is a hole in the engine frame thats different. Look under the car and see if there is rust though in the frame if there is contact Chrysler. If the car was sold in the rust belt it will be covered. If it is normal wear and your bushings are bad don't blame Chrysler. Have you changed the timing belt it is due right? Don't blame Chrysler if you have not done the maintenance and the engine self destructs. This is all about the engine frame rusting.
  • I contacted Chrysler and they are going to fix the engine cradle issue. AS far as the stabaliser bar, I have no clue what that is to be honest. I can have them look at it though. Any idea of the cost? I do simple maintenance myself...oil changes and such.
  • The number I had called to open a case was 1-800-521-9922
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    The bar bushings are $8.60 each 0.8 hours to install. Links 47.20 each need two if bad 0.8 hours to do both. Oil change pull car up on ramps or 2 pieces of 2x12 or 2x10 x16 inches long. With engine hot unscrew bolt on back of oil pan and let oil drain into drain pan. Wear gloves if you have tender hands or you don't want to get dirty. Oil will be at about 190 degrees. Put bolt back in and and snug tight you don't want to put a hundred pounds on it. Get a cheap oil filter wrench that fits on the bottom of filter and use wrench to remove filter and drop in drain pan. Look up where the oil filter was and make sure the gasket came off or look at the top of the old filter. Now take the new filter and spread oil on the new gasket and screw filter on till the gasket touches . You can feel this. Tighten filter 3/4 turn more. Now you are done unless you want to get a cheap grease gun and grease the front end and if you grease everything you may never have to replace anything again except some bushings. Oil filters I use Purolator they are made better but you can use any one you want. I would tell you to add oil to the filter before you put it up but if any gets around the rim it will look like an oil leak dip for a week. These filters are 2.50 each at Farm &Fleet. Add oil under the hood right side by battery you will see a cap remove and add oil 10W30 5 1/2 quarts. I use Mobile 1 26.99 for 5 quarts you can buy other oil much cheaper. I run my car 6,000 miles between changes because I use good oil. At 300,000 miles my engine will be like new if you use regular oil your engine could be worn out in 100,000 miles and this is if you change it every 3,000 miles. I had a mini van with 225,000 miles and I had to change the head because the engine overheated I miced the engine parts when it was apart and it was as good as a new engine. Run engine and check for leaks 15 min is all it should take
  • xunderworldxxunderworldx Posts: 14
    edited May 2012
    While my subframe was being replaced by Chrysler due to to corrosion, I knew I had transmission leak. A mechanic I knew showed me the leaks and told me that one of them was going to require removing the sub frame. Now this was before the subframe replacement.

    When I told Chrysler about this they said the subframe would not interfere with anything that has to do with the transmission, also said transmission leaks usually happen from above. Now after they did the job I had a mechanic clean everything up and replace the oil pan and stuff.

    However now I'm still being told by that same mechanic that my subframe will have to be removed to get this fixed. Here is a picture of, hope someone has any thoughts on this.

    There is also another leak to the left but I couldn't get under the car far enough to take the picture my self. So I just pointed that it was to the left somewhere.

    image
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    I looked at the Chrysler repair book and it says. Hold engine up with support bracket. Remove engine cradle take out transmission
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    That looks like the rear cover can you take the cover off and just replace the gasket?
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Just thinking to myself if the rear cover is leaking it might need to be tightened up a little. Now i'm not a trans guy but if there is no pressure in that area maybe you could spray the area down with brake clean $2.99 and put silicone all around the cover or if it won't dry up drop the pan replace filter then silicone the cover it could last forever. It is hard to stop if it is leaking when you try to put the silicone on it.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Sorry when I've had a few my mind stars to run If that arrow is an axle seal they don't need to drop the trans. Pull the axle replace seal period
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Did he write it down on the service report that you had a leak. You have him
  • Just called him he told me that the transfer case is where that leak is, he said to properly clean it and seal it the sub frame needs to be out. I looked at it and it is a tight area but I don't know a whole lot so I can't say if it has to or not.

    There is also the front differential there is a small leak there as well that also from what I understood would need the subframe out.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    I looked it up and the frame does have to come out
  • Thanks charger, you have been a lot of help to so many on here :)

    I contacted the dealership that changed the subframe. While they are not admitting any fault, I told them I was told I had a transmission leak that would require the subframe to be taken out.

    Its funny because their answer was the mechanic who was talking to you may know have known/realized it was an all wheel drive. Funny how they operate, they see a huge whole with corrosion and they call it rust.

    Then you can see on the picture the transfer case is leaking fluid and they can't even see it with their eye. Whats worse is instead of making sure I get the right terms from the mechanic that looked at the car... They simply do the subframe replacement.

    All I can say is they have some horrible communication & they definitely didn't take what I said seriously. Its sad the job of the subframe has to get done twice now! All they told me was they will take a look at it and actually allow me to go in the shop to show them where the leak is then we will go from there. I really hope they actually take some type of responsibility.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    I hope it works out for you. Get and estimate to make sure they don't over charge you. Warranty time to remove your transmission with 4wdrive and install another trans R/R is 5.6 hours plus 0.6 for 4wdrive.
  • Well I'm putting responsibility on them, I mean what kind of Chrysler dealership does not take what a customer or what another shop said seriously. If I come to them and tell them that their is transmission leak above the sub-frame that would require it to be taken out.. One would think they would look in the matter seriously.

    To have one of them tell you transmissions leaks usually happen from on top and their wouldn't be any need to remove the subframe, isn't good enough. If they couldn't see the transmission leak I reported before they replaced the subframe then they should have made sure to call me to get to the bottom of where the leaks are. But ya I"m trying, they apparently want to contact the main corporate Chrysler & see if they are willing to cover it being removed again.

    All of it is very ridiculous to be honest, they need to take some responsibility for their lack of communication and for not investigating what I reported to them.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    I wonder every time we took my wifes car in for anything they did that 26 point inspection so the would look over the car and be able to sell you things. They should have seen the leaking. Even when he took the frame down he had to wipe the leaking oil of his hands and when he put it back before he gave it back to you he had to wipe the oil off so it looked like new. Sounds like the mechanic dropped the ball oh sorry technician the old days a mechanic would rebuild things now the (tech) replaces parts the scanner told him to
  • Ya but they were saying there was leaking all over it was hard to tell, they did report to me my pan was leaking and the solenoid pack was leaking. However those aren't things I was ready to fix and they have nothing to do with the leaks above the sub-frame!

    I will fight this, for as long as I can, I can't believe the position I'm in because of them.
  • So the dealrship wont charge me to remove the subframe! But they said they will charge $519 for the transfer case fix, do you think that is a fair asking price charger?
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    If you could tell me exactly what they are doing I could look it up and give you a close guess
  • They will take out the subframe without cost but they will be fixed the seals on the transfer case. That's all I know, they told me work on the seals alone was about 3.5 hours or so $419 labor.
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    They get more money per hour $120 than by us $95 The book shows 4.7 to take apart and put back together without exchanging parts. He will have to remove it from the trans and then reinstall it. All the covers and the three seals will have to be removed and the gasket surfaces cleaned and new seals and gaskets installed. Does this include parts(seals and gaskets) Sounds about right time wise. And hopefully give you a no leak warranty for a few years on what they did.
  • It included parts as well, good to know. With how they first handled it I was just having some trust issues with them perhaps over charging. But I feel better thanks to you :)
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    Good luck I hope they hold up their end. I think they will you have the estimate that they have to hold to Unless you agree to other charges and they would need that in writing.
  • slaconteslaconte Posts: 5
    My 2005 Pacifica (base AWD) has 97K miles on it. It has been ok - few issues, front end seems to have always been "funny". I am so worried about dumping any money into it after reading these forums and researching it. I bought it new, so I know history, and it has been babied. I have constant "clunking", trusted mechanic told me car needs rear seals, rear shocks ($1200, wow, those are pricey), oil pan is shot ($700), and of course timing belt ($1200) at 102K. Have not done brakes yet, they have lasted forever, but will be due soon. Not sure it is worth fixing...considering I live in the North where it has been on salted roads and has rust. Trade in right now is $5K. Should take that and run? Or, hope for more miles?
  • I honestly can't say take it and run or what but I would try to find another mechanic who isn't charging like $100 an hour to do the work. If you look hard you will find them and you will see all those expense cut an half... I mean $700 for an oil pan is ridiculous. Even the dealership here didn't ask for that much. I went with a mechanic who works for hims elf got it done for $100.
  • n9zn_extran9zn_extra Posts: 11
    edited May 2012
    Why would you ever consider trading it in? If the vehicle is in the condition you describe, sell it yourself. List it on craigslist.com and you will find a buyer if you price it right. Somewhere between $6200.00 and $6800.00 is a fair asking price. Cash in hand is worth more than anything offered as a trade in amount. You will still be able to negoitate a hefty discount on a new vehicle without a trade in, more than if you had a vehicle to hand over to a dealer.

    Facts are, you likely have at least another 50K miles (could be 100K) from the vehicle if it has been well maintained. How long can it be driven without putting in a pile of cash to make the repairs the mechanic says are needed now? That is the question I would ask myself. I also agree $700.00 to replace an oil pan seems outrageous. Do your due diligence and research mechanics in your area who have an established reputation for honesty in their work and pricing. They are there but you have to find them. Is it worth 20 hours of searching for a great mechanic you can trust if you can save $1500.00 or more over the long run?

    Reality tells me that if you do make the repairs you still have a waranty with Chrysler re: the rusting out sub frame assemblies. You need to decide if you want to have a car for the next few years that is paid for and all you need to spend is money on repairs plus the loss of value of the car as it ages.
    This is still not much compared to new car payments and required insurance when financed.

    Go to a mechanic you can trust, explain that you want photos taken of the sub fram assemblies. If they do not have the equipment to take the photos in areas where space it is tight spend $50.00 or $100 to obtain a camera for this purpose, maybe on ebay.com. A camera that has a long adjustable or remotely controlled neck with light and camera lens on the end that can be manipulated to get the pictures you need. You can sell the camera on E-Bay or Amazon when you done with it. This way you will not be out anywhere near what it cost to tear down the vehicle to get the photos.

    My point is to get un refutable proof that the subframe does or does not have damage. If it does then pile the pressure quickly upon Chrysler. I would not baby the auto company, others have shown us this will never work in your favor. If the car is damaged make Chrysler fix it or pay you the amount they would charge. Then you can decide what you want to do with the car. When going after Chrysler I liked what one person did, they went to the state Attorney General after Chrysler denied their claims.

    I hope this quickly works out well for you, I am sure it will if your persistent and stay on the up and up with all involved. Stay away from any mechanic who slightly seems like they may be less than honest. If a mechanic can not provide me with a long list of referances after I research them I become very cautious of manipulated online references. I had rather pay an extra $100.00 up front and 20 hours of research than pay an additional $1000.00 and much more being ripped off only to have the same problems or more when done.
  • inapinchinapinch Posts: 1
    Hi I know it has been a while but I was hoping to also get a copy of the letter.. About 6 months ago chyrsler told me I had the warranty coverage on my Pacifica . Now 6 months later they don't seem to have a clue about the warranty. I would really appreciate it. My new email just for this purpose is [email protected] you so much
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
  • charger3charger3 Posts: 210
    edited May 2012
    Shocks rear self leveling $556 for both and that was the first web site I saw .Chrysler hours to install 0.8 not even an hour. Oil pan who broke it or stripped the threads your Mechanic? He owes you a new oil pan. Oil pan OEM $283 plus Chrysler labor 1.6 hours and Chrysler parts from dealer are only about $100 dollars each more. I had my timing belt, water pump and pulleys replaced for $500 dollars. You mechanic is trying to screw you. The dealer can do it for less. Go to 3 other shops and get estimates and have it fixed at the lowest reputable place. That could be all three. You could change the shocks yourself in just over an hour with basic hand tools
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